How It Works

Want to Narrate Your Own Book?


There are very good reasons to do so…

  • It's your book, so your voice tells it best. You know your characters, your story or subject, and your words better than anyone else. Narrating is a creative way of expressing your thoughts to listeners, just like articulating them on paper is a way to express yourself to readers.
  • You keep more revenue. If your book is produced through ACX, you'll either share royalties with a narrator or pay a narrator upfront to perform your audiobook. When you narrate your own book, all of your audiobook's revenue goes to you.
  • You just might enjoy it! Narrating your own book can be a rewarding, satisfying way to bring the creative process full circle.
     
    Check out examples of authors who've done this.
 

I'm ready to go. What do I do?

The process for authors narrating their own audiobook on ACX is simple.

Step 1. Make sure your audiobook is ready for upload

If you haven't recorded your book yet (or even if you have), make sure it follows our Audiobook Submission Requirements. As far as recording is concerned, you can use a professional studio, or, if you're willing to put in a little more effort, you can produce your audiobook yourself using your computer and some basic recording equipment. Need help? Watch the short video above for tips, and go here for advice on creating your own home studio.

Step 2. Upload your file

Your audiobook must be fully finished and ready for retail before uploading. If you're ready to upload, log into your ACX account. Under the “My Projects” section of the site, click the “Add Title” link. (Please make sure that you—not your print publisher—control the audio rights to your book.) You will then add the metadata for your audiobook (i.e. it will be listed on your product detail page) and begin the upload process. Once you've started that process, you can come back and finish it at any time.

Step 3. Start promoting!

Once the upload of your audiobook is complete, your audiobook will be readied for distribution. You'll want to check out our marketing section for advice on how to begin promoting it to your fans.

US authors will receive a monthly royalty statement and payment from Audible via check or direct deposit, and UK authors will receive payments quarterly by direct deposit to the account of your choice. And, you can track your audiobook's sales on ACX once it's in the store. (Be sure to learn all about how to take advantage of our special $50 Bounty Payment!)

 

Here are some great examples of popular authors that have had success in reading their own works.

  • Gary Vaynerchuk

    Learn More at Audible

    Why Gary was Perfect for the Role

    There are specific reasons why it made sense for Gary Vaynerchuck to narrate his book Crush It! It's a business book, and that kind of book is usually full of both straightforward information as well as the author's ideology—a combination that lends itself nicely to an author's narration. In Vaynerchuck's case, he was also able to convey his infectious enthusiasm for the material through his performance. His passion and almost giddy persona have earned him a large and loyal social media following, and the fact that he read the book himself most likely increased its sales. As a bonus, because he was the author Vaynerchuck had the ability to go off-script and direct comments straight at the listener, which gives the audiobook a uniquely personal touch. While we don't necessarily encourage others to try going off-script, it works well for Crush It!.

  • Jeannette Walls

    Learn More at Audible

    Why Jeannette was Perfect for the Role

    The Glass Castle is an intimate telling of Jeannette Walls's childhood and the unconventional way her parents raised her and her siblings. Since the book is a highly personal account, the overall experience is more endearing and affecting when heard through Walls' narration than it would have been had an actor read her story. Walls's performance not only helps the listener understand her generosity, compassion, determination and tenderness; she also gives her listeners the feeling of being part of her tale.

  • Neil Gaiman

    Learn More at Audible

    Why Neil was Perfect for the Role

    Gaiman is a master storyteller – a master of the written word as well as the spoken – and listening to him read his own stories is a delight for any listener. What makes his narration important for The Graveyard Book is the way he delivers his dark performance: It perfectly matches his own creepy, terrifying plotline. Gaiman's huge number of social media followers love his story-telling abilities. With him as the narrator, not only are younger fans drawn into this children's book, but older enthusiasts show up, too.

  • Malcolm Gladwell

    Learn More at Audible

    Why Malcolm was Perfect for the Role

    Like other social science books, Outliers is an in-depth look at a specific group of people (in this case, society's top achievers), a project that required massive amounts of research. What helps Gladwell share these comprehensive ideas in a clear, concise way is his calm and collected narration. His effortless knowledge of his material results in spot-on control of the narrative speed and tone, producing a better overall experience for the listener. Gladwell's narration results in easier access to material that otherwise could have been pretty difficult to digest.

  • Mignon Fogarty

    Learn More at Audible

    Why Mignon was Perfect for this Role

    Fogarty is Grammar Girl, her well-known alter-ego who contributes to established media outlets and produces a weekly podcast. She created the Grammar Girl personality, this story is told by Grammar Girl, so it is only fitting that Fogarty narrate this witty and easy-to-follow guide as Grammar Girl. Quite simply, Fogarty's voice is the one people recognize as Grammar Girl's. She invented the persona, she contains the character, so she doles out the advice.

  • Deepak Chopra

    Learn More at Audible

    Why Deepak Chopra was Perfect for this Role

    Chopra is the trusted name many readers and listeners turn to when they're examining tough spiritual concerns. Although several of his books have been successfully narrated by professionals, listening to Chopra narrate his work is a different experience. As he guides a listener through his own thoughts and beliefs, he conveys a special sense of authority and authenticity.

  • Toni Morrison

    Learn More at Audible

    Why Toni was Perfect for this Role

    Reading Toni Morrison, or experiencing someone else reading Morrison's work, is like being part of the poetry. But experiencing Morrison perform her own words is to be consumed by magic. She sweeps her listener away with her rich tone; she lets listeners feel as if they actually are seeing her story unfold. Morrison's ability to capture hearts with her distinct and powerful voice is what drives people to the audiobooks she narrates.

  • David Sedaris

    Learn More at Audible

    Why David was Perfect for this Role

    Sedaris is a performer in every sense of the word. He makes you laugh, he makes you cry, he makes you think…and then he leaves you laughing some more. The thousands upon thousands of David Sedaris fans out there (one might even say millions) flock to his audiobooks because no one else could deliver his material in quite the same way as Sedaris does. And that's exactly what his fans are looking to experience: his original words, his unique humor, that one-of-a-kind voice.