by Molly Greene, @mollygreene
I’d often considered recording my Gen Delacourt Mystery Series, but the project never progressed beyond a place on my list of goals. Then, in November, 2015, I received an unexpected email from a producer who wrote, Hi Molly, I am an ACX- approved audiobook producer and want to see if you are interested in getting your books into audio format.
Yowza!! “Of course,” I quickly replied.
Then I asked him a ton of questions, checked him out, listened to his recommended narrator’s work, and researched ACX. ACX stands for Audiobook Creation Exchange, which is an Amazon-owned platform created to bring together producers, narrators, and authors for the express purpose of creating and distributing audiobooks.
I won’t spell out the step-by-step here, because all the information you need is available on the website. Start with ACX’s overview of the process. There is no cost to post a book and give it a whirl.
Depending on the royalty split you choose, there may be no cost to you at all. My producer offered a Royalty Share Deal, which means he shoulders the entire cost of the production and shares in the sale proceeds.
Create an ACX account and get set up
Since I hadn’t had to wait for auditions to come in or approach producers or narrators, I was fortunate in that I could bypass the toughest part of the process and go straight to setting up an ACX account.
I reviewed The ACX Rights Holder’s Audiobook Checklist, chose the royalty split, and “claimed” the title of my first book, our initial audiobook project. (Enter your name in the search box, and ACX will return a list of your published books.)
When a project is posted, the rights holder (that’s you) is required to provide basic info about things such as copyright, the word count of the book, payment and tax information, plus sample chapters for an audition (first couple are fine).
I did hit a glitch on my end and had to call ACX Customer Service to clear it up. The conversation was an absolutely delightful experience, so much so that I stayed on the line and asked the guy about five million questions. Takeaway: don’t hesitate to call them.
My producer is experienced and knowledgeable, so he and I navigated this process quickly and casually, meaning we went through the steps as required by ACX but exchanged emails and the mss offline. Within a week or so, I had an audio sample of Book #1 in my Gen Delacourt Series. You can hear this sample on LOON’s audiobook page; the link is right below the cover image.
Or, you can listen to Book #1, Mark of the Loon, here …
And Book #2, The Last Fairytale, here …
Narrate & produce your own
ACX provides guidance for authors who narrate their own books here. Audiobooks.com is an alternative; you can narrate and record your own titles, then self-publish through their portal. I have absolutely no experience with this process, but authors can contact them for more info here.
Marketing Audiobooks? Gah!
I just love the audio versions of my books, narrated by the fabulous Martha Harmon Pardee. At this writing, only the first two of my titles are available in audio, Mark of the Loon and The Last Fairytale. Understandably, my producer wants to monitor sales prior to producing the rest of the series – and that leads to marketing, which is my responsibility. I’m diving in, and will report my efforts in another post.
Authors, have you published an audiobook and if so, have any tips? Readers, do you listen to audiobooks and if so, care to share your favorite books and/or narrators?
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