This is where your profile—and especially your audio samples—comes into play. The audiobook samples you upload are especially important. So don’t just list in your profile that you can do a great French accent—upload a sample that shows how fabulous that accent is, and label it descriptively. Or, if you haven’t had the chance to use a particular skill yet in an audiobook, create a new sample to show off. This flexibility is one reason why ACX allows for unlimited sample uploads. Having robust samples will provide you with the best opportunity to be found by someone on ACX that is trying to make an audiobook. Also, focus on your audiobook experience, not just your general acting experience. List how many audiobooks you’re narrated and/or produced. List any Audie nominations or Earphone awards, too.
Request an audition. You want to hear real narrators reading your actual words, not just a generic passage. ACX advises against making an Offer to a Producer until you hear them (or the narrator they subcontract) read a page or two of the actual book you want them to record. Then, go with your gut feeling: Is there the right level of emotion and expression? Does the Narrator sound the right age for the part? Finally, would a customer enjoy hearing the voice?
Tip for Rights Holders hiring Producers:If you’re still unsure, take a casual poll of friends and family and find out what they think about the narrators you’re considering.
You may get a message from a Rights Holder asking you to audition for their book, which is great. But we also encourage you to go out and proactively search for titles on ACX. Find projects that intrigue you, and audition! ACX was designed for entrepreneurial types, and we want you to take advantage of the opportunities.
Also please remember, if you are sending in an audition, you are basically telling the Rights Holder that you can produce—not just narrate—the audiobook. So please audition only if you are also planning to be the audiobook’s Producer. Otherwise, work with someone who will act as the audiobook’s Producer to your narration.
HOW TO DO IT: It’s easy to submit an Audition Script. Each title profile has an Audition Script tab that contains a brief section of the book—usually one or two pages—to record yourself reading. Record it at home on your computer or, better yet, record your audition in the studio where you’d produce the book if you were to win the job.
You’re going to spend many hours on this project—reading the entire book, preparing to narrate it, recording it, possibly editing it, and doing the quality control, too (unless you subcontract a separate editor or QC person). So, choose a book that you’ll enjoy reading. If you enjoy reading Science Fiction, then seek out Sci-Fi titles on ACX. Oh, and don’t be embarrassed to take on a romance novel—they’re fun to narrate.
Tip for audiobook Producers about narration: If you’re a little less confident about your acting chops, start out by choosing a nonfiction project. Nonfiction generally doesn’t require as many different character voices and emotional ranges as fiction does.
Most importantly, make sure you have strong audiobook samples uploaded on your profile. Those are used to connect narrators with titles. So don’t just state in your profile that you have great pacing for a thriller or mystery novel; show this to Rights Holders with a sample of you reading a compelling mystery novel. You can upload as many samples as you want. Just be sure to give each one a specific, succinct, and descriptive label.
Tip on recommendations: Once you have twenty-five audiobooks available for sale on Audible.com—whether created on ACX or not—apply to become Audible Approved. This badge of honor will be visible on your ACX profile, and you can also use it to promote yourself on your own social network sites.
You may get dozens of auditions. You may not get any. It will depend not only on the ability for your Title Profile to get potential Producers interested un the book, but also on what you’re offering to pay for the audiobook production. (Many Producers will be eager to earn $275+ per-finished-hour, for example, while others have higher—or occasionally lower—minimum rates). You can choose to pay nothing up front for the production and instead share royalties with the Producer, as part of a Royalty Share deal. However, this does limit the pool of potentially interested Producers right off the bat.
Tip for Rights Holders about auditions: Be proactive and take the lead by searching for Producers on ACX. When you find an intriguing one, request that they send in an audition for your audiobook.