Author Archives: Scott Jacobi

Celebrating 10 Years of Storytellers: Producer Joe Hempel

The true story of ACX’s 10th anniversary is told in the journeys of the impressive indie creators who have written their own career narratives via ACX. Read the latest entry from Audible Approved Producer Joe Hempel, below, then catch up on the rest of the series here.

Where have you taken your career since we last spoke?

My career has taken so many different twists and turns. It’s really been a wild ride! When we last spoke, I was working mainly on ACX, with one or maybe two publishers at the time. Now, I do a lot of work for a lot of different publishers, and I’ve even started my own publishing company, Fireside Horror. I barely have time for myself these days, but I tell you what, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I enjoy the pace of this, I enjoy being a workhorse, and I enjoy the grind required to stay at the top of my game.

These days, I’m always paying attention to new trends, not just looking at old ones and staying the course. I want to be at the forefront of anything that comes up—be it with technology, or with new ideas, or what new listeners are wanting to hear.

What important connections have you made on ACX?

I work with so many wonderful people on ACX, I want to say they’re all important! If I were to choose one – and this is no slight to anyone else—I’d have to say author Ambrose Ibsen. We teamed up and we created one heck of a little horror empire. After listening to some of the samples I have on ACX, he approached me to narrate his book, Whispering Corridors, in 2017, and it just took off. From there we’ve sold well over 25,000 audiobooks together. We do Royalty Share because that allows us both to make more money than we would with major publishing companies. I’m not sure what’s next, but you can bet it’ll be a hit.

What was your big “I made it” moment?

I think for me, the biggest thing was being able to move to Texas and buy my own house strictly from being an audiobook narrator. That was something I never dreamed would happen, and when I signed on that dotted line and walked into it, and realized “wow, this is mine, I did this” it was the greatest feeling of all time.

How do you define success in your career? 

This is a tricky one. Success can be many things to different people. I define success as continuously working, continuously grinding, and having the ability to take some time off when I want to without feeling stressed financially.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about the industry since getting started?

Relationships are EVERYTHING. This community is so small, though it may seem big, and everyone knows everyone, and everyone talks to each other—be it indie publishers, authors, or other narrators. Solid relationships built on trust and mutual respect are indispensable in this industry.

Who was most instrumental in getting your career going (besides you)?

Hands down my coaches. Johnny Heller, Sean Pratt, Jayme Matler, Scott Brick, and many more that I have had the pleasure of learning with. I wish I could name them all because they all deserve so much recognition. Even all the new people that are coming up, I learn from them too. I think you can get to a point in your career when you begin to miss certain trends, and those that are newer to the industry keep me on my toes and help me look at things differently. And I think that’s instrumental in staying relevant.

What’s your favorite thing about being an independent narrator/producer?

Networking with authors and narrators. Now that I’ve stepped into publishing as well, I’m connecting with more narrators that are just dipping their toes in the water, and let me tell you, there is an amazing pool of talent out there. It makes me want to continuously keep my eyes up and well coached and trained.

What does being an independent creator allow you to do that you couldn’t otherwise?

Without a doubt, I’d say “being able to make my own schedule and set my own working hours.” If something happens and this career goes belly up, I don’t think I’d be a good employee anymore!

What would you say ACX means to you?

Everything. ACX means everything to me. I would not have a career without ACX. ACX was on the forefront of directly connecting authors and narrators. So many people get to have such great careers and really turn their life around because of ACX. I haven’t lost sight of that, and I continue to use ACX to this day and will into the future.

Now that I’m a publisher, I use ACX to distribute to Audible, and it makes me incredibly happy to bring some really great horror to the Audible shelves that maybe they otherwise wouldn’t have. While there are other distributors out there, I wouldn’t dream of using anyone else.

What’s your most essential piece of studio gear?

I can’t really say one thing is more important than the other one. Obviously, the booth is what keeps things quiet so that I can work during the day, so I guess having that quiet space is the most important thing of all. Everything just works in synergy to create the audio—from the space, to the mic and interface, to the PC and Reaper, the DAW that I use.

If you could narrate any book ever, what would it be?

Anything by Stephen King. That’s the brass ring for me. I want it so bad, I even went out and bought the audio rights to The Science of Stephen King just so I could narrate in his world! HA!

What do you aspire to next?

I would like my publishing company to become known as THE place to get horror audiobooks into the world. It’s a grind, and things get a little behind because I’m a one man band. But it’s growing, and I’m hoping that, in the next 2 years, Audible will have a lot more horror out there—enough to classify it as its own genre, rather than a sub-genre under “Mysteries and Thrillers.”

You can find Joe Hempel at his publishing company, Fireside Horror, check out his titles on Audible, or learn more about how he got started in narration in his first ACX blog appearance.

Stay tuned for more stories from ACX’s best and brightest!

An Update to Your Sales Dashboard

The newly enhanced Sales Dashboard on ACX is now live, offering more insight into the performance of your titles. Alongside overall audiobook sales, you can see additional transactions, including returns and Bounty performance.

New to your Sales Dashboard is a column for Qualified Returns – that is, any return made within seven days of purchase – with data available retroactive to January 1, 2021. You can also download reports of this data from your dashboard as a CSV or PDF. Also as of January 1, 2021, you will earn a royalty for returns made more than seven days after purchase, with the sale captured under the appropriate purchase type. The data reflected in the dashboard will similarly be available in your Earnings Reports for March 2021, which will be sent in April, and for future Earnings Reports going forward.

Click here while logged in to ACX to view your Sales Dashboard.

We hope this additional data helps provide the insights you need to make production and marketing decisions. For more ideas, we’ve put together this YouTube playlist featuring our favorite low-cost and no-cost audiobook marketing ideas.

Routine to the Rescue

We recently read Andi Arndt’s advice for at-home professionals adjusting to a full house and thought it was valuable for the ACX community. Andi graciously agreed to let us republish it below.

This is for you if you’re a home studio narrator (or other freelancer) used to having the house to yourself during the day, and find yourself (courtesy of the pandemic) surrounded by people unused to structuring their time. Routines can be so reassuring, without us having to say a word.

In the last week I’ve gone through what we all have, and noticed how it made my sense of day/time a bit swimmy. Fell into some news/social media habits I don’t want. By Friday I realized that I need structure in my work days, and it is going to be up to me to establish it, and ask my family to respect it, or I am not going to get much done.

Some suggestions:

  1. Get YOUR head together first. Do a brain dump, on scratch paper or in a journal or wherever, of all of your thoughts, fears, hopes, big and small, related to this whole situation. Get all that noise on paper and look at it, own it, set it aside. Not a bad way to start or end each day for a while if it helps…kind of like morning pages in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
  2. Look at your work commitments, schedule, etc. and erase the things that were canceled. You’ve probably already done this. 
  3. With the things not happening, do you have more time to meet deadlines? If so, rather than taking on more projects, can you plan a condensed workday / work week? Consider a policy of not working after dinner, not working weekends. You could do 10 hours in 4 days instead of 5.
  4. Consider your family’s daily rhythms now. Do you have little ones who are up with the sun, or teenagers who sleep in? When you look at your work day, plan work time that is congruent with these rhythms. Save yourself frustration wherever possible.
  5. Plan your in-the-office calendar. When will you be in your office / studio? How much of the time will be recording, how much time for admin tasks? Build in a couple of stretch / walk around breaks as needed. Set TRT goals for each recording block. Make rules for non-work internet use. Use apps that lock you out of news / social media during certain hours if necessary. This version of your schedule is more detailed and it’s for you.
  6. Now look at your detailed calendar and zoom out a bit. What is work and what is not work? This is all that matters to your family. Summarize your workday. For me, it’s 8:30-12:30, 1:30-4 with an option to be done at 2:30 if I was super-productive in the morning.
  7. Post your schedule on the family bulletin board, fridge, wherever everyone sees it. Also post it on your office door. Your detailed schedule can be in your office.
  8. Communicate about it. Your only goal this week is to try your hardest to hold to your plan, and to patiently communicate with your family. It’ll take time for everyone to settle in. Emphasize that routine can be helpful for everyone at a time like this, that you are sharing your routine that helps you, and encouraging them to come up with a daily routine that helps them. For younger kids, agree on a few times during the day they can count on to connect with you. When those times come, “pencils down” and keep your promise.
  9. Hold steady and keep your patience, both with others and with yourself. Your schedule is not a battle line, it’s not a punishment, it’s not a declaration that you are more important than others. For kids, you are setting an example. For a spouse or partner who misses the rhythms of the office, your work rhythms can give them that same sense of the day/week they had at work.

If people aren’t understanding the difference between work and not-work time, it might feel silly but you can actually talk as though your office is outside the house. “Ok everybody, heading to work now, I’ll see you around x:xx for lunch!” might feel silly but it underscores that you are not going to be available to do household things for a bit. If people are asking you to do household or fun things during work time, you can always Obi-Wan that person: “that sounds really fun! I look forward to doing that with you at x:xx.”

I’d love to hear how it’s going with everybody and what helpful hints you would like to share, problems and how you solved them, all that. We are going to need this virtual water cooler now more than ever, so I thought I’d get the conversation started.

Good luck and good health, and may we all be back to normal soon!

Andi Arndt is a full-time audiobook narrator and Executive Producer of Lyric Audiobooks. As of March 13, 2020, her husband is now working from home and her teenagers’ high school is now online.

This piece originally appeared on Andi Arndt’s LinkedIn.

A Message to the ACX Community

In these rapidly changing times, our creative community is top of mind. We wanted to let you know about a few changes we’ve made to help support our independent creators and entrepreneurs in light of evolving challenges. 

Additional Royalty Support – To reduce the financial impact of COVID-19 on the creative community, we are temporarily paying an additional 5% royalty on all sales of your ACX audiobooks through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes for sales during the months of April, May, and June. So, if you distribute your title exclusively through ACX, your total royalties will temporarily increase to 45% during this period (22.5% for those choosing Royalty Share), and for non-exclusively distributed titles, your total royalties will temporarily increase to 30% on sales during this period.

Employee Safety – All of our associates are working remotely at this critical time. You may experience delays in response times as we make this transition, but we are striving to maintain an outstanding creative experience.

Additional Educational Resources – ACX has always been committed to providing accessible user education through our ACX University program and this blog, and as new writers and performers turn to audiobooks as a way to reinforce their earnings, we’re doubling down on connecting you to experts and resources to make your creative journey easier and more successful.   

Even though indie creators and entrepreneurs may be accustomed to working from home, we know everyone’s lives have been disrupted during this period of uncertainty. Keep an eye on our blog and newsletter for ideas from your peers on how to create stability and work productively.

We wish you and your loved ones safety and good health,

The ACX Team


ACX and VO Atlanta Present The Audiobook Academy

Update 3/12/20: Out of an abundance of caution, VO Atlanta 2020 has been rescheduled. We hope to see you at a later date.

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Have you heard the news? ACX and VO Atlanta have teamed up to present a brand-new audiobook-specific education and networking event: The Audiobook Academy! Taking place March 27 – 29, 2020 at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport, this two-day extravaganza offers audiobook narrators a deep dive into technical, business, and performance topics geared towards those who have narrated fewer than 50 titles.

Keynote speaker and Audible Hall of Famer Dion Graham kicks off a conference of over 20 breakout sessions and panel discussions as well as 8 small group workshops (X-Sessions) for a combined 50+ hours of audiobook education! Panelists and session leaders include fellow Hall of Famer Andi Arndt, Andrew Eiden, Joel Froomkin, January LaVoy, Natalie Naudus, and many more.

You’ll also get to meet and read for an Audible Studios producer who’ll give you feedback on your performance and advice on how to navigate important studio relationships.

ACX is presenting four panels on a variety of topics, including:

Chapter One: Intro to ACX, The Audiobook Creation Exchange (3/27/20): If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to launch your audiobook career with ACX this is the session for you. We’ll cover creating a profile that highlights your unique skill set, understanding the audition and production workflow, and working directly with authors and publishers to create awesome-sounding audiobooks.

Working with Authors (3/27/20): In this session, you’ll hear directly from an author and narrator who have established an effective partnership and will share exactly how they get things done. Find out how to communicate effectively about budgets and deadlines, collaborate on text interpretation and character voices, and work together to market your productions and maximize sales.

Marketing Yourself and Your Audiobook Projects (3/27/20): Promoting yourself to authors and publishers and promoting your work to audiobook listeners have more in common than you might think. This discussion will help you understand how to effectively pitch yourself to authors on and off ACX, team with authors to generate interest in your audiobook work, and boost your bottom line by driving sales of your productions.

Making You a Business (3/28/20): When it comes to your audiobook career, you’re the artist and the businessperson, the boss and the employee. In this session, we’ll guide you through the business concerns of freelance audiobook professionals, including time management, budgeting and outsourcing, healthcare, taxes, and more.

Find more details and the full schedule for VO Atlanta’s Audiobook Academy here.

We hope to see you there!

Negotiate Your Perfect Deal with Royalty Share Plus

Today, we’re excited to introduce a long-requested feature: Royalty Share Plus!

With Royalty Share Plus, authors and publishers can invest in their audiobooks by contributing to the production costs and accessing an even greater community of Producers. This new payment option is an evolution of the Royalty Share concept, allowing ACX RSP_Brick Wall.pngRights Holders to negotiate a per-finished-hour payment for their projects in addition to splitting royalties with their Producer. Once the audiobook production is complete, Rights Holders send the Royalty Share Plus fee to their Producer, and ACX will split your royalties once the audiobook becomes available for sale.

For Producers, this means building a portfolio of steady residual income and paying everyday expenses. Producers tell us this option helps them pay for supporting services like audio engineering, take care of everyday expenses, upgrade their recording equipment, and expedite production to create even better audiobooks. Authors and Publishers can discover talented performers that may not have been previously accessible to take your audiobook production to new heights.

We hope you’ll consider Royalty Share Plus for your next audiobook production. We can’t wait to hear what you do next!

Learn more about Royalty Share Plus and all of your production options on ACX.

Get Cookin’ with New and Improved Promo Codes

PC Cooking 2Putting together an audiobook marketing campaign requires a few key ingredients, and now it’s easier than ever to include listener reviews! Rights Holders and Producers with an eligible audiobook for sale through ACX can visit the new Promo Code dashboard on ACX.com to access Promo Codes good for a free copy of your audiobook on Audible. You’ll receive 25 codes per book for each of Audible’s US and UK marketplaces and will be able track which have and haven’t been redeemed yet.

Codes will be available for your newly published ACX audiobooks as soon as they go on sale, and you can generate codes for your backlist audiobooks whenever you’re ready to promote those titles.

Learn how to access this marketing tool, then read below for ideas on turning your codes into listener reviews.

Serving Suggestions

First off, bookmark the new ACX promo code redemption pages on Audible, audible.com/acx-promo and audible.co.uk/acx-promo, and make sure include the appropriate link when distributing your codes. ACX promo codes can only be redeemed at those links.

We recommend using Promo Codes to garner early reviews of your audiobook, and to reward your fans for engaging with you and your marketing efforts. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Send your promo codes to audiobook reviewers. We’ve covered this topic in an episode of ACX University, so check out our video, then do some Googling to find out who’s reviewing audiobooks in your genre.
  2. Empower your street team/beta readers. Send them each a code for your audiobook in exchange for an honest review – just make sure they mention that they got the audiobook for free in the review itself.
  3. Use promo codes as fan rewards. Need to compel your listeners to take an action, like signing up for your newsletter or filling out a survey? Offer a free copy of your audiobook as the carrot on the end of the stick.
  4. Run a social media giveaway. It can be as simple as “like/share/tag a friend in this post for a free audiobook.” Just make sure to check the promotion/contest guidelines on your platform of choice before posting.
  5. Swap codes with your peers. These codes are specific to your ACX audiobook, so find authors and narrators willing to do a “code swap,” where both sides give away codes good for the others’ book. This way, you’ll each expose new audiences to your awesome-sounding audiobooks.
  6. Feature a review in an audiobook ad or in your newsletter. Once you’ve used the steps above to gain reviews of your audio productions, feature your favorite in your marketing efforts – 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

Promo Codes are served up for titles with exclusive distribution, and provide another flavor for your audiobook marketing palette. We can’t wait to read all the glowing  reviews you’ll earn!

The 2019 Audie Awards: ACX Honorees Share Their Tips

The Audie Awards are the Audio Publishers Association’s annual occasion to honor the best titles in audio publishing. This year, eight ACX titles received Audie Award nominations, with His Viking Bride taking home the prize in the Romance category! We checked in with some of this year’s nominated Rights Holders to ask:

What lead you to submit your audiobook for an Audie Nomination? How do you plan to use your win in your audiobook marketing going forward?

His Viking BrideViking

Category: Romance
Written by: Olivia Norem
Performed by: Greg Patmore

A: I chose to enter His Viking Bride based on my reaction the first time I heard the audiobook. When you spend months putting together a novel, you eat, sleep and breathe it – you become consumed by it. Hearing Greg Patmore’s narration the first time, I was able to enjoy my story as a fan. I kept finding myself wondering “Who wrote that?”

I thought it was a good audiobook, so took a chance and entered. Honestly, I was never expecting to become a finalist, let alone to win.

I’ve spent more than three decades in marketing. When I left marketing to become an author, I didn’t realize in the beginning that I would be right back in marketing. I’ve found the organic approach works best. I utilize all social media channels, and reach out to a lot of bloggers. Podcasts are a channel I will be exploring now that we have the 2019 Audie award. I will also be reaching out to local, regional, and national television trying to gain more exposure.

The Goliath Code Goliath

Category: Faith-Based Fiction and Nonfiction
Written by: Suzanne Leonhard
Performed by: Gabrielle de Cuir

A: Submitting The Goliath Code for Audie consideration was my narrator’s idea from the start. Although I’ve written many books, this was my first audiobook, and the fabulous Gabrielle de Cuir has been the driving force behind its momentum from the beginning. She suggested we submit the audiobook because she was in love with the story and felt confident it would make the finals. And it’s paid off; sales for both the book and the audiobook have gone up since the Audie finalists were announced. When it comes to indie publishing, you’ve got to make your book as visible as you can. Awards are a great way to move your book ahead of the pack.

Now, I plan to have the Audie Finalist logo placed on the audiobook cover, and the nomination will be mentioned in all future promotions for the book itself. Even though the paperback book was first published in late 2017, I still have an ad running for it on Amazon. It’s the first of a series of books, so I work hard to keep it in the public eye. If the book wins an award, or gets a mention on social media somewhere, I always promote it on Facebook and Twitter. Having that prestigious Audie Award finalist logo on the audio cover is going to be eye-catching.

PossessionPossession

Category: Romance
Written by Jessica Hawkins
Performed by Christian Fox

A: I’ve been publishing my own audio since 2015, and at first, it was a labor of love. Gaining an audience has been a slow but steady process, which makes it all the more rewarding to see my listenership grow with each release. I submitted to the Audies to honor that journey as well as the amazing talent behind the scenes—the production team, Lyric Audiobooks, and the nuanced and enthralling narration of Christian Fox. It’s more than that, though. Getting recognized by the APA and by Audible for a self-published title feels like a noteworthy accomplishment in my career (and a win for my indie peers too).

As for promotion, I’ll be adding the Audie finalist designation to the blurbs on all retailers, to ads and marketing wherever relevant, and as a badge on my website. Audio lovers recognize the significance of such a nomination and I intend to make sure they know! I hope it signifies to listeners and retailers like Audible that quality is top of mind each time I start a new production.

Splat! A Quirky Cat Audio BookSplat

Category: Original Work
Written by: Adele Park
Performed by: a Full Cast

A: The Audies competition has several rounds of judging, which gives indie studios like Straight to Audio Productions [which Adele owns and operates] the chance to be heard by experts in the audiobook industry. Our 2011 Audie win for Multi-Voiced Narration for Jitters-A Quirky Little Audio Book showcased the cast in front of producers who hire talent. Winning an Audie or even becoming a Finalist lends credibility to both the author and the publisher of an audiobook.

I mention my Audie win for Jitters and Finalist status for Splat! A Quirky Cat Audio Book and Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book in all my marketing. I request that Amazon and Audible note the title as an Audie Winner or Audie Finalist for the projects that have been recognized by the Audio Publishers Association. These logos are also used on CD covers. A lot of my marketing involves funny videos; here is the one we did to announce Splat! A Quirky Cat Audio Book as a Finalist in the Original Work Category:

Loki Ragnarok

Category: Original Work
Written and Performed by: Mark Binder

Loki

A: Loki Ragnarok was a labor of love and despair. Twisting the Norse Eddas into Loki’s epic poem took almost twenty years. When we went into the recording studio, it went beyond poetry into a full scale performance. The production and music by George Dussault were precise and chilling. By the time the audiobook was finished, we knew it was something powerful and moving, funny and disquieting. It seemed award-worthy, and the only way to find out was to try. That we were selected as a finalist was really an honor.

Promotion is always a challenge. We’ve already updated the packaging and “jacket” copy. I’ve begun doing some touring and reading from the book as a way of cross-promoting the audio. We’re continuing to promote it on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and are experimenting with a GoodReads ad campaign. And of course, it would be lovely to catch some buzz from the upcoming Loki spinoff TV series.

Want more advice about getting reviews and award recognition for your audiobooks? Watch The Elements of a Well-Reviewed Audiobook from ACX University.

Announcing the Voice of Among Us

KristinaRienzi_AmongUs_CoverEarlier this year, we kicked off another exciting edition of ACX University with a look at Kristina Rienzi’s Among Us and a chance to audition to narrate and produce her alien conspiracy thriller. Over 65 auditions later, we’re thrilled to announce that Kristina has chosen Lewis Arlt to voice her audiobook! Let’s hear from Kristina on casting Lewis to produce Among Us:

The narrator selection process wasn’t an easy one. Every voice had a unique strength that would have added value to Among Us, but I needed to find the perfect fit. I weighed everything, and after much contemplation, I chose the performer who moved me the most, who captured my story and characters perfectly, who gave me chills with his voice. Lewis’ performance delivered what every listener wants when they choose a thriller—a visceral response. I’m certain beyond any doubt that Lewis will not only do Among Us justice, but will bring my fast-paced, dark, and twisted story to life like no one else. I cannot wait to hear the final product! 

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ACX Producer Lewis Arlt

For his part, Lewis was first drawn to the chance to voice this thrilling piece of fiction after focusing primarily on non-fiction on ACX:

[T]he notion of a thriller appealed to me from the standpoint of character delineation and plot progression in ways that non-fiction doesn’t usually offer. Additionally, Kristina’s writing drew me in. It’s a unique blend of stylistic choices – traditional spooky tension and flat-out terror, combined with wry sardonic contemporary observations, and a variety of pace, all of which gives the narrator lots to work with, and the listener to enjoy.

Listen to Lewis’ audition for Among Us below, and watch this space for updates on the production.


Check out the full slate of ACX University 2018 episodes here.

2018 in Review: How Do You Define Success?

Before we pop the champagne and ring in 2019, we’re looking back at your wonderful accomplishments from 2018. You published tens of thousands of audiobooks, found new listening fans, and helped make the ACX community more vibrant than ever. We hope you’ve enjoyed a successful 2018, and to help you continue the trend in 2019, we asked some of our favorite Storytellers of 2018 how they define success. Find inspiration by using their stories to shape your own audio successes in the year to come.

ACX-Twitter-Template-storyteller-KHRIS

I define success as “goals set and reached.” Now, that can be confusing because I don’t always reach every goal I set. Sometimes, in the reaching, I discover something else entirely and my goal shifts.

This year my goals were to create something, collaborate, and stretch my talents AND to get back to my “pre-baby” recording schedule of one book per week. Tall order, huh? Well, along with a team of very talented writers, we created the industry’s very FIRST Fury Phoenixaudiobook musical, “SPIN-The Rumpelstiltskin Musical” which I am so incredibly proud of. And… although it took me until September, I managed to to maintain a book per week schedule. I had to record day and night to do it (between, mommy duties) but I did it! Thank you, coffee! Part of my ability to meet these goals was good old fashioned luck (meeting my creative team) and part was just good old fashioned hard work. However… My take-away; success happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Watch Khristine in ACX U Presents: Mind, Body, and Soul for the Audiobook Narrator.
Listen to Fury of a Phoenix, performed by Khristine Hvam.

ACX-Twitter-Template-storyteller-JOSH

Success is best when it has not yet been attained. You never want to find success. Get close, sure, but don’t catch it. If you do, you’ll sit back to rest and be satisfied. You’ll lose that thing that drives you toward the really good work, and then as a writer you’ll be done. Focus instead on Communewriting the most honest thing you can; the truest thing, whether your line is fiction or not. Write a thing that scares you, or makes you uncomfortable, or makes you feel shy for others to read it because you’ve put so much of yourself into the words. That will always be your best work, and then the right people will notice.

Read Be Good, Be Ready, Be Lucky.
Listen to Commune: Book Three, written by Joshua Gayou.

ACX-Twitter-Template-storyteller-NICK

I wish I had a “wise monk on a mountain” answer for this, as there are so many different forms of success. Focusing on my own 2018 experience, I’d say I met with sales success when I took steps to promote my own self-produced novels Deep Shadow and Zombie Bigfoot as well as a couple books I recorded for Robert McCammon. My advice for ACX producers and narrators Deep Shadow Coveron Royalty Share: get your title out there! Use every last one of those promo codes you get from ACX. Blitz social media. Promote the print and ebook, too, because their visibility on Amazon will improve the visibility of the audio. Consider doing a “Reviewer Blog Tour”, either in the book’s genre or for audiobooks in general. The job isn’t over when you finish uploading the files!

Read ACX Storytellers: Nick Sullivan.
Listen to Deep Shadow, written and performed by Nick Sullivan.

ACX-Twitter-Template-storyteller-KAREN

Success is not a single moment in time but rather the feelings I get from A) doing quality work that fulfills me and B) making a positive difference in other people’s lives. I help others in multiple ways, from advising narrators to sharing my prosperity with people and organizations who need it. In addition to my narration work in the last year, I published 2 titles! For one, I licensed the rights to Road to Tara: The Life Of Margaret Mitchell by Anne Edwards. I’m thrilled to announce that this audiobook has been recognized with 2 prestigious honors:

  • Nominee for Best Narration in Audiobook Biography, 2018 Voice Arts Awards
  • Finalist for Best Audiobook, 2018 Digital Book World Awards

My advice to other narrators is to create your own work. You Taradon’t have to wait to win auditions or meet the right people. You could find a dream project, license the rights, and cast yourself! In this article, I outlined many of the steps, obstacles, and side journeys I found on the Road to Tara to encourage you along a similar path.

Watch ACX U Presents: Acting with Intention.
Listen to Road to Tara: The Life of Margaret Mitchell, published and performed by Karen Commins.

ACX-Twitter-Template-storyteller-ERIC

I would define success as the opportunity to work on projects that make a positive difference in the larger community, as well as being personally meaningful and valuable. 2018 is the year that I was able to fully embrace this notion and thrive in my work in audio at a new and higher level. I narrated more projects than ever before this year, several of which were produced through the ACX platform. And this was the year that my audio directing career really took off, with the release of our Audible Originals RTB_CoverStinker Lets Loose! (a New York Times Monthly Bestseller with Jon Hamm), and improvised show Bad Reception, plus Maximum Fun’s new scripted series Bubble, recently named one of Apple’s Best of 2018 picks. 2019 is bringing more big new series, including a live show at SF Sketchfest in January for Bad Reception, and a few other new shows I can’t talk about just yet! I’m grateful that people are listening, and grateful for opportunity to work with incredible collaborators who make sure we have interesting things to say.

Read Doubling Down on Audiobook Success.
Listen to Roll The Bones: The History of Gambling, performed by Eric Martin.

ACX-Twitter-Template-storyteller-JOE

Success to me is being able to make a good enough living to support my family. It’s being recognized by my peers as someone who knows and respects the business of audiobooks, someone they can trust to answer their questions with solid, actionable advice based on my experiences. Success is having fun doing what you love, yet always trying to improve your craft so that you Asylumcan continue to grow in an ever changing field. Awards and recognition are great but they don’t define success. Success is continually working in an ever growing and more competitive field with the people and publishers you love.

Read ACX Storytellers: Joe Hempel.
Listen to Asylum, performed by Joe Hempel.

How do we define success? By the careers launched, the audiobooks published, and the words brought to life on ACX. A bell rings every time an ACX audiobook gets a glowing review on Audible, and this year our bells have been ringing of the hook! From all of us at ACX to all the audiobook superstars in the US and abroad, here’s to an even bigger and more rewarding 2019.