Audio Books

How many of you writers have put your book out in audio?

ACX, a division of Audible, which in turn is part of the Amazon.com empire, is a company that helps connect authors, publishers and other rights holders with the narrators, engineers, recording studios and producers necessary to produce a professional audio book.  In addition, ACX distributes the finished books to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

If you hold the audio rights to a book, you can submit it to ACX, and upload a brief excerpt from the book (generally about two pages).  You give the genre of the book and note if it is particularly suited for a male or female narrator.

ACX then puts that information and your excerpt up on its website where it can be viewed by various narrators, producers, etc.  If any of those are interested, they will submit a sample, reading the excerpt you uploaded.  If you get several auditions submitted, you can then select one and enter into an agreement with that person or business. 

There are two ways you can structure this agreement.  First, you can simple hire the narrator and/or producer. In this case, you and the narrator/producer will agree on the cost for their services and how that payment will be handled.

The second option is to offer a royalty share.  In this case, you pay nothing to the narrator, but you and the narrator/producer will split the royalty that ACX pays 50 - 50.  You must make the choice before your audition segment is posted, so that the narrators know in advance what you are seeking.  Some will not work on a royalty split.

ACX has several royalty structures, depending on the agreement you and the narrator have made, and whether ACX has an exclusive or non-exclusive right to sell the finished product.

ACX insures that the quality of the finished product measures up to its standards. This gives you, the author, confidence that the audio book will be a high quality product.

The ACX website contains complete instructions on how to proceed.  If you are interested, visit www.acx.com and read its discussions on the various aspects of turning your novel into an audio book.

If you have any questions, please post the here.

So, one last time, how many of you writers have put your books out in audio? And if so, do you have any wisdom to add?  Tell us about your experience.  And how many of you are starting to think about it, now that you've read this article?

James R. Callan