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Captcha
06-19-2012, 03:31 AM
Has anyone had any experience with producing (or paying to have produced) an audiobook, either through Audible's ACX (http://www.acx.com/) program or through another venue?

I'm intrigued, but their prices are based on a bid system, and I really have no idea what a reasonable bid would be.

Anyone?

EngineerTiger
06-19-2012, 04:14 AM
Hi, I have a book in production through ACX. You have the option to pay for production (rates run anywhere from $50 to $200) an hour. You may also go with the royalty share arrangement. With this one, you don't have any upfront costs but will have to split the book royalties 50/50 (this is after ACX takes a fee) with the narrator/producer.

If you do a search for narrators, you can see which ones require a production fee and which will work on the royalty arrangement.

Captcha
06-19-2012, 04:21 AM
Hi, I have a book in production through ACX. You have the option to pay for production (rates run anywhere from $50 to $200) an hour. You may also go with the royalty share arrangement. With this one, you don't have any upfront costs but will have to split the book royalties 50/50 (this is after ACX takes a fee) with the narrator/producer.

If you do a search for narrators, you can see which ones require a production fee and which will work on the royalty arrangement.

Is the hourly rate based on the length of the audiobook itself (eg. a seven hour book would cost $350 to $1 400) or the length of time they actually take to record it? And do you have an estimate of how much time it takes?

And have you seen good sales? Are you glad you did it?

Thanks for any extra information!

EngineerTiger
06-19-2012, 03:43 PM
When you list your project (title, style of narrator), ACX figures the hours based on word count. That seems to be what the producers base their cost on. My book runs about 10 hours so it would be $500 on up to produce depending on the narrator. Since I have no idea if the book will appeal to the audiophiles, I opted for the Royalty Share.

I can't give you further details since the book is still in production and I have no sales data. The benefit of going through ACX is that your books will be distributed through audible.com, Amazon, and Itunes.

One thing I did discover. After you list your project, you don't have to just sit and wait to have narrators come to you. You may also send out invitations for auditions based on your criteria. I invited four narrators who matched my requirements (Royalty Share option, type of voice, style such as storyteller, etc.). Of the four, three responded within a day with audition samples. My first choice was one of the three.

With regard to production time, I started in late April. By mutual agreement, my narrator was supposed to record the first chapter/15 minutes by 15 May to ensure I approved the quality/approach. He had the sample back to my on the 14th. I was delighted with the production quality and told him to proceed. He was supposed to complete the production by 15 June but ran into a bit of delay so his target completion date is the end of June instead. Since he's bearing the cost of production himself and was prompt to let me know, I'm not going to fuss over a couple of weeks. However, I have no idea if a two month window is typical. That probably varies depending on the narrator.

The FAQ for ACX is fairly straight-forward. Remember too, you also have the option to do it yourself. ACX provides the technical information to help you set up as an author/narrator. I debated doing it but my voice isn't what it once was and the full-time job gets in the way of tackling something with a bit of learning curve. I figured it was better to let an experienced narrator/producer handle it for me. Then too, the books seem better suited to a male narrator.

I do strongly urge that you communicate with your narrator via ACX at all times. This ensures that you'll have a document trail in case there is an issue later. Also, use ACX for the contract for the same reason.

Captcha
06-20-2012, 02:10 AM
That's great information - thanks!

I'm tempted, but also cautious... but I guess with the profit-share approach, I wouldn't have much to lose, right?

Katallina
06-20-2012, 04:15 AM
This sounds totally awesome! My boyfriend and my dad are not avid "readers" but they are avid "listeners". Provided I would only be sharing the sales from the audiobooks (not *everything*) that could be worth looking into. (Or I could see what's needed to do it -- I took storytelling classes years ago and enjoyed it.) Very interesting!

Mom
06-20-2012, 05:26 PM
Interesting thread! My husband is an audio engineer, so we've been talking about the possibility of him recording and mixing audio books for me (someday). We'd have to hire the voice talent, though.

If someone recorded their own audiobook (or hired a freelancer to do so) can they directly sell it on itunes, audible, or other outlets?

EngineerTiger
06-20-2012, 06:15 PM
Mom, I'm afraid I don't have the answer to that. ACX is geared to the production side to help writers and narrators coordinate projects for their distribution system. ACX and Audible are not synonymous. Audible is an online sales venue for audio books while ACX is for production/distribution. You might start with the FAQ for each site and see if that helps to answer your question.

There is a section on ACX for the writer/narrator acting as producer (which, I believe, would still fit your situation using a freelance narrator). It looks like a matter of uploading files. I don't see anything that indicates you have to use a narrator from ACX. Just have to have the files in the correct format. Anyway, take a look under that section of the FAQ to see if that provides the information.

Mom
06-20-2012, 07:20 PM
Mom, I'm afraid I don't have the answer to that. ACX is geared to the production side to help writers and narrators coordinate projects for their distribution system. ACX and Audible are not synonymous. Audible is an online sales venue for audio books while ACX is for production/distribution. You might start with the FAQ for each site and see if that helps to answer your question.

There is a section on ACX for the writer/narrator acting as producer (which, I believe, would still fit your situation using a freelance narrator). It looks like a matter of uploading files. I don't see anything that indicates you have to use a narrator from ACX. Just have to have the files in the correct format. Anyway, take a look under that section of the FAQ to see if that provides the information.

Thanks for your response. You were very kind and patient with me, because if I had simply clicked on the link you provided in your original post, I'd have see than you can go to ACX with audio files that are ready to go.

Sorry... I should have seen that. I really need to go get a cup of coffee. (That's a reasonable excuse, right?)

EngineerTiger
06-20-2012, 08:49 PM
I'm always happy to help or clarify so don't worry about excuses, Mom. I've been out of academia for years so I no longer test people on my "lectures". Enjoy your coffee.

Wesley Kang
06-20-2012, 10:39 PM
Seriously, I learn valuable stuff from AW every day. Thank you for this thread! Great to know there are viable options for audiobooks for self-pubbed authors.

Awesome.