Friday, December 20, 2013

ACX and the Stipend part 3

My Audio Adventures Part 3:  Stipend with ACX. 
Part 1
Part 2 
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Surprise Stipend

I'll explain this with the letter that I recieved from ACX. I was shocked and happy, and shocked. This letter told me that they had great faith in my novel that it was going to make them a lot of money. That made me worried, and relieved at the same time.  Here is the letter straight from the ACX team.



Dear Samantha Lovern 
Congratulations! I’m pleased to inform you that your book, Maid for Martin (California Love Trilogy), was recently featured in ACX’s weekly Audition List. This email includes our picks for noteworthy books, ready to be made into audiobooks and is received by over 10,000 ACX producers. By including Year of the Dead (Sustainable Earth) in this email, we hope you receive additional auditions for your title and find the right voice to produce your audiobook. For advice on casting your book, visit the ACX blog

Furthermore, we’ve made Maid for Martin (California Love Trilogy) eligible for a $100 per-finished-hour production stipend, paid for by Audible.  You, along with narrators and producers searching for titles, will now see a green banner indicating this on the title’s profile page*.  Please be sure to review the basics of the stipend offer when considering the production timeline.  Titles must be fully completed and approved (by you) within 60 days of the producer’s acceptance of the offer, so please keep this in mind when making offers to producers.
We look forward to hearing your audiobook,

The ACX Team


SHOCKING
You can imagine my shock $100 an hour for little old me. WOW!  I was like yes Lifetime here I come. That is a dream of mine to have Maid for Martin made into a movie and I think that will happen some day. I dream big.

How do you get your book into the Stipend?  The only 2 people I know that won this gift was myself and a friend. Both had covers by me, Fury Cover Design, both were Christmas novels and looked to have some romance.  I wish I knew more I would try to get this bonus for other novels too. It made finding a narattor a lot easier.




Now onto the questions that Authors have had so far.

An author friend of mine, Alana Woods asked two very good questions.
When you do a royalty split, is it for a set time, or forever?

I spoke to ACX, the royalty split lasts for 7 years. Yes I know that is a long time, but when you don't have the funds up front, it's what your left with. Do you jump in and make some money or make no money. I opted to make some money, and to try out the process to see if I liked it.


Partners for 7 years
Don't go into this thinking . . . someone's taking half of my money. Stephanie Bentley worked hard, she read the book and did it like the pro she is. There is no way I could have done this.  She brings the novel to life, she can sound like a man, woman, an old lady a child, she is awesome.  She is my partner, we are in this together, we both want Maid for Martin to succeed.

We worked together. She even pointed out mistakes, and I  I listened to make sure the Audio matched exactly to the E-book, so whisper sync would work. I think of Stephanie as a co-worker and I think that is the best way to enter the royalty split. I told her she was my partner in crime, though we don't plan on robbing banks anytime soon. :)




Alana Woods also asked.
I know you opted for the royalty split option, but did you by chance investigate how much a flat fee might be with ACX narrators?


Money Money Money 
I couldn't even think about paying upfront. I didn't have even 50 an hour and that was the lowest hourly rate I saw. Prices varied from 50.00 an hour and up.  Most of the narrators I liked were in the 200.00 hourly range.  I also didn't want to go in to this not knowing what I was doing, so I wanted to go the royalty split, that way I knew the person on the other side of the mike would care how the audio turned out. They would work hard on getting it out fast, because not only would it be my name on the line but theirs too. 

The last question for the day is from a great author friend, and the Host of the hit online show Indie Authors, Jason Matthews. Once the applause dies down I'll speak. :)  Jason's question was.  What's the uploading process like with audio files once the book is recorded?

This is my next topic but I'll touch lightly on this question. It went fast for me because we had the Stipend hanging in the balance and we wanted to get the book out there for Christmas.  I have a feeling that each narrator works differently. 

Stephani had done this several times already so she had a plan in mind from the start. She started out with reading a few chapters and then she went back and started recording. Then when she had finished about 5 chapters I would review them.  It was a fast process and I'll get to it in more detail in the next blog so don't forget to look for it.

Thanks Jason Matthews, and Alana Woods great questions.

Part 1
Part 2 
Part 3
Part 4
Please excuse any mistakes I'm churning these posts out as fast as I can because I have a huge audience awaiting these posts, and I know a lot of you are on the fence on if you should go with ACX or not. Please comment with any questions.


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

Part one here
Part two here

Images by
Javier Brosch
From Bigstock  
 
  

ACX Audiobook Adventures Part 2: Choosing a Narrator

ACX Audiobook Adventures Part 2: Choosing a Narrator 

Did you miss a post check them all out. 
Part 1
Part 2 
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5 
Narrators Narrators Everywhere 

This was fun, but infuriating at the same time, because there are so many great narrators.  I actually started looking at their narrators about 6 months before I had made up my mind to go with ACX. I have a long history with audiobooks.  I've listened to so many of them, over the last 18 years while traveling cross country in an 18 wheeler I couldn't wait to turn some of my novels into an audiobook.

I looked into finding a male and female team to read my novel, but after listening to the few samples out there, I decided that it would be too distracting.  The way the readers would switch back and forth it seemed to not enhance the process but take from it.  I will admit that there were not many choices in this department. I would consider my opinion on this topic if I could ever find two narrators with voices that are closer in range.




Narrowing down the field 

Once you've got in mind about ten Narrators that you think will go well with your novel then it's time to upload your book to ACX if you have not already.  I suggest that as soon as you even consider going with ACX, that you start picking out Narrators.  My first list consisted of about fifty women and men that I chose for various reasons.

Uploading your novel is a simple process you follow the step by step instructions, upload your information what you're looking for in a narrator, and your sample of your novel.  The site will give you details on how long, to make your sample. It will also tell you to make it something important, something with dialogue. Maybe a romantic, or a fight scene. You won't want to go with the very first part of the book, but something that will show of some emotion and help you decide.



Email call write a note

Also, don't wait for narrators to find you, go ahead and jump in there and send out messages to some of the narrators you think will suit your novel.  Is your MC young, old, male, female, does she have an accent, there are a lot of things to consider.  There are a lot of novels going into audiobooks, so be sure and ask for at least ten narrators to read for you.  I'm sure you will find that some of them are busy and can't work on a project right now.


Here is a few screen shots to help you get an idea of how things work.  You can chose many topics to help you narrow down your list of Narrators. Click on the image to make it bigger and you can read the different topics.

Here you can see that I've picked several topics to help me narrow down my search. It's very helpful. Maybe you only want women narrators, or a narrator with a accent, or maybe you want an older female. There are so many helpful  ways to eliminate hearing voices that you know won't be right for your novel.
You can also just type in the name of the narrator if you wish. I have been told that even if you know which narrator you want to use, you still will need to option the book out and allow others to read for you. When I first placed Maid for Martin out there I received about 12 offers and I will showcase each of those members soon on my blog.

Here is one more screen shot to show you how you can chose to listen to a narrator you like. You you can see the samples they have posted on the site for you to listen to. Most of them have at least five or more versions of how their voice can sound. These samples can be very useful in helping you decide if you want a particular narrator to read for you.

Stephanie Bentley the narrator I finally chose has over 20 samples on her page and that was a great help hearing her voice in many different tones and accents. I really enjoyed hearing different samples. If you have several characters in your book you will want to pick a narrator that can do many voices.


If you have any questions please comment below, so I can answer. This is a long process and it's very possible that I'll miss something along the lines.  Remember it's never to soon to start trying to pick out a narrator.  There are many of them out there so go over to ACX and take a listen. 


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
From Bigstock