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Putting Audio at the Heart of your Publishing Processes

To produce great audiobooks, you don’t need to reinvent the publishing wheel. In many respects, they can be managed in just the same way as any other content in the product hierarchy, making the most of existing resources.

A well-designed publishing management system should be able to support the delivery of audiobooks just as it does hardbacks, paperbacks and ebooks. Here are eight important stages of the audio lifecycle—and how Virtusales’ Biblio suite supports them.

Title Management

In Biblio, the product records of audiobooks can be managed alongside other formats. Common data like title, author and BIC codes shouldn’t have to be duplicated—it can be cascaded from a single source, creating records for the audiobook alongside the print version.

Audio-specific data—like contributor information, or descriptions relating to the reading—can easily be overwritten or added to the system. And of course, title data needs to be fully ONIX compliant if it is to be discovered by retailers and readers. Biblio’s ONIX wizard ensures this is the case before any information is sent out into the world.

Top Tip

Use Biblio’s pricing template to set the price of your audiobooks. It lets you set rules to develop pricing structures for different currencies or different models like subscriptions.


Biblio enables publishers to incorporate audio into a cost group that also includes hardback, paperback and ebook versions of a title. That means a combined P&L appraisal can be generated, helping publishers to make informed decisions about the viability of an audiobook—whether as part of a wider project or as a standalone offer.

Top Tip

Set and adjust your target margins and other KPIs on Biblio to work out whether you can achieve your desired return on investment on an audio project.


Just like with print jobs, systems can help schedule the many tasks that need to be accomplished on an audio project. They can add in audio-specific jobs too, like recording sessions, editing and post-production. Publishers simply add the deadlines by which activities have to be completed in order to stay on track for publication dates.

Top Tip

Run reports and email schedule updates to all those involved in a project so that everyone is up to speed on an audiobook’s pathway to publication.


Liaison with external partners and suppliers can be one of the trickiest aspects of audiobook workflow management. Biblio makes life easier with a digital asset workflow tool that lets publishers share and track their audio content as it passes through the hands of third parties like producers, editors and retailers. Throughout, users can maintain version control, restrict access if required and create a detailed audit trail.

Top Tip

Set up alerts so you are notified when audio files are accessed, updated or uploaded by external partners.


Once an audiobook file has been prepared to everyone’s satisfaction, it is ready for secure delivery to distributors, aggregators and retailers. In Biblio, this happens via BiblioDAM, the secure final resting place for completed files. Sitting alongside them is their metadata, ready to flow out to external platforms through ONIX feeds.

Top Tip

Make sure your title data is fully up to date before distribution begins, taking into account any changes during production.

Contracts, Rights and Licensing

Staying on top of your rights and licensing agreements can be a challenge, but publishing systems can help. Biblio automatically adds new formats to the contract when products are created ensuring that when sales come back into the system you don’t miss paying royalties. It also lets you see at a glance which rights you hold and have sold against any ISBN, helping you make the most of your audio content.

Top Tip

Check your contracts to make sure you hold audio rights to your titles; if not, you may need to clear them separately.


Calculating royalties and generating statements are another admin-heavy area for publishers, especially when audio editions are factored in. Biblio automatically calculates royalties for all formats including audio, ensuring accurate and on time delivery to authors. This is also a big advantage to acquiring new authors by demonstrating your ability to accurately report on all types of sales.

Top Tip

Don’t wait until period-ends to assess your royalties owed; use Biblio’s reporting tools to generate royalty runs any time you like.

Sales Reporting

As with any publishing format, it is vital to regularly dissect your audio sales data to work out where, when and how audiobooks have been bought. Biblio’s Business Intelligence model brings sales figures to life and identifies important trends and areas of opportunity. Working out which subjects, authors or voice artists perform best will help you set audio strategies for the future—in commissioning as well as in sales.

Top Tip

Compare and contrast your audiobook sales with figures for print and ebook formats. Discovering where audio content is a popular alternative to text will show the priorities for your audiobook investment.

Learn More About Virtusales

Virtusales provides industry-leading software to help publishers make their workflows as streamlined, efficient and productive as possible. Our Biblio suite of solutions have been developed with publishers, for publishers, and at a time of rapid change it is continuously updated to integrate new and evolving trends and technologies. We work with more than 80 publishers across the trade, education, academic and scholarly sectors, including some of the world’s biggest in more than a dozen countries worldwide. Our solutions are fully scalable to suit publishers of any size.

Discover how Biblio can Help to Address your Audio Processes

Audio projects can slot effortlessly into the Biblio suite, allowing publishers to incorporate audiobooks into their publishing workflows—dramatically improving efficiencies and reducing duplicated effort.

We would be delighted to help your business take advantage of the audiobook boom. To learn more, visit our website at, email us at, or call the US on +1 212 461 3686 or the UK on +44 (0) 1273 917373.

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