I’ve just finished listening to the Haunting Miss Trentwood audiobook, narrated by the fantastic Arielle Lipshaw. I’m pretty excited about this, I’ve never had an audiobook done before and hearing my characters speak as if they were part of a radio play is a lot of fun.
You might wonder how I got into making an audiobook. Well, along the lines of Neil Gaiman, I joined the Audiobook Creation Exchange, henceforth shortened to ACX.
ACX is owned by Amazon, so if you want to have an audiobook you first need to have the book be available on Amazon. There is a mysterious algorithm which will determine whether your book is acceptable audiobook material. For instance, Catching the Rose is not allowed to be an audiobook, but Haunting Miss Trentwood is. I assume this has something to do with ratings (13 on HMT, 1 on CTR), and downloads (lost count on HMT, still somewhere around 150 for CTR).
ACX is is like a marketplace for authors and narrators to pitch one another to help complete their creative works. When you sign up, you search for your books on Amazon that are allowed to be made into audiobook format, and you write a project pitch. In my project pitch, I provided the synopsis, my ranking/rating numbers, and a number of excerpted reviews.
Then I went in search of my narrator. The narrators on the website each have samples of their different styles; I knew I wanted someone who could mimic an Elizabeth Bennet style. I found her in Arielle Lipshaw.
The nice thing about ACX is you can split the cost with your narrator in different ways. The one I chose was to pay Arielle up front once the project was completed to my liking. This means I won’t be sharing royalties with her later. It’s quite a bit of money (around $1500), but luckily my existing royalties are paying for that. And hopefully future royalties from this additional distribution stream will balance out the cost. Arielle has also helped me by pointing out her rate would be cheaper if she did the English accent only when the characters were speaking, rather than for the length of the entire book.
All in all, the project is coming along. I’m looking forward to the finished product and I hope you will enjoy it.