Making an audio book using Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) is a great way to stand out in a competitive market. Offering eBooks, audio books, and physical books boosts your professional image and increases your sales opportunities.
This post originally appeared on Mike Fishbein’s blog. Reprinted with permission.
With the growth of independent and self publishing, the eBook market is getting more crowded by the day which makes it increasingly difficult to stand out. However good your book is, there are a lot of fish in the pond to compete with.
One solution to drawing a wider audience is to turn your written work into an audio book. I’ve been able to tap into a whole new audience on Audible who otherwise may never even have heard of me, which adds variety to my product offering and boosts the professional image of my book pages. Plus, I reach more people than ever and I serve a whole new sector of potential customers who prefer listening to audio over reading.
On top of all that, you get a $50 bounty from Amazon if yours is the first audio book an AudibleListener member buys. I’ve sold over 3,000 audio books and have earned over 30 bounties.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the whole process of how to make an audio book using ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange), Amazon’s “marketplace where authors, literary agents, and publishers can connect with narrators, engineers, recording studios, and other Producers capable of producing a finished audio book.” I’ve captured and detailed every step involved from converting your book to auditioning and working with the best narrator for the job. Log in to ACX now and follow along as you read.
Step 1: Go to ACX.com
Log in or sign up at ACX.com and enter your book title, ISBN, or author name. Amazon will then search Amazon.com for rights you might have using your name.
If this is your first audio book or even if you have created a few already, ACX provides some very helpful guidelines to get you started. Read them to get an idea of the process.
Step 2: Select your book
Select the book you’d like to turn into an audio book.
Step 3: Choose a narration option
Choose whether you are looking for a narrator, already have audio of your book and just wish to sell it, or if you will provide narration and will be uploading later. I outsource my production, so I select the first option.
Step 4: Terms
Read through ACX’s book posting agreement carefully before continuing. Each time you turn a book into an audio book using ACX, you enter into a separate agreement.
Step 5: Book description
Provide potential buyers with information about your book, giving them a sense of the content. My advice is to use your Amazon book description for this.
Step 6: Copyright information
Confirm that you are the copyright owner for your original book as well as for your audio book.
Step 7: Category
Indicate whether your book is fiction or nonfiction and then select the category most suited to your book.
Step 8: Narrator voice
If you are outsourcing the narration, here is where you specify what type of narrator voice you want. Give careful consideration to tone, accent, and gender as this will influence how readers interpret your message. For my business books, I tend to stick to the specifications below.
Step 9: Additional comments
Add information that will give your potential narrator a clear picture of who you are and any accolades you or your book have received, the value of your book, and who your target reader is. Get narrators excited to collaborate with you!
Step 10: Your audition script
Either type in or upload a narrator audition script to help you choose the best fit for your book. Do you want to hear how well they tell stories? How captivatingly they retell facts or data? Can they get your unique sense of humor across? Choose a script that exemplifies your book and one that will give you a good sense of the narrator’s scope.
If you prefer to upload your script, make sure it is in either Word, PDF, or TXT format.
Step 11: Your book’s word count
Enter the word count for your finished script.
Step 12: Specify your territory rights
Define your territory rights. Unless you have a limitation on where your book is allowed rights, select “World.” Choosing this means you have permission to sell your audio book in every country.
Step 13: Payment method
Select how you wish to pay your ACX narrator. You can choose either a revenue share model or a per-hour production fee. If you are unsure which one you want, select both and make a final decision once you have secured a suitable narrator.
Step 14: Sell exclusively at Audible?
Choose between exclusive or non-exclusive distribution. I prefer the exclusive option with the higher royalty percentage – and I prefer to have my audio books sold in one place.
Step 15: Review and post
Post your audition script to ACX so narrators can pick up your script and start auditioning for your audio book. The sooner you do this, the better!
Step 16: Review auditions
This is the fun part. As narrators audition for your audio book, you will receive an email notification. I usually wait five days to let them come in. If you have a specific narrator in mind, you can invite them to audition for your book.
To listen to the auditions, log in to your ACX profile and click “new auditions’ in the top menu bar. You will find all the auditions you haven’t listened to yet in the right sidebar. The listening process is simple on ACX. Click on the play button to listen to the audition and then click either “like” or “dislike” depending on your preference.
Step 17: Set your schedule
Once you have decided which narrator you want to use, and alerted them, set your schedule to indicate what timeframe they have to work within. This must include edits and correction time.
Step 18: Choose a payment method
This is where you decide whether to choose a royalty share or pay for production method. If you were previously unsure and selected both, this is when you will need to make your decision. Discuss it with your narrator to see what suits both of you best. If you’re paying, you have to coordinate with your narrator and most likely pay via PayPal. If you select the royalty share option, ACX will handle it.
Step 19: Make an offer
Before you send your payment proposal off, click “preview” to check it’s correct. Once you are happy with your payment proposal, click “send offer” to send it off to your narrator.
Step 20: Send your narrator the manuscript
Once your narrator has accepted your offer, the first step in your collaboration is to send them the manuscript for your audio book. Click “In Production projects” to bring up the tab below. Here you can select the manuscript you wish to send your narrator. Click on the title and then click “Browse” to upload your Word, PDF, or TXT document. Your manuscript has been sent to your narrator! Now you need to wait for them to review it and record the first 15 minutes, which they will then upload for your approval.
Step 21: Review and approve the first 15 minutes
When your narrator has recorded and posted the first 15 minutes of your audio book as a sample for you to listen to, you will receive an email notification. Click “Play” to listen to the recording and select “Approve” if you are happy with it. If you have comments or concerns, click “Send Message” to contact your narrator.
Once you have listened to the recording and clicked “Approve,” sit back and relax. You will need to wait for your narrator to finish recording the rest of your audio book. You can check the “Produce audio book” tab to see if any files have been uploaded.
Step 22: Create and upload your cover
While you are waiting for your narrator to finish recording your book, you can create your audio book cover. The image and technical requirements can be seen here.
Step 23: Final review
You will receive an email notification when your audiobook is ready for a final review. Click on the link to open it up. Listen to each chapter separately by pressing the play button on the track you want to hear. If you’re not quite satisfied with it yet, you can request more changes from your narrator. If it’s ready, click “Approve Audiobook.”
Step 24: Wait for the quality assurance checks
Once you have approved the audio, you will receive an email that clearly lays out what the next steps will be. You just have to confirm your bank information and wait.
Your audio book is live!
A week or two after you approve, you will get an email confirming that your audiobook is now live on Amazon and Audible! Once live, I make it a habit to regularly my dashboard to see how sales are doing.
Audio books image via ShutterStock.com.
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