True Confession #1
My talented, lovely…and only daughter is in town for a visit. As such, I was thrilled when she agreed to wake up early to join Henry (our dog) and me on a walk to the coffee shop. Time alone with my favorite daughter—what could be better? And yet, as I secured the strip of Velcro across my toe shoes (Yes, I wear toes shoes and I’m proud of it!) I found myself feeling ever so slightly disappointed I wouldn’t be plugging my earphones into my iPhone, slipping the tiny white earbuds into my ears, and tuning in to the sound of Neil Gaiman reading his novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
That’s right—I’m an audiobook junkie. Road trips, elliptical machines, long walks, short walks—even quick trips to the supermarket—are all simply excuses to read…or rather, listen to my audiobook.
That’s why I’m so excited to announce a division of Amazon called ACX chose my novel, WHEELS, to be part of their Stipend Program. In other words, ACX has agreed to pay (up to a specified amount) for a talented voiceover professional to create an audiobook version of my book! (For those who may not know: ACX is Amazon’s audiobook equivalent to Create Space.)
True Confession # 2
Until a month ago, I hadn’t even heard of ACX. I’ve always wanted to have an audiobook version of WHEELS. As a self-published author, however, I never imagined I’d be able to afford the services of a voiceover professional to record it for me. Then, I ran across a discussion about ACX on a self-publishing listserve.
ACX is an online marketplace that helps match authors, agents and publishers with voiceover talent. On the one end, if you’re looking to hire someone to produce your audiobook, you post your book on ACX.
On the other end, if you’re looking for voiceover work, you create a profile, upload audio samples of your work and search for books to audition for. (Check it out, author extraordinaire Neil Gaiman uses ACX!)
As thrilled as I was to discover ACX, the reality is most voiceover professionals charge anywhere from $100 to $500 on up per hour to produce audiobooks. (In the case of WHEELS, that means I was looking at a minimum of about a $2000 investment.) ACX, however, offers another payment option that appealed to me: Royalty Share. This option allows authors to advertise for voiceover talents who are willing to work for nothing up front with the promise that royalties from the sale of the audiobook will be split 50/50 between the author and the talent. (For more info on all the legalities involved, check out ACX.)
With that in mind, I created a profile for WHEELS, uploaded a three page audition script, crossed my fingers and prayed that someone stupendously talented, as well as hungry enough to work for the chance of earning future royalties, would audition. And guess what—they did! Yes, well…sort of.
True Confession #3
I had no idea ACX was running a Stipend program. Not until an actress who auditioned for WHEELS mentioned it, as in… “ACX is paying a stipend on your book—right?” “What? Stipend? Oh no!!! I must have pushed a wrong button!!! That was my first reaction.
True Confession #4
My second reaction was… “Hummm, what is a stipend?” (See end of True Confession #1)
Luckily, I quickly discovered that, no, I hadn’t pushed any “wrong” buttons, but I was… or rather, ACX is going to pay the awesomely talented actress I hired a stipend to produce my book. For more on the Stipend Program and the how and why they chose certain books for it check out: ACX Stipend Program.
True (and final) Confession #5
Confession #5 isn’t a confession at all—it’s an announcement. British actress, Lauren Baldwin, will be producing the audiobook version of WHEELS. I absolutely love Lauren’s voice. She totally rocked the audition and in addition to sharing royalties with her, ACX is going pay her a stipend for her hard work.
That’s it. Look for WHEELS to start showing up on Audible.com, Amazon and iTunes this coming holiday season. Also, look for more swag, free and fun stuff to follow in the coming months as I prepare for its release!
Finally, don’t forget to check out Lauren at: laurenbaldwin.com. Don’t miss her Doritos commercial (found under the video’s tab) —it’s a classic!
For more on Audiobooks check out the Wall Street Journal article: The New Explosion in Audiobooks
Happy writing, reading and… and listening!