Audiobooks are the wave of the future, and with so many companies to choose from, we wanted to chat with authors who have used each of the big audio distribution services. Here C. L. Schneider, fantasy and urban fantasy author, shares her experience with ACX, Amazon's audio branch.
I admit, when people started requesting the audio versions of my books, it surprised me. Audio wasn’t a medium I had seriously considered. I was never an audiobook person. I’d listened to three in my entire life. Clearly, I wasn’t in tune with its rising popularity, either, but as the inquiries kept coming, I realized it was a trend I needed to address. I was a little worried about cost, though. I didn’t have a huge budget for laying out the money up front. I also had no idea how to find a quality narrator, and zero knowledge of the process.
I knew other authors had used ACX to produce their audiobooks, so I decided to do some research. Fast-forward to today, and I have two audiobooks out, with two different narrators, and two more projects scheduled to begin this year.
My latest audio release, Nite Fire: Flash Point, is not my first. Magic-Price, the 1st book in my epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, was released early last year. Both projects were fun, exciting journeys. Both were time-consuming, but well worth it. The beginning was a little shaky for me, though. As I said, I was far from an audiobook expert. I knew I needed an experienced narrator with professional equipment. Other than that, I wasn't sure what to expect or what to do first.
I had questions.
What did I learn along the way?
None of those are earth shattering revelations. None of them will guarantee you a smooth experience, a quality audiobook, or a single sale. Being involved with production and finding someone you can work with, however, will make for a much more positive experience.
I was equally lucky with finding a narrator for the Nite Fire Series. Cassandra King bought my books at a local Comic Con, and we struck up a conversation. She gave me her card and told me to reach out when I was ready to produce the audiobook. This time, before I committed, I put the project up for auditions on ACX. Listening to the different voices was an experience I didn’t have with Magic-Price. But once I heard Cassandra’s audition, I knew she was the one.
One final thought to consider with Royalty Sharing. Your narrators are not getting paid upfront. They will have paid projects on their plate with firm deadlines that will likely take priority. After all, they have bills to pay, too. Be sure to set a realistic schedule you can both live with for a completion date. After the details are ironed out, dive in and have fun! It’s been an amazing experience listening to my characters come alive. I can’t wait to get started with the next project
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