Tag Archives: Stipend

Money Talks – Paying, and Getting Paid, For Your Audiobook.

Authors, publishers, agents, circle up. Today, we’re going to talk money. ACX offers two different options when it comes to paying for your audiobook. You can also choose between two distribution options, which affect how much you stand to make from your audio sales. So let’s take a start-to-finish look at the different options you have on ACX when it comes to dollars and cents.

Planning Your Budget

Budgeting is one of the first things you should think about when preparing to get your book produced in audio. ACX offers two ways to compensate your producer: pay a “per finished hour” rate (PFH) when you approve the final audio, or enter into a royalty share agreement, where you pay the producer nothing up front, but agree to split your portion of the royalties 50-50 on the back end. The biggest consideration here is whether you have the funds to pay for your production up front, or whether you’d prefer to share royalties from sales. Both have their benefits – one allows you to keep your full portion of your royalties, the other gives you a marketing partner who is equally invested in the project, but it’s important to know which is right for you.

P4P: Is it 4 You?

Paying a per-finished-hour rate, what we call “pay for production” (or P4P) on ACX, is the traditional model of paying for an audiobook production. A good estimate of industry standard rates for retail ready audiobook production breaks down as follows: roughly $200 PFH for narration and another $200 PFH for the post production work (editing, QC, mixing and mastering). Rates can vary from producer to producer and from project to project of course. It’s also important to understand what you’re paying for, and the skill and time that goes into it. On average, it can take about four hours of work to produce one hour of finished audio. Your narrator is usually spending two hours reading in the booth and another two to three hours editing, mixing and mastering for each finished hour of audio. So while a rate of $300-$400 PFH may seem high, it makes sense when you understand the works that’s gone into it.

When budgeting for a P4P deal, the other factor to consider is the length of your title. We estimate that about 9,300 words equals one hour of finished audio (you can learn how to get an accurate word count for your title here). So, with that in mind, you can contact producers on ACX and negotiate  a fair rate for producing your title.

The Revolutionary Royalty Share

Of course, not everyone wants to pay their producer up front. For those that want to go a different route, ACX offers the royalty share payment model. Under these terms, you, the rights holder, forgo up front payment. Your producer will do the same work described above, and deliver the same retail-ready audio product. The time spent, and the value of the producer’s work is the same as if they were being paid up front. That’s why it’s extra important to have a solid plan for how you’ll market your title, and how your producer can fit into that plan. Choosing to split the royalties can get you a “partner in crime,” and double the marketing force behind your audio version.

It’s important to note that the royalty share option is only available when you grant ACX exclusive distribution of your title. Which brings us to:

Distribution – Exclusive or Non-Exclusive

The other big consideration for an ACX rights holder is whether to choose exclusive or non-exclusive distribution. This is a very in-depth topic, and much more detailed information on distribution and royalty rates can be found on our site. In brief, ACX will distribute your title to Audible, Amazon and iTunes. If you choose exclusive distribution, we will make your book available through these three channels and pay you an escalator royalty rate that starts at 50%, and increases in your favor the more you sell. With non-exclusive distribution, your book will still be available for purchase though the sites above, but you retain the right to sell or distribute it in any other way you wish. As we mentioned before, the royalty share method of paying your producer is only available with exclusive distribution.

Which combination of payment and distribution is right for you? Only you can know for sure, and it can vary from project to project. But with the information above, you should be well situated to make an informed, intelligent choice!

Which payment and distribution methods have you worked for you on ACX? Tell us in the comments!

Over 150 stipend eligible titles now on ACX

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you know that now is the time to move your titles into production so we can get them on sale in time for the holidays. You probably also know that we’re offering a $150 PFH stipend on over 150 titles to help make this happen. This stipend is in addition to any royalties and bounty payments earned for that title.

Below we’ve highlighted a number of titles that have recently been made stipend eligible, and you can search for many more over on our title search page (note that you must be logged in as a producer to see stipend eligible titles).

For Female VO’s:

Darklove – Fiction. Dark romance.

Making It Big – Fiction. A smart satirical take on our weight obsessed culture.

Game, Set, Match – Fiction. Hip romance.

Collective Visioning: How Groups Can Work Together for a Just and Sustainable Future –Nonfiction. “A revolutionary guide to collaboration within and across diverse organizations.”

Eurisko Sails West: A Year in Panama – Nonfiction. A family’s adventures in rural Panama.

From Mangia to Murder: A Sophia Mancini Mystery – Fiction.

The Sleeping Night – Fiction. He’s black, she’s white. In 1946 in Gideon, Texas, their undeniable love might get them both killed.

For Male VOs:

Twisted Web –Fiction. A thriller in the style of Tom Clancy or Clive Cussler.

The Unwilling Spy –Fiction.  WWII espionage.

Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History – Nonfiction.

Desert Atonement – Fiction. When Prophet Ronald Hansen III murders the wife of a journalist who is exposing the prophet’s polygamous cult, the stage is set for a desert showdown.

Vampires: A Field Guide to the Creatures That Stalk the Night – Nonfiction, British accent. A field guide to the history of the vampire legend.

Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces – Nonfiction. CIA analyst Steven R. Ward’s single-volume English-language survey of Iran’s military history.

An Audience for Einstein – Science-Fiction. Two scientists fight for control of a young boy with implanted memories.

Again, these are just a sampling of the many stipend eligible titles currently accepting auditions on ACX. You can search for more here, and find all the details on our stipend program here.

Best wishes for a productive autumn!