Frequently Asked Questions

Production

How does a Rights Holder send the book’s manuscript to the Producer?

ACX offers a method to upload the manuscript through your poject dashboard for Word, PDF and TXT files. You may also consider:

  1. Emailing a Word doc or PDF
  2. Scan a physical copy of the book and send it as a PDF
  3. Mail a copy of the book (the Rights Holder can always buy it online and have it shipped)

We recommend you ask your Producer’s preference as you are finalizing your offer.

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How long should it take to produce my audiobook?

It typically takes 3 to 8 weeks, depending on the length of the book and the Producer’s schedule. When the Producer is done recording and editing the 15 minute sample, they’ll upload it to ACX's secure website. The Rights Holder will then will need to approve the first 15 minutes or request some revisions. Once the revised first 15 minutes is approved, the Producer will complete the audiobook.

When done with recording, editing, and mastering, the Producer will upload each chapter of the audiobook to ACX's secure website. The Rights Holder then will need to approve the completed work, and can request two rounds of revisions. The audiobook Producer will consider the Rights Holder’s suggestions in good faith and make the requested changes, or, if needed, the Rights Holder and Producer can discuss the changes so that an agreement about what is best for the book can be reached. When everything is done, both parties will end up with a great, retail-ready audiobook.

The ACX Audiobook Production Standard Terms set forth in greater detail the process for obtaining a Rights Holder’s approval of the finished audiobook. Click here to see the ACX Audiobook Production Standard Terms.

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How long does it usually take someone to produce 1 finished hour of an audiobook?

We have found that it generally takes a total of around 6.2 hours for a Producer to complete one hour of an audiobook.

Here’s how you get there:

  • It takes about two hours to narrate what will become one finished hour.
  • After the narration is recorded, it then takes an editor (who might be the same person as the narrator) about three hours to edit each finished hour of recording.
  • And then it’s a wise move—we might even say STRONGLY recommended—to run a quality control (QC) pass over the finished project. This means spending time re-listening and suggesting words, sentences, or sections to re-record. And that takes about 1.2 hours for every finished hour.
  • Tips on Audiobook Production for Producers:For detailed info on key steps, read the ACX Audio Submission Requirements.

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How long should it take for a Producer to produce a 15 minute sample of the book?

Usually it should take a day or two, once the Producer has gotten started. Rights Holders can specify a due date in your Offer to the Producer.

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Who uploads the audiobook to ACX?

The Producer handles the uploading. If you’re the Rights Holder, you’ll be alerted once the audiobook has been uploaded. Listen to it from beginning to end, take notes of any mistakes or problems (and the time they occur), and send them to the Producer to have corrections made. Or, if the book is in great shape already, go ahead and approve it. After it’s approved—and the Producer is paid (if it’s a Pay For Production deal)—then the audiobook is delivered to retail.

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What format should I use when I upload my finished product?

192Kbps MP3 with each file containing only one chapter or section. Mono files are strongly preferred. Stereo files may be submitted but your audiobook may not contain both mono and stereo files. Stereo files must not be “joint stereo”.

For detailed instructions about uploading and other key processes, read the ACX Audio Submission Requirements.

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How large can my audio files be as I upload them?

ACX will only accept files of 170MB or less. If a file is more than 170MB, it should be split roughly in half, at a point that makes sense in the narration. Further division of files is not necessary. See our ACX Audiobook Submission Requirements for more information. You can also review our audio production resources for additional advice.

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Why do you have the Producer record the 15 minute sample?

We set up the process that way because we want all parties to agree on the project’s direction, and this provides a key check-in point. So having the Producer prepare and send 15 minutes for approval is a vital step in the production process for all ACX titles. Producers should take great care in preparing it, and Rights Holders should be meticulous about listening to it and requesting any adjustments or changes.

Tips about the first recording:If you’re a Rights Holder, please don’t assume that something you hear in the first 15 minutes will simply be fixed in the final mix. Make sure these first minutes sound 100% right to you. And be sure to clearly communicate what you want and ask any questions you might have. Both parties should work together to make sure that they're on the same page.

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How can I approve the 15 minute checkpoint?

You can listen to or approve the 15 Minute Checkpoint through the ACX website by following these steps:

  1. Select "Projects" from the upper left corner of the website.
  2. Next, find and select the "In Production" tab.
  3. Click the name of your book.
  4. You will be able to listen to the 15 minute audio sample on the next page. In addition, you can either approve the audio or send a message to the narrator from the same section.

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What should I do if I don’t like the 15 minute sample?

If you’re extremely unhappy with the narration, we recommend that you stop the project right then and there. Don’t approve the 15 minute sample. To see more information about the contractual obligations surrounding the approval of the first 15 minutes, read the Production Standard Terms

If you’re pleased with the work, but have a few suggestions or corrections, simply start a dialogue with the Producer. These professionals are generally eager to get feedback on their performance. On the off chance that they don’t like what you, as the author or Rights Holder, have to say about the narration, remember that they, too, can choose to walk away from the deal at this point. Most of the time, you’ll open up a good conversation and can work together to finish making a great audiobook.

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Can I change the due dates in my audiobook contract?

Due dates do not have to be changed on the ACX site. As long as both the Rights Holder and Producer agree to a later date, you do not need to make changes to your contract.

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How can I cancel production of my audiobook?

Contract cancellations will need to be reviewed by our Rights department. If you have contacted your Producer or Rights Holder and agreed to dissolve your contract, please send an e-mail to info@acx.com from your ACX email address with your name, the request, and the reason for your request. You must also CC the other party to notify us of your mutual dissolution request. We are unable to process your request without consent from both parties.

If you do not have the other party's email address, please use the ACX message system to agree on the terms of your dissolution. After you have come to an agreement, please email ACX at info@acx.com with your name, the request, and the reason for the request.

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Why can't I submit an audiobook without taxpayer information?

U.S. tax regulations require ACX to collect information about your tax status under U.S. law using our short online tax interview accessible from the ACX Account page. You will need to complete ACX's Tax Information Interview and have your interview approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) before beginning the audiobook production process.

To complete the brief tax survey, click "Account Settings" from the bar running across the top of the page, and choose the "Tax Information" tab. See more information on completing your tax information.

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What audio specifications must I follow for my production?

Audiobooks should be recorded in 16 bit / 44.1 kHz wav file format, which is considered CD quality and is best for archiving. When you are ready to upload your files, they must be saved as a 192kbps mp3. Files may be mono or stereo, as long as the entire program is consistently one or the other. For more information, please visit ACX Audiobook Submission Requirements

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What is the status of my audiobook?

In most cases, titles that meet our ACX Audiobook Submission Requirements and that are submitted with retail-ready cover art, audio, and product information will be posted for retail on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes approximately 7-10 business days after they are submitted to ACX. You may check the status of your email by visiting your project's detail page, and you will receive email notifications for any changes in its status.

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How do I pick a section to use as the retail sample on Audible?

The retail audio sample used on Audible and Amazon is a short preview of your audiobook. A great sample will show off your material and attract paying customers! (Note: iTunes automatically uses the first five minutes of the book as their sample.) To pick a strong sample, follow these guidelines:

  • Select a compelling excerpt that you feel will do a good job of selling the book.
  • The sample should be anywhere from one to five minutes long.
  • Consider using the book’s beginning as your sample. It’s often the best set-up, and might be the simplest, most effective way to intrigue a listener.
  • Do not include spoken information such as “introduction” or “chapter one.” Your sample should start directly with narration (not the title, credits, etc.). Check out a sample on Audible to see what we mean.
  • If the book is erotic, please do your best to choose a “clean” but romantic excerpt.

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What if I’m not satisfied with the Producer’s finished product?

A Rights Holder can reject a completed audiobook that does not meet the standards set forth in the ACX Audio Submission Requirements. Even if the audiobook does meet all of the ACX rules and standards, the project can be canceled if the Rights Holder is unhappy. For full details of what may be required financially to cancel your contract, you should review your Production Standard Terms.

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