I love having audio books, and I love listening to audio books. Recently I was helping another author with advice on getting her books converted to audio. I thought I’d share my notes.
A quick guide on turning your book into an audio book with ACX – part 1
- Why should I turn my book into an audio edition?
Audio books are very popular – they are great for the commute to work (which is usually when I listen to them), around the house, in bed or just about anywhere. Many people don’t have the time to sit and read, but as an audio book can be playing whilst you do other things a listener can hear and appreciate the story and not need to put time aside to look at a book. They are also, of course, a great format for people with restricted sight, who might find it difficult or impossible to read from a book or e-reader.
As an author, it is also very useful to have your books in as many accessible formats as possible. More avenues of sale = more potential sales.
- What is ACX and how do I sign up?
https://www.acx.com/help/authors/200484540 – author help and advice
ACX distributes to Amazon, Audible (an Amazon company) and I-books and if you have an Amazon account then you can use that to log in. Otherwise, it’s a case of setting it up. ACX has a reasonable set of help pages https://www.acx.com/help/about-acx/200484860 and it’s useful to start there. Do read the TOS and the FAQ, it will save a lot of heartache later if something goes wrong or you don’t understand something.
You have to provide your bank details, tax info and all the usual legal and financial malarky otherwise you won’t get paid. And yes, if you aren’t a US citizen you still need to provide your tax details – the IRS states that ANY goods sold in or through the US are subject to tax. This is NOT Amazon’s rule – it’s the law. If you are not a US citizen and your country has a withholding agreement hopefully you will not actually have to pay the tax – it still gets declared though. Anyway enough of that tedium.
‘Anyone who holds the rights to an audiobook (a Rights Holder) can connect with the people who can get those audiobooks made (the Producers).’
Basically, if you are the copyright holder you can turn your book into an audio edition.
- What are the royalties?
ROYALTY SHARE it will 20% for you and 20% for the narrator. ACX sets the price so you won’t necessarily know what you’ll get.
NON ROYALTY SHARE means you’ll get 40% but you will have to pay the narrator up front. Narrators will state their fee (expect to pay out quite a bit for a novel) but of course, once it’s paid then any royalties are all yours.
Some narrators only work for money up front so royalty share does restrict your pool of talent – but it still quite large.
There is also $50 bonus scheme – put simply this means if yours is the first book a new customer buys with their audible credits you get a bonus ($25 if royalty share).
Royalties are paid monthly, at the end of the second month (So Jan paid in Feb, Feb in March etc). Personally, I find the payments confusing – as there are payments for:
AL: Audible Listener – purchases made by members with membership credits.
ALOP: Audible Listener Over Plan – purchases made by members with cash (not with membership credits).
ALC: A la carte – purchases made by customers, not in an Audible Listener membership.
Basically, members buying with credits, members without credits and non-members with cash.
Thus far I have not managed to work out how ACX defines the separate payments for these.
You’ll be sent an email saying royalties are now payable. Log in to your sales dashboard and this will show you how many of each title you’ve sold. Below this is the earnings report page – you can download a summary report (says how many you’ve sold of each title per month) and a royalty report (how much money is coming your way).
More information to follow on how to upload your book, and finding a narrator.