Tag Archives: rights holder

ACX Storytellers: Zhanna Hamilton

Zhanna Hamilton is an ACX user doing double duty: she plays both roles in the ACX equation as an author and  audiobook producer, with a Master’s in Marketing to boot. Her combination of education and experience has enabled her to achieve success marketing over 90 ACX titles and generating hundreds of valuable $50 Bounty payments. She joins us today to share her story and her tips for audiobook marketing success.

Zhanna HamiltonThe Zhanna Hamilton Story

As an Audible Approved Producer on ACX, my virtual studio and I have had the pleasure of recording, editing and mastering over 100 audiobooks. Some of these audiobooks have been my own books, with others for authors and small/medium publishers. Thanks to ACX, I’ve been fortunate enough to have my audiobook “Rewire Your Brain: 300 Affirmations for Positive Thinking” hit number one on iTunes in the self-development category in February 2014

As a child, I’ve always had an inclination towards writing. One of my first poems was about the psychology of a cat (it wasn’t as sophisticated as it sounds), prompting my mother to gift me a journal so I could keep my poetry in one place. As an adult surrounded by the growth of technology and the availability of the ACX platform, creating audio books was a natural extension of my love for words. The best audiobook production comes from a team of dedicated people with one goal in mind – to produce quality audio books. After building up a rock star team of voiceover artists and sound designers to produce my own audiobooks, I opened up our services to other authors and publishers.

$50 Bounty Payments and Audiobook Marketing

Once the production process is completed, marketing becomes an integral part of the audiobook life cycle. Marketing your titles will expose them to a wider audience and is key to generating those $50 bounty payments (awarded by ACX whenever a new Audible listener buys your book as their first purchase). It can be difficult to think like a marketer if you only view yourself as a writer. In order to sell well, you must be both. Even big publishers don’t do nearly the same amount of advertising for authors as they used to – placing much of the marketing responsibility on your shoulders. If you are self-published, that responsibility triples. Here are some tactics to help you become a successful marketer:

RewireEducate yourself. I learn best through trial-and-error, listening to interviews with other entrepreneurs or authors and self-educating through books, internet searches and tutorials. I do have a Master’s in Marketing, but I’ve found the information from a curriculum can be found on Google for much cheaper. In other words, there is no excuse for anyone in the information age to say, “I don’t know to market my book.” Just Google it!

Don’t just SELL, SELL, SELL. As every self-published author has learned (or will learn), establishing a relationship with your audience is a must. This means engaging with your social media audience, always answering emails from readers, and treating people like respected friends – not wallets. Would you rather buy a product from a friend, or a stranger? The more familiar your fans are with you, the more you will feel like a friend to them. This enriches their lives, and in return, they will be more willing to choose your products over a stranger’s products. Familiarity helps establish trust, both in you as a transparent person, and in your line of products.

Value first, promotions second. In order to gain a real following, you must give immediate value outside of your line of products. “Value” is a vague word, as it means something different to each audience. Your audience might value humor, and that’s why they follow you on social media. If you are a romance novelist, they may value your insight on interpersonal relationships. Giving them more of what they value – with your promotions coming second – lets your readers and listeners know you are there to enrich their lives.

Quality over quantity. When I’m browsing the internet and come across a great article, video, or blog, I think, “My Facebook fans would love this.” The more useful your posts are to your audience, the more they will think of you as an authority in your industry. When I first started maintaining social media pages, I thought posting every hour like those big-budget pages did was the way to go. I quickly learned quality is more important than quantity and am pickier about what I post on social media. Before posting anything, I always ask myself, “would I want to see this in my newsfeed?” Sharing in this way helps me feel more connected to my audience when they ‘like’ what I post.

Learn

Set a schedule. Being an author, producer, and marketer creates the need for a schedule. I like to plan my productivity on a monthly basis, setting milestones and deadlines within each week with the overall goals of the month in mind.

Use those promo codes. ACX will give you 25 free promotional codes upon the publication of your audiobook. Personally, I enjoy offering freebies through my newsletter and social media channels, as these are the places my audience expects me to give such items. For example, I run a book reviewer program on my English as a second language website for reviewers wanting free books. Additionally, I give away books on a weekly basis through my Reddit profile and my newsletter. Sometimes, the books or audio books I give away are in exchange for honest reviews. Other times, they are for gaining a larger readership and come with no conditions. I have done Facebook giveaways, interviews and have shared my knowledge with others with the goal of connecting with my readers, listeners and other like-minded people.

Mix it up. I’ve found the best way to promote a product is to mix up your marketing method, experiment often and let the results lead your marketing plan. You might find that book trailers are a great way to promote audio books, or that Pinterest is where your audience hangs out the most.

My focus for all my audiobook marketing is always the end user and how to best connect with them. This outlook has made all the difference in both attracting new Audible Listeners and keeping them interested in our line of audio books.

To receive updates from Zhanna Hamilton, follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to her newsletter on ZhannaHamilton.com for free books and audio books.

This Week in Links: June 23 – 27

Balancing the the artistic and financial sides of your business may be one of the most challenging parts of maintaining a creative career. Luckily, this week’s links cover both sides of the equation. Check out this week’s advice on achieving the best of both worlds, and share your favorite links from this week in the comments!

For Rights Holders:

Book Reviews for Self-Published Authors: What You Need to Know – via BookBaby – A good review is one of the best ways to generate buzz for your book. This post collects a number of articles to help you understand the when, why, and how of getting reviews.

Writing: How to Self-Edit Your Novel – via ALLi – Professional editor Jessica Bell shares her top tips for polishing your fiction writing.

What It Takes to Be an Authorpreneur – via Live Write Thrive – The digital publishing revolution has empowered authors like never before. Author Geraldine Solon looks at what that means for industrious writers.

For Producers:

Five Warning Lights (For Voice Talents) – via Dan Hurst – Much like your car, the voiceover industry has occasional “warning lights” you must heed to to ensure a smoothly running business.

Is Your Amateurism Preventing You From Getting Voice Over Work? – via Gary Terzza’s Voice-Over Blog UK – Gary reviews the little things that separate voiceover pros from voiceover amateurs.

Voice Talent Wisdom: Environment – via Christian Rosselli – Many voice talents don’t book jobs simply because they’re not focused on an integral part of the script: The Environment.

ACX Storytellers: Ryan Winfield

Author Ryan Winfield is no stranger to audiobooks, having published five through ACX. As an author who has published both traditionally and independently, he recently made the unconventional choice to turn down an advance from a major publisher and keep his audio rights. Today, learn why audiobooks mean more to his portfolio than ever, and why he made this surprising decision. 

Why I bet on myself with ACX.

Ryan Winfield Headshot

ACX Author Ryan Winfield.

It was an exciting day when I published my first novel with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. I’ll never forget sending out the announcement email to my friends and seeing the first few downloads show up in my sales report almost immediately. I could never have imagined that just two years later I would be logging in to read my name on the New York Times bestseller list. A lot has changed since that first book. In addition to my independently published work, I now have a contract with a major New York publisher, and I spend more time flying to book conventions and less time writing than I would prefer. But one thing hasn’t changed: my desire to connect with readers through my stories. And getting my stories in front of as many readers as possible means making them available in every format—print, eBook, and audio.

After my first novel had found success, many readers reached out to me requesting I make the book available in audio for them to listen to. Some quick research led me to the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), a new Amazon company that facilitates the creation of audiobooks and distributes them through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. I used their helpful tips and videos to create a home studio and record my first book in my own voice. It was a rewarding process that left me with great respect for professional narrators.

When my fourth book, Jane’s Melody, hit the New York Times bestseller list, readers were once again begging for an audio edition. This time I used ACX to secure auditions from several pre-qualified Audible Approved Producers until I found just the right one. The book was up and available for readers within 45 days, selling well and getting great reviews. The process was so easy I couldn’t wait to audition narrators for my other work, and all three books of The Park Service trilogy are now available alongside my other titles, read by an extremely talented voice actor who listened to my input and brought my characters to life!

Park ServiceIt was this experience that led me to turn down an offer from one of the Big 5 New York publishers for the audio rights to my upcoming titles, which are being published by one of their imprints, deciding instead to use ACX. There was a time when I would have thought myself crazy for turning down the offer of a generous advance in favor of self-producing my own audiobooks. But now I know it’s just smart.

I believe every author must market themselves once they have a book out in the world, whether it’s published traditionally or independently, and the generous royalties offered by ACX, along with the $50 bounty payments, provide me with the royalties I need to invest in finding new readers. Having just returned from Book Expo America (BEA) in New York, I am more aware than ever of just how easy it is for one book to get lost in the flood of titles pouring onto the market each year. I had to ask myself: Who has more interest in getting my books out to readers and listeners than I do? The answer was easy: No one does. With a 40% royalty and the possibility of earning a $50 bounty every time a new Audible listener downloads my title as their first book, I have the revenue to reinvest in myself by advertising my work. How and where to spend that money is a different topic for a different blog post, but I have met few people more on the cutting-edge when it comes to marketing than the creative community of independently published authors currently climbing the charts.

In short, and in case you couldn’t tell, I love ACX. And who wouldn’t? A portfolio of professional narrators who will audition to read your work, an easy-to-use system for professionally producing your audiobooks, 40% royalties, $50 bounty payments, distribution on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, plus daily sales reporting that allows me to gauge the success of my marketing campaigns. With five titles already produced through ACX and a sixth on the way, I’m looking forward to continuing to reach new listeners while enjoying royalties for the rest of my life and beyond. And that’s why I bet on myself with ACX.

Ryan Winfield is the New York Times bestselling author of Jane’s MelodySouth of Bixby Bridge, and The Park Service trilogy. He lives in Seattle. To connect with Ryan, visit him at ryanwinfield.com or Facebook.com/RyanWinfield.

This Week in Links: June 2 – 6

Did you attend one of the many audiobook industry events last week? Whether you made your presence known at BEA, APAC, The Audie’s or our own Narrator Knowledge Exchange, we hope you learned about your craft and gained some new skills to apply to your next writing or producing venture.

Don’t fret if you didn’t make it to the New York City area for one of these events. There’s plenty of audiobook education for you below in our weekly links roundup!

For Producers:

AudioElequence – via AudioElequence – One of the most comprehensive online pronunciation resources available.

The Inaudible, Low-Voice Syndrome – via Online Voice Coaching – Dr. Ann Utterback has tips for projecting even when speaking softly.

The Stuff Between Your Ears – via Nethervoice – Paul’s motivational post discusses the mental aspects of life as a freelance artist.

Do Allergies Affect your Voice Over Work? – via Voice Over Herald – Nicola Redman shares the impact her hey fever has had on her voice work – and what she finally did about it.

For Rights Holders:

4 Reasons You Should Prioritize Your Author Website Over Social Media – via The BookBaby Blog – Chris Robley explains why your website may be more important to your author platform than your Facebook account.

How to Finally Finish That Novel – via Live Write Thrive – Author and writing instructor Cathy Yardley tackles the 4 biggest excuses writers use to put off writing.

Writing: Write What You Know – via ALLi – Author Carol Cooper’s advice: write what you know, check what you don’t.

Maxed Out: Changing the Conversation about Women and Work [VIDEO] – via YouTube – ACX author Katrina Alcorn discusses why you may be feeling overwhelmed with work – and what to do about it.

 

ACX at the 2014 Audie Awards

This past Thursday, amidst one of the busiest weeks of the year in the audiobook industry, ACX attended the “audiobook Oscars,” better known as the 2014 Audie Awards at the New York Academy of Medicine.

IMG_1231The night kicked off with an opening cocktail reception, where the industry’s best engineers, narrators and other audiobook celebrities rubbed elbows, munched hors d’oeuvre, and sipped cocktails, while the night’s nominee’s received medals for their work. Our mistress of ceremonies, author Libba Bray, kicked things off with a blisteringly funny monologue, highlighted by the musical number “Talk Audie to Me.”

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Author and Audie hostess Libba Bray.

This year, 6 ACX titles were nominated for this prestigious award. We’re thrilled to celebrate the producers and rights holders of the following books:

The first round of awards featured presenters Robert Fass, Suzanne Toren, and Joe Barret (ACX producers all) announcing winners for categories like best Non-Fiction, Biography/Memoir, and Business/Educational audiobooks. Billy Crystal (sadly not in attendance) then picked up his first award of the evening for Still Foolin’ ‘Em, in the Humor category.

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Audible Studios received their first award of the evening for Graeme Malcolm’s narration in the Short Stories/Collections category for his read of Sherlock Holmes in America. Our celebration continued when Audible Studios next won its  second award of the evening for Best Erotica audiobook (Shana Savage, reading Carrie’s Story.)

IMG_1229Robin Whitten of AudioFile Magazine presented the Special Achievement award to George Guidall for his impressive record of success in the audiobook industry. With over 1,100 audiobooks recorded, the standing ovation he received upon acceptance was well deserved.

Katherine Kellgren was honored with the Audie for Solo Narration/Female for the Audible Studios production of The Twelve Clues of Christmas, and David Pittu picked up his second award of the night for his read of The Goldfinch.

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The final, most coveted award for the evening, Best Audiobook, netted Billy Crystal his third win of the night for Still Foolin’ ‘Em.

Congratulations to all the 2014 Audie nominees and winners. With all the talented rights holders and producers on ACX, we can’t wait to see what you create to be featured at the 2015 Audie’s!

Audible has a full list of 2014 Audie winners here. You can read @ACX_com’s live tweeting of this year’s ceremony on Storify.

The ACX Author’s Audiobook Checklist

Authors, do you think of yourselves as audiobook publishers? You should! When creating an audiobook through ACX, you cast the title, set the schedule, control the quality and promote the finished product. So, we think you can safely add “Audiobook Publisher” to your job title.

Being a publisher might sound daunting. Many tasks are vying for your attention, and at the end of the day you are responsible for the quality of the finished product. That’s why ACX Rights Evangelist Nicole joins us today to share her ACX Author’s Audiobook Checklist. Follow her the steps to ensure you stay on the path to successfully publishing your books in audio.

The ACX Author’s Audiobook Checklist

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An author’s best friend: ACX’s Nicole

Working with authors, publishers, and agents all day, every day, I’ve discovered that in audiobook publishing, there are optional items as well as critical items that must be checked off before proceeding from one step to the step. Here’s my handy check list for every step of the audiobook publishing process on ACX.

Stage 1: Before You Begin Production.

Verify Rights

checkbox-unchecked Confirm you have audio rights for your book by checking your print or eBook book contract. If you’re self-published (say, through Kindle Direct Publishing or CreateSpace), you’ve retained your audio rights. If you do not have audio rights, and the current rights holder has not produced an audiobook of your work, consider pursuing rights reversion like author Marta Acosta.

checkbox-unchecked Ensure your book is appropriate for audio. Click here for a list of books that usually do not turn into great audiobooks.

Claim Your Title on ACX

checkbox-unchecked Create an ACX account. You can use your existing Amazon email and password to log into ACX. It is important to fill out your name and address, bank information and tax information up front because I don’t want incomplete info to delay your payments once your audiobook is complete!

checkbox-unchecked Claim the best performing ASIN/version on ACX. Many rights holders have more than one version of their book (eBook, paperback, hardcover), and ACX will pull in certain metadata from your Amazon listing, such as the summary and current rankings and ratings. Potential audiobook producers will use this information when deciding if they would like to audition to narrate your book, so put your best foot forward.

checkbox-unchecked Start drafting your audiobook marketing plan. Keep your fans up to date throughout the production process to build anticipation for your audiobook. Your audiobook marketing plans can help you set due dates for your production and the time line in which you want your audiobook to go on sale.

Post your book for auditions on ACX.

checkbox-unchecked Create the title profile for your book. Creating a robust, specific, and accurate title profile is important. A book description that’s detailed and compelling helps producers get excited about working on your project. I always tell my authors to include some performance notes (characters, accents, overall tone, etc.) and to mention if the title is part of a series.

checkbox-unchecked Choose the right audition script for your book. This portion should be about 2-3 pages, and should include some dialog, some descriptive text, and any important accents or character voices. Don’t worry if you can’t find all of these things in one scene – you can build an audition script that includes a few shorter passages that cover the items above.

checkbox-unchecked Decide the payment method for your production. Do you want to pay your producer for their efforts upon completion of the audiobook (a fee per finished hour, as part of a Pay For Production deal) or do you prefer to split your royalties with them 50-50 (as part of a Royalty Share deal)? Learn more about payment options on ACX here.

checkbox-unchecked Make an offer! Clicking this button will start the process of making an agreement or deal. I recommend opening a dialogue with your narrator before or during the offer stage to ensure you are on the same page.

checkbox-unchecked Set a proper production schedule based on your needs and the narrator’s availability. Make sure to leave yourself time to review your final audio and communicate  any corrections to your producer.

Stage 2: Time to Produce

checkbox-unchecked Send the manuscript, and decide on a 15 minute checkpoint once your producer has accepted your offer. You can piece together the 15 minute checkpoint script from multiple parts of the book if need be. Make sure to include main characters, dialogue as well as descriptive text, any particularly tough scenes or tricky pronunciations. If any portion of the book seems likely to trip up your narrator or deserves extra attention, include it in the 15 minute checkpoint.

checkbox-unchecked Request clear and specific corrections to the 15 minute checkpoint as necessary. Once you approve, you narrator will have the green light to produce the rest of the book in its entirety.

checkbox-unchecked Secure and upload your audiobook cover. Cover art should meet our cover art requirements and should make your book attractive to potential listeners.

checkbox-unchecked Line up promotions. I’m constantly telling authors to think about marketing from the very beginning. Are you blogging about your upcoming audiobook? Are you alerting your fans or newsletter list that they will soon be able to hear your book? Keep whetting their appetite for audio and ensure they’ll be eagerly anticipating the day your audiobook becomes available for sale.

Stage 3: Review, Approve, and Pay

checkbox-unchecked Request clear and specific corrections to the final audio as necessary. Don’t be unreasonable, but don’t be shy. This is your audiobook, and sometimes corrections are necessary.

checkbox-unchecked Approve and pay for your audiobook (unless it is a Royalty Share, of course). Your title will be submitted to ACX and receive a quick quality assurance check and, if all is well, should be available for sale within 7 business days of your approval.

 checkbox-unchecked Finalize your marketing plans for when…

Stage 4: Your Audiobook is on Sale!

checkbox-unchecked Use your codes to drive reviews and sales of your audiobook. Once your audiobook is on sale, you will receive 25 free promotional codes via email to distribute to fans and reviewers.

checkbox-unchecked Update your web site, blogs, and social media accounts to reflect your new audiobook. I think author Barbara Freethy’s audiobook section of her website is a great example of how to feature your audiobooks.

checkbox-unchecked Check your backlist, and do it all over again! The only thing better than having a book made in audio via ACX is having ALL your books made in audio via ACX!

Download a printable version of this checklist.

You Can Help Make June Audiobook Month!

Did you know that June is Audiobook Month? During the month of June, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) raises awareness and enthusiasm for audiobooks. This concentrated effort provides a great opportunity for ACX rights holders and producers to focus on audiobook promotion for the month of June and create buzz around the audiobook format and their titles.

Why Now?

With a set period of time on which to focus your promotional efforts, ACX users have the opportunity to band together and create a groundswell of audiobook-specific promotion that will benefit their titles and generate exposure for the industry as a whole. And with a “high tide raises all boats” mentality, everyone can benefit by putting a little extra effort into marketing their audiobooks. By thinking about your June promotion now, you’ll have a chance to put a plan in place and pull off some cool promotions that will make you a summer audiobook superstar!

Promotional Ideas

Aside from the basic, “do these all year round” ways to promote your audio versions, here are a few additional ways you can contribute to the big, coordinated impact June is Audiobook Month can have on listeners:

Team up with a fellow author/producer – Are you listening to a great audiobook now, or have you in the recent past? Reach out to the author or producer and work out some ways to cross promote. Have them interview you about your listening experience for their website/blog, and interview them for yours. Link to their audiobooks in the post and compel your listeners to download them (and again, have your partner in promotion do the same).

Recall a favorite listening experience – Can’t work out collaboration with a fellow audiobook creative? Take to your own blog and talk about a memorable experience listening to an audiobook. Rights holders can write about the emotions they felt hearing their work in audio, or how listening to someone else’s audiobook inspired or informed the choices they made while producing theirs. Producers can discuss their favorite project they’ve voiced, or talk about how they got into narration in the first place. Find a way to speak compellingly about the emotional connection you made with an audiobook and you’re halfway to convincing your audience to have a similar experience.

Encourage your fans to talk about listening to audiobooks – They can leave comments on your Facebook page or on your blog, and you can promise to publish the best in an update on your website. Why do they listen rather than read? Where do they listen? When do they listen? Their excitement can prove contagious to other potential listeners.

Narrated your own book? Describe the experience – Your fans will love getting a peek behind the scenes, and you’ll be able to provide insight and anecdotes that will help your listeners make an emotional connection with the work.

Take to Twitter – This year, the APA is encouraging use of the #audiomonth hashtag on Twitter. Add this tag to the end of your audiobook related tweets to ensure interested fans will catch on. You can also search Twitter for others using this hashtag and join their conversation, offering your own take on the topic or retweeting your fellow audiobook creative types.

Think about where you create or listen to audiobooks – Give your fans the inside scoop by sharing pictures or video of yourself in your audiobook space. Producers may want to offer a guided tour of their studio, while rights holders can show fans where they listen to auditions, 15 minute checkpoints, and final audio.

Run a contest – ACX provides 25 free download codes when your title becomes available for sale. Use some of these codes on their own or as part of a prize package for your fans. Here are three contest ideas to get you started:

  • Have your fans submit pictures of themselves dressed as one of your characters. Best costume wins a prize pack.
  • Challenge fans to write a “deleted scene” from one of your books, and have your narrator voice the winning entry.
  • Encourage your fans to tweet their favorite quote from your work with a specific hashtag that you choose. Randomly select a number of qualifying tweets and award a free download or prize pack. This tactic has the added bonus of enlisting your fans as members of your promotional team!

These are just some of the many ways you can use the month of June to drive excitement and sales of your audiobooks. Look for ways to join the groundswell, and catch the wave at the start of the month and work to build momentum for the next 30 days. You’ll likely be pleased with the results this summer and beyond!

What other creative ways can you promote June as Audiobook Month? Tell us below!

 

This Week in Links: April 28 – May 2

However you’re looking to improve your craft, we’ve got you covered. Are you fighting allergies, or wrestling with your writing tics? Maybe you’re looking for a better way to audition or to monetize your backlist.  Perhaps you’re looking to master punctuation, or land a gig with Audible Studios.

Whatever you want to achieve in your writing or recording time, read on for our hand-picked tips and advice from around the audiobook web.

For Producers:

Are You The Next Voice of Audible Studios? – via The ACX Blog – Get all the details of our latest open casting before you audition for Audible Studios and AudioFile magazine.

The 7 C’s of Auditioning – via Backstage – Great advice for all types of actors that can be put into practice the next time you step in front of the mic.

The Secret Weapon For Beating Allergies – via Jordan’s Chopped Thoughts – Seasonal allergies can derail your recording sessions in no time flat. Jordan has some remedies that may put your ears, noses, and throats at ease.

10 Ways to Keep Your Clients From Falling Through the Cracks – via J. Christopher Dunn’s Voice-Over Blog – In the voiceover industry, your relationships with your clients are as important as your narration skills.

For Rights Holders:

Divas on Writing: How to Spot Your Tic – via Write Divas – Run on sentences? Redundant words and phrases? Let Lauren help you find, and fix, your writing tics before it’s too late.

Three Tips for Monetizing Your Back-List – via Digital Book World – Bone up on some of the best ways to make money off your already published titles (aside from turning them into audiobooks via ACX, that is!)

Want to Write Better? Start Reading, A Lot (Infographic) – via Bid 4 Papers –  Take a fun look at the books that have inspired some of your favorite pop culture personalities

Busted—Authors Caught Exciting Emotion with Creative Punctuation – via The Blood-Red Pencil – Proper punctuation informs how your readers – and your listeners – experiences your words.

This Week in Links: April 21 – 25

Every we week scour the web for the best audiobook related links to inform your writing and producing. This week, actors can learn to get comfortable marketing themselves, and what to do about those tricky in-studios noises. Authors can find new sources for ideas and inspiration while learning how to handle their creative pursuits like a business.

Whichever camp you belong to, read our picks for the top articles from the past week, and add your favorites in the comments!

For Producers:

Noises in the Studio – via Jerry’s Voice – Where do all those little noises in your studio come from, and what can do you do about them? Jerry’s got you covered.

Voice Talent Wisdom: Not Your Typical Advice Column – via Christian Rosselli – Christian offers his take on a number of VO-related topics in this wide ranging post.

Free Pro Tools Classes – via Sam Ash – Sam Ash music stores is offering a FREE 4 week intro to digital recording class. Don’t pass up the chance to get free instruction on one of the industry’s most popular pieces of software.

Why the Horn-Toot is so Vital for Voice-over Marketing – via voxmarketising – Self-marketing can feel awkward and arrogant, but it’s necessary for your VO success.

For Rights Holders:

How to Treat Your Book Like a Business – via Wise Ink – “In a business, you install a process, a series of steps that lead you from the beginning of a project to a completed product. A process will insure you’re doing all you can to write the book with the quality you deserve.”

How to Find Inspiration at Any Point in Your Book Project – via How To Blog A Book – “To reignite your sense of inspiration so you can power on to the end of your project, remind yourself how your writing project combines your passion and purpose.”

The Single Best Way to Sell Books (Or Lose a Sale) – via Kristen Lamb’s Blog – Join Kristen as she covers the importance of strong sample pages.

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? – via Kill Zone – Nancy J. Cohen discuss the various places a writer’s ideas and inspiration can come from.

Mastering the $50 Bounty Program

Today, we’re talking bounties, more specifically ACX‘s $50 bounty program. If you hadn’t heard, bounties are a great way for rights holders and producers to maximize the earning potential of their audiobooks. Let’s review some bounty basics, and then we’ll hear from an ACX user who found success driving new Audible listeners to purchase their book.

The ACX $50 Bounty Program

Under the $50 Bounty program, users can get – or split in the case of Royalty Sharing partners – a $50 bonus payment every time a qualifying audiobook they’ve produced through ACX is the first purchase of a new Audible listener. This money is on top of any royalty earnings from your audiobook sales. Think of it as our thanks to you for helping new audiobook listeners discover Audible!

Profitable_rightDriving New Audible Listeners

Here are some quick ways to get the word out about your audiobook and start racking up those $50 payments.

1. It’s never too early to start promoting! You needn’t wait for your audiobook to be published to start spreading the word! Authors, let your fans know when you post your title to ACX and update them when you cast a narrator, and as production progresses. Producers, spread the word when you’re cast on a new title, and let your fans know when it will be out.

2. Use those promo codes from ACX. When your production is completed, you’ll get 25 free download codes right off the bat.  Use these codes to get people listening to and reviewing your book. Seek out audiobook reviewers and offer them a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Host a giveaway for your fans on social media, or trade codes with a fellow ACX user and review each others titles on your website/blog. Word of mouth marketing is a more powerful tool than ever!

3. Mention your audiobook every time you promote your book in ANY format. General book marketing is great, but to maximize your bounty payments, make sure you consistently talk about your audio version. A number of your readers may not yet be audiobook listeners, and a reminder that your book is available in this awesome format might be just the poke they need to visit Audible and start downloading.

A Bounty Success Story – Frank Eakin, 12 Years a Slave

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L to R: ACX rights holder Frank Eakin and narrator Louis Gossett Jr.

“We produced the official movie tie-in audiobook for 12 Years a Slave, and we published the top-selling edition of the e-book and print book. I believe that relatively few authors and publishers truly grasp the importance of audiobooks in driving sales across their portfolio of products related to a title.”

“When you are ready to launch your audiobook, be sure to cross-sell your audiobook inside your book. For example, in one of the front pages of our e-book and on the back cover of our print book, we try to excite the reader about the audiobook, and we usually pitch it as a different and unique way in which to experience the story. We mention that the book can be purchased at Audible inside our book and in our materials. Also, in our e-book and print book, we plug our free Audiobook Extra, which can be downloaded exclusively from our product page on Audible. A free digital extra, which in our case is a unique map related to the story, will draw many potential customers to your Audible page; by engaging readers in our free map, we help to convert them into customers of our audiobook.”

“In social media, including Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., we plug Audible and provide some of the benefits of becoming a regular audiobook listener, which helps to drive memberships and thus increase our number of bounty payments. Our Facebook ads bring potential customers to our Audible page (to download the map) and to our unique website, which features audiobook clips in a multi-media format, and engages readers so they will want to click on our Purchase Now page, which provides a link to our Audible page.”

Are You The Next Bounty Success Story?

Have you been successful at driving new listeners to Audible and collecting your $50 bounties? Tell us in the comments and help your fellow ACXers learn from your efforts. We just might feature you in a future post!

Full terms and conditions on the $50 Bounty program can be found on ACX.