My first audiobook just came out this week, and I’m thrilled! ACX (now owned by Amazon) made it pretty easy to do at no up-front cost.
I first checked with my publisher about the project, and she was completely behind it. She said she’d wanted to see how the process worked. However, for several of our other books, the publisher owns the audio rights, so we are unable to create audiobooks for them.
ACX is like a dating service for authors (rights owners) and voice artists. Authors can choose to record their own books, but professional equipment is required. The final book is reviewed to make sure it meets ACX’s standards.
Here’s how it’s done:
My book, Ghost Writer, is set in Laguna Beach, California and contains quite a few Spanish words. The ghost has a pronounced British accent. I had to correct the pronunciation of a couple of words, but her voicing of the ghost was spot-on.
The producer for The Memory Keeper had me on the third sentence with his pronunciation of San Juan Capistrano. He used just a hint of accent, and the correct pronunciation rolled off his tongue as if he had lived here at the time of the book. However, we threw him lots of Spanish and Acjachemen words as well. We located an expert on the Luiseno language, who recorded a guide for the producer to use. This book took longer, in part, because we have had to discuss how certain words are pronounced.
The CD cover must be square. So it took some work in Photoshop to create the one for the CD, and some of the cover art had to be eliminated:
10. Finally, the producer began to upload the chapters. I reviewed each of them and found a few minor issues. A flurry of correspondence took care of the problems.
11. At last, we both agreed on the final version. Then we waited while ACX reviewed the project.
12. After a couple of weeks, they approved the audiobook for sale, but it took another two weeks for it to appear on Amazon.
13. Now we wait to see how many copies we sell.
I’m excited because I have several friends with macular degeneration who have not been able to read our books. Now they can listen to them.
Ghost Writer is now available and The Memory Keeper should be finished in June.
Do you like listening to audiobooks? When and where do you listen to them? Please let me know if you have listened to the book and how you liked it.