We recently received some nice, quite insightful coverage from Steve Harrison’s Book Marketing Update, a newsletter for entrepreneurial authors, that we wanted to share with the ACX audience. Book Marketing Update kindly agreed to let us excerpt from its article here. Enjoy!
Turn your book into an audiobook with the new Audiobook Creation Exchange, Part I
When Allen Klein wanted to breathe new life into one of his out-of-print books he turned to a new service called Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX). Owned by Audible, a division of Amazon.com, and begun last summer, ACX is a clearinghouse that links authors and publishers who own digital rights to books with producers and voiceover artists who might be interested in turning the books into audiobooks.
After proving to ACX that he owned the digital rights to TeacherLaughs: A Jollytologist Book, his 2006 book published by Gramercy, Klein was able
to post a query on ACX. The query attracted the attention of Marlin May, a voiceover artist and former teacher willing to produce and record the
audiobook and to partner with Klein by splitting the costs and profits. The audiobook version of TeacherLaughs was ready for sale in about six weeks. Klein says, “He [May] did a great job and it was a simple process. It was very inexpensive.”
The duo had to acquire the rights to music and cover art used in the production of the audiobook. Their total cost was about $200, which they split, and with one of Klein’s first royalty checks from ACX he recouped 60 percent of his initial investment. Now TeacherLaughs can be purchased on Audible.com, iTunes and Amazon, instead of languishing in the used book market where it didn’t benefit the San Francisco-based author of 17 books.
Klein has sold about 100 audiobooks since September and believes sales will build over time. He is grateful that his book has found a new life. Klein is a savvy guy whose series of books published by Random House sold more than 400,000 copies. Therefore his belief in the promise of audiobooks is noteworthy; perhaps you will want to emulate him, too.
Sonya Bateman, whose novel Master of None was published by Pocket Books in 2010, is currently working to produce an audiobook. Hooking up with ACX was her agent’s idea as was retaining the digital rights to the book when Pocket put it under contract. Bateman says in an email interview, “She’s the one who found out about ACX and got everything rolling. So it was super easy for me—I just had to say ‘yes, I like this guy’ or ‘no, not what I want’ when I got sample reads.”
For her writing sample, Bateman posted the first chapter in her book, something many authors may be tempted to do. But as the auditions started rolling in, she realized that the sample chapter she provided did not have a lot of dialogue and featured just one of the two main characters. Bateman quickly found a narrator she liked, but when she asked him to do a reading for the second character—a djinn or genie with attitude—his first take was off the mark.
“Good thing I asked about it, because he did the voice like Apu [the Kwik-E-Mart owner] from The Simpsons, with a super-strong, extra-hokey Indian accent. Yuck. Not what I wanted,” Bateman says. With some direction from her, the voice artist nailed the character. Bateman’s takeaway from her experience is: make sure your sample chapter is representative of the book’s main characters.
To read the full article in Book Marketing Update, click here.
The above article appeared in Book Marketing Update, the print newsletter for members of Steve Harrison’s Million Dollar Author Club (http://www.milliondollarauthorclub.com) and is reprinted with permission. To receive invites to Steve’s free teleseminars for authors and self-publishers, go to http://www.steveharrisonteleseminars.com