How to get your audiobooks produced on ACX? Well, I am going to break down step-by-step the basics of what it takes to turn your books into audiobooks.
Step #1 - Find a Narrator
You will need someone to narrate your book. The best place to find narrators is Fiverr or Upwork. I prefer Upwork since the contracts are easier to control and the quality of narrators is higher.
This is someone you are going to be working with for a while. So, you will want to invest the time it takes to find a good match. You should post the job for $0.50 per finished minute (PFM).
This is a low rate, but if you are looking to make a profit from your books, you need to keep costs as low as possible.
Check out this related article: How Do Authors Who Sell eBooks On Amazon For 99 Cents Justify The Time Invested In Writing The Book?
You can assume the reading speed is around 155 words per minute. That means a book that is 15,000 words in length or 100 pages will cost you around $50 to get your audiobooks produced on ACX.
You should also request a sample of the work they have done before in order to ensure the quality is high enough. If you are writing fiction, you should choose a narrator of the same gender as the main speaker in the book.
Step #2 - Ensure You Have a Contract That Shows You Own Full Rights
You don't want to find your narrator stealing your book or worse later demanding a share of the royalties when the book starts selling.
So, the contract which can be found online easily should establish that the narrator will be paid for their work and that's it. You will own all rights to the audiobooks.
Step #3 - No Payments Until ACX Approves The Files
There are many rules about how the audiobooks should sound and be produced. You need to make sure your books are fully approved before you give full payment to your narrator.
If changes are needed, you need to make sure you won't be required to pay additional fees. It is the narrator's responsibility to give you audio files that are in line with ACX's standards.
Check out this related article: Where To Find A Professional Narrator?
Keep in mind that every audiobook will go through two rounds of quality control and each round is looking for different things. In addition, the standards of what is acceptable changes from month to month.
Step #4 Send Them Your Manuscript
You will want to send your narrator the PDF of your book. Make sure they don't read the table of contents or web page links. That will only annoy your reader.
Step #5 Upload The Files To ACX
Your narrator should have sent you an opening file, the chapters, and a closing file. You will upload all of these and also take one of the chapter files and upload it as the book sample.
You will then post the files and get your audiobooks produced on ACX yourself.
The image file needs to have resolution and dimensions of 2400 X 2400. This can be accomplished using the free program GIMP.
Never do a royalty split with a narrator. This will always be costly for you. Every sales, assuming you own the rights, will get you 40% of the sales price and any time someone listens to your book first on audible, you will get $50.
If you want to split that 50/50 with your narrator, the whole profitability starts to change. So, do yourself a favor and just pay the up-front costs. You also need to keep the same narrator for all projects.
This will allow you to bundle your audio files together to create bundles. Keep in mind that you won't have to pay for the audio files again. You just need a new opening and closing file for the bundle and can reuse the audio files.
Check out this related article: What Are The Legal Steps To Publish A Book About Music It Would Include My Own Transcriptions Of Copyrighted Songs.
I hope you found this helpful. If you own any Kindle books, you should start this process ASAP! You are only losing money every day you wait.
~ Chris Baird
P.S. Seriously, ever day is a day of sales you could have been making!