(C)A L Butcher
So now you’ve set up your account, and know about royalties so what’s next?
- How do I add my book?
Once your account is set up go to ADD MY TITLE link in the top right – this will allow you to search if you have the book on Amazon already or create a Title Profile for your book – This is what it says on the tin – Title – genre – word count – synopsis etc. If you have a decent following it’s more likely narrators will want to produce your book – especially with royalty share. It’s worth stating if you have an active blog, facebook following and other social media.
Or Assert More Titles – this screen will also tell you if there are any offers to produce your book, how many are in production, if you have asserted a title but not produced it.
ACX generally works in hours – so if you buy a book on Audible it’s so many listening hours
For an example, The Count of Monte Cristo comes up at between 40-50 hours depending on the version/narrator. It’s close on 100 chapters – Imagine how long that took to produce!
But my poetry book is 18 minutes….
So keep in mind you will need to have the time available to listen to the files your narrator uploads before the book is approved. He or she will upload the files and these need to be listened to CAREFULLY. From the point of view of the narrator I have been told it’s 2- 2.5 hours of work per finished hour – so producing an audio book is NOT a quick process. It has to be checked for background noises, mispronunciations, and the timing has to be correct. There is a set time between chapters/scenes and ACX will not approve for sale if this is incorrect.
This is a legal contract – keep that in mind – so ensure you find the right narrator for your work. If you do have problems with the narrator there are ways to break the agreement but it is complicated and you may have to pay out for work done. When setting up you are asked to provide a 5 minute sample in PDF – say a chapter – so narrators can audition. This should give you an idea of how the narrator sounds.
This is where you can specify your preferred type of narrator – male/female; US/English etc. It’s pretty specific. Of course, you may not get the ideal person you’ve imagined so keep an open mind.
5 )How do I find a narrator?
Ideally, they come to you but all the narrators have profiles so you can search and approach them if you wish.
It’s a lot more time consuming for the narrator – I understand it’s about two hours work per finished hour – and thenn they have to ensure there are no background noises, the pronunciation is alright, the gaps between the chapters are the right length etc. ACX has strict criteria about how long the silence is at the beginning or end of each chapter and if it’s too long or too short they won’t approve it. Honestly, I can’t tell unless it’s really obvious so I have to trust my narrator on that.
Officially once the narrator has uploaded the files the author can request up to two rounds of editing – so the author needs to listen to the files carefully to decide on any changes. Some narrators will do more but as it’s so time-consuming the author can’t send them notes on every little thing unless it really is an error/revision.
The cover art – that has to be square (think a CD case) so that has to be adapted, but there is guidance in the FAQ.
Then there’s a suitable sample to be agreed.
Once both sides are happy the narrator signs off his or her side and the author approves it.
The book will then go to review – which can take a couple of weeks. It’s checked for obvious errors, whether it meets the sound quality and the time between chapters. At this point, it’s possible for ACX to reject (say there is a big silence between chapter 1 and chapter 2). Changes can be made if requested by ACX. Once it’s approved it will ‘head to retail’ and appear in the store a week or so later.
Once or twice I’ve had to contact ACX support (long story) but they aren’t great. The changes took weeks to go through, even though I was told it would be a couple of days. I had to email regularly for updates. That said if it’s an easy question then they do respond.