Frequently Asked Questions

Narrators

I've never narrated an audiobook. What advice do you have for me?

ACX is a great place to start your narration career. On ACX, narrators deliver a fully-produced audiobook recording, in addition to performing the audiobook, whether you record and engineer the audio files yourself or engage the services of a professional. Consider this as you are choosing titles for auditions. Our Video Lessons and Resources can give you performance and recording advice or read more on the ACX blog.

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How do I join ACX?

Creating a narrator profile on ACX is simple and free. Sign Up Now using your Amazon.com account, or create a new account. Select producer or studio pro, and provide some additional details to begin auditioning for audiobook projects.

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How do I upload auditions for projects?

To submit an audition for a project you've found on ACX, sign in to your ACX account, then search for the book using the 'Titles Accepting Auditions' button. Click the name of the book for which you'd like to audition, and on the title profile page, click 'Upload Audition.' On the upload page, click the browse button and select the file you wish to upload. Add a message in the message box if you wish, then click 'Submit Audition'.

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How long should my auditions be?

We recommend that the Rights Holder upload 2-3 pages from the manuscript to act as your audition script. Your recorded audition should run 5-10 minutes.

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I am a narrator. How do I narrate and produce an audiobook on ACX?

ACX narrators are expected to do their own audiobook production or source a studio who can assist with recording and production. You are responsible for delivering a full retail-ready production to the Rights Holder, but we know that when you’re producing an audiobook, you often need to employ others to help in the process. If you’re a narrator you often need to hire a studio with an engineer to record you, an audiobook editor to polish your recording, and mastering engineer to polish your production.

When you do this, we recommend that you have your production team under contract. ACX requires that you use the correct form of the ACX's Independent Contractor Agreement when you engage independent contractors to work on your audiobook production. Doing this manages everyone's expectations, and will ensure that the people you hire to assist you in producing the audiobook for ACX are of high quality and meet ACX audio requirements.

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How can an author narrate his or her own audiobook?

Audiobook listeners love to hear an author's work in his or her own words, and we can help you learn how to record your manuscript. Start with these FAQs here. Then, learn how to create the perfect recording space in your home and start recording using our Video Resources & Resources page.

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What is an Audible Approved Producer, and how do I become one?

Audible Approved producers are the best audiobook producers in the business. Most have narrated and/or produced 25 audiobooks that are available on Audible.com and have a verifiable record of achievement in the audiobook industry. These producers are identifiable on the ACX website by a special icon in their narrator profiles.

You may apply for Audible Approved Producer status by emailing us your audiobook narration credentials and achievements. Your ACX profile should be a reflection of your wealth of audiobook experience and include your list of credits, along with a selection of samples that prove your narration and production abilities. Your request will be reviewed within 10 business days, typically. If you’re accepted as Audible Approved, your profile will feature the special icon, giving you our seal of approval: the thumbs-up from Audible.com shows that you’re experienced and respected, and it can encourage Rights Holders to choose you for their project!

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How can I set up a home studio?

ACX created a series of helpful videos to give you ideas and guidance on setting up a home studio on the ACX blog.

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What can I use as a sample on my producer profile?

We recommend using book-specific audio clips for your samples, as Rights Holders are searching for a narrator for their books. If you do not have audio samples that are from audiobook projects, consider recording a sample from a Public Domain title to get started. ACX does not limit the amount of samples your profile can include - upload as many as you like! For additional tips, check out this post on the ACX blog.

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How do I edit my profile and samples?

Click your name in the upper left corner of every page on ACX and then click "Edit Profile". You will be asked to start from the beginning stage, so just click the "continue" buttons on the bottom of each subsequent page until you get to the page with the information you'd like to change.

To edit the information associated with your samples, from the Upload Samples step, click the Edit button beside each audio sample you wish to edit. Update the accent attributes you wish to change, and click Update Sample.

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How many audio samples can I upload to my profile?

You should add as many as you’d like. Focus on diversity to show off your range. Samples posted within your profile will be ordered from newest at the top to oldest at the bottom, and don’t worry if you don’t have many audiobook credits to your name. Simply create some samples from scratch and upload them. Then tag each sample with words that describe the skill it reflects. The samples you upload, and how you tag them will greatly influence if, and how, you appear in a Rights Holder’s search.

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What information should I include in my narrator profile?

A strong narrator profile is as complete as possible. Choose your best head shot or company logo, and provide detailed descriptions of your acting credits, awards and achievements, and website. Great profiles also feature a variety of samples to demonstrate your range, and you can upload an unlimited number of audio demos. Samples are automatically listed newest to oldest on your profile, so keep this in mind as you upload them.

To get an idea of what your profile will look like, simply search for a few Narrator Profiles here and then follow the example of the ones you think are strongest.

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Should I choose to be paid through a Royalty Share deal or a per-finished-hour fee?

The answer depends on what your normal per-finished-hour rate is, as well as on how many units a particular audiobook sells. Some books never even sell a hundred copies, yet there are others that sell tens of thousands. We encourage narrators to take on a mix of projects—some paying you a flat Pay For Production fee and some on a Royalty Share basis. As one narrator put it: The former can pay the rent next month, and the latter can keep royalty checks coming in for seven years to come. And after you amass a body of work, the royalty checks from all those audiobooks can really add up!

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What rate should a producer should charge?

When determining what rate to charge Rights Holders for pay-for-production deals, consider your level of experience, the amount of work that will go into your production (including script prep, recording, editing, and post production), the cost of your equipment and or studio time, and the amount of time you'll dedicate to the production.

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I’m a union member. Can I use ACX and also contribute to my AFTRA Health & Retirement Fund?

Yes, narrators who produce an audiobook through ACX can contribute to their AFTRA H&R (health and retirement) Fund. Please note, though, that not all projects will quality for this.

To qualify for contributions, the project must be either ( a ) a Pay For Production deal that pays $225 per finished hour or more or b.) a Royalty Share deal that comes with an advance or stipend of one hundred dollars per finished hour or more or a total stipend or advance payment of at least one thousand dollars. You will be been directly contacted by ACX about this opportunity if a stipend or advance payment is available to you. If your project qualifies and you want to contribute to AFTRA H&R, simply click the button “Accept with AFTRA H&R” when you accept an Offer to produce an audiobook. When you click this button, and otherwise comply with all terms of the ACX Payment Conditions for Certain Producers, then a portion of the payment you earn will get sent to SAG-AFTRA to fund your H&R. This amount will come out of your total payment. It is not in addition to the agreed-upon total. Please see the ACX Payment Conditions for Certain Producers for complete terms and the next FAQ for the specifics.

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Which projects qualify for AFTRA H&R Fund contributions? How does it work?

Regardless of how you choose to get paid for your work—as a Royalty Share or Pay For Production deal—the job could qualify for contributions to your AFTRA H&R Fund. A project has to meet certain criteria to qualify, but remember that you can always choose to accept any project as a non-SAG-AFTRA job.

Here's the Deal:

  • On Royalty Share deals: For a Royalty Share deal to qualify for AFTRA H&R, the deal must provide for an advance or stipend payment of at least $100 per finished hour. Don’t worry—ACX will have already alerted you if you’re eligible for this on a particular project. It’s generally only offered to Audible Approved narrators and only on certain handpicked titles. (If you’re unsure, please contact us.) If you go ahead and accept a Royalty Share deal as an SAG-AFTRA-approved project, Audible.com will send 12.5% of your advance or stipend directly to SAG-AFTRA for your H&R fund contribution, and the remaining 87.5% will be sent directly to you by Audible after the title is complete and approved by the Rights Holder. As you earn royalties, Audible will send 11.111% of each royalty payment directly to SAG-AFTRA; the remaining 88.889% of the royalty payment will be sent to you.
  • On Pay For Production deals:For a Pay for Production deal, your finished hourly rate for an audiobook production must be $225 or more. Since neither you nor the Rights Holder is permitted to pay SAG-AFTRA directly, you must tell the Rights Holder to pay you via the SAG-AFTRA-approved Paymaster service. Send them a message after you’ve accepted the Offer and ask them to send your final payment to Eljin Productions, Inc., 44 Kane Avenue, Larchmont, NY 10538.The SAG-AFTRA Paymaster will keep a fee of 5%, send about 10% of the production fee to SAG-AFTRA to fund your H&R, and then send the remaining amount to you. Please see the sample payment chart below.

AFTRA H&R Contributions: Rates in a Pay For Production Deal
Rate per finished hour (PFH)SAG-AFTRA-qualified portion of the PFH  ratePortion of PFH rate that will be paid toward SAG-AFTRA
(qualified amount % for finished hour price)
Total Paymaster Fee
(5% of Avg. Payment) PFH
Less than $225
Not eligible for SAG-AFTRA benefits
N/A
N/A
$225
$225.00
$25.00
$11.25
$250
$225.00
$25.00
$12.50
$275
$225.00
$25.00
$13.75
$300
$225.00
$25.00
$15.00
$325
$250.00
$27.78
$16.25
$350
$275.00
$30.56
$17.50
$375
$300.00
$33.33
$18.75
$400
$325.00
$36.11
$20.00
$425
$350.00
$38.89
$21.25

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If I am not a member of the union, can I contribute to an AFTRA H&R fund?

You may accept a contract under AFTRA H&R regardless of whether or not you are a union member. If you accept a project under SAG-AFTRA without being a union member, SAG-AFTRA will still set aside a portion of your earnings as H&R funds. You will get credit for your past contributions when you join the union. For more information, review our Conditions for SAG-AFTRA H&R.

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The normal SAG-AFTRA contribution rate is 12%. Why is it 11.111% on ACX?

11.111% of a total fee is the equivalent of a base rate plus 12%. Rights Holders seeking to engage a Producer under a Pay For Production deal will agree to offer $X, and they will pay that same $X whether the Producer they hire is SAG-AFTRA or not. They are not paying an additional 12% for SAG-AFTRA talent. ACX and SAG-AFTRA did not want SAG-AFTRA members to be at a disadvantage versus non-SAG-AFTRA actors on Pay For Production deals, and felt that adding 12% might discourage Rights Holders from hiring actors who were SAG-AFTRA members. Producers who are SAG-AFTRA members should consider the subtraction of this 11.111%, as well as the 5% paymaster fee, when deciding on a rate to charge for their audiobook production services on ACX.

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What are the audio formatting requirements for audiobook projects?

The ACX Audio Submission Guidelines were developed to be an easy-to-follow set of requirements that create great listening experiences for Audible customers. Read the full guidelines, and find our audio production videos and resources.

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