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Audiobooks with ACX – Getting Started

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 14, 2016

The audiobook process has been a learning experience for me. I approached ACX as a complete novice, knowing absolutely nothing except what I’d gleaned from fellow authors who’d posted advice online. A special thank you to author Terry Odell, who has been my mentor for this project. So now it’s my turn to pay back what I’ve learned. The Book of Knowledge hasn’t closed yet. I’m still fumbling my way along, but maybe these posts will help when you explore a similar path. This is Part 1 of a series on this topic.

Create an Account at ACX

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Go to http://acx.com and create a free account. You can sign in with your Amazon account. Then put your book’s ISBN or ASIN number into the box and claim the title as yours.

Set Up Your Book Profile

Now you’ll need to need to create a book profile. One section serves as a description of your book.

HairRaiser

Describe what type of voice you’re looking for in a narrator. Male or Female? Age range? Mood?

NarratorVoice

The other section is about you as the author. You’ll want to make this project appealing. List your awards, series accolades, social media sites, and marketing plan.

AuthorInfo

When you’re done filling in these boxes, you need to submit a script. This includes several minutes of representative conversations from your story. The sample passages you provide can be different scenes along with notes on context and brief character sketches. It’s good to have a variety, so you can hear how the narrator does the different character voices. Then you’re almost ready to submit your project.

Script

CLICK HERE TO TWEET

Coming Next: Auditions and Narrators

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Permed to Death audiobook, book #1 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries, is now available at Audible and iTunes. Narrated by the talented Mary Ann Jacobs from Voice Over Visions.

PERMED TO DEATHnewflat_audio (640x640)

Hairstylist Marla Shore is giving grumpy Mrs. Kravitz a perm when her client dies in the shampoo chair. If that isn’t enough to give her a bad hair day, handsome Detective Dalton Vail suspects Marla of poisoning the woman’s coffee creamer.

Audible: http://adbl.co/293g3Lk
iTunes: http://apple.co/299427t
Amazon: http://amzn.to/294EC94

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July 1-18
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July 1-31
Body Wave (Bad Hair Day Mystery #4) is on sale for $1.00 at Smashwords until July 31. Use Coupon Code SSW75. Marla the hairstylist goes undercover as a nurse’s aide to help solve the murder of her ex-spouse’s third wife.

July 28
Killer Knots original edition ebook will be on sale for ONE DAY ONLY on July 28 for $1.99. Mark your calendars now. Available at most online retailers.

 

 

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21 Responses to “Audiobooks with ACX – Getting Started”

  1. pamelasthibodeaux said

    Great info!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Good luck and God’s blessings
    PamT

  2. It’s my understanding that the audition scripts are still supposed to be about 2-3 minutes tops. The text box allows only 2000 characters, barely a page. You can upload a file instead, but I tried to keep that script approximately that length. Then, when narrators audition, you give the one(s) you’re considering the 15 minute script to work on voices, etc., which is phase 2 of the process. I don’t know if narrators want to spend what it takes to deliver 15 minutes in step 1.

    • My sample scripts averaged 6 pages double-spaced with different scenes, although that was longer than required. I didn’t see a text box. You can upload a file. There is a text box, however, for your script notes.

      • Per their website: “Your audition script should be approximately 2-3 pages of text directly from your final manuscript; enough to provide you with 3-5 minutes of audio.” When I uploaded my 2 new projects last week, the script box was still there, along with the alternative option to upload the pages of your script, but as of last week, the process was still a 2-3 minute audition followed by a 15 minute (ACX calls it the “first 15”) and then once you’ve contracted with a narrator, you send them the full manuscript. I’m not sure where you were looking, but it doesn’t work the way you’ve stated it as of a week ago, which is exactly the same as it was when I did my first projects 2 years ago.

        • If you look at your screenshot, there’s a link that says “input your script as text” and that’s the 2000 character limited text box.

          • Yes, I see the link now that you point it out. And I didn’t have a problem when I uploaded my script. The narrator chose to read all or part of it. But it is probably best to keep the script short and sweet. The reason why I did this was because I had no idea how long the reading would take. Now I know a 15 page chapter equals 20 to 30 minutes. That means 7 pages would take about 15 minutes. I had no clue the first time around. So next time, not only will I make my sample script shorter, but going forward I’ll make my chapters shorter, too. One of the many lessons learned.

    • The next stage, once you’ve made an offer that’s been accepted, has you uploading the entire file. The narrator then submits a fifteen minute sample for approval.

  3. I’ve thought about it but ACX isn’t available to Canadians for some reason. Even though we can publish through Amazon and ACX is an Amazon company. It’s annoying because I would love to have my books out in audiobook format but to do that I have to find a narrator on my own, make arrangements with them, find a company that will distribute it.

  4. Laura said

    Good information, Nancy. I used ACX for the first two books in the Niki Alexander series. That was about 4 or 5 years ago. Who did your cover and is that in the final stages? I was very happy with ACX.

  5. Maybe this link will help your readers get an overview of the process: https://www.acx.com/help/authors/200484540?utm_medium=author&utm_campaign=hiwtable

  6. Thanks for the refresher course! I used ACX to make the best-selling of all my books (so far, anyway!), The Weaver Takes a Wife, available in audio, and I’m getting ready to start releasing the John Pickett mystery series that way. In my case, I have to have a narrator who can do a good British accent. About a dozen narrators auditioned, but I actually found my narrator through a writer (who’s now a friend) I met at a conference. She saw me enter the hotel restaurant alone, and since she was alone too, she invited me to join her. The subject turned to audiobooks, and I said I’d been looking into it, but this book would depend entirely on finding a narrator who could voice my Cockney hero. She referred me to Noah Michael Levine, and he did an amazing job! I won’t use him for the John Pickett books–he’s quite expensive, and the accent isn’t so important in those books–but I don’t regret hiring him for TWTAW. (I’m posting a link here, so you can listen to the sample.) https://www.amazon.com/The-Weaver-Takes-a-Wife/dp/B00T89TTTW?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

  7. Great info, Nancy. I’m saving your files for future use. What’s the difference between ACX and Audible? My character is from Chicago but is a Texas transplant picking up the idioms and a little drawl. Should I mention that?

    • ACX puts together rights holders with narrators. Audible is where the audiobooks are sold. Sort of like KDP and Amazon. They’re both owned by Amazon, although I’m not an expert on the distinctions. Yes, I would mention any accents for your characters. And check out Terry Odell’s blog at http://terryodell.com/terrysplace/. She also ran a series on this topic.

  8. Reblogged this on Eliza March Writes . . . and commented:
    I’m interested in putting a few of books into audio format and am looking for tips. Author Nancy Cohen has some great suggestions.

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