Amazon’s Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) panel at New Media Expo – LiveBlog

Audible, a unit of Amazon, is presenting a panel at New Media Expo on the Audiobook Creation Exchange. The head of Audible, Jason Ojalvo, is on the panel, along with others who have used ACX. Here we go:

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Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:21 pm

Q. Quick tips on sound proofing?
David: Sound dampening is possible. Use a walk-in closet with clothes in there. Don’t move next to a BART station.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:18 pm

Jason: There are a ton of women’s romance, erotica, and smut auditions available. We carry it. If you’re comfortable with it, you will find plenty of opportunities on ACX.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:18 pm

Q. How does poetry sell as audiobooks?
Jason: They tend to be short, so it’s not a huge seller. We do carry it. Might sell better on iTunes, where short content sells better. A longer collection that totaled six hours would sell better than three one-hour books.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:16 pm

Q. How can I nurture voiceover actors to do this?
Jason: You can help actors audition. Create an account at ACX. Get a handful of actors to audition.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:15 pm

Jason: Audible sometimes pays a stipend in addition to the royalty as an incentive to get the book recorded. They tend to be 6 to 8 hours long.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:14 pm

Q. Is there a system for full cast productions?
Jason: You can contract out for that. Audible is one voice. Will be hard to make the money back if you pay all those actors.
Q. Length? Audible members usually don’t want to buy an audiobook below $14.95, which is the monthly membership fee.
Lawrence: It depends. Might make good money on shorter project.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:11 pm

Q. Audition question.
Jason: You email the author and ask which pages he or she wants you to read in the audition. Audible members want books that are 6 to 20 hours long, so a 20-pager won’t generate much in royalties.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:09 pm

Q. Readers who go off script messes up Whispersync, right?
Jason: Right. It’s worth it for some authors. Personal creative decision for the author.
Lawrence: Will Wheaton adds a lot on audio version, an Easter egg for his fans.
Jason: As long as content you are adding will make it more interesting, go for it.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:07 pm

Jason Ojalvo: All projects start as eBook or print projects. You could also do audiobook only.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:06 pm

“It’s awesome” David H. Lawrence XVII says of royalty rates available at ACX. “This is the perfect casting site ever created in the history of ever,” he says. It’s free.
Questioner: How come the training course isn’t free?
David: It’s not from ACX.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:05 pm

Jason Ojalvo says the odds are excellent for getting a project now at ACX. It won’t be that way in a few years. Get in early, he recommends.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:04 pm

Renee Chamblis, a narrator, says developing relationships with authors is a big benefit. An author mentioned her in acknowledgments of latest book.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:03 pm

David H. Lawrence XVII likes working alone on an ACX project, without a producer. It’s like your podcast. You are the one making sure it’s right.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20146:02 pm

Jason Ojalvo, head of Audible: Most of the ACX talent record at home, like podcasters do, without producers. Audible will help screen quality of your sample, help mediate between author and narrator. At ACX website the quality standards are laid out, along with video tutorials for setting up a home studio, how to produce an audiobook. “We’re relying on you to create a retail-ready audiobook.” Performance and acting tutorials on ACX might help a podcaster moving into narrating fiction.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20145:58 pm

Neal Schaffer wanted to experiment with ACX. Like podcasting, audiobook is intimate connection with reader/listener. On first book used a voiceover actor and negotiated a fixed rate. New book, working with Wiley, he recorded it himself. “I had no idea what I was in for.” A week in the studio. It’s a lot of work. Producer listens for mistakes, which must be corrected. “I’ve seen it from both sides of the picture.”

Len Edgerly January 5, 20145:56 pm

Neal Schaffer, president of Maximize Your Social at MaximizeYourSocial.com , published his first book at CreateSpace. He realized there were channels he wasn’t reaching. For second book, he worked with a producer for audiobook format. Audible is a subscriber platform. Paperback or eBook took certain time to reach a certain run rate or revenue. With Audible, royalty books were even higher. Volume is similar to paperback, but making more on the audio version. It’s a market that not everyone realizes exists. “There’s a whole new market out there.”

Len Edgerly January 5, 20145:54 pm

If you stick with audiobooks and do a lot of work on your craft, you could change from your survival job at the 7-11 to being an audiobook narrator as your full-time job, David H. Lawrence XVII avers. Class costs $1495, minus $300 if you use the code mentioned below.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20145:52 pm

This is funny but too long – the spoof on audiobooks at #NMX.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20145:52 pm

“How many of you actually know what an audiobook is?” David H. Lawrence XVII asks. Runs an ancient video clip explaining them. “Nobody likes to read..Streets have been littered by unwanted books. At last, mankind is able to escape the terrible tyranny of books, thanks to…the audiobook.” This is a joke, right? Seems to have been created by DHL XVII.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20145:50 pm

ACXMasterClass.com/NMX gets you $300 off a master class, “Go from Zero to Hero on ACX” that David H. Lawrence XVII will be teaching. Podcasters already know much of what’s necessary to record audiobooks. Starts in February, I think. You can go from Podcaster to Narrator. He has a killer voice, by the way. Deep and compelling.

Len Edgerly January 5, 20145:48 pm

David H. Lawrence XVII, an actor, raves about opportunities ACX offers for voice talent. On the first six books he auditioned for in 2011, he got jobs to do five of them. “The opportunities and support that ACX give s you as a talent is just insane.” Lawrence does voiceovers, in and out quick. Audiobooks “require you to sit on your ass for hours at a time…It’s a big project.” He says he was the first podcaster, did podcasts in the mid-90s. This will be news to Adam Curry…

Len Edgerly January 5, 20145:43 pm

Jason Ojalvo of Audible says ACX was created in order to put the means of creating audiobooks into the hands of authors and actors/readers. ACX website offers more than 3,000 book titles whose authors are seeking an audio version. Readers can choose how to get paid: negotiated rate per finished hour, the traditional model. Also: the royalty share deal, which gives reader half of the royalties, splitting them with author. You take a chance, putting in sweat equity as the author does. “That’s a pretty cool option as well,” Jason says.