The last known activity on both books - State of Successes and Finally Home - was that the books were submitted as finalized by me on June 4. The note you get from ACX is that they have to validate the books. I searched the site, al the FAQs and every place I could think of to search for the answer to the question, how long does it take to validate and go live with projects?, to no avail. I finally emailed support and was given the answer of it takes 10 to 20 days to validate. Suffice it to say, the process can be longer on their part than on the author's part once all the edits and revisions are made.
Overall, if you are planning on going the audio book route with any or all of your books, expect the process from finding a narrator to approving and validation by ACX to take up to 3 months or longer, depending on the length of the book, the amount of editing/revisions needed, and of course the time you have to dedicate to get the book out there in another format.
I did email my narrator for the state book to let her know that I had posted on my blog about the books, et cetera and she did get back to me stating that she has told all her friends and family, a good many of them who are teachers, and the responses so far has been that everyone is anxiously awaiting hearing/reading the books in the series. I've also posted in several places about the books going live soon. I hope this will generate some interest and that the series will start picking up.
I will start the process for another state book once the first one goes live, so hopefully before the end of June, State of Wilderness will be on its way to the narrator and by end of August or the first part of September should go live barring any complications on my end.
I know once the books go live they will be available on amazon.com, audible.com, and itunes. Audible will set the retail price and the price will vary from all three depending on whether discounts are offered to members or if each site decides to price differently. Remember that there is a good bit of work that goes into producing an audio book and that is why the price can be a lot more than print or ebooks. The coolest thing about the audio books is that if you have a kindle (and this is true for all of them, not just the newer ones out) you can buy the ebook and the audio book and listen and read while the book is actually being narrated. So for those of you who like both sensory stimuli, you can as long as the books are available in ebooks. In the case of my state books, they are only available as print books and soon to be audio books for now. Maybe when I get a sponsor or have more books out in the series, I will consider putting them up as ebooks.
How audible.com works: Audible.com is a subscription service. Basically, you sign up, start an account, pay the monthly fee (when I registered and started, my fee was $7.49 for the first 3 months and then will go up to $14.95 thereafter) and earn credits that are good towards the books available. What I've seen so far in searching for various books in various genres is that no matter what the retail cost of the book you can get the books for 1 credit (which is basically your month's credit). I picked up The Help which is an 18-hour+ recording for 1 credit while it retails for $26.60 and is available to members without credits for $18.62. As you can see, I got a $27 retail book for $7.49 or my 1 credit for the month of April. Audible.com also runs specials like in April it was purchase qualifying books for $4.99 (I think you had to buy 4 during the 2-week period) and receive extra coupon monies (I don't remember what I purchased during that special deal but I have available to me 2 credits (May and June monthly member payments) as well as a $10.00 coupon. I don't know if once my books go live that they will be automatically put in my library or if I have to "purchase" them or what, but once I know that, I will let you all know.
I hope my little bit of insight into the overall process of producing audio books has been helpful to all you authors out there who are thinking of going this route. E :)
EARN TWO CHANCES FOR THE CROCHETED RED/WHITE/BLUE AFGHAN DRAWING: For everyone who comments on this posting or any posting on either of my blogs (see below for links) between now and the end of June, you will receive 2 entries in the afghan drawing which will be done December 1, after all my events are completed for the year. The chances normally sell for 2/$1 or buy a book and receive 5 chances, but I will put everyone's name who comments in the drawing. Please make sure you provide me with an email address to be able to contact you for information on where to send your chances and/or afghan if you are the lucky winner. Good luck to all. E :)
Author of Finally Home, a middle grade/YA myster
Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series
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