Once your Audiobook is completed, and the rights holder has clicked to approve the final audio, there is still one more step that ACX has to do. All incoming audiobooks are put through a brief QA (Quality Assurance) check by the ACX Audio team. This check is done to ensure your audiobook is well produced, will meet Audible’s customers’ standards, and adheres to the ACX Rules For Audiobook Production. Unfortunately audiobooks do not always pass this QA check. Our team occasionally finds problems that require fixing before we can offer your title to our listeners. Every minute you spend fixing these problems is a minute your title is not available for sale.
So, in order to educate our users and streamline the production process, we will spend this week reviewing the five most common problems our QA team finds and some ideas on how you can avoid them in your own productions.
Improper Grouping of Files
The number one cause for rejections is also the easiest to avoid. Opening/closing credits and the Retail Audio Sample aside, every file you upload to ACX should contain only one chapter or section. Each file represents a spot the listener can track to on their player using the forward and back buttons. If each file consistently represents one chapter, navigating through the program will be easy for the listener. Want to help listeners out even more? Be sure to announce the chapter!
There are only two instances in which you may need to deviate from this standard:
1. A chapter is very long.
If the running time of a file is over two hours, or the file size is greater than 170 MB, it must be split in two. Just be sure to find a natural point in the text. And yes, it’s perfectly fine to note “chapter x, continued” in the audio.
2. The majority of the chapters are very short
If the print or eBook version is comprised of many very short chapters or sections, and the files will be less than five minutes each, you may combine consecutive chapters into groups of five chapters each. In this case consistency is key – you don’t want a listener fighting to navigate to the section he wants to hear.
Sounds simple, right? ACX makes it easy for you to upload the chapters of your book by allowing you to queue consecutive uploads on the title’s production page. Just click “Save & Add Another Chapter” while the first is uploading!
Check out part two of our series here, and make sure to tell us what you think of our tips in the comments.