DIYPros: It's cheap, fairly simple, and I don't have to wait on anyone else to get the work done.
Cons: I have a fairly obnoxious voice, in my opinion--it's fine for a conversation, but not good enough for storytelling. I also don't have a good setup for recording; my mic is weak, my laptop is a bit old, and my house has a fair amount of background noise. Furthermore, I have no experience with audio editing, so I can't guarantee that it would sound good. This is why I've passed over this particular option. Unless readers are actively interested in hearing me record my own book, I am highly skeptical about the chances of this happening.
FreelancersPros: There are a lot of ways to find freelancers, and I could probably find one with a good voice for the book.
Cons: Finding the right freelancer might take days or weeks of wading through applications--time I could spend editing. It'd also cost me a lot up front, and I can't guarantee audio editing quality ahead of time. (Or perhaps ever; truth be told, I have poor hearing and unable to follow audiobooks myself, so I'd be unlikely to pick up on problems with the recording.) If I could somehow find someone who'd be willing to work with the promise of a royalty--highly unlikely--it'd still be a lot of trouble hashing out contract details, and I wouldn't have a platform on which to sell it.
Pros: Simplicity is a definite plus; I wouldn't have to worry about editing, finding voice actors, getting the formats I need, or distributing the books after they're completed. It'd sound more professional than the other options, most likely, and I'd have less to worry about.
Cons: It'd cost money up front that I just don't have right now. Open Book Audio mentioned being able to avoid these costs, but they've dropped all communication with me.
ConclusionIf I could go with an audiobook producer that would be willing to take a larger cut of the profits instead of upfront fees, I would do so. I'd really love to be able to give my backers an audiobook. More honestly, I'd love for my mother--who has very poor eyesight--to be able to read my book. But, at the moment, that looks extremely unlikely. If I can earn enough money by selling my books, I may try again in the future, but I think it's time to put the idea aside until then.
That said, however, I am open to having my mind changed, and you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have opinions you'd like to share!