Tag Archives: ACX

Announcing The ACX Bounty Referral Program

Today, ACX announced the new Bounty Referral Program, upping the payout to up to $75 for each new Audible member and providing advanced tracking on your ACX Sales Dashboard. You’ll receive new, trackable referral links, unique to you and each of your audiobooks, starting August 1.

Bounties for Royalty Share titles will be divided, with $50 going to the creator whose referral link enticed that new member, and $25 to their creative partner, whose performance or writing helped seal the deal. Bounties are subject to the ACX Bounty Program Terms and Conditions, which can be found here.

That means you’ll want to leverage this URL each time you promote your ACX audiobooks, which we at the blog hope is all the time! To get you started on the path to marketing with your new referral links, we’ve got some tips that will help you get listeners excited about your audiobooks.

  1. Get organized. Set up a marketing calendar that allows you a holistic view of your marketing efforts across channels and over time. This will not only help you stay organized, it will allow you to understand which of your marketing tactics had the greatest impact. Speaking of which…
  2. Leverage data. We’ve enhanced your ACX Sales Dashboard to show pageviews generated by your use of your new Bounty referral links, as well as the Bounty payments you’ve racked up by driving new listeners to Audible. With this information, you can track your marketing methods and channels, learning which have earned the best results and repeating the most successful efforts (marketing shorthand for this is “test, measure, repeat”).
  3. Be authentic. Today’s consumers have long since learned to filter out “Buy! Buy! Buy!” messages. Your fans are your fans because they feel an emotional connection to you and your work. Find the aspects of the audiobook publishing and production process that light you up and highlight them to your fans. Insert “calls to action” (CTAs) strategically, and make sure to include your unique referral link when you do.
  4. Go social. Whatever your preferred social media platform—and this includes your blog—two things are likely true: it’s the most direct connection you have to your fans, and it is hungry for content. Use this to your advantage by mentioning your audiobooks early and often. Audiobook fans love getting a peek behind the curtain, and the audiobook creation process affords numerous opportunities to share. Get your social media followers and blog readers talking about your audiobook and keep them informed as you work though the publishing process, building excitement from casting to release day. Once the audiobook is released, celebrate the day by asking your fans to give your book a listen—via your Bounty tracking link. The goal here is to create a relationship between your fans and your work that compels them to purchase your audiobook and leave glowing reviews on Audible.
  5. Start spreading the news via your email newsletter. Find a reason for your fans to listen— a day at the beach, a long ride to see family for a holiday, even a free hour at home once the kids have been put to bed—and tell them why your audiobook is the perfect companion for those times. Ask your fans to listen to your titles on Audible and help them get there via your Bounty referral link.
  6. Boost your backlist. Take a look through your past audiobook marketing efforts and insert your new Bounty tracking link wherever you’ve linked off to Audible. This is also a great occasion to take a look at the books you’ve already produced and (re)introduce them to your fans. Share a memory about the production, or something that ties the audiobook to a current or upcoming event, and include your Bounty referral link so fans can hear it for themselves.
  7. Highlight the magic of audio. The performance behind the audiobook is what sets it apart from your paperback and eBook editions, so show it off! Audio clips, including your retail sample, are a great way to entice new listeners to the format. Consider a simple book trailer that leverages your audiobook’s narration or an Audible clip, and pair it with your referral links as you promote to make it easy to purchase after they’re blown away by your sample.
  8. Get inspired by your peers. Keep following the marketing section of this blog to get more ideas on how to leverage your referral links, and learn how fellow audiobook creators like Scott Sigler, Zhanna Hamilton, and Ryan Winfield have boosted their earnings via the ACX Bounty Program.

Your blueprint for earning for Bounty Referral payments is clear: focus on the aspects of your audiobooks that make them unique and exciting, communicate them authentically to your fans, and leverage your Bounty tracking link and enhanced sales dashboard to make the most of your efforts. Now, go forth and market!

 

This Week in Links: June 18 – 22

For Rights Holders:

SEO for Authors – Part 2 – via The Book Designer – We shared part one of this series last week, and the next post digs a little deeper into ways authors can leverage search engines to boost discovery of their (audio)book.

What Indie Authors Can Learn About Branding from IHOP – via Author Marketing Expert – The chain restaurant’s recent rebranding offers a lens through which authors can examine their own marketing efforts.

Are Authors Really Promoting The Benefits Of Their Books? – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – “Many authors promote their books in simple terms – “It’s a fun read” or “You’ll learn a lot.” They may position themselves as experts on something, but fail to highlight what one will truly gain by consuming their book. Here’s a tip: know the benefits your book offers and champion them.”

How to Make Your Sentences More Descriptive – via The Write Conversation – We say it time and again: the better your writing, the better your audiobook Producer can perform it. With that in mind, read up on how to strike the right balance between straightforward and purple prose.

For Producers:

In Double-Digit Climb, Audiobook Sales Jump 23% To Over $2.5 Billion In 2017 – via Voice-Over Xtra – The audiobook business is booming! Take a look at the key insights from the Audio Publishers Association’s annual sales survey.

Why Go to an Industry Convention? Insight from the Perspective of Voice over Conferences and More – via Natasha Marchewka – Learn the “Why? What? Where? When?” of getting out of the booth and into a VO conference.

You Must Master These 4 Skills For a Successful Voiceover Business – via Gravy for the Brain – You have to wear a lot of hats as an actor-entrepreneur – four of them, according to this article. Find out how to make each one fit properly.

7 Processes to Success – via Dave Courvoisier – “The trick to discipline — beyond will power — is PROCESS. ‘…a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner.'”

This Week in Links: June 11 – 15

For Producers:

If You Start Crying – Don’t Stop Narrating! And More Tips From BookCon – via Voice-Over Xtra – Audiobook narrator Tom Dheere shares what he learned from the panelists at the “Into the Booth” panel at this year’s event.

Chill Out this Summer – via Dr. Ann Utterback – The good doctor shares her advice for de-stressing this summer to unlock your best on-mic performance.

Deliver On Your Promises – The Most Important Voiceover Advice – via Gravy for the Brain – “Your word and your bond will say more about you and your brand than any advertising campaign ever could.”

Break Out of Your… – via Dave Courvoisier – Dave’s here to tell us about the value of shaking things up to get a clear mind and fresh perspective.

For Rights Holders:

SEO for Authors – Part 1 – via The Book Designer – Learn how Search Engine Optimization can help authors drive traffic, build email lists, and sell more (audio)books.

Which Message Should Authors Sell To The News Media? – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – “What exactly is the message you want to convey and sell to the news media so journalists, broadcasters, and social media sites will want to cover you and your book?”

5 Steps to Writing Great Character Chemistry – via Helping Writers Become Authors – give your audiobook producer something to sink their teeth into by building your writing skills.

Social Media Strategies in this New World of Algorithms – via The Write Conversation – Author Edie Melson lays out her strategy to “help you find a blueprint to continue to make valuable online connections.”

 

This Week in Links: April 30 – May 4

For Rights Holders:

How Do Authors Sell The Truth of Their Books – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – This piece will help you learn how to be more persuasive about what you have to offer others.

Book Marketing Tip: Can You Answer This Simple Question? – via CreateSpace – Can you provide a succinct, compelling answer when asked what your book is about?

What Should Your Characters Talk About? – via Helping Writers Become Authors – Compelling dialogue is especially important when you write with your audiobook in mind. Read on for specific tips to put into action for your next book.

7 Ways to Counteract Writer’s Block – via Live Write Thirve – You can’t publish that next audiobook if you haven’t written the book first. Which of these tips will unleash your creative output?

For Producers:

What Non-Daw Software Do You Use? And Should You? – via Edge Studio – From hosting your website to managing your finances, find out which programs can help you succeed as a freelance VO.

Picking the Perfect Voice-Over Microphone – via Paul Strikwerda – “Let’s say I’m in the market for a new microphone. Is staring at pictures, reading reviews, and listening to audio samples helpful? The answer may surprise you.”

Dr. Utterback’s Go-To Daily Vocal Warm-Ups – via Dr. Ann Utterback – These exercises focus on releasing tension in the upper body and oral cavity. I’ve also included one to increase my heart rate slightly to wake up my brain so I’ll be sharp and ready to voice.

ACX U Presents: Peace, Love, and Understanding Your Audio Partner – via ACX – Every audiobook production represents an artistic collaboration. Find out how this Rights Holder and Producer team set themselves up for success.

This Week in Links: March 26 – 30

For Producers:

3 Trends in VO Shaping Your Future – via Dave Courvoisier – “CourVO” has recently spotted of some emerging themes in the voiceover industry, and he highlights a few for you here.

Voice-Over Is NOT Easy Money – Success Follows Hard Work And These ‘Must-Haves’ – via Voice-Over Xtra – Voice actor Natasha Marchewka offers her look at the items and skills you need to possess for success in VO.

7 Places to Learn Audio Editing for Audiobooks – via Karen Commins – Regardless of your preferred digital audio workstation (DAW), Karen’s got a directory of her favorite resources to make the most of it.

How to Get Voice Work: Define Your Brand As A Voice-Over Artist – via suchavoice – “A brand is what sets you apart from your competitors – it’s a reason for potential clients to work with you! A strong personal brand can also help you get voice work.”

For Rights Holders:

8 Tactics To Try When Seeking Media Coverage For Your Book – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – “[S]ome of the best ways to promote or market a book may be unusual, less common, even seemingly counter-intuitive…So what might help that often isn’t tried by others?”

How to Market a Book: 10 First Steps – via The Write Practice – Every new book you publish (and each format you publish it in) is a good excuse to go back to the basics of book marketing. Do have each of these steps covered?

Ready Player One: 3 Painful Lessons About Success for Writers – via Writer’s Digest – The smash hit book’s success may just be attributed to some factors authors would rather not consider.

A Fitness Routine for Social Media – via The Write Conversation – “We all know the importance of staying in shape. Today I’m going to give you a workout plan to keep your social media life in shape. To stay efficient at social media we’ve got to be lean. After all our goal is a writing life, not a marketing one.”

This Week in Links: March 12 – 16

For Rights Holders:

9 Types of Pitches to Use When Promoting Your Book – via The Book Designer – “The success of your book depends on approaching people, companies and groups and asking for their help to publicize, promote and sell it… Here are nine things consider when it comes time to pitch your book—before, during or after your launch.”

How To Promote Your Book Like My Self-Promoting Kid – via Book Marketing BuzzBlog – Learn how emulating 13-year-old Ben in three key ways can help you shine light on your latest audiobook project.

How to Implement the Ideal Content Strategy to Grow Your Author Brand – via ALLi – “Jyotsna Ramachamdran, founder and director of Happy Self-Publishing, asks why a carefully curated content strategy is so important for authors, and how to build and implement one.”

Is a Press Release Still a Good Book Promotion Tool? – via Author Marketing Experts – AME offers a ruling on this tried and true technique. Take note of the rules you’ll want to follow to make sure your press release breaks through the crowd.

For Producers:

A Voice Artists Shouldn’t Just Talk. Also Listen to Yourself – via Edge Studio – Read up on the value of including time to listen back to past performances in your daily practice sessions.

Let’s Talk About Your Jaw – via Dr. Ann Utterback – Stress can wreak havoc on your jaw, which in turn can disrupt your vocal performance. Never fear – the doctor’s got some exercises that can help relieve tension and build strength.

Celia Siegel’s Voiceover Achiever – via Paul Strikwerda – “The big question in our industry used to be: Do you have a beautiful voice? Do you know how to act? Those are still important. But they’re no longer enough. These days the question is: Are you brandable?”

ACX U Presents: Ahead of the Curve: Prospecting for Pros – via ACX – Audible Approved Producers Steven Jay Cohen and Neil Hellegers discuss the finer points of researching authors with books not yet in audio and bringing them to ACX to produce their audiobook.

Be Good, Be Ready, Be Lucky

ACX author Joshua Gayou snagged all-star Audible Approved Producer R.C. Bray to narrate his debut novel, Commune: Book One, after he approached R.C. during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). But before that fateful question, Joshua set himself up for a ‘yes’, putting the right pieces in place to catch lightning in a bottle. Joshua joins us today to share the work that enabled his audiobook achievement.

ACX author Joshua Gayou

Working with Audie Award-winning voice artist R.C. Bray has resulted in the audio version of Commune: Book One outselling both the eBook and print formats of the title, sending it to the #1 position on Audible’s post-apocalyptic genre charts for several weeks. Not too shabby for a debut novel by a completely unheard-of author, no?

I have written at length on why I believe audiobooks are the new place to be in today’s market, but for this article, I wanted to offer some insight into how I managed to have a book produced and performed by R.C. Bray, given my relative obscurity. Sadly, there is no fast and easy answer to this. There is a lot of groundwork to have in place before you ever approach the narrator of your choice. Here’s what I recommend.

1. Be Good

The importance of this concept cannot be overstated. I truly believe R.C. Bray would not have signed on to produce my audiobook if he had not been wowed by my writing. Generally, the steps necessary to become a good writer will vary from person to person, but all involve a great deal of practice.

  • Read/listen to lots of books to learn what works well and what doesn’t with regard to telling a story using the written/narrated word.
  • Do a lot of writing and share your work with people you trust. Most importantly, ask for blunt criticism.
  • Write with a view toward the audiobook production process. Concern yourself with narrative flow, delivery, and dialogue structure.

2. Find a Way to Distinguish Yourself from the Herd

I know I just told you to be good, but I’m going to reveal the hard truth: good writers are a dime a dozen. You’ve also got to be refreshing. One way I’ve done this for myself has been to consume a great deal of similar media from other creators with a hyper-critical eye. You know that jerk that’s always picking apart movies and TV shows to a surgical degree to discover what’s wrong with them? Yep, that’s me. I’m looking for things that I don’t like, and if the opportunity presents itself, I actively work to avoid those tropes and clichés in my own work.

If you focus on finding some way to make the story an uncommon reader experience, and more importantly, if the result of that focus is exciting to you as the writer, you’re most likely on the right track.

3. Make Sure Your Work Fits the Narrator

The better narrators tend to be very protective of their brand, as they should be. A performer of any type wants a project that will favorably show his or her talents. Be sure to research your dream narrator’s body of work and learn what projects he or she typically likes to pursue. If you’ve written a gritty procedural crime drama and the performer you’re looking at spends most of their time in the fantasy and cyberpunk genres, you may not have the best chance of getting that person on board with your project.

Both R.C. Bray and I enjoy a good apocalypse story; I know this because I’m a fan of his. To set yourself up for success, do your research on both the type of project you’re looking to publish as well as the people you’ll want to work with along the way.

4. Get a Narrator on Board

Up until this point, everything has been under your control. Now you have to convince someone else that your story is worth investing in. No one is going to just dive in to help you make your book, unless they think there’s a payday on the other side of their efforts. Narrators do this for a living, after all.

Audible Approved Producer R.C. Bray

I started by connecting with my favorite narrator via social media. I was a fan of R.C. Bray’s for a few years before I ever signed him for my books. I followed him on Facebook, I interacted with him, and made it a point to let him know that I appreciated and supported his work. This was not for the purpose of schmoozing him to do my books; I hadn’t even written any at the time. But we built a rapport such that, when he hosted a Reddit AMA (and I actually had written a book by this time), I felt comfortable asking him about the steps necessary for a newbie to break into the audiobook business, which he graciously answered in a private email. Unbeknownst to me, he also went and downloaded a copy of my book, and after reading the first chapter, decided that he wanted to produce it.

It was a lucky break, absolutely, but a lucky break that would have never happened had I not done the work outlined above and made it a point to reach out and connect. Work on your craft, study the industry, find ways to connect with those narrators you most enjoy, and interact on a human level. This is the best advice I can offer to help you open up your own doors. Good luck!

Joshua Gayou is the author of the best selling novel Commune: Book One, the first entry in the Commune Series Tetraology. He lives in Southern California with his wife Jennifer and son Anthony. When he isn’t writing, he divides his time between being a senior engineer in the avionics industry, accomplishing tasks around the house as assigned by his wife (The Boss), and goofing off with his kid. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, and his blog

This Week in Links: February 12 – 16

For Producers:

The Difference Between ‘Urgent’ & ‘Important’ Makes A Difference In Your VO Career – via Voice-Over Xtra – Casting director Hugh Klitzke offers a lesson in emotional recognition and how it can help your VO business.

You Can Pick Your Nose, But You Can’t Pick Their Brain – via Dave Courvoisier – Get a lesson on the etiquette of  seeking free advice from a VO mentor and the topics that are and aren’t recommended for discussion.

Do You Really Need a Bio? – via Natasha Marchewka – As a freelance professional, you’re constantly on the hunt for that next gig, which makes a compelling, up-to-date bio a must-have.

Voice-Over Is a Fun Business. Listen to These Hilarious Clips – via Edge Studio – Give yourself a breather with these entertaining outtakes.

For Rights Holders:

Use Quirky Holidays in March for Book Marketing – via BuildBookBuzz – Learn about some truly wild holidays coming up and how to leverage them for your audiobook marketing.

Writing Tip: Make It Clear Who Is Talking…but Not Too Clear – via CreateSpace – Bestselling author Maria Murnane has great advice on writing vocal tags that’s especially helpful when writing with your audio edition in mind.

Writing A Book Marketing Plan: 7 Ways That Will Guarantee Success – via BookBuzzr – Spelling out your book marketing goals at the start can give you a reliable map to follow to achieve success.

ACX U Presents: The Elements of a Well-Reviewed Audiobook – via ACX – Listener reviews are a critical part of the sales ecosystem for your audiobook, with many listeners basing their purchasing decision on critical commentary. In this video, the editors of Audiofile and Audio Book Reviewer reveal how they choose which audiobooks make their listen lists.

This Week in Links: February 5 – 9

For Rights Holders:

Five Marketing Tools for Authors Who Hate Marketing – via Writer Unboxed – “If you’re a writer and you’re on social media, have a website, blog, or even just talk about your work with friends, you’re already marketing. So here are five inexpensive and relatively easy-to-use tools to help optimize the marketing you’re already doing.”

How to Collaborate Effectively with Other Indie Authors In Your Genre – via ALLi – Find out what happened when one author decided to stop competing with his fellow writers and start building a shared fan base.

Book Marketing (and Publicity) is not About Book Sales – via Author Marketing Experts – Learn why “exposure,” while harder to measure than unit sales, can be just as important an area of focus as the number of (audio)books you sell.

15 Ways to Strengthen Writer Courage – via Live Write Thrive – Do you suffer from Imposter Syndrome? Are there steps you’d like to take in your career, if only they didn’t seem so daunting? Read on to find ways to overcome your fears and access your inner strength.

For Producers:

Who Are Finalists For The Coveted 2018 Audio Publishers Association Audie Awards? – via Voice-Over Xtra – Audible has racked up 28 nominations, including 6 titles published by ACX Producers and Rights Holders! Check out the full list of nominees.

3 Things to Consider Before You Build Your Voice Over Studio – via Marc Scott – Follow along as the VO pro and coach shares lessons (and photos) from his own home studio construction process.

The Superbowl’s 3 Big Lessons for Voice Actors – via Dave Courvoisier – “It’s not often I find inspiration in professional sports…but there is much to be noted in the successful portrayal of the truly deserving individual who masters spectacle, excellence, and legacy.”

ACX U Presents: Beyond the Booth: Monetizing Your Voice – via ACX – Find out how to make sure the time you spend off-mic is just as lucrative as the time you spend on it.

 

This Week in Links: January 29 – February 2

For Producers:

3 Reasons Why You Need a VO Accountability Partner – via Dave Courvoisier – Learn the benefits of an honest relationship with a trusted colleague and how to select the right person for you.

Three Characteristics Of Successful Voice Actors: What Keeps Them On Top? – via Voice-Over Xtra – “I think we all know well-educated people with great skills and a nice set-up who can barely make ends meet. So, there must be other factors at play that determine the difference between success and failure.”

The Voice Actor’s Law of Diminishing Returns – via Backstage – “I was willing to buy into the lie rather than face the truth that the marathon path to success in VO requires persistence, savvy, patience, hard work, facing your demons, and overcoming your fears.”

Is Your Portfolio Demonstrating the Best You? – via Natasha Marchewka – Are you highlighting the full breadth of your abilities on your ACX profile, your website, and elsewhere? Natasha’s got tips to make the most out of your promotional real estate.

For Rights Holders:

Why Focused Goals Can Help You Sell More Books – via a marketing expert – “If you have no direction other than “book sales” you’ll often make bad decisions, spend money you shouldn’t have, and end up nowhere near the final, end goal of selling more books.”

Submit Your Book to Holiday Gift Guides – via The Book Designer – Getting your audiobook listed in a book guide can be a great way to expose your work to tons of potential listeners. Note that you needn’t wait for the year-end holidays to take action on this tip.

What Your Brand Needs – via CreateSpace – What’s the one simple trick that will make your author brand more interesting to your fans? CreateSpace’s Richard Ridley offers his answer.

How to Get Kicked Out of a Facebook Group – via Build Book Buzz Facebook groups are a hotbed of fan activity and a great place to connect with listeners. Make sure you conduct yourself appropriately by checking out this list of “don’ts.”