British author Roz Morris describes how to turn self-published books into audiobooks via Amazon Audible's ACX service – a great way to reach new readers and to take advantage of the growing global market for audiobooks.
Do you want to release your title as an audiobook? If you live in the US, you can go through ACX, the DIY arm of Audible, but ACX wasn’t open to UK authors – until now. For the past month, I’ve had both my novels in production as a test pilot, and now I can tell you what I’ve learned so far about offering a title, choosing a narrator and working with them.
Good question. ACX is a network where narrators and producers can meet authors who want their work released as audiobooks. Once you’ve hooked up, you can then use the site as an interface to create the book, keep track of contracts and monitor sales. In short, it’s genius.
You know how tedious it is every time you set up an identity on a new site? All that form-filling and profile-making? ACX requires minimal faff. Once you tell them who you are and what book you’d like to offer, it pulls the detail off Amazon.
- opt to narrate and produce the audiobook yourself, but to do this you must have professional-quality equipment and experience of sound editing, or the book won’t pass the quality check
- pluck a willing narrator/producer out of the ether (this is what I did)
Pitching your book
Next to your book info, you can add notes to make your book more attractive to collaborators – your platform, sales figures and anything else that will convince them you’re worth working with. Which brings me to…
Making an audiobook isn’t cheap. An average novel is about 10 hours of narration (roughly 90,000 words) and is likely to cost $200 or more per finished hour. You have these options if you’re seeking a narrator/producer on ACX:
- pay up front
- pay a royalty share (which I did)
All the ins and outs of this are much better explained on the ACX site, so check them out there.
My ACX Journey – Mistakes Made and Lucky Discoveries
So those are the basics for using ACX. However, in real life there were a few things I needed to learn (more than a few!):
- Choose an audition passage that will give you an accurate feel for the way the narrators will handle your material.
- Be careful what qualities you ask for in your ‘ideal narrator’ specification and with the guidance notes you give them, or you might get a lot of unsuitable applicants.
- Once you’re in production, there are tips on working with your narrator and what your role will be.
Head to my blog for the full version of this post and the voice of experience! Like to share this post with other author friends who may be interested in learning how to turn self-published books into audiobooks? Here's our suggested tweet: “How to turn your self-published books into #audiobooks with #ACX : https://selfpublishingadvice.org/reaching-readers-how-to-create-audiobooks-via-acx via @IndieAuthorAlli & @Roz_Morris”