Frequently Asked Questions

Release Form

What is FreshBeat Audio?
FreshBeat Audio is the Showcasing Imprint of CoolBeat Audiobooks. FreshBeat was created to provide a method for selected recordings to be showcased digitally within the mainstream audio industry to our distributors servicing: Internet stores ( international), bookstores (OverDrive), broadcast radio (SiriusXM Satellite Radio), K-12 schools (Catalist Digital), and libraries worldwide (EBSCOhost).
Is FreshBeat Audio a "vanity press"?
No, FreshBeat Audio is a Showcasing (i.e., promoting / endorsing / sponsoring) service. Your recording should already have been completed beforehand. Showcasing provides a method for independent audio creators to get greater visibility for their recordings, by placing a non-physical version of them into the mainstream audio distribution channels under the FreshBeat Audio imprint. Now finally encountering an example of your work, both listeners and publishers are likely to seek out your physical media version, as well as other books or recordings you may have.
So, is showcasing the same as marketing?
Essentially yes. But rather than just marketing with a few words and a photo, your entire recording "talks" for you. And we are inexpensive. Check advertising rate sheets for yourself, and you will find that just one print ad, one time, in one magazine, typically will cost you many hundreds of dollars. Showcasing on the other hand, is a low one-time fee for a continuously ongoing promotion.
Specifically, what are the advantages of showcasing through FreshBeat Audio?

There are three main advantages -

  • You, and your audio creation, will receive worldwide mainstream exposure.
  • You retain all rights to any recordings not imprinted as FreshBeat Audio (with most other exposure alternatives, you would have been required to relinquish your copyrights, by either signing them over to the publisher, or releasing them into the public domain)!
  • FreshBeat Audio will provide a backlink to your website of choice, so that the interested public can purchase your physical CD / Cassette / DVD / etc. directly, and so they can learn more about you and your other creations.
What's the downside?

These are the possible challenges you may encounter -

  • To help ensure that only serious submissions are sent to FreshBeat Audio, you will be charged a non-refundable submission fee.
  • You will have to provide some supplementary material, such as cover art and a blurb.
  • Although offered, your work may not be accepted by some of our distributors (for example, a distributor that might only accept non-fiction titles).
How exactly will my recording be circulated?
FreshBeat Audio promises that all recordings which pass our review and meet all of our other publishing requirements will be quickly re-branded and delivered into our broadcasting and distribution chain. Note that FreshBeat Audio, like other publishers, has no direct control over individual distributors, and can therefore make no guarantees that a specific broadcaster or distributor will make use of a delivered recording.
Why can't I just send my recordings to audio industry distributors directly?
The vast majority of recordings made by independents are of sub-standard quality. Issues include poor sound quality, bad editing, and limited commercial potential. Distributors have no desire to wade through these submissions to find the occasional gem. Instead, they restrict their distribution channels to select publishing houses, such as FreshBeat Audio, who have a track record of quality and sales. Your independent submission would most likely never get past their mailroom.
Are there any prerequisites?
First and foremost, you must own all the audio rights. This includes the rights to all the recorded narration, any background music, and any sound effects. Be aware that video soundtracks are usually owned by the video creator. You must also have been given the right by the author/orator to have used their work for your recording.
What are good showcasing candidates?
The public enjoys audio with a good narrator and engaging subject matter. FreshBeat Audio is very eclectic, accepting lectures, speeches, interviews, audiobooks, audio plays, and more. Poor candidates are audio which requires supplemental illustrations, or soundtracks that make reference to visuals.
What are the conditions my audio must meet?
All audio must be fully edited before submission. This means audio must be in complete, "ready to sell", condition. FreshBeat Audio has a reputation of high quality standards to uphold, in order to keep the relationship with our distributors positive and problem-free. Nonetheless, a wonderful message, with an occasional minor technical issue, might still be acceptable (discuss it with us).
What audio media can you accept?
We prefer to receive 44.1KHz 16-bit WAV files. However, FreshBeat Audio can extract useable audio from an audio CD, video DVD, or an MP3 of 128Kbps or lesser compression. Please contact us if your audio is stored in other data formats, or on older media such as an audiophile grade Audio Cassette Tape, hi-fi VHS Tape, etc., so we can discuss extraction options.
How do I deliver my recording to FreshBeat Audio?
We prefer to receive files either electronically over the Internet, or on a PC data disk. Include a completed copy of the release form. Send an email directing us to the download site, or mail the disk to our physical address (please don't send your only copy). Contact FreshBeat Audio first before delivering media in another method or format, so we can discuss options. Please note that physical media will not be returned, and that until your one-time submission fee has been processed, no audio will be reviewed.
What happens if FreshBeat Audio agrees to showcase my recording?

Once accepted for showcasing, FreshBeat Audio will begin processing the audio for distribution.

  • You should have already submitted the FreshBeat Audio release form; and you will now be required to provide a brief bio of the author/orator, and of the narrator.
  • You must also provide FreshBeat Audio with a brief description of the recordings subject matter, including any table-of-contents.
  • Finally, you must provide appropriately themed cover artwork, to which you own the rights, and which can not be deemed libelous or offensive. Artwork must be in uncompressed PNG (portable network graphic) format, with a 3:4 ratio. Specifically, artwork must be at least 1020 pixels wide x 1360 pixels high x 288dpi. Artwork must contain the Title, and may optionally contain the sub-Title. Artwork must also contain the authors name (if a book), or orators name (if a lecture or speech); preferably prefaced with the lowercase word "by:".

FreshBeat Audio can assist you through the process of assembling this supplementary material, including the making of a simple text-only cover. Remember however, that interesting titles and eye catching cover art greatly influence buying decisions.

What kind of processing must FreshBeat Audio perform for their distributors?

Each distributor has their own specific requirements. Some of the processing that FreshBeat Audio must perform is:

  • The recording must be critically listened to, and any minor tweaks necessary applied by our audio engineers.
  • Recording must be reprocessed from its current format into each specific digital format required by each of our distributors.
  • Recording must be segmented into individual files of differing distributor specified chunks.
  • Cover artwork must be converted into differing distributor specified sizes and digital formats.
  • Differing metadata catalogs must be created for each distributor, which include information such as -
    • Full Title
    • Audience
    • Subject
    • BISAC assignment
    • Language
    • If Abridgement or Fiction
    • Runtime
    • Synopsis
    • Table-of-Contents
    • Author and Narrator Name and Bio
  • Each file set must be packaged and transmitted to each of the distributors using their specified method.
  • Finally, FreshBeat must later check on each distributor, to verify that no errors were made on their end in the posting of the recording. An entry for the recording, and link to your website, must also be created on the FreshBeat Audio Showcase webpage.
How much is the one-time submission fee?

FreshBeat Audio charges each work a $55 submission fee, which partially defers the costs of the manpower, time and effort required to evaluate and prepare the audio.

The fee, in the form of a check or money order drawn on US funds, must be mailed to our physical address, along with a completed copy of the FreshBeat Audio release form. Only after the check clears, will your recording be evaluated. The submission fee is non-refundable, even if the recording is rejected by FreshBeat Audio.

What is the backlink?
The purpose of Showcasing is to gain recognition not only for a specific recording, but for yourself and your other creations as well. To this end, we assume that you would maintain a webpage where the public could learn more about you and your recordings, as well as purchase, or be told where to purchase, your creations. FreshBeat Audio recommends that you provide us a link to this webpage, so we can send traffic in your direction, but you are not obligated to do so.
How is sales pricing determined?
FreshBeat assigns each audiobook a "list price", based on the audiobooks total runtime. For this reason, pricing can only be determined after the final runtime is known. The pricing tables we use have been specially developed so that shorter works are not under valued, and longer works are not over priced. Each of our distributors then uses this list price as a guide for setting their own companies individualized selling price. Of course, you may set whatever price you desire on copies of your non-FreshBeat branded work offered through your provided website backlink.
Do I get a royalty on FreshBeat sales?
Yes. Every spring FreshBeat will combine the profits earned by your recording during the previous year from each of our distributors. An outstanding royalty of 50% (in the form of a check drawn on US funds) is paid against your recordings previous years totaled profits of $400 and above.
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