I’ve had requests for an audiobook of Experiencing the Bible, and it is happening! It’s an exciting process, a path I’ve never walked before, so I thought I’d take a few minutes to share the journey with you.
The book and ebook are available on Amazon, so I didn’t even consider going anywhere else for the audiobook. That meant logging onto ACX.com and setting up a project. This requires giving all the basic information that someone who might want to audition would need to know, including a few pages from your script (ebook) and your projected timeline (Some producers wouldn’t be able to fit you in right away, which means they don’t need to waste their time or yours on auditions.). You also have to decide how you’ll pay your producer (The one who will record and create your audiobook).
You have three choices when it comes to payment. You can just pay a certain amount per finished hour of recording. You can split the royalties with the producer, which means paying nothing up front and you only receiving half of the royalties as long as the book is available. You can also split the royalties plus pay a fee per finished hour to cover the producer’s up front costs (Like hiring an audio engineer).
One thing you really have to think about when posting a project is what type of voice you want. For instance, I wanted someone who would at least sound something like me, so I chose a female with a general American accent. I could have selected a southern accent, but I’m a Texan with a definite Texas drawl; since they don’t offer that option I stuck with general.
Once you’ve posted your project, you sit back and wait for the auditions to come in. Then you listen, and listen, and listen. Some weren’t options at all, whether because the voice didn’t feel right for me or the accent was too far off (Someone with a great European accent auditioned, but I couldn’t….). A few seemed like definite possibilities, so I added them to my favorites list. Then I put the AirPods back in and kept listening.
I didn’t just want the producer who sounded right. I wanted the one who was right, so I prayed through the whole process. I didn’t only listen to their auditions. I read any messages written to me. I checked out the info pages on the ones I was seriously considering. I listened to other samples they had on those pages. And the ones who made it to the final list also got website visits if they had websites. In the end, I selected Nancy Higgins, who was actually one of the earlier auditions, and made my offer. And she is great. In one email to me she said that from reading my book she felt we could be sisters, and from what she’s told me about herself I don’t doubt it. From listening to the first fifteen minutes of the book, I can tell she truly gets what I’m saying, and I know we’re in this together.
So once you’ve selected your producer, you make them an offer. They can either accept your offer or reject it. Nancy accepted mine, so I don’t know what the process is if they reject. I assume you negotiate, but could be wrong. Before you even make the offer, you have a lot of reading to do. The ACX contract is quite detailed, and you sign it before hitting submit. Once the producer accepts and signs, the ball starts rolling.
The producer then has a certain amount of time before they have to deliver the first fifteen minutes of your book. (This deadline is one of the dates you give when you set up the project.) You then listen (and listen and listen) to that recording and give them feedback on every detail you want changed. I did that this morning, asking for one small pacing change and a couple of word changes. Detail is all-important, because their next fifteen-minute submission is either the final project or you have an issue.
Seriously, because the next thing you’ll get from your producer is the finished book. If they don’t understand what you want going in, that book won’t be the finished product you’re after and you’ll both have wasted valuable time. That’s why I listened to my fifteen minute clip so many times. Yeah, I’m not sure how many times I listened to it this morning.
And that’s where I am right now! When I get the next recording back, I’m sure I’ll give approval for her to get to work on the rest of the book, and I’ll sit here patiently waiting like a kid on Christmas morning. (You saw what I did there, right?) I’d say my next step is creating the audiobook cover, but since I already have an ebook all I had to do was tweak the layout and then have my Photoshop savvy daughter make a few adjustments to get it to fit the ACX technical specifications.
If you’ve ever considered being an audiobook producer/voice actor, you might want to check out ACX. From the author’s point of view, it is a great system, easily worked through and with lots of support. I’m sure it’s the same from the producer’s point of view.
While we’re waiting, if you’d like to grab the paperback or ebook, you can hit this link. The ebook is currently available on Kindle Unlimited! There is also a journal I designed to accompany the book, and you can find it here.