Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ACX Update

Last month I posted about the process of turning your print/ebook into an audio book using ACX.  I've now contracted a narrator or producer as they are actually called and she is perfect for the reading.  I've checked out her website and she looks exactly how I pictured Kelly looking so her voice and looks actually are a perfect fit for Finally Home.  I posted on my blog this past Sunday a bit about my narrator and links to her website and twitter as she has a podcast going and would like some followers. 

I will tell you  this, if you are considering putting your book(s) up as audios, the process is not a fast one because the narrators actually get offers during times they are working on projects.  If you plan on going this route, remember that the word of the day is PATIENCE.  If you don't get any auditions in the first couple of days, persevere and listen to more sample files and contact several narrators.  When contacting them asking them to audition for your book, mention what caught your attention on their sample files, tell them a little about your book and what you are looking for for the final book. 

Several folks have commented that the process has gone rather quickly for me, but in reality, I started looking for a narrator right after hearing Nina Bruhns from Entangled Publishing mention it at our local Sisters in Crime meeting, the 7th of February.  I listened to over 50 samples and contacted my top 3 choices (including the one I've actually contracted), and after getting their auditions, listened to a few more voice samples and contacted about 3 or 4 more before I actually got the audition from the producer I settled with.  By that time, I had already made a contract.  Before narrowing my choices down by genre, gender, payment type, the options were over 10,000 narrators.  When I narrowed it down by genre (teens), gender (female for obvious reasons - a male wouldn't be able to do Kelly and Emma Louise justice), and payment type (royalty split opposed to upfront payments),  I ended up with  79 voice files to listen to, but two of those were actually male (and how they slipped in there with me specifying female, I'll never know).  Of those 79, there were several samples by the same person or people, so I didn't really have 79 files to listen to.  Once I listened to the files and if something piqued my interest, I would then go to the narrator's page and check out  their other sample files and their credentials and all the other things in their profile.  Then I made contact if I liked what I saw and heard. 

I think this is a great route to go and if you  are not in the United States or probably  in North America (I think Canadians are included in the ACX process), I hope there are other platforms out there for you to get your books out as audios. 

For the release of the audiobook I've taken Finally Home off smashwords and Nook and put it in the KDP select program.  I will be offering the kindle version as a freebie on April 15 and 16 and again the end of May/first part of June (May 31-June 2).  I hope to have the audio released about the same time as my first freebie offering and hopefully more projects will be in the works by then.  I hope to get back to my state stories soon, trying to raise money via a funding campaign on IndieGoGo, to pay my illustrator so we can get the series completed in the near future, and maybe look into doing more of a series with my characters from Finally Home so there are a lot of pokers in the fire, I just need to get myself in gear and get to work.  I'm still looking for some story ideas to turn my character-driven story into a series, so if anyone would like to brainstorm some ideas for the characters, I'm open and can be reached at eeldering (@) gmail (dot) com. 

See you all in the postings - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of Finally Home,  a middle grade/YA mystery very much like a Nancy Drew mystery
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series - Where will the adventure take you next?


Ms. Eldering is the award-winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series.  Her stories "Train of Clues" (available in print and as an ebook on kindle), "The Proposal" (available as an ebook), "Tulip Kiss" (available as an ebook), and "Butterfly Halves", all placed first, second, or runner up in various contests to include two for Armchair Interviews and two for Echelon Press (Fast and ... themed type contests).  Her story "Bride-and-Seek" (available as an ebook) was selected for the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW) anthology, the Petigru Review.  She also has written several other short stories for contests including the second place winning story, "Zombies Amuck", and "La Cave".  Ms. Eldering makes her home in upper state South Carolina and loves to travel, read, cross stitch and crochet.  When she's not busy with grown children still at home, working her full-time job as a medical transcriptionist or participating in virtual classroom visits, she can be found at various homeschool or book events and festivals promoting her writing.


Karen Cioffi said...

Interesting post, Elysabeth. Thanks for the tips an heads-up on creating an audio format for books.

Audio is a great format. So many people listen to books in their cars or commuting - it's another helpful way to sell books.

elysabeth said...

I hope it works as I need to sell more books - lol. I'm considering putting my state books up as audios but not sure since they are illustrated and ACX says illustrated books don't really make good audio books. We will see - maybe I can get the rest of the written and at least the whole series up as audio books and then worry about getting the print books completed later. I will have to look into it but right now, one project at a time. E :)

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Elysabeth, I covered audio books in a recent edition of my SharingwithWriters newsletter--or rather one of my subscribers did. (SharingwithWriters is an interactive newsletters where subscribers often contribute articles, tips, etc.) Aaron Paul Lazar who has written several mysteries loves the free Audible program.


Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Excited about how much the new edition of the Frugal Book Promoter (expanded! updated!) can help writers with the tried and true and the new media, too. Now a USA Book News award-winner in its own right (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) it the original edition was also a Reader Views winner and an Irwin Award winner.

Margaret Fieland said...

Elysabeth, thanks for the follow-up. I was so impressed with your first post, I hopped over to ACX, set up the process for my book of poems, "Sand in the Desert." I generated a new cover, selected a narrator, royalty split contract, and am waiting on the narrator to narrate. Many, many thanks.

elysabeth said...

That was quick to get your narrator. The process isn't a quick one by any means but that doesn't mean it won't happen for some. Waiting for the first 15 minutes worth of narration and then approving that and waiting for the final file is the longest part. I hope by the middle of April to have my book approved and at least available as an audio. We shall see though -

You'll have to keep us apprised of your progress and when your book goes live as audio - E :)

Magdalena Ball said...

Thanks for the update Elysabeth. ACX sounds so good - I really do hope they open it up to international authors soon.

D. Jean Quarles said...

Thanks for sharing this. I've played with the idea and your guidance has really helped me see how I can get it done. Thanks!

Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Thanks for the info Elysabeth

elysabeth said...

Maggie, I've had contact with the ACX support team and they do plan to open to international authors but no date or timeframe has been made as of yet. I hope they open it soon to you all as well. Hopefully within the next 6 months or by the end of this year it should be in the works or opened to international authors. E :)

elysabeth said...

D. Jean, Just as with everything else in the publishing business, time and patience seem to be the key words of the day. If you have been thinking about it, maybe you will go ahead and do it and keep us informed of your progress. - E :)

elysabeth said...

I remember the comment from last month and I still haven't had a chance to look up the newsletter for the information you had posted. Also, Aaron Paul Lazar left a comment last month. Thanks for the info - E :)

elysabeth said...

Mary Jo, Hopefully this works out for me - I've been doing some posting on my regular blog about my ACX experience as well. I'll keep folks informed as much as I can. I'm not sure what I'll post for next month yet but I'm sure I will come up with something. E :)

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Dear Elysabeth,
Am filing and bookmarking your articles for future reference. So interesting to follow your audio journey and wishing you loads of sales.

elysabeth said...

Annie, I'm glad you are following the info about ACX. Next month my narrator for Finally Home will be the guest poster so that folks can get a sense of what all the narrator has to go through to produce a book. I'm looking forward to that and hopefully by the time my turn comes around to post, I will be that much closer to getting the audio version out there. See you in the postings - E ;)

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