A Noob’s Guide to Audiobooks with ACX – part 2 #audiobooks #writers #writingtips

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.

 

ACX4

 

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 3

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!

http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Classics/The-Count-of-Monte-Cristo-Audiobook/B005GFRMBE/

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.

 

 

 

 

A noob’s guide to audio books with ACX – part 1 #audio #writers #writingtips

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).’

https://www.acx.com/help/a-marketplace-for-you/200487070

Basically, if you are the copyright holder you can turn your book into an audio edition.

https://www.acx.com/help/how-it-works/200484210ACX image 1

  • 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).ACX sales page image for blog

 

More information to follow on how to upload your book, and finding a narrator.