Marketing Your Title To ACX Producers

Authors, rights holders, let’s talk. You joined ACX and posted your title for two reasons: to have a great sounding, professional, retail-ready audiobook made and to earn royalties from sales of that audiobook. So what’s the first step towards creating a top notch audiobook with high sales potential? Using a great narrator/producer of course! Lucky for you, ACX has thousands ready to perform. Today, we’ll share some tips on how to attract auditions from the best of them.

Start with your title profile. Your title profile is a free advertisement you can use to make your title as attractive as possible to potential producers. After claiming your title on ACX, you have the opportunity to supplement the description from your Amazon detail page with more information about the book, the type of read you’re looking for from your narrator, and any information you have on your marketing plans, fan-base, or social media following. Let’s take a look at a strong title profile for a book posted to ACX:

(Click on the image below to expand)

Demon Kissed Profile 02

The rights holder of this title shares the important details first, including sales, reviews, social media reach and specific ad campaigns for this title. Narrators are attracted to titles with good sales potential, as well as rights holders who are actively promoting their work. Remember, producers working on titles though our royalty share program are equally invested in the sales and earnings of the titles they select. Even if you or your titles don’t already have the same reach as this example, producers will still be attracted by a well thought-out marketing plan, as well as an invested rights holder.

Share details about the story. In the second paragraph of our example, the rights holder shares details about the story itself, which lets the producer understand what style narration this title needs. This extra attention to detail shows potential producers that you are knowledgeable and passionate about your work and helps deliver the right voice to each audition. Better auditions that meet your criteria cut down on the time you spend listening to auditions that aren’t right.

That’s it! Provide clear information about your past and future sales plans, as well as details about the story, and you’re on your way to attracting good producers to audition for your title.

Producers and narrators, what do you look for in a good title profile? Tell us below.

21 responses to “Marketing Your Title To ACX Producers

  1. There’s an old saying: “Never judge a book by its cover.”
    But for me, the cover is one of the first things that draws my attention to a potential collaboration. Shallow? Maybe. Fact? Definitely.

    Narrators are like bees.
    If the cover is not eye-catching (hint: marketable) I won’t even open the profile.
    When I do get lured by an attractive cover, I will read the audition pages. If the script strikes a chord with me, I am now interested.
    How does a script gel with me?

    For auditions, a lot of authors simply post the first few pages of their book. Please don’t do this, unless those pages are really exciting and engaging. Choose a section of work that is going to make me want to read more. Also, give a rundown on the different characters, and whether you want them individually voiced or prefer a dry read.
    If all of the above boxes are ticked, I am usually sold on a project.

    I’ll shut up now! 🙂

    • Great insight Wayne, thanks! You’ve touched on a few points we will be addressing in an upcoming series of posts. Stay tuned!

    • Amen to that. A lot of books post the first chapter, which is mostly descriptive, but then say that your handling of dialogue is key — think about a swath that will show you what you want, in terms of narrator skills, their understanding of your characters or overall tone, etc. Otherwise you end up asking for extra stuff, or worrying at later stages, or generally wasting everybody’s time.

      • Courses in writing will tell the writer that the first few pages in any novel serve to pull the reader in and hopefully keep their attention focused on the written piece. Think Dickens’ Christmas Carol: “Marley was dead. Dead as a door-nail.” So using the first chapter for the Retail Audio Sample, should work. Of course in this new age of self-publishing, with the book editor out of the picture….who knows?

    • I paid attention to this good advice when selecting a script segment for upload from our first New Street title to go audio – a a very witty and ironic memoir of Stage IV cancer survival. Stayed well away from first few pages of book and went for something more representative. Thanks much.

  2. The more I know up front about the marketing and promotion plans, the greater my interest in auditioning for a project. Of course, the material has to be the right fit too.. but assuming it’s a title that fits my style, the rights holder really needs to present at least some highlights of the promotional plans.

    Seeing the Amazon page for the book is helpful, but without some promotional specifics, investing time on a royalty-share deal can be risky with zero marketing and promotional plans. Too often I see titles with no promotional mentions. A plan is critical to my royalty-share decision.

    I also wish more room was available in the message box when submitting an audition to ask questions and share my thoughts on the marketing.

    I try to tell rights holders upfront what I am willing to invest. For example, once the audiobook is complete, I can provide an author interview recorded over Skype and made into a video that can be posted everywhere. I also offer the option of a video trailer that can be posted on the Author’s Amazon page, GoodReads, YouTube, etc. Both of these are powerful marketing tools that help support the rights holder’s marketing efforts. Simply posting a recorded interview on the author’s Facebook page can be a great way to launch the audiobook with a direct link to the Audible product page.

    My priority is to first look for the titles that match my producer-narrator criteria.. the ones I can do best. Then, I look for rights holders who can at least provide a few bullet points of how they plan to promote the audiobook.. not just the print version, but the audio version.

    I rarely see enough rights holders describing their promotional plans. If you want to get attention for your “royalty-share” project… be sure to add your comments about promotion and marketing.

    • All good points Rich. Thanks for helping us educate ACX rights holders. A knowledgeable community means more good audiobook opportunities for everyone!

  3. In some instances ACX has rights holder’s projects that have been posted for over two years; even stipend projects just sitting there. Audition material is still there so I assume some of these “thousands” keep sending auditions never geting a reply from rights holders who have no intention of doing the project. Narrators spend a great deal of time at these wasted efforts. So, a sugggestion. Give the rights holder a time limit to either select the narrator/producer or to indicate the status. ACX provides deadlines for narrators to complete projects. Do the same for rights holders. Also there are many simple systems avaialable to let both narrators and rights holders know if messages are being read. Very important

    • I concur. I would request that ACX please consider a time limit on books being posted and maybe send the rights holder a few notifications… such as you have 60 days left or 10 days to go before your title is removed. I’m finding there are dozens of auditions for some books.. with no response. I have even written some rights holders asking if there title is still considering auditions… some say no, but don’t take it down. Limits would help create a more realistic inventory and better use of producer-narrator audition time.

  4. I would encourage rights-holders to post audition scripts that include diverse excerpts from their complete works. If the work involves multiple characters of different ethnicities and different genders – include multiple excerpts to allow the narrator to show how those will be dealt with. Likewise if (as in most works) there are different sections of the work that require different styles or pacings – include diverse excerpts. If you’re looking to engage an accomplished decathlete – don’t hand them just a shot-put and leave their capabilities in all the other events untested. This may well call for you to include multiple snippets from different sections of your book in the audition script. Please don’t hesitate to do this!

  5. I know it’s not supposed to be a prime criteria but, I can’t help being attracted first by the book cover. Then I check for any hints as to how deeply the rights holder wants to involve theirselves in the audiobook production process. I have found by experience if they indicate too deep of an involvement, it’s a good idea to shy away. If not, the result will be nothing but artistic difference problems.

    • You bring up a good point, Roy, about the level of rights-holder involvement in the audiobook production process. It seems to me that the ACX folks must have put considerable thought into how to structure their system, so as to require and facilitate fundamental communications between rights-holder and producer, yet make sure that neither party is inundated and distracted with an excessive amount of messages during production. I like the balance that ACX has struck, formally requiring communications only at the beginning and end of the audiobook production process (approval of the first 15 minutes at the beginning and of the finished product at the end), but allowing for minimal or no communications in the interim. This means that during production of the majority of the audiobook, the narrator is usually completely on their own (or at least it has been that way in my experiences).

      This accentuates the point I made in my earlier posting, that the initial audition script should include snippets from ALL crucial sections of the book. Ensuring a comprehensive audition upfront seems to be the only way that the rights-holder can be relatively sure that they have chosen a suitably capable narrator/producer whom they can trust to deliver them a final product that is not full of unpleasant surprises.

  6. It was really interesting to see the narrators’ perspectives, including those that discussed the need for the author to present info on marketing plans. I like the idea of deadlines–perhaps not removing a book after so many days, but requiring the author to consciously “re-up” a book. I think deadlines give incentive for action to authors and narrators. Thanks.

  7. Robert Armin

    I agree that book offers should be removed after a certain amount of time to eliminate rights holders who have no intention of actually going ahead with their audiobook. I have several auditions that were posted in 2011 and have still not been produced.

  8. Why are some of the replies to comments never posted ? We submitted a response yesterday May 7 that is not here.

    • Hi Lee, we review all comments on the blog and approve everything relevant, whether it’s praise or criticism. If your comment did not appear please try posting it again.

  9. Pingback: All About Audition Scripts | Audiobook Creation Exchange Blog (ACX)

  10. How do I know when someone or if someone responds to my request for an audition? Will they write me personally or on here?

  11. Besides the right content… for me, It’s all about promotion and marketing plans. If rights holders (authors/publishers) do not offer marketing highlights in their ACX description, I usually don’t even take a second look.

    I don’t mind collaborating on marketing and promotion with rights holders… in fact I welcome it, but it needs to be top priority in considering a “royalty share” deal.

    To me here are the main points a rights holder needs to include in their ACX project description: (They are ALL important not just in priority).

    1. Excellent cover art
    2. Great content – and a really good synopsis
    3. Promotion and marketing plans
    4. Include any social media or other constituency or fan information.. such as how many FB followers, how large is your emailing list, do you have an e-newsletter, twitter, book video on YouTube, is the an EPK available, a planned media tour or book tour (could be virtual).
    5. Responsive and timely communication with the producer

    ACX has enough history now, and producers who have been doing this for a few years know that a “royalty share” deal through ACX is pretty much a waste of time and won’t produce desired sales results without a promotion and marketing plan in place.

  12. I have two narrators for my project and can offer a Pay Produced fee of $275.00 plus royalties to the producer… Marketing has never been my strength, but I have hundreds of followers on Facebook. In her memoir Jennifer Stace, author of The Philosopher’s Daughter, a memoir writes in beautiful and accessible prose, the amazing adventures of her life from rebellious youth in Princeton, daughter of the renowned, mystical philosopher, Walter Stace and her eternally disapproving Sri Lankan mother. We follow her journey of escapades, dance, music, celebrity students, feckless and occasional violent lovers, broken marriages, and her major accomplishment, the launching of the all girl-dance company the crazy wild LA Knockers. Despite the tragic loss of her beloved son, a recording artist and piano man, she finds herself struggling with his incarceration and the injustice of the Justice System Jennifer survives and how she survives!

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