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Archived Marketing No New Posts > Anyone here in the audio book game?

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message 1: by James (new)

James Atkinson (jimshealthandmuscle) | 9 comments Hi guys, I'm Jim and I'm in the fitness niche. This is my 4th year of indi publishing and I have just got my first audio book finished and published with Amazon ACX.

I must admit that the marketing part of the game along with begging for reviews has probably been the biggest challenge for me on the kindle/ createspace side of things and now I feel that I am kind of starting on a new playing field with the review chasing and marketing when it comes to the audio title.

I have been given some free promo codes so my audio book can be given away in order to get reviews and I would be happy to send one to anyone who would be interested from this group.

It would also be great to hear from anyone who has had success with their audio title and I would equally be happy to share my experience with anyone who is thinking of going down this road.

FYO, The book in question is: http://amzn.to/2a02kQF

Thanks for your time, feel free to give me a shout, I am always happy to help where I can

Jim ( Jim@jimshealthandmuscle.com )


message 2: by Morris (new)

Morris Graham (morris_g) I was going to. Then a best-selling author friend of mine said they put their book on audio and the total royalties amounted to about $30. This was through ACX. If your title is in digital format on Amazon, and you go through ACX and produce a book, Amazon sets the price very low when the customer first purchases your eBook. In this game, Amazon seems to be the only winner.


message 3: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Locker My two novellas are currently in production with ACX. I've received the first 15 minutes on both so far and am awaiting the finished product sometime in August. While Amazon obviously profits the most on this venture, the research I've seen indicates that books tend to sell better the more platforms you make them available on. I'm willing to give it a try! Even if I only make a little in royalties from that platform, that's more than I would have made without it.


message 4: by James (new)

James Atkinson (jimshealthandmuscle) | 9 comments Morris wrote: "I was going to. Then a best-selling author friend of mine said they put their book on audio and the total royalties amounted to about $30. This was through ACX. If your title is in digital format o..."

Thanks for the reply Morris. I did "um and arr" a lot myself, but came to the conclusion that it was basically another product on the market and it could potentially bring more readers to my other work and website.

You are right though, I will agree that it seems that Amazon is the real winner here and there is a lot more restriction compared with the kindle market place. A few examples are:

- You don't get to price your book, Amazon has 100% control
- You cant give unlimited amounts away for reviews and exposure
- You only get 40% of the royalties and compared with 75% from kindle this is pretty bad in my opinion. But Amazon actually priced my book over $15

But putting these restrictions aside, I do remain hopeful and excited to see how it pans out over the next few months, especially if I can get a few reviews.

Thanks again for your thoughts Morris :-)


message 5: by James (new)

James Atkinson (jimshealthandmuscle) | 9 comments Nicole wrote: "My two novellas are currently in production with ACX. I've received the first 15 minutes on both so far and am awaiting the finished product sometime in August. While Amazon obviously profits the m..."

Hi Nicole, Thanks for the reply. Yeah, that was along the same lines as my thinking and I'm glad I made the decision to move forward into the audio market, but looking forward to seeing what happens over the next few months.

I had an English voice actor called Matt Addis narrate my book. He was really professional and great to work with, he even kept in contact with my by phone. This was something that I did not expect.

But it feels good to get the first 15 mins back hey! :-) Good luck with the rest of the production.


message 6: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) First of all, congrats to you, James! I'm envious that you've been able to take this step in your career. My hat is off to you. I haven't started down the audio book path yet, but it's at the top of my want to do list. I love audio books, and having one's book available on audio really adds credibility to both the book and the author.

I do know of an indie author who makes the bulk of his money on audio book sales.

I don't see any problems with the conditions Amazon puts on the process.

- 40% royalty on an audio book sounds fantastic (I would have expected it to be a lot lower)! Audio books sell for much more than e-books do, so 40% of $15-$30 is a lot of money, compared to the sale of one e-book. I doubt traditionally published authors get such a high percentage in audio book royalties.

- I would be fine with Amazon setting the price, as they know much better than I would what the best selling price would be. They're going to set the price at something that is optimized to sell that audio book. That benefits us both.

My only concern with developing an audio book project would be that I have control over who the talent is, and the quality of the reading. I'm really picky about audio books.

Congrats, James! I hope to join you in the audio book market one day. :)

April


message 7: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Angell (heidiangell) | 241 comments I came to the same conclusion that the more places you can have your book available, the better. I am currently working on my own audiobook. Excited to see how sales go for you!


message 8: by James (new)

James Atkinson (jimshealthandmuscle) | 9 comments April wrote: "First of all, congrats to you, James! I'm envious that you've been able to take this step in your career. My hat is off to you. I haven't started down the audio book path yet, but it's at the top o..."
Hey April! Thanks for the reply. It all makes sense, you make some valid points. One thing that I did realise from what you said was that I suppose Amazon should know what they are doing with the price point and I may have been spoiled with the kindle market and the 75% royalties. It does really help put things into perspective when you compare this with traditional published authors.

It did actually take me a year to make the final decision and act on getting into the audio market. There was also a lot of researching the right voice actor. Like you I was very picky and I also had to decide whether to have a British accent or a US accent. I actually looked at this before I had actually started writing the book! Talk about putting the horse before the cart! :-)

Doing the narration myself was a consideration for a long time as I'm in the non-fiction market and the book is mostly written in the first person.

Good luck with your production. If was a fiction writer, this would be a no brainer for me and I would definitely get some kind of audio version of every book that I had published out there.


message 9: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments Does publishing an audio books through ACX affect the Kindle Unlimited listing? I ask because I'm currently under a 90 day contract not to publish anywhere else...


message 10: by James (new)

James Atkinson (jimshealthandmuscle) | 9 comments Tim wrote: "Does publishing an audio books through ACX affect the Kindle Unlimited listing? I ask because I'm currently under a 90 day contract not to publish anywhere else..."

Hi Tim, I don think so as ACX is part of Amazon and there is also an option to make your audiobook exclusive to their outlet just like the KDP/ Koll contract. My audio titles counterpart on Kindle is also under the 90 day contract and I have had no problems so I think it will be fine.

I will find out soon enough if I am wrong though and Ill let you know.
Cheers
Jim


message 11: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments Thanks, Jim. Just been looking into it. Sounds interesting - haha... Good pun :D


message 12: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments My first two novels are available via Audible via ACX. They are selling like crazy. I have now sold more Audio books than paper. Kindle is still the biggest seller. Audible is fat cash.

My third will be out this fall on Audible.

http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_p...


message 13: by Robert (new)

Robert D. Calkins (robertdcalkins) | 9 comments Struggling to pick between two long time friends who are both great audiobook narrators. Nice problem to have, but still not fun.


Tara Woods Turner Amazon absolutely does not price your audiobook. You determine the price. Audible members pay a percentage of that price, which is determined by Audible. My book is $14.99 on Audible. Non-members pay this and I get 40%. Members pay $10.99 of which I also get 40%.


Tara Woods Turner Tim
Kindle has nothing to do with ACX, in a way. With Amazon your contract covers only digital format, not audio or print, so you're fine.

April
You have 100% control over voice talent. I put the first chapter of my book up and posted a call for auditions. Within 4 hours I had 5 auditions in my inbox. We went with Madonna Lucy, who made our book shine and we consider her a personal friend to this day. ACX made everything absolutely easy. I would do it again in a heartbeat.


message 16: by James (new)

James Atkinson (jimshealthandmuscle) | 9 comments Martin wrote: "My first two novels are available via Audible via ACX. They are selling like crazy. I have now sold more Audio books than paper. Kindle is still the biggest seller. Audible is fat cash.

My third w..."


Hi Martin. Thanks for replying. Thats really positive, I'm glad it is going well for you. Do you mind sharing a few points on any marketing that you did?

- Did you have a big following already when you set up your audio books?
- Were there any third party promotion sites that you used to promote your audio book for you?
- Do you get organic reviews?
- And did sales start off slowly or did it just kick off right out of the gates.
Thanks again for taking the time to reply. Cheers
Jim


message 17: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments James wrote: "Do you mind sharing a few points on any marketing that you did? "

I did have a good following already. My first novel had hit number one in the had science fiction category on Amazon and was well reviewed. It attracted the attention of a good producer in Holloywood. The Narrator, Andrew Tell also has a followin of his own.

I just marketed on my blog, FB, and twitter. So did the producer. It got lots of qrganic reviews. As of today it has 163 reviews with a 4.2 star rating.

Sales began to take off straight away, I sell more audio books now than paper. Great extra revenue stream I had not considered.


message 18: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments Thanks, Tara. I'm really considering it. Do you sell many audio copies?


Tara Woods Turner Tim
Well, a lot for me lol. It's the strangest thing because I did audio very much as a vanity project and as a little gift to myself and yet there are some weeks in which I have sold more audiobooks than digital or paperback. I am at a loss to explain it. I only wish there were more explicit ways to market one's audiobook.


message 20: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments Thanks, Tara. Well done. You are obviously succeeding better than me on the marketing front. The only thing that's reining me back at the moment is I'm waiting to hear from a film producer who's currently reading the film treatment for Delphian and if he does request the full script and subsequently option the rights, then I'm going back to the trad publishers to sell them paperback rights wth a view to their riding on the back of the TV marketing. Audio rights will probably be tied up in that too... I seem to spend my life waiting for others to make decisions, though, so maybe I should just get on with it...


Tara Woods Turner Tim
I really, really like the decisions you are waiting on lol. But no, I have done no marketing. To be fair, my book is a non-fiction parenting guide and so it may be that certain people are actively searching for it. I really should promote more/better but I am not very good at it and find it difficult to overcome timidity. Your overall success story must be intriguing. Do you blog?


message 22: by Tim (new)

Tim Rees | 123 comments Tara, I do, but not enough. My marketing is mainly through Twitter and Facebook. My sister noticed a review for WTF on Goodreads recently, which is why I have returned :D. I must admit I had overlooked Goodreads completely, but the advice I'm discovering on these threads is fantastic. "Success story" is stretching it. I worked in the BBC drama dept so spent much of my time script editing other writers work... I left to focus on my own material and it's been a struggle since *nervous grin* But I do love the challenge...


Tara Woods Turner Good on you and welcome back :)


message 24: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments I looked at ACX (still thinking about it)... Did you pay for production or did you share the profits? Just curious as to which option people tend to take...


Tara Woods Turner We paid for our production talent outright. The pfh )price per finished hour) was so reasonable it didn't make sense to give up 20% of royalties for the life of the book. But we were also lucky enough to find an amazing narrator who really brought the book to life. Having said that, if I were looking for talent for my fiction I would have no problem splitting royalties. Some narrators are so renowned they have people who will check out your title on that strength alone. Audible listeners are quite picky and if your vvoice talent is subpar they will absolutely hammer the point home in the reviews.Going cheap or amateur on voice talent costs you in the long run. At least with royalty share you pay nothing upfront and you can rest assured that your project is in capable hands.


message 26: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments Thanks for that assessment!


message 27: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments J.N. wrote: "I looked at ACX (still thinking about it)... Did you pay for production or did you share the profits? Just curious as to which option people tend to take..."

I did the royalty share deal. No money out of pocket for me. The Producer pays for the voice talent, recording studio time and post production editing. It was my first novel and had no idea if it would sell.

I have made the same deal with the same producer for all three books in the trilogy.

For my next novel I will pay the producer up front.


message 28: by Robert (new)

Robert D. Calkins (robertdcalkins) | 9 comments Someone asked about "control." I'm lining up a fellow former broadcaster and want him to do it. We're going to wait until he has the short audition and the first 15 minutes done before I activate my side of ACX. Then he'll jump right on it and I'll accept.

And no, even though I'm also a former broadcaster, I'm not going to narrate my own book. Sort of like a lawyer representing themselves? And besides, everything I do sounds like a newscast.


Tara Woods Turner Robert
Congrats on your project! I'm curious why you don't just hire your friend outright and get down to business. There is absolutely no stipulation that your narrator must be vetted by ACX.


message 30: by Mat (new)

Mat Blackwell | 33 comments This is all great information, and very inspiring! I've had a few people ask me when the audio book of Beef is coming out, and, to be honest, audio books are just not really something I've ever thought about. But after reading all this, I think it's something I should get into! I used to be on the radio, and I love reading to my family, and I have a recording studio downstairs... maybe I'll narrate my own? That's allowed, right? I mean, I know my book better than anyone else, it would kinda make sense. I've got to look into this! Thanks everyone for the insights.


message 31: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Angell (heidiangell) | 241 comments Mat, you absolutely are allowed to do your own audio, and it used to be par for the course. I am doing my own because I have done theatre, and com work. I like having the creative control.


Tara Woods Turner Mat
It is allowed. Best of luck and have fun!


message 33: by Mat (new)

Mat Blackwell | 33 comments Sweet! This is going to be so much fun! :)


message 34: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments Is there software that can generate a quality audio book? Obviously it would need to have tools to tweak pronunciation. But once that is done, feed it a word document and voila! You have the final audio files. Does something like that exist?

Just curious...


Tara Woods Turner JN
There is text to speech software out there but are you quite certain you would want that for your audiobook? The voice would be mechanical at worst and Siri at best. Audible listeners are notoriously discriminating and the quality of the narration is extremely important. I've seen poor narration completely sink n otherwise laudable book and excellent narration can often elevate an average one.


message 36: by Michele (new)

Michele | 11 comments I'm trying to decide on whether or not to select the audiobook option for my newest book right now, so this has been a useful post. I've been looking at the ACX site and am still not clear on a couple of things though.

First off, I would be opting for the shared royalty plan, but because they say the seller (Amazon, Audible, etc) controls pricing, I'm worried about what happens if they price it so low that there is no profit to share. There is a rumor that Amazon in particular will turn in into a Whisper-something file and offer it at a ridiculously low price to their premium members, if they buy the ebook. So what happens then? Would I owe the voice talent her share if there was no profit? Or worse, would she not get paid at all?

Further, it says I have to sign a 7-year contract that lets ACX control the audiobook distribution, exclusively. What happens at the end of 7 years? Am I free to distribute the book elsewhere? And again, what if at the end of that 7 years there haven't been enough profits generated to pay off the voice actor?

This is all so confusing. I love the idea of having an audiobook since I have several friends who are older and have difficulty with printed materials, but I don't want some poor voice actor to get stiffed in the process.


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

I think one of the things that authors should do to prepare for an audio book is to make an amateur one first. Read/record yourself and put it up on youtube to get beta listeners to review it.

Firstly, the exercise it will help you see dialogue problems - it can be difficult to know who is talking when you can't see line changes as a listener. And it also gives you a taste of the vocal flow/rhythm.

Secondly, you can get a response from listeners before you make any business commitments.

All you need is a computer with a mic and a free recording application for a rough recording.

My husband dared me to do it to one of my erotic romances. There were a lot of giggles but it was worth it to see what I would need to do to make the story audio ready.

;)


Tara Woods Turner Michelle,

What you are referring to is called whisper sync for voice and it is not a rumor. When Amazon customers download an ebook of a title they can prurchase the accompanying audio file from Audible for $1.99 if they are also an Audible member. The price is very low but the odds of someone buying an ebook and then wanting it as an audio are slim to none. It would be rare for that to happen organically. Now if someone buys the ebook version and decides to grab an audio copy because it's really cheap then that is good for you because it is a few extra pennies in your pocket. They certainly would not have purchased it otherwise.

As for profit sharing it is worth it if your book has shown great potential (excellent editing, excellent reviews etc) and you think it would make a great audiobook. Profit sharing gives you a chance to hire great vocal talent which has the potential to expose your book to new readers. As I have said before, a great narrator can improve a book tremendously and a mediocre narrator can make a good book sound like a bad one.

I hired my narrator outright and paid out of pocket because she was very reasonable. My book is non-fiction but when I begin to publish my fiction I will absolutely consider profit sharing. When I find that perfect narrator for my story I will not want to let money stand in the way. I will either save up the money or i will profit share. With any luck people will want a sequel and then you realize you have the perfect combination of book/narrator.

When narrators agree to profit sharing they receive a certain amount upfront from ACX. If the book makes no money then that's a chance everyone agreed to take. But remember, narratrs who profit share often have their own websites and actively promote their titles because they need your book to succeed.

Good luck and keep us posted.


message 39: by Michele (new)

Michele | 11 comments Tara,

Oh ok, I get it now, and I think you're right about the whisper sync sales too.
Thank you very much for taking the time to help me understand all of that :) At this point I think the sensible thing for me to do is wait and see how well the book does before I go down the audiobook road with it, but it's always good to be prepared.


Tara Woods Turner You're welcome! I forgot to add, when you are ready to proceed find similar books in your genre and see how they're doing. Listen to the samples and read the performance ratings. This lets you know what style works best for each genre.


message 41: by Michele (new)

Michele | 11 comments That's a good idea, I'll definitely do that!


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