Russell Phillips recently published an audio book, having used ACX (which started accepting UK authors in April) to find a narrator. This is his guest blog post about the process.
Earlier this year, ACX announced that it was going to accept titles from UK authors as well as those in the US. I registered on the site, and put A Damn Close-Run Thing up for auditions. When putting a file up for auditions, ACX asks a series of questions relating to what type of voice the narrator should have. Since my book is non-fiction, written by a Brit, and about a British war, I specified a British accent with an authoritative vocal style. There are two options for paying for the narration: Royalty Share splits the royalty paid by ACX, with half going to the narrator and half to the author. The other option is to pay the narrator in advance. If you select the second option, you can specify a price range that you are willing to pay. When setting up, you can offer one or both of the payment options.
Within a week, I had an audition. I downloaded the MP3 file and listened to it carefully, looking for potential issues. There weren’t any, so I accepted the audition. At this point, Phillip, the narrator, was able to access the full manuscript. I supplied notes on pronunciation, and he supplied a 15-minute sample from the manuscript. After I had approved the sample, he started work on the full book. Each chapter was uploaded individually as it was completed. I was able to see them and listen to them as soon as they were uploaded, providing feedback and ensuring that there were no errors. He also created a short excerpt, to be used as a sample.
After a final listen of the whole recording, I approved it and it went to ACX for them to do a final quality check before preparing the files for distribution. The day after I approved the full production, Phillip and I each received an email detailing a slight issue with the sample audio, which Phillip was able to quickly remedy. ACX finished their review two days later, and the status changed to “Headed to Retail”. Seven days after that, the book was available for sale on Audible, Amazon and iTunes.
As an author, you are entitled to 25 free codes that can be used to give away copies of your audio book. Mine arrived by email the day after the audio book went live. It’s important to note that, if you have selected exclusive distribution (royalty share options are only available with exclusive distribution), you cannot give away free copies of the book other than with discount codes provided by Audible. If your book was produced under a royalty share agreement, a recent change means that your narrator can also get 25 codes, so that you get a total of 50 codes altogether. Note that these codes are a credit for a single book, which means that they can be exchanged for any book. If you want to be sure that the recipient gets your book, this blog post details a method to do so.
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