Author Topic: A Few ACX Questions  (Read 740 times)  

Offline David Chill

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A Few ACX Questions
« on: December 29, 2017, 05:40:57 PM »
An actor friend of mine (I live in LA, so having actor friends is more common here than anywhere else in the world) is wanting to move into voice over, specifically audio books. He has expressed interest in doing the audio for one of my mystery novels. I've checked out his narration on his ACX page and it's reasonably good.

He's offered to do this gratis, but I would like to pay him something -- what would a 60,000 word mystery novel typically cost for narration? And assuming I went forward, who owns the rights me or him? I would imagine signing a contract would settle that issue, so if anyone knows of a boilerplate agreement online that would be helpful.

I'm not sure if I'll make much off of this, my experience of putting my books into paperback was it's a lot of work for minimal payoff. A total of 99.7% of my income is derived from eBooks. But I understand ACX sales can track with eBook sales if I promote them heavily -- and obviously sales would get a bigger lift if I got a BookBub deal.

So finally, for those who have gone the ACX route, is this something you're glad you did? Was it worth it? Any tips?

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Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 08:17:08 PM »
Has your friend read this? You should, too.

http://audible-acx.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6975/c/3546

I just paid $657.50 for a 2.62 hour book at $250 pfh and approx 24K words. My producer splits that payment with her engineer.



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Offline David Chill

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 10:40:33 PM »

I just paid $657.50 for a 2.62 hour book at $250 pfh and approx 24K words. My producer splits that payment with her engineer.


Wow. Is $657 typical? That is a good bit more than I had anticipated.
Did it pay off?


David Chill

Offline X. Aratare

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 11:12:08 PM »
I pay about $225 PFH for m/m paranormal romance and I've made my money back and then some and I'm no big seller.  But your audio books are a fraction of the sales of your ebooks normally, but it pays better!

As to your friend, my understanding is that 1 finished hour takes 6 of his time to do that's why the rate.  Now, he wants to do this for his portfolio so he'll get more work so I don't think you have to give him that kind of rate, but you should know handing him like $100 bucks worse than if you gave him nothing at all.

Offline TobiasRoote

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2017, 11:30:32 PM »
Actually I think you can come to a fair deal. He needs to learn to narrate and you don't (obviously) want to pay a lot for what might turn out to be a poor narration. So, why not let him do this for you on the basis of paying him a commercial rate if it is successfully well received. Whilst people will quote you what 'they' pay their narrators, they are talking about people who have developed their craft and command a price in the market. You friend needs some experience before he can do the same. I'm sure a rate of $75-$100 per finished hour would make both of you feel as though you were getting a great deal out of it. The test is the feedback you get from the listeners. Put a few chapters out on Reddit in their audiobook section and wait for the critiques (they're exceptionally good at giving people honest feedback). Then base your final fee on the result.


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Offline LeeMountford

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2017, 12:02:35 AM »
Why don't you go for the option of splitting royalties? It is an option in ACX where the narrator produces the book for free and after ACX take their cut you split the royalties with the producer 50/50.

My first book is out on audible and that's I've done and it works fine. Sales are building and I have a feeling that it will be much like ebooks in the more you have out the better chance you will have to do well. (Also, you get free codes from Audible that you can give out for reviews - I'm not normally one for ARC reviews but these are given out for this reason, so worth doing).

This way, he gets a book under his belt and you both have the chance to make a little bit (and you don't pay anything upfront).

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Offline notjohn

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2017, 04:14:35 AM »
David, he should get onto ACX as a narrator working on split royalties. That would be fair to both of you.

I have done this only for one short book. As an ebook, it earns me a lot of money, and I would love to publish a paperback, but it's just too short. So I thought it was perfect for audio. But the earnings are really rather skinny -- the audiobook costs far more than the ebook but returns me less than half as much. And I was astonished at how much work it was. It's not the time so much as it is the intensity of listening for errors of pronunciation. (Those were numerous because many of our placenames here are from Native American words.)

So I've not done another, though I'm sure I should. (I was very happy with the narration. I don't know if the narrator has been happy with the returns. He certainly hasn't earned north of $600!)
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Offline David Chill

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2017, 04:29:02 AM »
I pay about $225 PFH for m/m paranormal romance and I've made my money back and then some and I'm no big seller.  But your audio books are a fraction of the sales of your ebooks normally, but it pays better!

As to your friend, my understanding is that 1 finished hour takes 6 of his time to do that's why the rate.  Now, he wants to do this for his portfolio so he'll get more work so I don't think you have to give him that kind of rate, but you should know handing him like $100 bucks worse than if you gave him nothing at all.

Hmmm. Not quite sure I understand -- why would handing him $100 be worse than handing him nothing at all?

David Chill

Offline WasAnn

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2017, 06:19:36 AM »
First off, you should read the entire selection of pages on ACX. Not just the rights holder one, but also the one for producers and narrators. You'll be coming from a much more informed space after that.

Second - I found an actor who had been doing audio for libravox as a volunteer and I loved, loved, loved her voice. BUT, she'd never done paid gigs before on the ACX platform. So, she also had nothing on her CV for professional audio.

Because her voice was so amazing, it was worth it to me to be patient, help her figure out this platform, and generally do more than normal to ensure the product would be good. I also went with royalty share, which I normally wouldn't do. I've been lucky in that Amazon and Audible teamed up to do previous work of mine and paid for top-notch talent that there's no way I could have afforded. I learned a lot through that process. Paying up front is far nicer for the narrator because they may never earn out that much in pure royalties. Of course, they might earn ten times more, but one never knows if that will happen or not.

My suggestion? For a narrator just learning the process with nothing on their CV, (but worth the work on your end), go for $75 pfh or royalty share. Go up based on performance for each follow on book. Getting well produced books on their ACX page will help them secure further work.

Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2017, 06:21:18 AM »
Wow. Is $657 typical? That is a good bit more than I had anticipated.
Did it pay off?

I won't know if it paid off until it's up on Audible. Normally, you pay your narrator after the final corrections are made and approved. I paid her now so I could take the tax deduction. She's done two other books for me and I know I can trust her. Once your narrator is paid, she/he will release the audio to Audible for QA review. It will be another 2-3 weeks after that before it's ready for sale.

I find that the best way to get sales is promo the ebook which leads to whispersync sales. For a short book like mine, you'll make 40% of $1.99 for a whispersync sale. My longer books get 40% of $7.49. You have no control over the regular price, member price or whispersync price.

I second the suggestion that you do a royalty split with your friend. And also second the amount of work that you will have to put in. Word-by-word proofing of an audiobook is time-consuming and tedious. You're allowed two passes at the audio for your narrator to make corrections.



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Offline Ahmad_Ardalan

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2017, 07:19:20 AM »
I paid $580 for a 5 hour 51 min audiobook for The Gardener of Baghdad for a narrator I found through findawayvoices.com
I hop that helps


Offline Deke

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2017, 08:25:41 AM »
I suggest doing a few chapters of your book as a test. It would tell you if you like the sound of his voice, and it would teach him about the work involved. It's not just reading the book. There are performance and technical issues to deal with, namely editing out flubs.


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Offline Kathryn Meyer Griffith

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2017, 10:08:41 AM »
I would also recommend ACX's Royalty Share. You would split 40% with your narrator (or 20% for you). It's not a lot, but you won't have to fork out any money up front. So depending on how well the audio book does (and how much you and your narrator promote it)  both you and your narrator will benefit. I did all my 24 Audible audio books like that. Some do very well and others not so much.

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Online Lorri Moulton

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2017, 10:36:10 AM »
I do royalty share on ACX.  It's worked out well for my audio books. :)
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Offline X. Aratare

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2017, 11:13:59 AM »
Hmmm. Not quite sure I understand -- why would handing him $100 be worse than handing him nothing at all?

Because it would show you dont appreciate the time and effort it takes to do this kind of work. I think peoples suggestions about royalty share might be the ticket for both of you.

Offline Brigitta Moon

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2017, 11:55:55 AM »
I would also recommend ACX's Royalty Share. You would split 40% with your narrator (or 20% for you). It's not a lot, but you won't have to fork out any money up front. So depending on how well the audio book does (and how much you and your narrator promote it)  both you and your narrator will benefit. I did all my 24 Audible audio books like that. Some do very well and others not so much.

I'm really happy to have found this thread. I have only done one audible book. It is 1.5 hours for $150. The book did not make close to that amount. I am considering trying to get a royalty share for my Marston series. How many reviews does a book need to capture the interest of a producer?

Offline David Chill

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2018, 08:04:39 AM »
Thanks. The royalty share sounds like the best way to go -- at least for me, the author, in that I won't need to do an up-front spend, and any money generated is gravy. As the narrator is looking to build a resume, he is supportive of doing this as well. For those who went this route, did you sign a separate contract with the narrator, or simply go through ACX's process?

David Chill

Offline David Chill

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2018, 06:19:54 PM »
Bump

David Chill

Offline Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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Re: A Few ACX Questions
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2018, 07:50:22 PM »
Thanks. The royalty share sounds like the best way to go -- at least for me, the author, in that I won't need to do an up-front spend, and any money generated is gravy. As the narrator is looking to build a resume, he is supportive of doing this as well. For those who went this route, did you sign a separate contract with the narrator, or simply go through ACX's process?

Go through ACX's process.

When listing your requirements, put royalty share as your offer. In the instructions to potential auditioners, just say that you've already chosen some one and are not accepting auditions.

You'll have to upload an audition script and let your friend record and upload that. It's just a few pages of your book, but choose something that gives you a good idea of how he'll voice the characters. You can even do a few paragraphs of each character.

Once he uploads the audition, you can accept it and "make an offer" which will be royalty share. You'll decide when the first fifteen minutes are due and when the completed audio is due.

This is a good time to give him more direction based on his audition as to how you want the characters to sound.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 07:55:12 PM by Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake' »


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