Are You Thinking About Using ACX?

Image result for audiobooksMany authors want to make their books available as audiobooks. The most popular way for authors to turn their books into audiobooks is by using a service called ACX. This blog post is all about the process of turning your book into an audiobook through ACX. Let’s take a look at the steps to success…


Confirm you have audio rights for your book by checking your print book contract. If you have the audio rights, then for purposes of ACX, you are a Rights Holder.

Create a Profile:

Create a Title Profile by describing your book and the type of narrator best suited for it. You’ll also post a excerpt from your book to serve as the Audition Script for potential narrators.

Find a Producer:

Post your book so Producers can audition. You can listen to sample narrations and invite a handful of producers to audition for your book.

Review Auditions:

Review auditions from interested Producers.

Make a Deal:

You can make an Offer to a Producer to produce your audiobook by sending the Producer a Production Offer Page. If the Producer accepts the Offer, you have a deal on ACX.

Get Started:

Your producer will record and upload a fifteen-minute checkpoint of the audiobook, which you can approve or provide feedback. When the sample is approved, the producer will record the full project.

Approve the Final Product:

You can ask the Producer to make up to two rounds of corrections to your finished audiobook. When you’re happy, you pay your producer directly, unless you agreed to a Royalty Share deal.


ACX distributes your audiobook through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes under both the exclusive and non-exclusive contracts. If you grant non-exclusive distribution rights, then you can distribute through additional channels.

A Question of Publishing: Questions To Ask Before Publishing A Book

Before you start to publish a book, you should consider all the available options. For example, do you really know where you want to publish your book? What platforms do you want to sell your book through? Many authors choose KDP—but is it really the best way? Let’s ask a few questions before committing to a place of publishing.


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Is the service exclusive or nonexclusive?

E-publishing services marketed directly to authors almost always operate on a nonexclusive basis. That means you can use their service to sell your e-book while also selling your e-book anywhere else you like (or using any other service).

Are there hidden fees or charges?

You can end up paying more than standard rates for conversion/formatting if your book runs very long, if you have an inconvenient file format that needs extra work, if you have a lot of chart/table/image formatting, and so on. If your work has any kind of “special needs,” expect a service to charge you more.

Do you control the price?

While some services may have reasonable pricing restrictions standard practice is to give the author complete control over pricing.

Who owns the e-book files after they are created?

It is ideal if you own the e-book files, and that is usually the case when you pay out of pocket for conversion and formatting services. In the case of some free services, such as Smashwords, you do not. Why so? When you upload your Word document to Smashwords—the only format accepted—it goes through their “meatgrinder” conversion process to create a variety of e-book files. You then have access to those e-book files, but you’re not supposed to turn around and sell them through other services.

Where is your e-book distributed?

If you’re using a service like Amazon KPD, or Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press, the answer is pretty simple: Your e-book is distributed only through those specific retailers. When you use a multiple-channel e-book distribution service, then the mix of retailers they reach will vary. At minimum, you want to reach Kindle & Nook, since they currently make up about 70–80% of all e-book sales, followed by Apple iBookstore, Kobo, and Google Play.


The Kindle Unlimited Dilemna

Recently, Amazon joined the e-book subscription playing field alongside other companies to offer subscribers unlimited access to thousands of e-books and audiobooks for the monthly price of $9.99. This service is called Kindle Unlimited.

When a company as big as Amazon enters a market, it signals a change for the entire industry. Many authors are wondering whether Kindle Unlimited is a good idea for them…. Let’s take a look at the negative side of Kindle Unlimited this week.

Being Exclusive:

Independent authors who want their books available through Kindle Unlimited must be members of KDP Select, which requires exclusivity to Amazon. Oyster and Scribd have no such exclusivity requirement, but self-published books must be distributed through Smashwords to make it onto Oyster’s shelves, whereas authors have the option to go through Smashwords, INscribe Digital, BookBaby, or Draft2Digital to be included in Scribd’s library.

The Payoff:

It’s unclear how much self-published authors make by selling through Kindle Unlimited. The program provides royalties to indie authors via the KDP Select Global Fund when at least 10 percent of their book is read. Amazon admits that, “The fund amount is variable and announced on a monthly basis.”

Out of Touch:

Once an author is enrolled in the program, the rules are subject to change at any time. Authors can choose not to re-enroll in KDP Select after 90 days, but these short-term promises can have long-term consequences for traction in other ebookstores. Think carefully about this before subscribing.

Is Your Price Letting You Down?

Last week we discussed the idea of giving your book away for free. This week I thought we would actually talk about pricing. We all know the frustration of having a book on the market that isn’t selling. It’s very easy to get disheartened—but sometimes it just comes down to finding a sweet spot? What’s that? The right price for the market. That’s what it is…

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Test Your Pricing

If you are looking for a sweet spot you will want to experiment. Try reducing your eBook price by .50 cents every three days until you reach $0.99. Wait three days, and then raise your price in .50 cent increments up to say $6.99. If you see an increase in sales at a certain price, repeat the same exercise again to check if the same pattern occurs. If you don’t see enough sales to form a conclusion, try again with a longer frequency of perhaps five days.

Raising Your price?

This may sound strange if you are struggling with sales, but a higher price can work on two fronts. One, a higher price often gives a potential buyer the sense of a better eBook and secondly, sales at a higher price will increase your ranking much faster.

Sacrifice…. For Gain

If you have published a series, sacrifice the price of the first book in the series at say, $0.99 to bring in new readers, and then set each subsequent title in steps of $1.00 more up to say, $4.99 for the latest title in the series.

Raise The Paperback

Did you know that Amazon compares the price of the paperback version with the Kindle version on its book sales page by putting a strikethrough line across the print book price above the Kindle price. It makes it look like a discount. So, why not make it look like a bigger discount? How could this hurt anyway?

Is Your Book Ready To Be Given Away For Free…

Okay… we’ve looked at getting the book out in front of people by using free giveaways. But have you considered one of the steps before the giveaways? Is your book ready to be put in front of a mass market audience? Is it ready for a free audience to consume? Before you set up your free giveaway give some thought to the two points below.


Are People Too Tight?

So, you gave away your first book for free, and now you expect me to spend $1.99 on the next one? Unfortunately, people who get things for free keep expecting the same level of quality for free. While it’s true that some (if you’re lucky or talented, then many) of those free readers will convert into paying customers, it can be hard to get people to pay once if you’ve introduced them to a quality product for free.

Don’t expect all of those free downloads to turn into sales. For example, you might have given away 10,000 books, but you might only sell 50 when you expect people to pay.

Is The Book Good Enough?

Honesty time: is your book good enough to sell? Does it have the quality the make it a winning product? Yes, people will download anything for free, but a defective product can have devastating consequences. If you introduce them to your writing style and it’s terrible, then people are going to remember that. Those few people who would have been willing to spend money on you will spend them on more qualified authors.

If your book isn’t very good, then all those downloads can damage your reputation. However, you can avoid this by ensuring that the book is good enough to sell. That means being professionally edited and offering a good story or premise to the reader.

Three Ways To Promote Your Free Giveaway…

So… you’ve set up your free giveaway and now you want to know how to promote it. That’s a tough question—but let’s start with the basics. These three ways to promote your free book giveaway should form the bedrock of any promotion you run. Let’s take a look at them…


Using Your Email Contacts

Email remains a medium where you are able to contact your users in a one-on-one format, unlike social media or paid ads where you are one of ten messages that the user is viewing at once. If you do not currently, start collecting email addresses from your website visitors.

If you don’t think you have the budget or time for designing and setting up an email program look into free, automated options like a simple Feedburner email or sign up for MailChimp and use RSS templates to automate the process for you.

Rather than just using giveaways as a user acquisition tool, inclusion of giveaways and special promotions in your emails is a great way to keep your open rates up and let your subscribers know that they are appreciated.

The Beauty of Facebook

Try not to just toss a link to your giveaway into a post and call it a day. Like any marketing message you need to have the basic information plus a call to action. Tell your users what you’re posting about (it’s a giveaway), when they can act, who’s involved and why they should care.

The Art of Twitter

When it comes to utilizing your Twitter account to get the word out about a giveaway there are a few best practices that can drastically increase effectiveness. Sending a single Tweet out is not going to maximize the exposure of your promotion.

Tweet often and try to use unique messaging for each Tweet. Don’t just send the same Tweet over and over.

Add photos and images to your Tweets to let them jump out in your followers’ Twitter feeds.

Making The Most Of Free Giveaways

One of the most common questions by authors is… “how do I set up a free giveaway?” I thought that would make a good topic for this week’s blog article. Free giveaways can be one of the most effective selling tools in your book promotion arsenal. But what does a free giveaway do? Well for a selected time you can make your Kindle book free on Amazon. This removes any barrier between your book and your potential readers. Some authors use these giveaways regularly to boost their sales. So… how do we set one up?

Okay before we start… your Kindle book must be enrolled in the Kindle KDP program. You can check this by looking to the right of your book on the Kindle dashboard. Click on the “Promote and Advertise” button. If you are not enrolled it will ask you if you want to enrol your book in the program. If you are enrolled you will be able to set up a free giveaway.

Now there are some rules to the program. Once you enrol your book in the program it needs to stay in the program for 90 days at least. During that period, you cannot sell it in any other site on the internet. However, while your book is enrolled it will collect “pages read.” These are pages read by those who have downloaded the book through the Kindle Unlimited Program.


How To Make Your Book Free For A Limited Time on KDP


  1. In your Bookshelf, click on the promote and advertise button next to any book enrolled in KDP Select.
  2. Scroll down to “Run a Price Promotion.”
  3. Under “Run a Price Promotion,” select “Free Book Promotion.” (“Kindle Countdown Deal” will be selected by default.)
  4. Click “Create a new Free Book Promotion Deal for this book.”
  5. Enter the desired start and end date and click “Save.” Avoid ending on the final day of your KDP Select term.