Today we’ll continue our series of takeaways from Author Marketing Live with David H. Lawrence XVII and his tips for creating and profiting from Amazon ACX Audiobook Projects. Lawrence is an actor, voice talent, audiobook narrator, and voice trainer. Through vo2gogo, he trains people in the technical and business aspects of voice work. In a recent post, we shared takeaways for authors who want to narrate their own audiobooks. Today we offer tips for authors who want to hire a professional narrator.
1. Decide what type of voice you want for the narration of your book. When you submit your project to ACX for auditions (the first two pages of your manuscript in PDF format), invite narrators of that description, but stay open. An unconventional voice might be just the right one for your book.
2. Look for Audible approved producers and ACX master class graduates. Listen to their auditions, research their sales, and check out their social media reach. When you find someone you like, make an offer with your requirements. Payment is usually arranged in one of two ways: You can pay a fixed rate per finished hour (e.g., $225 per hour for an eight hour audiobook would cost $1,800). In the alternative, you can propose a royalty split. Keep in mind that some books are eligible for an ACX production stipend.
3. Stay in touch as your book is produced. Approve the first submitted segment quickly, or ask for an adjusted read. Respond to questions about pronunciation and approve chapters as quickly as possible. Memorialize your communications through ACX messages.
4. Be open to corrections to your text. Your professional narrator may catch errors that you missed and will probably have suggestions for rewording to make your audiobook more pleasing to the ear. Unless there is a compelling reason not to, follow the professional advice of your narrator.
5. Be open to being surprised and delighted. Good narrators are looking for good books to narrate and good authors to work with. Be loyal, responsive, and promote your narrator along with your book so that you both get the most out of the project.
We invite you to share in the comments below what’s next in your own journey to successful authorpreneurship. Are you ready to have a professional narrator record an audiobook for you? What other steps are you taking in your publishing career? We’ll keep sharing more Author Marketing Live takeaways and other resources right here. Sign up for regular updates from the Captain’s Blog: Publishing so you won’t miss any of these posts!