13115: AMA! Ask Me Anything About Audiobooks, ACX And More

Hey there, hero!

Next week, Dan O’Day and I will be opening registration for the brand-spankin’-new edition of the ACX Master Class.

In fact, we’re running (as this podcast episode is being released live) a series of free video training on ACX, audiobook narration, the tech you need, the challenges you’ll face (and how, as a new narrator, we’ve seen our students meet them) and so much more.

But…if you have questions about audiobooks or ACX that you’d like to ask me directly, here’s your chance.

In this episode, I let you know what you can ask (pretty much anything, but I give you some guidelines) and how to ask (where to put your questions…hint-hint: scroll down to the comments here and leave them).

Then, next week, I’ll answer them all. I’ll be doing a last-minute produced podcast, plus a live event online, with Dan to answer each and every question.

What do you want to know about audiobook narration? If you want to become a narrator, what’s stopping you? What worries you about it? What do you need help with? Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. I’m new to audiobooks, and I have two questions:

    1. Is there a way to market myself as being a family-friendly audiobook reader, without meaning that I’ll only read children’s books, self-help guides, and technical manuals?

    2. Is there a way to review a project completely before signing to do it? I imagine the answer is a very simple, “yes, read the book.” 😄

  2. One of my main reasons for staying away from audiobooks is that it seems like it would take a lot of time to record and produce. As it is, my timeline for doing voiceover auditions and jobs is after the kids are in bed at night. I usually get about 2 hours of VO work done and then off to bed and wake up for the day job. So, what is a normal timeframe for producing an audiobook, and what is the average work time per day for that normal timeframe? Also, are clients looking for quicker turnarounds and how long is too long to turn in a finished product?

  3. Hi David,

    I have been watching (and enjoying!) the current videos for the ACX Masterclass with great interest – looking forward to seeing the Number Three!

    I have a concern: There has been much ‘chatter’ online over the past year about Audible seeming to take advantage of Narrators (and Authors) over the issue of Returns of Audiobooks when performed on a Royalty or Royalty Share+ basis. (The previous Royalty Share/Royalty Share+ amount being clawed back for each audiobook returned from the respective Narrators & Authors).

    What appeared to make this situation even more disadvantageous, it seemed, (for Ns & As) was Audible’s apparent encouragement for purchasers to return the product if they did not like it, for whatever reason – whether listened to in part or even in whole and without any apparent time limit within which to make the return.

    In promoting the ACX Masterclass for audiobook work via ACX/Audible, I imagine you will have much better knowledge of how Audible currently treats its Narrators & Authors than the general public. Is this a subject that could perhaps be addressed in some way during the ‘Ask Me Anything about Audiobooks’ session?

    I hope you may be able to provide some reassurance for those about to consider an audiobook narration career.

    1. Ah! Found the comment – not under one of the three videos, but here! So…

      …yes, this is a thing for some people – but it’s turned out to be far less of an issue than some narrators have worried it would become. I can only speak for myself (and my clients), but I’ve heard no outcry that our incomes have plummeted because of this – it’s not a new policy by any means (it’s been Audible’s policy since before Amazon bought them), and it’s the essence of a money back satisfaction guarantee.

      Are there people who abuse it? Yes. They are few and far between and Audible bans them if they do it too often. Remember, it’s in Audible’s best interest not to refund money either, so they’d be losing even more than the narrators and authors would be losing.

      Our industry is populated with some who are loud and righteously indignant about various issues, and because they’re not shy about voicing their opinion, that opinion can seem far more prevalent and common than it actually is. To confirm, yes this exists, and it’s far rarer than those who are the most angry about it would like you to think. My income is up over the last few years, and although that’s anecdotal, I think it’s far more indicative of the actual “fake returns” situation than “the sky is falling” is – we’d have seen the entire industry collapse from returns it it was actually as bad as some make it out to be.

      Hope that helps!