I’m so terribly excited to announce to all my readers, that Destiny’s Flower is now available at Audible.com After months of waiting, it has been released this week, and made available to the world. The sales of the audio book are already doing well beyond my expectation.
I would like to personally thank Victoria Masterson, who graciously agreed to be part of this project. She is a wonderful up and coming narrator and did a marvelous job at this, with some direction from me. Her interpretation of Destiny’s Flower is riveting and I believe everyone will enjoy listening to her.
I’d also like to thank ACX for making this possible. ACX is a subsidiary of Audible.com that have created an online presence for authors and narrators to collaborate to make these types of projects possible. They allow narrators to audition for the books, and then provide authors the tools for selecting and contract negotiation with these narrators. If there are any authors out there considering audio book publishing, I would definitely give ACX.com a try. I had to use zero up front capital for the project, because Victoria agreed to produce the audio book for a cut of the profit. ACX standard is a 50/50 split of the profit. Personally, I felt this was totally reasonable, because Victoria was taking as much of a risk as I was, and she spent countless hours producing this book, and getting it to be top notch quality.
However, I would caution authors that not all narrators are alike, and not all have the technical skills necessary to produce an audio book. So be warned, you pay for what you get. It’s important to audition each potential narrator before making an offer. Here are some things that were important to me on selecting a narrator:
1. The narrator needed to have a clear clean voice. Someone who I’d be willing to listen to for hours, because I was going to have to review the material. If you can’t even listen to the narrator for 30 minutes with out wanting to tear your hair out, then you should probably move on to the next audition.
2. I listened to the sample audio files from the auditions over a good quality headsets over my computer. I used the Logitech $30 headset. The reason you want to listen to it over headsets as opposed to your regular computer speakers, is because you get a much more accurate experience. The computer often times filters out noise. You need to listen to see if there are any background noises, whether the narrator has any popping sounds on their p’s and t’s, etc. All of these are subtle nuances, but a good narrator/producer will filter those out. Also, decide whether you want to be able to hear the narrator take breaths or not. People kind of have their own preference for that.
3. If you found someone you like, but something seems wrong with the production, you can always ask them to clean it up. If they’re willing to do so, and it sounds great, then you have a winner. If they’re not willing/able to clean it up, then run away. You don’t want to put a poor product out there on the market.
4. Once you’ve selected your narrator, ACX makes it easy to give them the contract and they handle all of the financial transactions, including taxes, which makes this an even better deal.
5. Victoria and I skyped a few times, to go over the material, to review pronunciations, and talk about the general tone of the book. She then did a chapter or two, for me to comment one and provide feedback on. However, I found that after that, things were pretty much set and on a role. She required little direction, and was able to produce the book, well within the agreed upon time frame.
6. I should point out, that many of these narrators have day jobs. So don’t expect your book to be done within a 2 weeks, if you’re not willing to pay the money up front. Be reasonable, and realize like you, they are doing this because this is what they love to do.
Well, I hope that you’ve found some of this information useful. I’d be happy to answer any questions that any new authors may have about this process. Drop me a note at rosebuzlrh AT gmail DOT com.