A Simple Guide to Audiobook Creation: Make ACX Work for You
Audiobooks are one of the fastest growing markets for writers and digital publishers alike. Modern technology has made audiobook creation as easy as it has ever been, and now is the time to get yourself involved!
If your book is on Amazon, turning it into an audiobook is easy, simple, and fast, and you can easily convert your talent into profit.
Why Make the Leap to Audiobooks?
Did you know the audiobook market is growing at a rate of 30% a year?
More and more people are jumping onto the trend, listening to books in the bath, in the car, at the gym, and even on walks! They provide us with the ability to lose ourselves into a story, learn new things, and hear other people's opinions whenever and wherever. This means audiobooks are here to stay.
Most people have smartphones to listen to audiobooks on, and a growing number of people are slowly but surely turning against physical books for ecological reasons.
Audiobooks are the future!
Boost Audience With Audiobooks!
Creating your own audiobook means that more people are going to have access to it. Some people just aren’t going to sit down and read your book, and that’s fine; we all have busy schedules!
But, they might be open to listening to your book.
When you are creating an audiobook, you're creating more fans of your work, and this can only be a good thing, right? There is a whole new chunk of people out there who prefer listening to reading and you need to be there to catch them!
If you have self-published your ebook on Amazon, and you haven’t put it on Audible, you are kind of just losing easy money.
While your book is there, completed and perfect in its own way. It might be doing well on Amazon, but it might do even better on Audible! Being a writer is a financially vulnerable job, but audiobooks are a new way of maintaining a steady income.
There is also less competition on Audible than on Kindle. This means your book will stand out more in its particular niche, creating more listens and more profit. The revenue for audiobook sales last year in the US was a massive 940 million USD! I think you deserve a piece of this pie, don’t you?
Why ACX for Audiobook Creation?
Big companies can be scary for new writers. Our books are our children; we feel incredibly protective over them and do not want them to be ruined or tainted in any way. Fear not! ACX works for you and you, as the writer, have the power.
Keep in Control
ACX means you are in control of your book. Their goal is to create more audiobooks, so they need you as much as you need them. This also means that profits are high, with many audiobooks retaining 40% of royalties.
The producers available to hire are all extremely competent in what they do. You can listen to a whole load of producers before you begin your process. You can even pick filters from accent, vocal style, and age to find your perfect narrator!
This makes creating your audiobook as easy as going to the grocery store. There is no need to sit through terrible auditions or be disappointed in who you hire. You have the peace of mind that you are working with professionals. Your masterpiece is in good hands.
You Want to Narrate It Yourself?
Oh, that’s cool too! Maybe … Okay, you can narrate your own book, but you have to really think it through!
If the book is nonfiction, narrating it yourself might actually be a good thing. You are telling or teaching the listener something, and they might prefer hearing it from you! There is a personal touch about this that can gain respect from fans.
But, be aware of how you speak. Will your audience be able to fully understand what you are telling them? Also, if your book is fiction, would you do different accents for the different characters? And most importantly, can you pull this off (differentiating between characters) to a high standard?
Narrating your book yourself means you also need the tools to do so. You will need a decent studio and software, and this means money and time. An unprofessional recording will mean losing money, respect, and your audience fast.
If you do wish to record it yourself, don’t be too worried. There are so many helpful blogs and tools out there to guide you through the process of narrating your book!
How Do I Make an Audiobook?
Before you begin with your audiobook creation, firstly and most importantly, make sure your book is ready for this process. You might want to hire a ghostwriter to perfect and finish your book. The Urban Writers has a whole load of professional, affordable, and fast ghostwriters who are here on hand if you need any help! If your book is already good to go, review it for anything that might not work over audio, such as hyperlinks or images.
Also, make sure you retain the rights to your book! If you have self-published it, you will have the rights, but if you went through a publisher, you will need to check. Look at your contract or call your agent to make sure you are able to turn your book into an audiobook.
Create Your Account
If you already have an Amazon account, log in and create an ACX account. You will need to put in your tax and banking details before you begin. They will then be looked at and approved. This might take up to a month, but usually, it happens fast.
Create a Title Profile
Find the book you wish to turn into an audiobook. Do this by creating a title profile by clicking the ‘add your title’ link. This will then allow you to enter your book name or code and select it.
Amazon will then want the book description, copyright information, and a category for your book. This stage is all pretty straightforward and user friendly.
Now, if you are wishing to find a producer, describe your book and what type of narrator you want. There will be a whole load of options for you to specify what type of narrator you need, so take your time to consider everything. You want your audiobook to be perfect, right?
When you are writing the book description, make it sound exciting! You want to attract the best producer, so take time working on the title profile. Sell your book and don’t be shy!
Find Your Narrator
Now, this is the fun part! Producers will contact you, or you can invite a handful you are interested in. They will read an excerpt from your book and this is used as an audition piece.
Listen to the entire piece and don’t jump on the first audition you receive. All auditions you get are going to be of a high quality, so take your time in finding the perfect narrator for you.
When you have found the right person, make them an offer and set a schedule. You can pay upfront for their work, or you can opt to split royalties with them.
Paying upfront can be expensive, but it means that if your book is popular, you get more money in the long run. It is up to you and your budget how you do this.
If your audiobook is sold exclusively on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, you receive 40% of the profit, unless you have chosen to split that with your narrator. If you wish to make it non-exclusive, you only receive 25% royalty.
Think about where you wish your audiobook to be sold. Is it worth it to make it non-exclusive? Or will the revenue coming from ACX be enough?
Get That Book Recorded!
The hard work is over, and now it's time to send your manuscript to your producer. Once they have completed this, listen to it in full and make sure your book is perfect! You are allowed to request two rounds of corrections to ensure your audiobook is exactly how you want it.
You now need to upload a cover that reflects the content of your audiobook. Don’t rush into this; think it through properly as this is basically an advert for your audiobook.
There are tips and tricks out there to help you with your book cover, and if you have your book ghostwritten, then remember to pick a package that includes a cover design if you want the most professional product.
When you have approved the recording, upload your book cover and submit your final product. ACX will then conduct quality assurance checks, which will take a week or two.
Finally, your audiobook is live! ACX will send you a digital royalty statement every month, so promote your book and watch the money roll in.
Now your book is out there, so get them listened to! Sometimes, we know we are good writers, we know our book is great, but nobody seems to be interested?! Self-publishing is hard, especially if you have no idea how to promote your work.
But, don’t worry! Marketing your audiobook is just as easy and as simple as the creation of the audiobook itself. You don’t need to be a business expert; you just need to follow these great tips.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. You probably know how to use them. If you don’t, that's cool too; they are really simple! Social media is the best way of getting yourself out there as a writer and boosting your audience. Posts are sharable, topics are hashtag-able, ideas are trend-able … Marketing on social media is endless!
There are so many platforms to promote yourself in so many different ways, allowing you to engage with fans and spread the word about your audiobook.
It is a great idea to upload a sample of your audiobook to YouTube or create a trailer for it. If people are thinking of buying, they are more likely to if they get a teaser. Make sure the trailer is as exciting as the book, but don’t give too much away. You still want them to buy the book!
You don’t have to wait for reviews to come in; you can go after them. You can send your creation into online magazines that review audiobooks, such as AudioFile Magazine.
Find bloggers who specialize in audiobook reviews and contact them. Blogs such as The Audiobook Blog and New Audiobook Reviewer are all made with the intent to spread good books to listen to, so get involved and send out review samples as much as you can! These will create new listeners, create new reviews, and therefore, create more revenue. It can be time consuming, but it will be worth it.
Create an Author’s Page
Creating an author's page on Amazon is a must if you want to connect with your readers and build a reputation. Using the author’s page allows you to respond to those who have read your book, list all your publications in one place, and build your brand.
Being actively involved with YOUR readers gains you respect and loyalty, meaning more reviews, more exposure, and more fans.
Using ACX for audiobook creation is simple and easy, and it can bring you more fans and more money. It is a great tool to distribute your book and the profit margins are large.
Don’t let your talent go to waste! Create your audiobook and put it on Audible to open up your writing to a whole new pool of people. When you have done it, you will be wishing you did it sooner.
If you would like to immerse yourself in the audiobook market, we highly recommend trying the Audiobook Masters course.