Ebook to Audio

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Thread: Ebook to Audio

  1. #1

    Ebook to Audio

    I was just wondering if anyone's had any experience with this? Moving from ebook/paperback to audio.

    Since I've gotten my rights back a few months ago, I've re-edited my series and started getting them out again on KU and KDP. But it's given me access to my audio rights too. And boy... it looks daunting.

    ACX has been one suggestion, and it looks pretty straight forward with them. I've just submitted a proposal there. It's not been too bad so far. You set up an account, providing tax details etc, then because they are tied with Amazon, you find your book, click on it, and it has all the details there on sales info for potential producers. You also submit an audition script, a description of what you're after in narrative voice (I need three diverse cockney accents), then show how you intend to market etc. You have the option of royalty-share basis, which as it's the first novel, I've opted for just to see how things go. With royalty-share, they distributes exclusively to Amazon and iTunes.

    It might get interest, but then again, it might not.

    Has anyone else gone through audio as a self-publisher? Have you had any issues? What have sales been like?
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  2. #2
    I'm going to update this as I go (or don't go, lol) as it's pretty much new territory for me.

    Once you've submitted the audition proposal to ACX, you get to go through samples from narrators. You don't sit and wait for anyone to contact you. It's pretty much like any search function here: you choose your genre, sex of the narrator, location, style (British cockney, etc), then it brings up a sample for you to listen to. If you find a sample you like, you click on the narrator's name and it takes you to his/her ACX page. There you can see all of his samples, his bio, what awards he's won, etc.

    You then have two options: send him a message and ask if he'd be interested in your work, etc. Or you can make an offer on a contract with him. The contract takes you through how long you'd like the narrator to work on the audition script, then how long you'd like the producer to produce the whole novel.

    ACX worked mine out at 13.5 hours of narrating, with each hour taking 6 hours to produce. You can work out the production time from that: I went for an average of two hours a day, five days a week just as an estimate, but to be honest, I asked via message what the one I liked thought would be a reasonable timeline for production. I'd rather work to his numbers and his experience here.

    So far ACX has been really friendly to talk to, and I'm just in talking stages at the moment with this narrator, not offering a contract yet until the narrator is happy to move on with one. I'm hoping he is: he's got a lot of talent. But it's very early stages and too early to know if this is even going to work. But he's agreed to to do the audition script, which is... frickin' awesome!
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  3. #3
    I've just gotten to listen to the audition script, and... wow. This dude can do a cockney accent and tense drama.

    He got back with it within the stated timeline he gave, which is fantastic to see. Now it's just seeing if we're both happy to carry on. I think from here there'll be a lot of messages back and forth on the pronunciation of certain words etc and also finalising the contract on ACX.

    But it's looking very positive so far.... not nervous in any way... honest.
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  4. #4
    We had some messages back and forth over production time of the overall script, then he said if I was happy, to make him an 'official' offer (which, on ACX, you click the 'offer' button, where all the legals are already sorted. You add a date of agreed completion, then press send).

    I'm impressed with how professional this guy is, so I sent the offer.

    Next, I had to look at sending the script over, which once you send the offer, ACX has an upload section for word.doc. Word.doc works best, I think, as it allows the narrator to highlight different speakers, etc and add his own production notes.

    I also had to do a character list, which lists all main MCs, their accents, tone of voice, character traits, etc. Plus any words that might cause pronunciation issues, or any phonetic issues on paper that won't transfer easily into dialogue.

    He also went through how each chapter of audio would be delivered.

    On top of this, I need to arrange cover art for the audio. So it means going back to my cover artist who managed the original cover for this novel. Dimensions are very different: a square template.

    But very happy so far with ACX. It's been surprisingly straightforward. A little nerve-wracking, but surprisingly good.
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  5. #5
    I love this guy's professionalism. He's just handed over the first chapter on audio, and it's perfect. But he's got years 20+ in editing audio, along with his narration. I'm listening for pace of narration, character interaction (if the conversational turn-taking is fluid), voice consistency, character portrayal, also if there's background noise, any unnatural distortion, etc. But it all sounded really good.

    I'm crossing fingers and toes that the rest of the chapters go so well.
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  6. #6
    Member Ma'am's Avatar
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    I have one audio book with ACX, from a few years ago. I chose a new voice actor for lower rates. (I didn't expect to make much so didn't want to invest much). I get an occasional audio sale but probably not enough to pay back my initial investment so far, much lower than sales of the corresponding paperback and e-book. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'am View Post
    I have one audio book with ACX, from a few years ago. I chose a new voice actor for lower rates. (I didn't expect to make much so didn't want to invest much). I get an occasional audio sale but probably not enough to pay back my initial investment so far, much lower than sales of the corresponding paperback and e-book. Good luck!
    That's good to know, Ma'am. There are few others out there, and it's always best to research! What's your genre and target audience like? Do you have a good following with your fiction?
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  8. #8
    Member Ma'am's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    That's good to know, Ma'am. There are few others out there, and it's always best to research! What's your genre and target audience like? Do you have a good following with your fiction?
    It's a short story collection. I have a small following because I've had a lot of stories published but it's more for fun than money.

  9. #9
    I always figured my books would appeal to truckers.

  10. #10
    We're on to chapter 5 of the novel, and this guy's done roughly five of my characters now, and his diversity in accent and age is fantastic.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ma'am View Post
    ... it's more for fun than money.
    I understand that. More than!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    I always figured my books would appeal to truckers.
    Well, all that driving, an audio novel would be perfect for them! No hands!
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