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AnneGlynn
10-29-2013, 03:42 AM
When Amazon started their audiobook company, ACX, they reached out to self-publishers, encouraging us to make our work available for audio production. At that time, I didn't have a project that was appropriate for ACX (I do now) but I was very much intrigued by the idea.

I did have one friend who jumped in, finding an actor/producer to put her science fiction novel into audio form. The two of them spent many, many hours getting everything just right. Several months later, my friend has sold two dozen copies of her story and made very little money.

In the short term, this has been a losing proposition for her but I'm hoping that others have brighter financial stories to share. I know we've had a few hardy AW souls give ACX a try. If you did, will you share whether it was a worthwhile venture for you?

Literateparakeet
10-29-2013, 03:51 AM
I'm glad you asked, because I have been wondering about it too--for my next project. My book is non-fiction, and I would read it myself. I used to be an operator in a nice resort, and got many compliments about my voice and a couple invitations to rooms, LOL! And I have some acting ability.

For whatever it is worth, as a reader, I love audio books. I prefer them actually because then I can 'read' while driving, knitting, doing the laundry. So I think you should give it a try. But what do I know? :)

P.S. For books like Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Huckleberry Finn (which I'm reading with my daughter for school) an audio version is INDISPENSABLE to understand the accents!

MartinD
10-29-2013, 04:18 AM
I don't have an audio book out yet but I've had some feedback in regards to ACX.

When I posted on ACX about a month ago, I queried actresses to read my piece. Only a couple of them responded, both wanting to know my marketing plan. One of the actresses had completed one novel, one of them had done two, all on the split royalty plan, and neither was making enough money to want to do it again. This suggests that the writers of the audio books weren't making much money, either.

K.B. Parker
10-29-2013, 06:31 AM
I've heard that having an audiobook alongside an ebook and paperback can boost sales. I can't back that claim up, but it's something to think about.

Noah Body
10-29-2013, 06:00 PM
I have two out now, and they generate a couple of hundred bucks a month in revenue. Not outstanding, but worthwhile. I think I'll narrate my next releases, since I have the pipes for it.

AnneGlynn
10-29-2013, 08:57 PM
I have two out now, and they generate a couple of hundred bucks a month in revenue. Not outstanding, but worthwhile. I think I'll narrate my next releases, since I have the pipes for it.

Noah, that's much better results than my friend has seen. What kind of stories do you have? Did you use an ACX narrator? Oh, and did you do any promotion of your material?

Noah Body
10-29-2013, 09:04 PM
One is zombie apoc, the other is post-apoc. I used two different ACX narrators, and I don't promote the material at all, actually. Which is probably my bad!

I just got a check from ACX last week for $246 and some cents. As of October 27, I've sold a total of 388 units.

M. H. Lee
10-29-2013, 09:51 PM
Noah, how does that compare to your sales of the e-version of the books?

Also, for anyone thinking of doing it themselves, it's pretty tricky to get a good recording. I've been playing around with it a bit myself.

Noah Body
10-29-2013, 11:02 PM
It's nothing compared to ebook sales, and it's a little bit less than print sales.

Yeah, you have to know what you're doing when you record for profit. A good microphone, a solidly silent environment, and delivery skills are imperative. Thankfully, I come from a performing family, so I can handle the last.

Literateparakeet
10-30-2013, 06:09 AM
Thanks Noah and M.H. :)

SBibb
11-01-2013, 05:08 AM
Though I don't have anything for ACX, I've been curious about this sort of thing as well. Thanks for bringing up this thread. :-)

Literateparakeet
07-02-2014, 08:56 PM
I read a blog post recently by Tim Grahl, (http://outthinkgroup.com/tips/how-to-self-publish-an-audiobook-on-audible-com) the author of Your First 1,000 copies about ACX that got me thinking about this topic again.

At first I had thought about reading it myself, because I love hearing authors read their own books (non-fiction), for example Malcolm Gladwell. Orginally after looking at the costs or stress of going to a professional studio, or doing it myself, I had tossed the idea out.

Previously I had considered trying to get a narrator through ACX, but thought I couldn't afford it. Being a little more determined this time, I decided to at least TRY.

Once again I used my first book for a guinea pig. I went to ACX, and started the process. ACX asks you how many words are in your book and then determines how long the audio version will be. Since my book is so short, I decided it would be affordable to do either shared commission, or pay by hour if I paid the lowest rate $50. (That is actually a lot of money, but I was afraid professional narrators would want more.)

It became a question of overcoming my pride and fear of rejection (that seems to get easier with time). I posted in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (I work graveyard shift). Already, I have three auditions!!! I like all of them, but two I absolutely adore. It is so fun hearing these very talented women read MY book. Man, it just makes me fall in love with self-publishing all over again!

Of course, I don't know at this point what the sales will be...but that is always the case, right? I'm loving the process.

So if you are thinking of doing this, give a professional a try. You might find it to be more affordable than you think. And definitely a lot of fun!

SamCoulson
07-02-2014, 10:48 PM
Keep us posted on the sales end..

I've been curious about it myself. My wife is a teacher who has a very steady, animated, and practiced delivery from 9 years of entertaining 9th graders--so I'd obviously tap that (voice talent.. heh).

Those of you who have done it at home--what software did you use for the voice editing and what sort of gear did you use to get good results on the audio quality?

benluby
07-03-2014, 04:37 AM
One is zombie apoc, the other is post-apoc. I used two different ACX narrators, and I don't promote the material at all, actually. Which is probably my bad!

I just got a check from ACX last week for $246 and some cents. As of October 27, I've sold a total of 388 units.

Noah if you don't mind may I ask the titles? I am a zombiefile and post apocalypse is second...

davidjgalloway
07-03-2014, 04:51 AM
I'm in the midst of doing a non-fiction book now (as narrator, not author). I use SoundForge and picked up a USB mixer and microphone at my music store. It's a royalty-share piece, and God above is it BORING. And not so well written, as I've discovered. So I plan on only narrating my own work from now on, which I think will be fun. I read aloud for revision anyway, so this should be an extension of that, and hopefully having control of the source text will make it more enjoyable. It's an arduous process no matter what, though.

If you use it for nothing else, the mic setup will attract small people who like to sing "Let It Go" for innumerable takes :)




Those of you who have done it at home--what software did you use for the voice editing and what sort of gear did you use to get good results on the audio quality?

SamCoulson
07-03-2014, 03:06 PM
If you use it for nothing else, the mic setup will attract small people who like to sing "Let It Go" for innumerable takes :)

A sagelike warning :)