How To Make An Audiobook On ACX.com
If you want to reach as many readers as you possibly can, then you need to release your book in all possible formats. While eBook and paperback will cover the main market, there is a fast-growing percentage of consumers that read books in an entirely different way. Audiobooks are quickly taking over, and for good reason.
Most people really do want to read books, but just don’t have the time. An audiobook eliminates that requisite and allows them to incorporate consuming the book alongside their other activities. Instead of having to sit down and dedicate their eyes to physically looking at and processing the words on the page, people can listen to the book during their daily commute or while working out. That’s the advantage that a word-on-page format could simply never compete with.
You stand to access a substantial number of new readers by producing an audiobook version of your book. Since Amazon has now acquired Audible, it’s relatively easy to create an audiobook and link it to your book’s page. Here’s how to do it.
1: Create an account on ACX.
Since Audible is technically a different platform, you’ll have to set up an account on ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange). The signup process is quick and uses your Amazon credentials, so you won’t have to reenter too much information.
2: Claim your book on ACX.
Your book already has to be published as an eBook and/or paperback on KDP. Before you can start the production, you need to first claim your book by clicking on “Assert Titles” and searching for it.
3: Set up an audition.
You can create an audition to find the right “voice” for your audiobook by specifying demographics, accents, inflections, and more. Select a section of your book, usually the introduction or a few pages of the first chapter, to upload as your audition script. Any of the thousands of available narrators (called “producers”) on ACX that fit what you’re looking for and are interested in the project will then use the script to audition a reading sample for your consideration.
4: Choose your narrator.
You’ll get to hear the auditions as they come in, as well as any messages sent with the audio sample and the ACX portfolios of anybody that auditions. I’d recommend giving more consideration to those who have a good list of credits already under their belt and especially those who send a thought-out message with their audition. This demonstrates professionalism and interest in the project, which typically will translate to a better job. Of course, keep in mind that it’s always a gamble to hire a stranger on the internet, so vet your candidates accordingly. Ultimately, you should base your decision on that gut feeling of who is the “safest” to work with and who is the best “fit” for your book.
5: Make an offer.
Once you decide which prospective producer that you want to go with, you then make them an offer. You can choose between two types of compensation: either splitting the royalties of the audiobook sales, or a set pay per finished hour (PFH) for the audiobook. Paying PFH is generally going to attract more and better talent since it’s a guaranteed amount of money, whereas a royalty split is going to usually get you a less experienced producer (unless you’re already well-known and can guarantee sales).
If they agree to your offer, then the production is more or less handed over to them to complete. You set the deadline for certain milestones to be reached and can see the audio for each chapter as it is uploaded. Aside from that, there’s not much more to do here other than to wait and listen to the audio as it’s uploaded.
7: Approve final production.
Listen to the full audiobook and either request changes or approve the final production.
8: Wait (again).
Now, it’s just a matter of waiting for ACX to review and approve your book. This can take up to six weeks. Really.
As you can see, the process is easy enough for a total newbie to accomplish but it does take quite some time. That’s exactly why if you want to release an audiobook, then you need to get this process going right after publishing your other formats.
An audiobook is a relatively simple and worthwhile undertaking to get a growing portion of readers. The only catch is that it can take even months to complete and can’t be released with your other formats. With that considered, you have to start your audiobook as soon as you possibly can to get it out to market while your title still has steam.