Let’s Talk Audio Books!

I’ll say this very quietly….I pressed the publish button on the paperback for In The End on KDP yesterday. I did this so I could guarantee it would be ready to purchase on my official release date of 30th November, which is next Friday. I’m whispering as I don’t want to take anything away from the fanfare planned.

KDP quote 24-78 hours for the approvals process to be completed and for your book to be available to purchase. It took just less than 16 hours. This is probably because I’ve submitted it multiple times for proofing so part of the approval has already been completed. They also quote up to 5 days for it to appear in searches for all Amazon marketplaces and to link to the Kindle edition, however my test so far shows it’s already appearing in searches on my primary markets. The two products are not linked on the same product page yet.

Anyway, that’s not what I created this post to talk about. As the titles says, I want to talk about audio books. In the email from Amazon confirming the paperback was live it included information about audio book creation through their service called ACX. Now I love audio books. Ever since I read Stephen King’s On Writing where he talked about cramming those gaps in your day with an audio book, I’ve been an avid member of Audible.

acx_logo_3C_notag

I listen in my car on the way to work for about half an hour a day, plus when I’m doing DIY, it’s great for painting! While I’ve been promoting, lots of people have asked me if In The End would be available on Audible and my instant reply was that I’d love to have it in that format but the costs would be too prohibitive. Then I read about the ACX service and this is where I come to the point, at last! Below is a summary of the ACX service as I explored the process. I’m signing up and documenting as I do.

Step One

Navigate to the ACX website. https://www.acx.com/ and log in. You can use your  KDP credentials.

Step Two

Complete you tax information. This is a shortened version of the information you’ve already provided when you signed up to KDP.

Step Three

Navigate using the menu to ‘Add a Title’. You’ll be presented to search and find your book from the Amazon marketplace. In The End was easily found, despite having only just been released. You will be asked to confirm which payment route you wish to take to produce your audio book. You can either provide the audio files and just sell it, or you can have someone narrate and produce the book for you. The second option is for me.

Step Four

You will now need to sign the Book Posting agreement. I’m not going to give you any legal advice on signing this. You will need to read it and make that decision for yourself. The following is a summary of the agreement taken from the ACX page.

Clicking Agree and Continue will mean that:

  • You have the audio rights to the book.
  • You want to add your book to ACX to get it produced as an audiobook
  • You will be able to meet potential narrators and producers for your book on ACX, and also may be contacted by audiobook publishers who may want to purchase the audio right to your book (and then produce it off of the ACX system).
  • You will distribute the completed audiobook, at minimum, through ACX’s distribution channel (Amazon, Audible and iTunes).
  • You will have the choice to distribute it on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.
  • Any information you put into your book’s ACX title profile is accurate.

I clicked agree and continue.

Step Five

I’m then promoted to add my banking details. For this I needed IBAN Number and swift code. I don’t know if this is the case for users within the US. You can find your IBAN and swift codes on your bank statements. It didn’t work first time, but after removing all the spaces in the IBAN it worked fine.

Step Six

Now use the menu and navigate to projects. You should find your book sitting there waiting for the next steps under titles not posted. Now view edit title posting. In the title posting I found my blurb from Amazon and I needed to add the copyright information, choose if it was fiction or none fiction, choose a category, there is only a very limited list so I chose Science Fiction and Fantasy. You will then select if you want to receive auditions for the voice actors, which is recommended if you have not used ACX before. You then need to select options for your ideal narrative. The list of styles is massive! I chose ‘Straightforward’ but added in the notes that there are multiple POVs, both male and female.

Also in the comments you are asked to talk about your marketing which will help producers decide if you are worth taking a gamble on for the royalty share. More about that later.

At the end of this section you have to upload a script for the voice actors to use during their audition. You have to include scenes for each POV so you can get a proper feel for how the narration will work.

Step Seven

For the next step you provide details of your book, including the word count. If you choose to pay up front for the audio production you can select how much you would be willing to pay. These are expressed in pay bands. The prices varies from $0 to $1000 per finished hour of audio book. Mine is estimated at just over nine hours, so for a top quality narrator we’d be looking at $10,000. However I’m choosing royalty share option. This means I share royalties on a 50:50 basis with the producer. You can mix and match the rates and the royalty share in order to entice a producer to your work.

On a royalty share only offer you will get less interest from producers and if you choose them you will be bottom of their priority list. It may take some time to get the production completed, but at least there’s no up-front fee.

Step Eight

Post the book. This will make the title available to producers to review and, if they choose, provide an audition. The key for me is that at this stage you are not committing the work to be produced. You can still back out!

I’ve posted my title for producers to view and we’ll see what comes of it. Overall I found the interface easy to use, but every time I came out of the editing of the title details I had to start nearly from scratch again, which was a pain.

I’ll be posting progress here, much like I did for my publishing journey series, and if you have any experience using this service I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Oh and of course a little plug. If you want to buy In The End, either the paperback version, or pre-order the Kindle version, before the big release, the links are below!

In The End – Paperback

In The End – Pre-order the Kindle

Big thanks!

Advert ITE1 Nov Preorder

GJ Stevens

I am a Writer. I am many other things too, but I love to write. On 30th November 2018 I released my debut novel, In The End, a compelling apocalyptic thriller that will leave you breathless, immersing you in a fight for survival. Available to buy now from Amazon.

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