Sunday, June 18, 2017

I've Jumped off the Deep End of Audiobooks and Feel Like I'm Drowning

After hemming and hawing, I’ve taken the first plunge into audiobooks. My publisher will begin to offer audiobooks within the next six months or so, but I decided to start with Rimrider, my self-published YA space opera series, to test the waters and get a feel for the process. I read all the articles I can, but still have no clue what I’m doing. I suspect they were written by people much smarter than me.

I chose ACX since it’s owned by Amazon and is the big dog on campus for audiobooks. They brag on the website that the process is painless. That’s not exactly true, especially for dummies like me who, as I said, haven’t a clue. The pages are set up weird and it’s hard to find specific information. After creating the account and claiming the audio rights for Rimrider, I wrote a short audition script. One section of the ACX website says it should be 1 or 2 pages; another says 2 or 3. I did 2-1/2 and hoped no one got mad. I used different passages in the book to get a feel for the actor’s emotional range. I didn’t find any way on the site to set a time limit to hold an audition. I decided to worry about it later and posted the call.

The producer (in this case, me) can put numerous qualifiers on the audition reading, such as tone, range, or emotion (you can ask for flirty, sheepish, and what the hell is a hip voice?)  My book has characters of different ages and scenes that require a range of emotion, so I only put that I wanted a female voice because it’s a teenage girl’s story. I listed the genre as science fiction/fantasy and posted payment information. I also added more details about the book, characters, (ACX adds your Amazon book description) and what I want for overall tone. My audition pages include a pronunciation guide for the characters and several short phrases that occur in Spanish so I know they’re said correctly. I have no idea how to set qualifiers to find the right narrator, but simply throwing my book up there and crossing my fingers the right person will magically appear seems like a terrible idea. I feel like I’m doing everything wrong.


What are my biggest fears right now?

  • No narrator will want to do my book.

  • Narrators will want my book, but no one’s voice will be right to bring the story to life.


  • I’m doing everything wrong.


I'll post updates as I continue my quest to create a audiobook.


13 comments:

  1. I only have one book in audio, a Wild Rose Press novella done through ACX. I've wondered why the novella itself got good reviews but the audio hasn't done nearly as well. Makes me wonder if the narrator gave the wrong impression in places...Anyway, I have no clue either, but sent some books ACX's way via The Wild Rose Press.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am narrating my own book and if this works out would be open to narrating others. I have finished taping and am working on the editing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are a brave soul indeed. Let me know how how it goes.

      Delete
    2. Amanda, do you have a website with narration samples? Others may be interested in your work

      Delete
    3. I do have an audio sample on ACX. https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A1683RCYMV9FGA

      Delete
  3. I too have turned a few of my books at the Wild Rose Press for audio. Turned in the spec sheets and am waiting for a narrator to pick one of my books. We'll see how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting. I've signed the contract extension with WRP. Good for you to attempt the process on your own. Keep us updated on your progress and good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I will. I have a feeling this will be a long journey.

      Delete
  5. I too, filled in the contract extensions and sent in the audiobook specs. I have no idea if a narrator will pick up any of my 5 books/novellas but I thought I'd give a try since audiobooks are very popular. I have one book in audio that was published by Carina Press and is available at Audible. I've listened to the sample on-line and I'm not really impressed. It doesn't look like anyone else is either because it doesn't sell very well. Part of it might be the price since it's much more expensive than the ebook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, price makes me nervous. ACX sets the price for the audiobook, so the author has no say in the matter. Audible has different pricing deals for the listener so we'll see if they have any effect on sales.

      Delete
  6. I applaud you for trying to do the audio book on our own, and wish you the best of luck. I was thinking about signing the extension, but when I realized that narrators might not pick up Two Hearts in Time anyway, hesitated because of the long term extension. I have a grandson who might be able to help me with the do-it-youself, but have to look at my present contract to see if they have audio book rights as well as everything else. Probably do. But I am thinking of self-pubbing a mystery I'm revising at present. I admire your courage.

    ReplyDelete