Have you ever wanted to turn your book into an audiobook but aren’t sure how to do it, what tools to use or how royalties work? We’re going to answer all of those questions and more for you today.
- 0:12 1 | Create an ACX Account
- 0:34 NOTE: Make sure to use your Amazon Author Account
- 0:48 2 | Enter your Bank + Tax information
- 1:06 3 | Click Add Your Title to claim audio rights to your Amazon books
- 1:44 4 | Find your book in the Rights Not Posted tab
- 1:50 5 | Click Edit The Title Description
- 2:00 6 | Choose your book category
- 2:05 7 | Specify narrator details
- 2:23 8 | Additional Comments are meant to help narrators self-select themselves for your book – be personable + nice here
- 2:34 9 | Upload a Word Document – 1.5 pages max
- 2:50 Narrators always prefer Word documents over PDFs
- 3:33 10 | Specify your Word Count
- 4:08 11 | Choose how to pay your narrator – This also explains how Audible Royalties work
- 4:44 12 | Choose your type of distribution
- 5:21 13 | Wait for Auditions + Make an Offer To Your Favorite Narrator
- 6:01 14 | Ensure your narrator can meet your due dates before signing the offer
- 6:51 What does Rights Not Posted mean?
- 7:03 What is in the Completed Tab?
- 7:15 15 | Enroll in an Audible Program
- 7:29 What happens after you sign a narrator?
- 7:46 16 | Ensure your email is updated & you are checking it regularly
- 8:24 My $400 Audible Mistake
- 8:45 17 | Create a new Audible Book Cover
Have you been wanting to sell your book on Audible, but you’re just not sure how to do it, where to go, or what to do? Well, today we’re going to fix that.
Now, the first thing that you want to do is, you want to sign up for an account through ACX. If you have an Amazon account, it’s pretty easy. And when I say Amazon, I mean do you sell your books on Amazon? Now, when you go to acx.com, you can either log in, if you already have an account, or sign up now. When you go to sign up now, make sure to use your Amazon author account, not your regular Amazon account, or a different account if you have two. Then you are going to be able to log in.
Now, if you’re signing up for the first time, through ACX, but you already have an Amazon account, it’s simply going to ask you to enter your tax information and your bank information, even if you’ve already done that through Amazon, through your author account. It’s not a big deal. Just go ahead and do it all over again.
We’re going to log in to my author account, and from here you’re going to get a dashboard. When you first sign up, you are going to get this screen here, where ACX is going to make a guess at what books are yours. So I’ve already claimed … like, it says, audio rights to this book. So just because you’ve written a book, doesn’t mean you have the audio rights to it because sometimes there are two authors for a book, or maybe a producer or an editor, or somebody else that listed inside the credits. So it’s going to make a guess, also, at what books might be yours. I could claim this book. It’s not mine, but if it was another book, I could do that. Or you can simply search for your book here, just like you would on Amazon.
Once you’ve claimed your book, it is going to show up over here, inside rights not posted. And it’s really easy, all you need to do is go in here, into any of the books that you want to put up, and you can … about my book is going to pull that directly from, like it says, from Amazon. The rest of it, you do need to fill out, even if you have chosen categories in Kindle. Same thing with your narrator. You can choose the gender, obviously the language, and if any accents. If you don’t really care, leave it blank. Don’t try to get super specific, only because you’re going to rule a lot of people out that may have been just fine for your Audible narration.
Now, additional comments are just something for you to put. Like, “Someone has to be really perky and sound upbeat because this is a chick-lit novel,” or something. Also, over here for audition script, it’s going to ask you to upload a Word PDF or text file. I would definitely do a Word file because a Word file is what you’re going to send to your narrator. I know you’re thinking, “Oh, they might steal it.” They’re not going to steal your work. Just send them a Word file, because it’s going to make their life easier. So this is a partner that you are working with, it is not someone who is here to steal your work.
After you’re done with that, you can say save and continue. Now … I’m sorry, I should go back. So the audition script should definitely be one, to one and a half, pages. It says you can do two to three pages, but I’ve noticed the longer your script is, the less people are apt to audition for it, because they don’t have a lot of time. They’re auditioning for a ton of different things. And you don’t need three pages worth of data to determine whether or not you like them. It does not have to be your first paragraph. You can pick and choose different sections of your book and put them there in their narration, so you can hear them talking about something serious, maybe something lighthearted, or some narration, or some dialogue. It’s up to you.
Next, it’s going to ask you … it’s not going to do your word count for you, but it’s going to ask you how many words are in your document, and they average about 9,300 words per hour, in case you’re wondering how much you’re going to pay them. So they’re actually just going to do the calculation right there for you. Next, they’re going to ask you what territories you own. I mean, it’s the same as Amazon. You obviously own audio for the world, for your book, and I’m assuming, again, that you’re self-published. If you have an agent, they’re probably going to do the audiobook for you.
Over here for royalty share, you can choose whether or not you’re going to do a 50-50 share of the royalties, not the total sales revenue. So you, as the author, always get 40% of the revenue. Now, whether or not you get 20 and then your narrator gets 20 is determined by whether you click royalty share. If not, you can do pay for production, which I highly recommend, because for all of my books, I have earned back the rate within a couple of weeks, one within a couple of days. It doesn’t pay to do a 50-50 split that you’re with somebody forever. So I would do zero to 50. And then over here for exclusive rights, definitely go with Amazon, this first one, where you get 40% of the royalty, otherwise you’re dropping your royalty down to 25%, and I honestly just … I don’t believe at all that people are buying audiobooks on any other format than Audible.
Then you’re going to say, save and continue. You’re just going to check to make sure everything is okay, and then you’re going to go ahead and say, post to ACX. Once you post this, people are going to be able … narrators are going to go ahead and send you their auditions. When you get these auditions … You’ll see zero new auditions because I just posted it, but you can see the two books that I just posted today. I can see all the auditions, and then I can start messaging them, here in the message [inaudible 00:05:25] system.
And once I’m ready to move forward, I can give them an offer. And the offer is not that hard. It’s just a reiteration of a bunch of legalese that’s already been created for you inside of ACX, based on what you chose, those royalties or the hourly split. ACX is helping you, so that you don’t give away your rights to the book to the narrator. Once you do that, they will countersign, and then it will move into this piece, over here where it says, in production.
Now, this is really important, though. Back on the … on the in production, once it’s in production, you have set dates. Whatever dates you need that audiobook by, go ahead and make sure that you put firm dates in the offer. Don’t try to be wishy washy. So if your narrator comes back to you and they say, “I’m sick. My dog is sick. My mom’s in the hospital. Whatever, I can’t get to it till next week,” do not hire that narrator. 100% of the time I have done this, I have been ghosted.
So you can see right here … I left this in here so you could see it … I hired someone on April 28th. The book was due May 26th. They were sick, they were on vacation, something happened. I never received that book and so this contact, for whatever reason, hasn’t been canceled yet, but because of that, then you are stuck for a whole month that you can’t get that audiobook done because you’re waiting on this person. And I promise you, if they flake once or have any tiny excuse, they’re never going to get that book finished, ever, so do not hire that person.
Over here, rights not posted, these are just books that I have not … don’t worry about your rights, it just means that I have not posted that book for an audition. These are my other books. Then, over here, completed. This will just be the books that are completed, and if you want, you can go ahead and look at your unit sales for each one, or anything else. Then, over here, programs. If you’re eligible, if your books are eligible for a special program, this is something new. You can enroll your audiobook in this program.
Once you’re done, if you want to listen to your audiobook, you are always, 100%, singing off. When you hire that narrator, they’re going to record the first 15 minutes. You are going to sign off on those first 15 minutes before they finish the production of the book. So it’s really important that you go up here to account settings, and you go to email settings, and you make sure that this email where you’re getting notifications is an email that you check regularly. If you don’t check it regularly, I would strongly suggest you forward those emails or change how you check emails so that you are checking it regularly, because if you miss those deadlines it is only you to blame, then, if your book is late.
Now, once you sign off on that 15 minute sample that they give you, they’ll record the rest of the book, and once the rest of the book is recorded, they will submit it to Audible, not to you. They’ll submit it to Audible for approval. Once Audible approves that book, then you can go ahead and post it up for sale. It’s so easy. I think I mentioned this before, I hired a narrator on Upwork and they sounded amazing, and they did the audio file, I uploaded it to ACX, it didn’t meet their standards. Because I had already singed off on the work on Upwork, I was not able to get them to redo it, they ghosted me and I was out about $400. So that’s why I always, 100%, just go through ACX for my narrators.
Now, the other thing you should be aware of is, you cannot use the same cover for Audible that you are using for Kindle, because that is a long, tall portrait, and on Audible it is a square, kind of like a CD. Even though people don’t buy CDs anymore, that’s just the shape of your Audible cover. So if you did not purchase that from your book cover designer, you could easily go back to ask them to do a separate add-in. It should not be … I mean, I’m a designer, it should, 100%, not be more than $50 for them to do that for you. If it is, I would just go to Fiverr and have them create something for you, from your book, and you can get that done, obviously, for $5.
Again, it is a square, not a portrait. If you’re a designer yourself, you can make it. Or even if you want to, inside of Canva, you can do that, as well, although I highly recommend against that because book covers still do sell inside Audible, just like they do inside Kindle. If you can, get your book designer to do that, and it’s also a good lesson learned, going forward, when you ask for book covers. I know everyone remembers to get Kindle, and then everyone remembers to get a paperback or a hardback, but nobody ever thinks to ask for the Audible version, which is square. It is not a tall portrait rectangle.
All right, I hope that was helpful. I do have a cheat sheet with notes for you in the comments below, so make sure to download that cheat sheet. And please let me know if you have any questions, and what you think of ACX and how your sales are going with Audible. All right, bye.