When Choosing Genres/ Audio Book Production/ Turning Books into Audiobooks

Please let me put this out there first and foremost that you should always write in the genre that you enjoy the most. This is just my own thoughts that I would like to share from my own experience. With that said, here are a few things that I have learned and noticed with my own books. Please do remember that other authors may have a different experience and better luck in opposite or even the same areas as I have. Again, this is only from my own experience in publishing. You should always experiment to find what works best for you.

 

Awhile back I decided to remove all of my ebooks from all sites except for Amazon. I wanted to see if the KDP program was as favorable as the reviews I had read from other authors that had previously done so. My experience was that the first month was good for me but then sales really began to slow down. Do I still believe the program is a good one? Yes, I do. But... I believe that it is a good program for authors that have a large back log of books. At the moment, I only have 8. Would I use it again? In the future when I get a larger back log of books, I may consider it. But I truly believe that Lulu gives me a much better reach when it comes to my ebooks, and my sales are much, much better with Lulu's reach. So after my 3 month time is up with KDP, I will be sticking to Lulu when it comes to my ebooks. That still allows me to place them on Amazon, but everywhere else as well which means better ebook sales.

 

Another thing I would like to mention would be that anyone who has an ebook or even a print book should definitely seek out ACX and have it made into an audio book. It does not matter where the book/ebook was published because as long as it is listed on Amazon then you can assert your audio book rights on ACX. Below you will find instructions on how to do this on ACX.

 

Genres

As stated in the opening of this post; you should always write in the genre that you enjoy the most. As far as genres go though, you may find that you have better sales in one genre compared to another. My experience has been that Fiction does well. The genre's that I have better success in would be Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Young Adult, and New Adult. This is not to say that another author wouldn't do better or not as well in those genres or others. Remember that this is only from my own experience. Yours may be different.

 

When it comes to audio, remember that some genres that you do well in on print and ebook may have a different sales outcome. Romance and especially Paranormal romance, erotic, and Urban Fantasy do well. Again, only from my experience. As a side note, please make sure that your ebook and print are linked together on any listings you may have on Amazon. These include books also published through Lulu as long as they are listed on Amazon. If they are not linked this can be remedied by contacting Amazon and they will be happy to link them to make it easier for customers to find all formats of your work. If you have series, (Must have the second book in series out before they will do this) you can have them build a series page for you... this is free at no cost to you. This makes it easier for customers to find all of the books in a series. And do remember that this also applies to those authors who have published through Lulu and have their book listed on Amazon. When the search for your books are easier for the customer, this benefits you, the author.

 

I hope this may help a few and you did not mind me sharing a little of my writing adventure with you. Thank you.

 

Link for posting on ACX Tutorial/Help. I found this on Youtube.

 

For uploading cover art

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xuBIscLZFA

 

How to listen to production

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54wFj86DD5U

 

How to upload your book to ACX so you can assert your rights (Remember that even though the author of the video states that the number of words is not important, that it IS important to give a close as possible number of words.) Not to do so would be deceiving to the narrator. remember that this is the narrator's time they are putting into your book. So be fair and honest to the narrator. Also, although the author of the video does not care to put much effort into his project, you should!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6sZbynXUUQ

 

How to effectively use your Promo codes for ACX

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gga7YHFlgI

 

 

Comments

  • oncewasoncewas Librarian

    Some good advice here, Geraldine. Writing what makes you happy is always a good start. That way, even if the book doesn't sell you still have the pleasure of writing it.

     

    However, it is also good to challenge yourself sometimes and find a new point of view, or try a different genre.

     

    Are you able to let us know to what extent audio books have improved your sales? I wasn't aware of audio books being particularly big apart from those by famous authors.

  • I agree, Danielblue. It is good to broaden your horizon and try your hand at different genres. I myself write in about three. As far as the audio version goes and how I have seen it help my sales, it has opened up a whole new line of customers; audio book listeners. Although I do well mainly with my ebook versions when it comes to sales, I make more income in the audio books. Most people that buy my audio version have also bought my ebooks. Listeners are also able to get your ebook and audio book together as an a-la-carte so to speak. Here is how it works; buy the ebook at the regular price and the customer can also purchase the audible version at a huge discount. This is not to mean that all sales will be like this. Some customers (listeners) have credits they use while others who are not audible members will purchase at full cost of the audio version. Another good program that Audible has is that if a first time customer purchases a book (Their first purchase), and the book happens to be yours, then you receive a bounty. This means that you receive $50.00 on top of your royalties. If you are in a royalty share then you split that 50 with your producer. There are no limits on how many of these bounties one can receive. But do keep in mind that although it is available to the UK (Bounty) and the US, there are still a few states in the US that do not participate in the bounty program. So if you do not live in an approved state then you can not receive bounties. Now with that said, if your producer lives in an approved state, they can still receive their 25 split. But the program is a good one. I myself have received 11 bounties in the past. At the moment, I only have 6 audio books ( http://www.audible.com/search/ref=sr_sort_salesrank?searchRank=salesrank&advsearchKeywords=geraldine+allie&searchSize=20&searchRankSelect=salesrank ) with three more in production as we speak. Before the end of the year I should have another three going into production too. There is a lot of information that will answer many questions on the ACX site. I hope this helps.

     

    http://www.acx.com/

     

  • Here are some quick links from ACX.

     

    http://www.acx.com/help/50-bounty-program/201556680

     

    This one further explains the bounty program.

     

    http://www.acx.com/help/50-bounty-program/201556710

     

    This video will show you the process.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePISKtgIx7Q

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    I think audio-books are not for me. The only non-didactic book I have written in English is a sitcom (Spiffies and Loonies) with four lead characters (two hetero couples), several secondary characters, and plenty of episodic ones. There are UK and US characters, and non-native speakers of English. It is meant to be either read or acted or turned into a cartoon. How could a single artist do justice to it?

  • Hi, Potetjp

     

    First, ACX/ Audible accepts books in English, German, French, and Spanish. Second, you would be surprised at the number of play and works of live drama on Audible. Here are the categories that are listed on Audible. When listing your book, you are allowed to list it in up to three of these categories that best reflects your genre and targeted audience/ listener. Below that list you will find books that generally do not do well as an audio book. Hope this helps.

     

    Categories

     

    http://www.audible.com/morecategories?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_r=1PBS7PS5AJZN4GCB7PMH&pf_rd_m=A2ZO8JX97D5MN9&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=anon-hp-redirect-mt&pf_rd_p=2302845002&pf_rd_s=top-nav-ftx

     

     

    Books that generally do not make good audio books.

     

    http://audible-acx.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6624/kw/books%20that%20don't%20make%20good%20audiobooks

     

     

  • Potetjp,

     

    Sorry I forgot to answer the other part of your question.

     

    There are many talented voice artists on ACX to choose from. You would be surprised how these narrators can change their voice and play both parts. Please, when you have time, take a stroll through ACX and check out the various voice talent. Check out the samples on their pages and listen to various samples from various books they have done.

     

    http://www.acx.com/ss#keywords=&pageIndex=1

     

     

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    This is very useful indeed. Thanks a lot.

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    Indeed, most of your voice artists are good, but I came across one in French that is a joke: Jorge Vidaurre in L'Étranger by Albert CAMUS. That man can hardly speak French, and reads like a foreign learner, besides the fact that there is a very unpleasant noise from his recording machine in the background. Listening to him one is tempted to say "French as she is spoke". Smiley LOL

  • Potetjp,

     

    When choosing a narrator, I like to check under the Audible approved selections since they or most have better standing and qualifications. This is not to say that you will not find a qualified voice that has not mastered the approval status yet. You will run across a voice from time to time that has not yet mastered the quality of sound, as well as those that have not seemed to have reached the level of good narration either. The best advice I can give is to take your time to search and listen to the variety of voices and eventually/ hopefully you will find the best voice for your project. Do use those different search button selections to help you narrow down your search to specifically what you are looking for.

     

    Tips;

     

    Listeners do not like a robotic sounding voice. Natural is better and one that does not sound as if the narration is being read directly from the page. Emotion is good, if it sounds natural and flows with the story, text.

     

    If it is non fiction, try to think authoritative. Fiction, think storyteller. Play/ drama, maybe melodramatic. Romance should be something sultry and alluring, but not always slow. But whatever you pick make sure that the recording sounds good with no background or echo noise. Be careful of mouth noise such as clicks, belly growling, strong lisps, and pronunciations of words. If you have a male narrating a female voice, be sure it sounds somewhat decent and vise verse for female narrating a male voice. Try to pick a narrator that is versatile and can give you the difference between each character. Having a narrator who can not distinguish between each character voice can become confusing to the listener.  Look at reviews on Audible to see how the narrators do. Some voices are not as liked by some listeners. But also remember that not every listener will like every voice just like not every reader will like every genre. Hope this helps. Smiley Happy

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    Thanks for your advice, but isn't all this obvious?

  • Sorry Potetjp,

     

    I'm so used to explaining on my Facebook group page to some that have never used ACX before.

     

    As a side note, have you checked these narrators out for French?

     

    http://www.acx.com/ss#field_language=ACXLG1&field_comp=ACXCR0&keywords=&pageIndex=1

     

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    Geraldine_Allie a écrit :

     

     

    As a side note, have you checked these narrators out for French?

     

    http://www.acx.com/ss#field_language=ACXLG1&field_comp=ACXCR0&keywords=&pageIndex=1

     


    I checked several, and you may have noticed in a post above that I signalled one who could hardly speak French. I wonder how on earth he may have been recruited.  Smiley Mad

  • Potetjp,

     

    ACX allows anyone to set up a narrator account just as they do an author who has rights to their book. They don't do any recruiting that I am aware of. I do know that ACX does do a program for narrators to receive an Audible approved mark. I coundn't find the person on the their site. Did they have an audible approved checkmark next to their name? If they did then they have received a good approval mark from Audible which they would have had to apply for and show certain milemarks and qualifications first. But again, since I am only familiar with the author side of ACX, I don't know the complete rules on the narrator side of things. Smiley Sad

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    Geraldine_Allie a écrit :

    ACX allows anyone to set up a narrator account just as they do an author who has rights to their book. They don't do any recruiting that I am aware of. 

    ____________________________________

    So any incompetent person can get a narrator's account with ACX. Well, if  you speak French, just listen to that. To me it is scandalous that such a man should be among ACX's voice artists for French!  Just imagine the feelings of the customer who has bought an audiobook recorded by that scoundrel. Smiley Mad

    http://www.acx.com/ss#field_language=ACXLG1&keywords=Jorge%20viddaure&pageIndex=1

     

  • Ouch, I see what you mean. That is really bad. I listened to some of his other samples and in all of them he seems to be struggling. From the English sample, it sounds like he may be of a Spanish background and his English is not the best. Also, his recording technique is awful and his pauses are torture to the ears. Do remember though that an author picks their choice of narrator. So if someone chose to pick him, then that is on the author that chose him. As for me, I would not, I still have my hearing and sanity.  Smiley Mad

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    Geraldine_Allie a écrit :

    Ouch, I see what you mean. That is really bad.  Smiley Mad


    Don't you have the impression he made fun of your company?

  • Potetjp,

     

    As in my company, you mean a company I use to produce my audiobooks. Amazon owns Audible, ACX, Createspace (Print books, Music CD &Digital distribution, and Movie Digital and DVD distribution), Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon Video Direct (Movie makers distribution), Goodreads,  and Amazon Studios (Books and Scripts submitted for consideration of being made into series and movies).

     

    Unfortunately, that one narrator is not the only one like that you will find on ACX. But I like to think that the good narrators outnumber the bad ones. Like I said a person that owns the rights to their book is the one who chooses the narrator for their project. I doubt very much if many decide upon the worst of narrations knowing that it will only hurt the sale of their own audiobook.

     

    In fact, I did a search on Audible and did not find any books by that narrator. More than likely he placed samples on ACX and has had no projects as I saw none produced by them.

     

     

  • potetjppotetjp Teacher

    Geraldine_Allie a écrit :

    Potetjp,

     

    As in my company, you mean a company I use to produce my audiobooks. Amazon owns Audible, ACX, Createspace (Print books, Music CD &Digital distribution, and Movie Digital and DVD distribution), Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon Video Direct (Movie makers distribution), Goodreads,  and Amazon Studios (Books and Scripts submitted for consideration of being made into series and movies).

     

    I meant ACX.

     

    Unfortunately, that one narrator is not the only one like that you will find on ACX. But I like to think that the good narrators outnumber the bad ones. Like I said a person that owns the rights to their book is the one who chooses the narrator for their project. I doubt very much if many decide upon the worst of narrations knowing that it will only hurt the sale of their own audiobook.

     

    There should be a competent manager for each of the four languages to eliminate all the nincompoops like that one.

     

    In fact, I did a search on Audible and did not find any books by that narrator. More than likely he placed samples on ACX and has had no projects as I saw none produced by them.

     

    Fortunately. All the same, he should not be allowed to post anything on ACX.

     

     


     

Sign In or Register to comment.