“I had a dream about a zombie attack last night,” I told Christina Harcar, director of Audible Author Services.
“There’s a lot of that going around,” she said.
I’d emailed Audible Author Services to ask about ACX royalty formulas, and I quickly received a phone call from Christina. She explained (in both Geek and English) how they were calculated, and told me about the additional bonuses that could be earned.
Like most authors, I’d signed away my audio rights when I sold my book, but my publisher had never been interested in doing anything with those rights. I really thought that my Casa Dracula paranormal romantic comedies would be fun to listen to, but even if I had the rights, I couldn’t afford to produce them in audio.
Then, whammo! Technology gave a giant kick to the backside of the publishing world and Audible.com burst onto the scene, selling digital recordings instead of costly-to-produce CDs. Last year, Audible developed ACX, a marketplace through which authors could connect with narrators and easily and inexpensively create audiobooks. One of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman, was using ACX and he encouraged other authors to join in.
I managed to get my Casa Dracula series audio rights reverted from my publisher by being persistent (okay, annoying). Paying a narrator an hourly fee was out of my budget, so I chose to offer my projects at ACX as “royalty share,” whereby I split the royalties with the narrator. I quickly received auditions from talented professional narrators. The actress and voice-over performer I hired on ACX, Patricia Fructuoso, has done an amazing job voicing my quirky, sexy character, Milagro, her eccentric pals, and the snobby vampires who wish she’d just go away or die (preferably the latter).
My only outlay was hiring an illustrator to create cover art. Now, only a few months after I learned about ACX, my Casa Dracula audiobooks are available at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. I can check daily sales stats of my books at ACX, and I’m steadily earning income at a great royalty rate. A wasted asset has become a revenue stream, and my stories are reaching a new audience of book lovers.
My new favorite break activity is to go to Audible and listen to free audio samples. I was browsing for other funny paranormals/urban fantasies and discovered hysterical samples of Diana Rowland’s White Trash Zombie series.
That’s how I know exactly what inspired my nightmare about an attack by brain-eating zombies. And if Christina thinks that there are a lot of zombie nightmares going around, I suspect I’m not the only one listening.