Today, in a second guest post on the audiobook process, my guest is Diane Weiner, author of three cozy mysteries, to share her experiences with creating audiobooks. I'm discovering it's definitely an interesting process.
My New Year’s resolution: Get all twenty-one of my cozy mysteries into audiobook format. I’d been hearing about, thinking about, and planning to do this “one day,” and decided 2021 would be my “one day.”
So what has the process been like from an author’s point of view?
I started the process by listening to an author speak on the subject at a local Mystery Writers of America luncheon. I took careful notes, spoke to a few authors who had been through the process, and checked out ACX.com. The first step was to “claim my books” on the dashboard. To produce an audio book, you must own the rights to your book and upload a square cover.
Once the book is listed, the author has choices to make. First, you must either upload an audio version you have already created, or select a narrator. I needed a narrator, in fact, I needed several narrators, in order to accomplish my goal. This was a fun part of the process. I uploaded a few pages from the book I wanted to produce as an audition script. I chose the first few pages, but if you have several characters in your book, it might be better to select a section with multiple characters. You select what type of voice you’re seeking: male/female, young/old, accent (if any), and style (engaging, exciting, storytelling…). The producer also has an option to write notes to further clarify.
Then, the fun begins. I received between 12 and 20 auditions for each book that I posted. The first time through, I weeded out the voices that weren’t a good fit; then listened multiple times to those that were. It was difficult to choose. Some narrators made me laugh with their quirky portrayals; others simply had beautiful voices. I wound up choosing both styles.
After selecting a narrator, the producer makes an offer to the narrator. This states a time frame for completing the project and details as to how the narrator will be paid. Narrators are either paid per hour, or royalties are shared. If the project is exclusive, the royalty rate is higher, but the platforms are limited and the book can’t be sold to libraries.
After the project is completed, the producer either request changes or approves it. Then, it goes to ACX for approval, and if the quality is acceptable, it is posted for sale. More than halfway through the year, I am more than halfway finished and plan to meet my goal. Of course, I have a new release coming out soon, and am almost finished writing another, so the process will be continuing past 2021 and well into the future!
About Diane Weiner
Diane Weiner resides in South Florida and is the author of three cozy mystery series: The Susan Wiles Schoolhouse Mysteries, The Sugarbury Falls Mysteries, and The Sara Baron Tuned-in Mysteries.
Narrators for Diane's books include:
The Susan Wiles Schoolhouse Mysteries - some are narrated by Emma Speer and some by Sandra Churchill
The Sugarbury Falls Mysteries are narrated by Rhonda Krachmer
The Sara Baron Tuned-in Mysteries are narrated by Naomi Rose-Mock
Thanks so much, Diane, for sharing with us today. You are way ahead of me in this process. If you're interested in accessing promo codes (US and UK) or audiobook reviews, here are some sites where you can find them.
Cozy Mystery Audiobook Lovers
Not so sure if audiobooks are for you? Most books on Amazon with audiobooks have a short sample to preview on the product page.
Note. My goal is to catch up with Diane sometime in 2022. Two done, two in production, and many to go...