Earlier this week, we discussed selecting an audition script for your book once it’s been posted to ACX. Today, let’s tackle the next step for authors and rights holders: casting your title and making an offer. This is an important step that can ensure that your production goes smoothly.
Casting the right producer.
Only you know who has the perfect voice for your story or characters. Among the 10,000+ producers on ACX, you’re bound to find some fantastic narrators. Mike Charzuk, Executive Producer/Sr. Director of Audible Studios, advises you to know your text well and cast to your narrator’s strengths.
When casting, it is important to know the text inside and out. If the text is complex with many characters, then an actor that is facile with character delineation and accents would be advised. Remember, subtle is the way to go with accents and character choices; you don’t want the narrator to sound to cartoonish and over the top. If the text is nonfiction, then a voice that is engaging is optimal. Remember to cast nonfiction to the strengths of the actor. Someone that might be not be good with complex verbiage may not do well on a book about ancient Greek language, for example.
You should also be listening to the technical aspects of the audition. The auditions you receive should be indicative of the final audio quality your producer will deliver once they begin producing your title. We recommend listening to some samples of well rated audiobooks on Audible to get a sense of what a good production sounds like. If you have reservations about the sound quality, feel free to politely discuss them with the potential producer or pass on the audition.
Making an offer.
Consider a few things when making an offer on ACX. As you post your title, you may have already chosen what payment method you’ll use, but if you’ve offered your title as royalty share or pay-for-production (P4P), you’ll now need to commit to one or the other. Next, you’ll choose exclusive or non-exclusive distribution, and offer due dates for the 15 minute checkpoint and final audio.
It’s important to understand the amount of time that goes into producing an audiobook when deciding on due dates. See this post for information on how long it can take to produce your audio. Based on this, a good estimate for the length of time needed on an average ACX production is roughly 45 days. It’s always a good idea to discuss the production timeline with your potential producer via the ACX messaging system before making an offer.
Help your producer help you.
One final thing to note is that you should be prepared to send your producer a copy of the final, published version of your book as soon as they accept your offer. You should also include any additional notes that you can regarding character voices and pronunciations. Putting your producer in the best position to produce your title ensures that you’ll end up with a great audiobook.
Are you ready to make an offer for your book? Tell us how you set yourself up to get the best audiobook possible from your ACX productions in the comments!
Great information 🙂 I would also like to add that if the author or publisher requests an audition from a narrator/producer, giving some upfront guidance as to what character voice types/accents they are looking for would be very helpful.
I make it a point to put a note in the comments box of my audition that I made a choice for character voices and narration styling, but can do whatever is required for the project. Some authors and publishers, new to audiobook production, don’t seem to understand this and I’ve sometimes been turned down just because I chose a character voice they didn’t like – not knowing they could write back to me and just tell me to do it differently.
But I’ve also won auditions by being upfront with authors/pubs about this. They then would provide feedback as to what they were looking for; I would redo the audition file and then be awarded the gig.
Writing to a narrator/producer through ACX, telling them you love their voice and ‘styling’, asking them to audition for you, then getting an audition and not commenting/providing feedback at all doesn’t help that narrator/producer understand why they didn’t fit your project.
Audiobook creation is a collaboration of author/publisher and narrator/producer. Audiobook producers are not mind readers 😉 and need feedback, especially when the author/pub personally requests an audition from the producer.
I tackled this problem by choosing excerpts from different situations and characters in my book, then the audition tells me how versatile the performer is. Mike Ortego (mikeortego.com) did a fantastic job with all of the characters in each of my three audio books. (www.jamesorytheall.com) James Ory Theall
Yes, I showed versatility in my narration, but some authors/pubs have a certain ‘sound’ in mind for a character, and even if they love my voice from my samples, will still reject a great audition if they aren’t hearing the voice style their mind is speaking to them.
I’m sure you do a great job, but we, as authors, have our own preferences. The Mercedes, the Cadillac, the Lincoln are all cars that have excellent performance, but still, buyers have a preference. A narrator/performer should not take rejection personally. Perhaps contacting the author before you submit the audition would be helpful to you. Good luck. I wish you success! http://www.jamesorytheall.com/