At ACX, part of what we consider our mission is author empowerment—helping authors to empower themselves, drive their own sales and build a bigger audience for their work, a bigger audience for audiobooks which will ultimately benefit all of us. So we’re delighted to share stories like Rebecca O’Connor’s, below—we hope to be sharing many more like this as ACX grows.
Rebecca K. O’Connor, a well-known falconer and bird trainer, is using ACX to get her book, Lift, made into an audiobook. Lift, a memoir about healing psychological wounds through training a peregrine falcon, was published to critical acclaim in 2009 by California small press Red Hen Press. Red Hen does not have an audio arm, though, so when Rebecca first heard about ACX (via Neil Gaiman on Twitter) she jumped at the chance to create an audiobook with an instant distribution platform attached. She negotiated a contract amendment with Red Hen which gave her the rights to produce and distribute the audiobook of Lift.
Rebecca, who also makes her living as a conservation fundraiser, decided to use Kickstarter (which she also first heard about on Twitter from “great resource” Gaiman) to promote the making of the audiobook and generate buzz and interest. And although she didn’t expect to succeed in raising the funds for studio time through Kickstarter, she found herself exceeding her goal after just five days. Rebecca, who has decided to narrate her own book (because it’s a personal story but also because of the technical language the book includes) plans to go into the studio to begin recording the audiobook in November, and hopes to have a finished audiobook in January. The audiobook version, she says, will also include an afterword updating the book’s story, which took place eight years ago.
ACX applauds Rebecca for her creative use of Kickstarter to fund her audiobook, and encourages other ACX users to consider this option—as Rebecca says, “I thought this was something everyone must be doing.”