The ACX Rights Holder's Audiobook Checklist

Stage 1: Before You Begin Production.

Verify Rights

  • Confirm you have audio rights for your book by checking your print or eBook book contract. If you're self-published (say, through Kindle Direct Publishing or CreateSpace), you've retained your audio rights. If you do not have audio rights, and the current rights holder has not produced an audiobook of your work, consider pursuing rights reversion like author Marta Acosta.
  • Ensure your book is appropriate for audio. Click here for a list of books that usually do not turn into great audiobooks.

Claim Your Title on ACX

  • Create an ACX account. You can use your existing Amazon email and password to log into ACX. It is important to fill out your name and address, bank information and tax information up front because we don't want incomplete info to delay your payments once your audiobook is complete!
  • Claim the best performing ASIN/version on ACX. Many rights holders have more than one version of their book (eBook, paperback, hardcover), and ACX will pull in certain metadata from your Amazon listing, such as the summary and current rankings and ratings. Potential audiobook producers will use this information when deciding if they would like to audition to narrate your book, so put your best foot forward.
  • Start drafting your audiobook marketing plan. Keep your fans up to date throughout the production process to build anticipation for your audiobook. Your audiobook marketing plans can help you set due dates for your production and the time line in which you want your audiobook to go on sale.

Post your book for auditions on ACX.

  • Create the title profile for your book. Creating a robust, specific, and accurate title profile is important. A book description that's detailed and compelling helps producers get excited about working on your project. Include performance notes (characters, accents, overall tone, etc.), and be sure to mention if the title is part of a series.
  • Choose the right audition script for your book. This portion should be about 2-3 pages, and should include some dialog, some descriptive text, and any important accents or character voices. Don't worry if you can't find all of these things in one scene – you can build an audition script that includes a few shorter passages that cover the items above.
  • Decide the payment method for your production. Do you want to pay your producer for their efforts upon completion of the audiobook (a fee per finished hour, as part of a Pay For Production deal) or do you prefer to split your royalties with them 50-50 (as part of a Royalty Share deal)? Learn more about payment options on ACX here.
  • Make an offer! Clicking this button will start the process of making an agreement or deal. We recommend opening a dialogue with your narrator before or during the offer stage to ensure you are on the same page.
  • Set a proper production schedule based on your needs and the narrator's availability. Make sure to leave yourself time to review your final audio and communicate any corrections to your producer.
  • Limit your production schedule to 5 audiobooks at any given time. Audiobook production can be a time-consuming, intense effort, requiring both your attention and that of your selected Producer. For that reason, we typically recommend selecting no more than 5 titles to produce simultaneously at any given time. Taking on more than 5 projects puts your productions at a high risk of missed due dates or cancellations, rejected audio files containing low audio quality, and disappointed producers. By focusing your efforts on 5 or fewer simultaneous productions, we find that Rights Holders can quickly and efficiently produce more consistent audiobooks of high quality.

Stage 2: Time to Produce

  • Send the manuscript, and decide on a 15 minute checkpoint once your producer has accepted your offer. You can piece together the 15 minute checkpoint script from multiple parts of the book if need be. Make sure to include main characters, dialogue as well as descriptive text, any particularly tough scenes or tricky pronunciations. If any portion of the book seems likely to trip up your narrator or deserves extra attention, include it in the 15 minute checkpoint.
  • Request clear and specific corrections to the 15 minute checkpoint as necessary. Once you approve, you narrator will have the green light to produce the rest of the book in its entirety.
  • Secure and upload your audiobook cover. Cover art should meet our cover art requirements and should make your book attractive to potential listeners.
  • Line up promotions. Are you blogging about your upcoming audiobook? Are you alerting your fans or newsletter list that they will soon be able to hear your book? Keep whetting their appetite for audio and ensure they'll be eagerly anticipating the day your audiobook becomes available for sale.

Stage 3: Review, Approve, and Pay

  • Request clear and specific corrections to the final audio as necessary. Don't be unreasonable, but don't be shy. This is your audiobook, and sometimes corrections are necessary.
  • Approve and pay for your audiobook (unless it is a Royalty Share, of course). Your title will be submitted to ACX and receive a quick quality assurance check and, if all is well, should be available for sale within 7 business days of your approval.
  • Finalize your marketing plans for when…

Stage 4: Your Audiobook is on Sale!

  • Use your codes to drive reviews and sales of your audiobook. Once your audiobook is on sale, you will receive 25 free promotional codes via email to distribute to fans and reviewers.
  • Update your web site, blogs, and social media accounts to reflect your new audiobook. Author Barbara Freethy's audiobook section of her website is a great example of how to feature your audiobooks.
  • Check your backlist, and do it all over again! The only thing better than having a book made in audio via ACX is having ALL your books made in audio via ACX!

Download a printable version of this checklist.