Wednesday, December 11, 2013

ACX Audiobook Adventures Part 1

ACX Audiobook Adventures Part 1

Hello everyone!  For the next several post we will be talking in great detail about my Audio Book Adventures with ACX, Audible, iTunes, and Amazon.  I hope that if any of you have specific questions post them in the comments.
Here is all four installments so far. 

Part 1
Part 2 
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5 

WHY AUDIOBOOKS 

The first thing we'll talk about is why should you add audiobooks to your list of things to do.  Well, there are several reasons for you to move into this fast growing business.

1. The Blind reading audience
2. Those that travel, truckers is a huge Audiobook audience.
3. It makes you look more genuine as an author. 
4. It brings your book to life to have a great Narrator read your novel. 
5. If you don't you're missing a huge audience of readers
FINE PRINT 

   The first thing I did was procrastinate six months. If you read the list of things you are signing up for it can be very daunting.  I suggest you do read them, and try to understand them, and if you can't call ACX, they are very helpful and have a great team waiting to answer questions.

My two main reservations, were signing away my book rights for 7 years, and going the royalty split and having to share my earnings. I looked and prayed for a long time and decided it was either jump in or just lose out.


Decisions  Decisions

I decided at this point in my life, I can't afford to do this on my own. I am not a great reader, and I knew if I was going to capture this audience I was going to need to find a great reader and quit worrying about splitting royalties and giving my book to Amazon, iTunes, and Audible for seven years.

This is a test. I chose a book in the Romance genre and started looking at the narrators that were out there. In a year or so I may learn that it was a mistake, or that it was a great investment, only time will answer those questions. For now I'm happy, I love the narrator I chose, and I think the audiobook will do well, the only problem is how in the world do you market an audio book.
 
That question we'll get to later when I know the answer, or at least some part of it.  For now we will focus on ACX. As in all sites you'll need to set up an account, get all of your information in there email and such and then chose which book you want to get out there into the hands and ears of audio listeners.

I went with Romance because it is the best selling genre out there, or one of the best and I thought Maid for Martin would do well. It has a great cover, and a great hook and it's a trilogy so if it does well folks will want to listen to all three books.


LOOK CLOSER

As I mentioned you will want to look over the fine print on ACX and I'll be honest there is a lot of reading to do, and it's not all easy to figure out. I myself called them several times.One thing that I have learned is that they do not do CD's. When all is said and done there will not be a hard copy of anything to place on your shelf at home. That so far is the only thing I'm disappointed in.

It will be up to you to decide which genre to go with, and while I'm thinking about it, ACX sets the price on how long your audio book will be. There is a chart for this. Maid for Martin was a tad over 10. hours so it is in the 25.00 range.

The hardest choice, after deciding if you going with ACX is choosing a narrator.  I'll talk about that in the next post.

Thanks for reading
Samantha



Samantha Fury is the author of  the Street Justice Series
She's written many articles on book covers, for Indie Authors.  
She operates several Indie Groups. Editing Services, Cover Artist, 
Helpful Indie Facebook Groups, and a wonderful Forum 
Check out Samantha's premade covers here


Images by

Javier Brosch
Gemenacom
From Bigstock 


Part two of this article go here










Monday, December 9, 2013

NaNo Is over!!! Now what?

Now that the NaNo Dust has settled what do we do now?

We'll get this out of the way What is NaNo? Go Here


50K & Beyond 
Finally November is over and you have hit that mark so what do we do now. Do we put this book on the shelf and forget it or do we do something with it.  Well, this is a personal decision but normally I will take a month off, read my new masterpiece (LOL) and go back learning the book and getting the characters fresh in my head. Then I start writing and do my best to finish it.



THE ENDING 
My problem with Novels, is editing and endings, everything else comes easy. I don't have any trouble coming up with a new novel or even the first 30K, but wrapping things up, that is another story.   When wrapping up be sure & keep a calendar so your days and weather etc is correct. You will want to check each character to see that his or her part of the story has closure.




IT'S WRITTEN WHAT NOW?

If you did win Nano, then you might want to think about checking out those free coupons that Createspace is offering to all of this years Nano winners. They are giving away two free proofs of that wonderful novel you just finished. This is a great step in getting into self publishing. This is how it all started for me back in 2010.


A COVER

If this is your first proof there is a lot to learn, but Createspace makes it easy for the beginner to be able to upload a cover for your first novel. The first time I did this I made my own front image from an old image I took with a 35 MM Camera. I don't suggest you do that, but it will work.   This image to the right was my first cover. I took an image of Dallas, TX that I took and just placed it on the cover.  I've came a long way since those days, but it did the job it got me hooked and on the road to being an Indie Author.




WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS
If you want to be a Published Author, join some writing groups and you'll want to read over your novel about five to ten times to get everything right. If this is not your first novel it might not need this much attention

You'll want some Beta readers. These readers will look over your book and tell you general things, like they hated the ending, or they don't like that you have your female MC crying all the time. Maybe your lead Male is not believable. Beta readers can be very helpful.

After the beat readers you'll want to get a professional editor if you can, and if not then find someone in your family that is great with punctuation. Maybe you know a teacher that would check the book for you for mistakes.  Also in this day and age you can often barter for trade to get your book edited. Maybe you're good at marketing or cover design never hesitate to approach someone with an offer for exchange of services.  This is just some general suggestions to get you moving in the right direction.


FINAL SUGGESTIONS

If you are a first time author, please let another author look at your work. Don't take the advise of your mother- best friend, you want a professional to help you. There are many things that could be wrong that a reader would never notice.

There is POV (point of view), show don't tell, chapter length, paragraph length. You'll want to really work on that first chapter to make sure it really draws in the attention of your readers. There are the arguments of 'prologue or not to prologue.' There are a lot of things that another author will notice that no one else will.

You'll want a pro to look over your cover too, nothing is as bad as an Indie doing their own cover for the first time. You don't want your novel to scream I made this cover myself. There are many affordable premade covers out there. I make covers myself and I have great prices for those Christian's that join our Christian Indie Author groups on Facebook.   Here is a progression of my novels over the years. Learn from my mistakes and if you are not an artist don't spend years becoming one like I have just buy a great cover.

MY COVER PROGRESSION 
This is my first two covers. 



Here was my next version of my Street Justice Series 

Then here is where I'm at now, you can see these are much better and who knows I may re do them at some point but I don't think so. 



YOUR CHOICE 

Whatever you chose, do so wisely. I will say that there is nothing like holding your own book in your hand and looking down and saying I did this. I love just going by my own book shelf at home and breezing by my novels. There is normally a small window to get your novels finished so also check out those expatriation dates on those coupons.

If your book is not all the way done go ahead and use those coupons and get that cover ready so you can see how the book is coming along. It will spur you on to finish your own books. Thanks for reading and if you have any questions join one of our many groups that will be listed below.
Samantha Fury is the author of  the Street Justice Series
She's written many articles on book covers, for Indie Authors.  
She operates several Indie Groups. Editing Services, Cover Artist, 
Helpful Indie Facebook Groups, and a wonderful Forum 
just for Indie Authors. 

Check out Samantha's premade covers here









If you didn't win Nano don't forget this post HERE