Frequently Asked Questions

Rights Holders

What do you mean by 'Rights Holder'?

The Rights Holder is the person or entity that owns all rights required to make a book available for production and distribution as an audiobook. The Rights Holder may be the book’s author, a publisher, a literary agent, or the author’s estate.

Rights Holders use ACX to:

  • Make books available for production as audiobooks;
  • Grant audiobook production rights to Producers, in order to create the book
  • Grant distribution rights of the finished audiobook to Audible.

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How does the potential revenue from using ACX to make my audiobook versus licensing it to an audiobook publisher compare?

As a Rights Holder, it’s possible that you will receive messages from audiobook publishers that want to license, produce, and/or distribute your audiobook independent of ACX. ACX is neutral about how you choose to produce your audiobook—do it on our system, or outside of it—we just want to make sure it gets made, and made well!

When deciding how you want your audiobook produced, compare all aspects of both experiences, including what you’d earn with ACX versus an audio producer:

  • With an audiobook publisher, you’ll typically have less creative control than with ACX.
  • With an audiobook publisher, you’ll generally earn less money per unit sold (because you’ll be paid a percent of their percentage).
  • With ACX, you’re “going direct” and earning 100% of the royalties (or 50% of the royalties if you choose to against up-front payments and enter into a Royalty Share deal with the Producer).
  • Audiobook publishers may pay a significant advance on future royalties.

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How do I know if I have the rights to my book?

Check the contract for your book. It should state whether digital audio rights (or simply “audio rights” or “all rights”) were already granted to the publisher. If you’re still not 100% certain about what the contract says—and please be completely certain—call your agent or lawyer and inquire. Learn more about territory rights here.

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What happens if I realize during the audiobook production process that I don’t hold the rights to the title?

If you approved the 15 Minute Checkpoint, the production can still be canceled by paying the Producer a “kill fee.”

  • If Rights Holder and Producer have agreed to a one-time production fee arrangement, Rights Holder must pay Producer a cancellation fee equal to 50% of the estimated production fee as set forth in the Deal Confirmation Page.
  • If Rights Holder and Producer have agreed to a royalty share arrangement, Rights Holder must pay Producer a cancellation fee equal to $100 base plus $100 per finished hour times the projected number of finished hours (in 10 minute increments) in the Deal Confirmation Page; up to a maximum of $2,500.

More details are available in the Production Standard Terms.

Remember that Producers are putting a lot of time and effort into producing the audiobook, so we’ve tried to build a system that is fair to both Rights Holders and Producers. Being considerate to the hardworking Producers is why it’s good to be 100% certain about your rights before beginning a project.

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What happens if I realize after my audiobook's already on sale that I don’t hold the rights to the title?

Per the rules outlined in the Account Holder Agreement and Book Posting Agreement, the following steps will be taken if you no longer hold the rights to a completed production:

  • Audible will remove the audiobook from distribution on Audible, Amazon.com, and iTunes.
  • You must return all royalties you've earned from the audiobook to Audible.
  • You agree to indemnify and protect Audible, its sub-distributors and any other ACX participant from any losses or liabilities incurred because you did not have, or it is claimed you did not have, all the rights required to grant the rights you granted through ACX. This means that, among other things, you may be required to pay for the cost of counsel to defend Audible, its sub-distributors, and other ACX participants, and to pay for damages awarded in a court of law.

Only post titles to ACX that you are completely confident that you control the audio rights to it.

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I don't hold my audio rights. Do I have any options for making an audiobook?

You or your agent should read your contract to determine who owns the audio rights. If the publisher holds the rights and has not produced your book as an audiobook, and if they don’t have plans to do so in the immediate future, you should request that your title be added to ACX—by either you or the publisher. Note that you will have to contact the publisher and inquire as to whether they'd be interested in posting the book on ACX as well.

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Can I ask a Producer to audition for my book?

You can ask as many Producers as you’d like to audition for your book. Remember, Producers include narrators and studio professionals. In fact, we advise you to make an Offer to a Producer only after you hear an audition from the actual book you want them to record.

From a narrator’s ACX profile page, simply click “Send Message” and write them a note. Include a link to your Title Profile, which should contain a one or two-page Audition Script you want narrators to read and record.

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How do I hire a particular narrator I see on ACX?

You have two choices:

  1. Click the “Send Message” button on his or her profile and ask them to audition for your title. Include a link to your Title Profile, and make sure you’ve created a rich Title Profile, including an audition script for them to read.
  2. Click the “Make Offer” button on their profile if you’re ready to make them a binding Offer to produce your audiobook. Make sure that the narrator is also a full-fledged Producer, ready to produce your audiobook.

Please note: The narrators you find on ACX are expected to be Producers, and create fully produced, retail-ready audiobooks. As Producers, they may work with third parties to assist in the production of your audiobook, but the audiobook should be in their voice, or the voice they auditioned with.

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Can I narrate my own audiobook?

Audiobook listeners love to hear an author's words in his or her own voice, and we encourage you to try your hand at narrating. Search Google for a local recording studio that has experience producing professional audiobooks. If you can’t find a local studio, try contacting the ACX team. We also give tips to help you become a more effective narrator and even set up a simple home recording studio here.

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What are the specifications for creating the cover art associated to my audiobook?

Product images submitted over ACX must meet the following requirements:

  • Images must contain both the name of the title and author(s)
  • The resolution of these images can be no smaller than 72 dpi.
  • Images must be RGB, not CMYK.
  • Images must be squared. The squared cover must be a true squared cover and cannot be rectangular with colored borders on the side. (CD case cover/jacket, e.g.)
  • Images should be at least 24-bit. Images cannot refer to physical CD's or media other than the audio presented.
  • Jewel cases, promotional stickers, and cellophane are not allowed. Pornographic and offensive materials are not allowed.
  • Images must be no smaller than 2400 X 2400 pixels in size.
  • Images should not be stretched to fit the required dimensions
  • For more information on this, please read the pdf version of our Cover Art Requirements.

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Can I use the cover art from the print edition to my book for my audiobook?

Usage of cover art from past editions is a question of rights. Check whether you have contractual permission from the artist or print publisher. Your book jacket may have combined an original image from one artist with text that was laid out by a separate graphic artist. You’ll need to make sure you have rights to all of it. Otherwise, we advise that you create original art, or have someone you know do so, and then assign you all rights. ACX also allows you to choose from a solid-color cover during the upload process. However, we recommend a highly designed and visually-appealing imagery supporting your product in order to best merchandise your book.

Please be sure to always follow our Cover Art Requirements.

Please note that once your audiobook has begun production you will have the opportunity to upload cover art. (The print book's artwork that comes with the Title Profile will automatically disappear.)

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How can I create original cover art for my audiobook?

If you don’t know a graphic designer, try posting a request on Craigslist. Or use a cost-effective design service like 99designs.com, which is a competitive design marketplace that matches freelance designers with people in need of a design.

Please be sure to always follow our Cover Art Requirements.

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Are Public Domain projects accepted through ACX?

Currently, ACX doesn’t accept Public Domain titles posted for production by third parties.

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How can I learn more about getting started?

For more on getting your title up and running on ACX, see the section Books and Creating Title Profiles

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