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ACX Auditions – Audiobook First-timer

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I finally jumped on the audiobook wagon. 

As an indie author and publisher there are always many things to do, many things to learn and consider. Do I write more books? Do I spend my time marketing? Do learn about Facebook ads… Like anyone else, I am subject to run down a lot of rabbit holes. I’ll lay it on the line: I’m not very consistent. I don’t always follow through. I burn myself out.

But then the New Year starts and it’s a fresh beginning; I vow to do better. For various reasons I decided now was the time to get going on an audiobook for the first book in my series, Treasure.

The following is my two cents on one part of the process of making an audiobook with ACX –the auditions. There are plenty of step-by-step blog posts on the entire process. And even though I thought I had read them all and was ready to go, once I started the ACX ball rolling I felt like I wasn’t prepared enough. I found the ACX website not at all intuitive and lacking in many of the areas for which I had questions. I probably should have just phoned somebody, but I didn’t. I tried to find my answers online. 

I’ll share my experience, and maybe it will help someone else on the journey. If nothing else, a good rant. 🙂

My mistakes:

#1 I should have been more specific in filling out my profile. It didn’t occur to me to put “American” accent in the accent section, for example.

#2 My audition piece was too long. It ran 5-6 minutes. That’s a lot to listen to when you receive many auditions. Just copy and paste together the parts you really need to hear from your auditioner (“producer”); for example, all the main characters, narration, etc. It will save everyone involved a lot of time.

#3 My biggest problem was that I thought there should be a “pause” button where you could stop receiving auditions but not absolutely take down your book from the site. Where you could take a break and listen to all of the auditions, but not necessarily be ready to make a choice yet. I mean, this is a HUGE decision. At least I felt like it was. 

I wanted to yell “PAUSE!” but didn’t know how. Meanwhile, I kept getting emails from potential producers who asked if I would keep the audition open until I received theirs. So I would keep it open and then receive ten more, and over and over.

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I finally discovered that I could take my title down without losing all of my information. So that is what I did. However, apparently when I did that, some of my auditioners got an automatic email saying they had not been chosen. WHICH WASN’T TRUE! I simply needed time to narrow down the auditions.

I had already taken notes on several of the first auditions that came in. When I went looking for those auditions again on my title’s page I noticed that several had disappeared. Since I had written down the people’s names in my notes, I messaged them,  telling them their audition had “disappeared” from the list of my title’s profile and asked if they were still interested. That’s how I learned about the automatic message that went out.

Every one of them was still interested and sent me their audition via email, since they could no longer upload it because I had taken my book down. One of them also helpfully suggested that I should probably have put an audition deadline on my initial listing. AHA. MISTAKE #4, which goes back to #1. Put it right there in the initial profile and hope people stick to it.

After finally deciding on the producer I wanted to send an offer to, I discovered you can’t make an offer (through the ACX site) unless your title is UP. So I finally changed my initial profile (something I should have done much earlier but was afraid to do; I feared I would somehow lose all my beautiful auditions). At the beginning of the description and then again in the Rights Holder comments, I put in big letters NO LONGER RECEIVING AUDITIONS. And I didn’t receive any. Having my title up allowed me to make an offer to the producer I had finally decided on.

The Takeaway:

  • When you first sent up your title, be very careful about everything. Specify accent, gender, age, etc. of the narrator you have in mind. And don’t be afraid to go back in and change it! 
  • For the audition manuscript, include the voices you really need to hear but still making it as short and succinct as possible.
  • Put an audition end date right up front! Put it at the beginning of the description or in the Additional Comments section. You can always go back and extend it if you don’t receive enough auditions. This way you won’t have to take it down and automatic emails won’t go out to your applicants.
  • I found that it was good for me to put time in between listening to auditions. I took about 2 weeks before deciding.

I also went back and sent personal messages (some were part copy and paste, some were totally unique, depending on on the personal messages the applicants had sent with their auditions) to each person who auditioned, letting them know that I had made my decision and thanking them for their audition. They were very appreciative. Yes, it took all afternoon, but they did, after all, put time into auditioning.

Well, that’s enough for now. 

Have you created an audiobook yet? Leave questions or comments in comment section below.

Over and out,

S.

S. Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed Savers. Visit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

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2 comments on “ACX Auditions – Audiobook First-timer

  1. HI Sandy. This is hugely informative, thanks. I’ve never really considered audiobooks, thinking it would cost too much for little return. Just thinking about auditions is truly frightening, but then again, in time, it could be valuable.
    Looking forward to hearing more of your experiences!

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