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Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant
by Holly Rustick

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INCLUDES BONUS FREE E-DOWNLOADS: TEMPLATES FOR GRANT WRITING!

Grant writing shouldn’t feel like a trip to the dentist. Take the pain out of the process with this innovative and fun, yes fun, guide. Learn all the inside tips and tools of the grant-writing trade in this easy-to-read and upbeat book.
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Author Topic: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book  (Read 16462 times)  

Offline Anne Frasier

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ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« on: October 07, 2013, 06:45:33 AM »
I thought I'd report my ACX experience for those curious about sales. ACX offered to pay for my first book, otherwise I'm not sure I would have delved into this. I chose my bestselling thriller (Hush) with over 250 reviews. The narration ended up over ten hours, with a cost of about 3200.00.  Seven weeks after the audio went live I've had 102 sales and received a check last month for 350.00 for 50 purchases.  Sales have slowed down over the past two weeks, and I suspect that pattern will continue. So will I ever sell 3200 worth? That's my question. It seems doubtful, but it's still early. And if it does eventually hit 3200, how much over that will it go? Enough to make it worth doing a second thriller?

When setting up your audition sample, be sure to include dialogue from all main characters, and even some secondary characters if possible. I just tossed up two excerpts with no thought to getting all of my main characters in there and I had some surprises in the finished product.

One problem that people have already mentioned here is that there's no way to promote audio books beyond blogging and tweeting. I was allowed five free downloads to give away and I have no idea how to get rid of them. I don't know how to reach the audio audience.  They're out there, but they're a total mystery to me.
   

Offline Joe_Nobody

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2013, 06:49:30 AM »
I've found the bell curve for audio books is slightly flatter than ebooks. I think you'll be surprised at how long that level of sales continues. Maybe. In this business, one never knows.

Offline S.A. Mulraney

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 06:52:05 AM »
Hi Anne. I too wondered what to do with the free audiobooks. I can't say I've had much success, but I have used them as "newsletter bait." Example: Register for my newsletter for a chance to win a free copy of the audiobook. I've also had signup sheets at events. Otherwise, I've sold just over 20 copies  in five months. :-[ You might want to remind folks who've bought your Kindle ebook that they can pick up the audiobook version for a significant discount (mine is $1.99 for folks who already have the ebook). Good luck!
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Offline Rick Gualtieri

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 06:55:03 AM »
I've found the bell curve for audio books is slightly flatter than ebooks. I think you'll be surprised at how long that level of sales continues. Maybe. In this business, one never knows.

Agreed on this.  Every month I continue to be amazed (and beat myself up for not jumping into audio sooner :) .


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Offline MaryMcDonald

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2013, 06:55:07 AM »
I thought I'd report my ACX experience for those curious about sales. ACX offered to pay for my first book, otherwise I'm not sure I would have delved into this. I chose my bestselling thriller (Hush) with over 250 reviews. The narration ended up over ten hours, with a cost of about 3200.00.  Seven weeks after the audio went live I've had 102 sales and received a check last month for 350.00 for 50 purchases.  Sales have slowed down over the past two weeks, and I suspect that pattern will continue. So will I ever sell 3200 worth? That's my question. It seems doubtful, but it's still early. And if it does eventually hit 3200, how much over that will it go? Enough to make it worth doing a second thriller?



Wow, that is really great! I have two audiobooks out so far but not nearly the sales. However, I am doing royalty share, and ACX put stipends on two of my four books. That sounds great, except they put it on books 3 &4 in my series.  ::) That means the two finished books are very hard sells and I'm surprised I have any sales at all. Who wants to by the third and fourth book before the other two are available? Anyway, I now have No Good Deed in production, and that is my biggest seller and works as a first book (the prequel was written well after NGD was published.)

I sure hope once No Good Deed is done, my sales will improve a lot!


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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 06:56:32 AM »
Scary thing :) I'm paying to have mine produced now. It'll be about $1200 out of pocket for me. Right now, ebook sales are footing the cost of the audiobook -- hopefully, going forward, audiobook royalties of one will foot production of the next one. It's an erotic romance -- hopefully that sells itself. Otherwise, I could have had a really super awesome cintiq companion hybrid for just another $400.

Offline Anne Frasier

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2013, 07:00:45 AM »
I've found the bell curve for audio books is slightly flatter than ebooks. I think you'll be surprised at how long that level of sales continues. Maybe. In this business, one never knows.
That would be great if the current level holds up a while.
   

Offline Anne Frasier

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2013, 07:01:56 AM »
Hi Anne. I too wondered what to do with the free audiobooks. I can't say I've had much success, but I have used them as "newsletter bait." Example: Register for my newsletter for a chance to win a free copy of the audiobook. I've also had signup sheets at events. Otherwise, I've sold just over 20 copies  in five months. :-[ You might want to remind folks who've bought your Kindle ebook that they can pick up the audiobook version for a significant discount (mine is $1.99 for folks who already have the ebook). Good luck!

That's a great idea to remind people about the discount!!
   

Offline Anne Frasier

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2013, 07:06:01 AM »
Wow, that is really great! I have two audiobooks out so far but not nearly the sales. However, I am doing royalty share, and ACX put stipends on two of my four books. That sounds great, except they put it on books 3 &4 in my series.  ::) That means the two finished books are very hard sells and I'm surprised I have any sales at all. Who wants to by the third and fourth book before the other two are available? Anyway, I now have No Good Deed in production, and that is my biggest seller and works as a first book (the prequel was written well after NGD was published.)

I sure hope once No Good Deed is done, my sales will improve a lot!



The royalty share kind of scares me, but paying for the whole thing scares me too.  Good luck!!
   

Offline Anne Frasier

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2013, 07:08:32 AM »
Scary thing :) I'm paying to have mine produced now. It'll be about $1200 out of pocket for me. Right now, ebook sales are footing the cost of the audiobook -- hopefully, going forward, audiobook royalties of one will foot production of the next one. It's an erotic romance -- hopefully that sells itself. Otherwise, I could have had a really super awesome cintiq companion hybrid for just another $400.

Spending that kind of money up front is scary. I imagine I will probably do it, but... gulp. 
   

Offline B.A. Spangler

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2013, 07:11:55 AM »
I thought I'd report my ACX experience for those curious about sales. ACX offered to pay for my first book, otherwise I'm not sure I would have delved into this. I chose my bestselling thriller (Hush) with over 250 reviews. The narration ended up over ten hours, with a cost of about 3200.00.  Seven weeks after the audio went live I've had 102 sales and received a check last month for 350.00 for 50 purchases.  Sales have slowed down over the past two weeks, and I suspect that pattern will continue. So will I ever sell 3200 worth? That's my question. It seems doubtful, but it's still early. And if it does eventually hit 3200, how much over that will it go? Enough to make it worth doing a second thriller?

When setting up your audition sample, be sure to include dialogue from all main characters, and even some secondary characters if possible. I just tossed up two excerpts with no thought to getting all of my main characters in there and I had some surprises in the finished product.

One problem that people have already mentioned here is that there's no way to promote audio books beyond blogging and tweeting. I was allowed five free downloads to give away and I have no idea how to get rid of them. I don't know how to reach the audio audience.  They're out there, but they're a total mystery to me.

I'm in the audition stage now for my book Coffee and Tears very exciting, and I hope what has been said here about the curve holds true.
The part about ACX paying for the first book, is that the exclusive/non-exclusive piece? I found the wording a bit confusing. I selected non-exclusive, wanting to have my audio book available on Audible.com in addition to iTunes and ACX.


Offline Anne Frasier

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2013, 07:22:01 AM »
I'm in the audition stage now for my book Coffee and Tears very exciting, and I hope what has been said here about the curve holds true.
The part about ACX paying for the first book, is that the exclusive/non-exclusive piece? I found the wording a bit confusing. I selected non-exclusive, wanting to have my audio book available on Audible.com in addition to iTunes and ACX.



I loved Coffee and Tears. I hope that does well for you. The deal with ACX was exclusive, and the book is available at audible, amazon, and iTunes. Probably other places too.  I'm not that sure about exclusive. I took that to mean you can't take the audio elsewhere and sell it through other sites, but ACX can sell it through any of their vendors. ???  maybe someone else can shed more light on it.
   

Offline RM Prioleau

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2013, 07:28:06 AM »
If anyone knows of a 'Bookbub-esque' site for promoting audiobooks, I'm all ears.

Offline B.A. Spangler

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2013, 07:34:40 AM »
I loved Coffee and Tears. I hope that does well for you. The deal with ACX was exclusive, and the book is available at audible, amazon, and iTunes. Probably other places too.  I'm not that sure about exclusive. I took that to mean you can't take the audio elsewhere and sell it through other sites, but ACX can sell it through any of their vendors. ???  maybe someone else can shed more light on it.

It is confusing. I'm going to re-read it again. If exclusive to ACX includes Audible and iTunes and that is all I'd want, then I might go back and change it (if I can).

And thank you, always good to hear when someone likes your book. I just recommended Hush to my friend who only buys audio books.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 07:40:12 AM by Brian Spangler »

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2013, 07:47:15 AM »
It is confusing. I'm going to re-read it again. If exclusive to ACX includes Audible and iTunes and that is all I'd want, then I might go back and change it (if I can).

Brian -- I believe ACX paid for Anne's production because of her visibility. They will do things such as stipends for narrators accepting royalty share on a project or pay for full cost of production based on an author's profile (remember -- they're part of Amazon, there is some information sharing going on there). Because they are underwriting at least part of the cost, they want exclusive.

Now, regular shmoe like me with low profile, the exclusive vs non-exclusive, as I understand it, boils down to:

Mandatory -- you have done a royalty split (regardless of whether there is a stipend) with a narrator through the ACX system. You give them exclusive rights to distribution for seven years (and other than a potential exception for a "dramatic" version, you can't have competing versions of the audiobook done, either). You also get a higher royalty than not going exclusive. This exclusivity is to protect the narrators for the royalty split.

Optional -- you either paid out of pocket for your production or otherwise arranged payment entirely outside of the ACX system, so that it's none of their business who is protecting the narrator. You either go non-exclusive for lower royalties or commit to a year exclusive for higher royalties.  

Offline Anne Frasier

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2013, 08:02:27 AM »
It is confusing. I'm going to re-read it again. If exclusive to ACX includes Audible and iTunes and that is all I'd want, then I might go back and change it (if I can).

And thank you, always good to hear when someone likes your book. I just recommended Hush to my friend who only buys audio books.

oh, thanks about hush!  i read coffee and tears over a year ago and i still think about it sometimes. that's a sign of a good book.
   

Offline B.A. Spangler

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2013, 08:06:22 AM »
oh, thanks about hush!  i read coffee and tears over a year ago and i still think about it sometimes. that's a sign of a good book.

Thanx!
Hush is an excellent read. I never do audio, but will check out the sample to see how it translates. Audio is getting big. So many avid readers are making the switch to audio as their commutes grow. Congrats on getting Hush out there.

Mandatory -- you have done a royalty split (regardless of whether there is a stipend) with a narrator through the ACX system. You give them exclusive rights to distribution for seven years (and other than a potential exception for a "dramatic" version, you can't have competing versions of the audiobook done, either). You also get a higher royalty than not going exclusive. This exclusivity is to protect the narrators for the royalty split.

Optional -- you either paid out of pocket for your production or otherwise arranged payment entirely outside of the ACX system, so that it's none of their business who is protecting the narrator. You either go non-exclusive for lower royalties or commit to a year exclusive for higher royalties.  

Now I get it. Thank you for the explanation.



Offline Michael_J_Sullivan

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2013, 08:13:41 AM »
Thanks much for sharing this information. I have 5 audio books out there but all of them were done through a traditional publisher. In the future I may need to go the ACX route and I had no idea what it would cost. Knowing that the fees are $3,200 I probably would foot that bill in order to keep more profit...but for right now I'm so thrilled with Recorded Books that I'm going to stay with them.  I've sold 40,000 audio books (across 3 titles) and was nominated for an Audie last year.  Here's something really interesting....

The Most Popular Author in XXXX  list's  shows which version of the book is selling the most (Kindle, Audio, or ebook).  All five of my thumbnails are showing the audio version so the audio market is very important to me.
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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2013, 08:14:37 AM »
I have three on Audible and so far received a check for 7 bucks and more recently a check for 14

so I'm slugging along but I'm also hopeful

Planning a full length fantasy novel for 2014
Problem with that is going to be convincing someone to do a royalty split as that sucker will be several hours of narration. But without sales on the rest of my stuff to prove me a decent risk its tough to convince anyone I have a track record.

But that's called branding and I'm working on that too.......
Its true what they say about all this folks.... its a marathon not a sprint.

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2013, 08:18:08 AM »
Hey Michael
Congrats on your audio sales
Do you happen to know any good audio webpages where you advertise or tweet to or face book accounts where you drop an occasional comment to keep the eyeball traffic going?
Please share....

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2013, 08:21:59 AM »
I had the same deal as you through ACX, Anne. My book ended up almost 14 hours long, so ... ACX was very generous. Working with ACX has been wonderful and I can't say enough great things about my narrator, Kyle McCarley, who provided me with examples of every single speaking character in the book before he even started submitting chapters. There were a couple I asked him to change and he complied. He was probably one of the most professional people I've come across since starting in indie publishing. (Kyle - I sing your praises!  :-* )

My audiobook for Uneasy Lies the Crown has been up for about 7 weeks and so far I've sold 178 copies. The majority of those came in right after I used my Select days on it (it's the only book I have in Select at the moment). I was so excited about that that I was ready to do another book. But this past week sales on the audiobook have stalled, so I'm not making any decisions yet. I'd LOVE to do it again if it proves to me a reliable stream of income, but I'm also wondering where sales will go from here.

As for the free audio copies, I posted a giveaway for them on my FB page to anyone who commented and they were gone in a little over an hour. The next time I'll do that for anyone who shares a post from my page.

If you already have a high sales volume on your e-books, then audiobooks are more likely to earn back their investment. It's probably also a plus if you have multiple books on audio. So what it really boils down to is the potential size of your audience and how rabid your fan base is.

Thanks for sharing, Anne. It's great that we can all share about these experiences here, rather than blindly rushing into things.


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Offline Anne Frasier

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2013, 08:35:02 AM »
Thanks much for sharing this information. I have 5 audio books out there but all of them were done through a traditional publisher. In the future I may need to go the ACX route and I had no idea what it would cost. Knowing that the fees are $3,200 I probably would foot that bill in order to keep more profit...but for right now I'm so thrilled with Recorded Books that I'm going to stay with them.  I've sold 40,000 audio books (across 3 titles) and was nominated for an Audie last year.  Here's something really interesting....

The Most Popular Author in XXXX  list's  shows which version of the book is selling the most (Kindle, Audio, or ebook).  All five of my thumbnails are showing the audio version so the audio market is very important to me.

wow, Michael. Congratulations!  And I've never heard of Recorded Books, but I know nothing about audio. I'll have to check them out.

as far that 2,300 cost...  When ACX pays the bill they require approve narrators. I actually got some nice auditions from non-approved narrators who didn't charge as much, so I think the next time through I might be able to get it done for more like 2,500. 
   

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2013, 08:38:30 AM »
$3200?!?! What the hell is costing so much? I was planning to use them but to read it myself because I'm in love with the sound of my own voice. But not if it's more than a grand.

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Offline Anne Frasier

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2013, 08:39:28 AM »
I had the same deal as you through ACX, Anne. My book ended up almost 14 hours long, so ... ACX was very generous. Working with ACX has been wonderful and I can't say enough great things about my narrator, Kyle McCarley, who provided me with examples of every single speaking character in the book before he even started submitting chapters. There were a couple I asked him to change and he complied. He was probably one of the most professional people I've come across since starting in indie publishing. (Kyle - I sing your praises!  :-* )

My audiobook for Uneasy Lies the Crown has been up for about 7 weeks and so far I've sold 178 copies. The majority of those came in right after I used my Select days on it (it's the only book I have in Select at the moment). I was so excited about that that I was ready to do another book. But this past week sales on the audiobook have stalled, so I'm not making any decisions yet. I'd LOVE to do it again if it proves to me a reliable stream of income, but I'm also wondering where sales will go from here.

As for the free audio copies, I posted a giveaway for them on my FB page to anyone who commented and they were gone in a little over an hour. The next time I'll do that for anyone who shares a post from my page.

If you already have a high sales volume on your e-books, then audiobooks are more likely to earn back their investment. It's probably also a plus if you have multiple books on audio. So what it really boils down to is the potential size of your audience and how rabid your fan base is.

Thanks for sharing, Anne. It's great that we can all share about these experiences here, rather than blindly rushing into things.

I've tried giving away audio on FB and twitter. I had one taker. haha!!  That's great about your experience.  So did I understand this correctly? The Select free days generated sales of your audio book????  
   

Offline Anne Frasier

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Re: ACXseven weeks after going live with first book
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2013, 08:40:09 AM »
If anyone knows of a 'Bookbub-esque' site for promoting audiobooks, I'm all ears.

i don't think anything like that exists for audio.  wish it did!!!