I took the plunge to use ACX to produce the audiobook for Manipulate, and so far my experience has been great. It was completed a while ago, but just this week it has been approved by the Amazon gods (or whoever sorts through these things) to be a Whispersync title! I’m super excited about that, because now I can promote it to all the people who already bought the ebook and not feel like I’m asking an arm and a leg!
2.99 is just an incredible price for an audiobook and I hope it can act as a good gateway to my series for audibook listeners or Audible subscribers.
I know a lot of indie authors are pondering using ACX, so I thought I’d post a little more about how the process worked for me. I know I searched for all the ‘my experience’ blogs I could find before I pushed the button!
I went with the royalty share option, meaning I asked for audiobook producers who were willing to work for free and then split the future royalties. I put two of my books up on ACX and then ignored them for a month or so while I worked on other things. After about a month, I received an audition for both of my books. The audition for Manipulate was quite good, though not at all the style I’d had in my head for my 19-year-old main character. I don’t really know what voice I had in my head, but after I heard the voice actor (Sergei Burbank) read the audition portion of my manuscript, I was hooked.
I was SUPER lucky to receive such a good audition right off the bat, and I decided not to wait around looking for something better that might never materialize. (That’s just my personality though. If you like to be 100% sure about things, you should probably shop around a lot more!)
After that the process worked pretty much exactly as outlined on the ACX site. I talked to Sergei through email about the timeline before making him an offer, and he told me what dates would work for him. Since I wasn’t in a hurry, I decided to pad those dates by another week. Then I uploaded the full manuscript.
He sent me the first 15 minutes several days before his deadline, and it all sounded good. I do wish at that point that I’d sent him a more extensive list of the names and words with specific pronunciations for my book.
He did a fantastic job with all the alien words, but being from a different part of the country from me and a different background, some names that I thought were completely normal ended up having a different pronunciation. I didn’t feel like it was appropriate to ask him to change all of those at the end of the whole book (since it was my error in not providing a full list), and I’m glad I didn’t as it hasn’t been a problem. (My sister, for instance, said that she’d been saying the names his way anyway!)
The full book was done a week early, and then I had a certain amount of time (10 business days, I believe?) to proof it.
That was actually the hardest part for me! 🙂 You know that weird disconnect of hearing your voice on a recording? It was like that, only worse, in a way, because it was like hearing my BRAIN read aloud. If it had actually been in my voice, I think I would have been completely incapable of handing it. Anyway, that was just my weirdness. I did eventually manage to listen to it, and make a list of slight adjustments that I wanted – noting the chapter and time and whichever word or pause I wanted changed.
And this is getting long, so to abbreviate:
Approved by me.
Two week wait.
Three months later, ebook and audiobook linked via whispersync.
And that’s it! Sales have been low so far (a few a month), but I’ve been so busy writing the next novel I’ve done zero promotion. After book 2 and 3 are out this year, I’m hoping to see a serious sales boost. I might even see if I can get an ad in the illustrious Bookbub. 🙂
Thanks for reading! If you’re trying out ACX, good luck and I’d love to hear about your experience.