The thought of producing an audiobook version of The Magician's Horses had been lurking in the back of my mind for months. It took social media and ACX to turn that idea into reality.
During the digital handover of my professional cover art, my designer conveniently included a bonus image sized specifically for an audiobook cover. I was excited about the prospect of an audiobook for my novel, but like everything else surrounding book publishing, I knew producing a quality audiobook wouldn't be cheap. So I set aside the thought for more lucrative days.
Nearly a year passed before I seriously considered an audiobook once again. During the configuration of a promotion I was about to push out to my followers, I put myself on the receiving end and tried to gage how I would respond if the ad were directed at me.
My first reaction to my own post was to ask whether the book was available in audio format. With my hectic lifestyle, squeezing in time to read was often a challenge, and audiobooks were my solution to the problem.
Unfortunately, I had failed to attract myself as a potential customer.
I immediately launched a quest to discover just what it would take to make my audiobook dreams a reality. My initial go-to source was LinkedIn.com, but before I'd even hit the login button, a spark of recollection called me back to publishing tools I'd used in the past. I went to createspace.com first and poked around the menus for audiobook production services. When that came up empty, I flipped to Kindle Direct Publishing. At the bottom of the page, I found the link I'd glossed over countless times in the past. ACX Indie audiobook publishing made easy.
I was captivated the moment I opened the Audiobook Connection Exchange website (acx.com). With thousands of producers to choose from, I dove in headfirst. I couldn't click fast enough to listen to so many sample auditions by amazingly talented narrators. The quality of voices offered at such affordable rates completely blew my mind. Remarkably, many producers offered royalty share options with no up-front cash. It seemed too good to be true.
I'd stumbled into this adventure late on a Friday night, but I couldn't wait to launch my own project. I set to work building my profile on ACX, borrowing snippets from past query letters to entice narrators to audition. I built an audition script from sections of three chapters that hit all the main characters in my story. In the wee hours that night, well after the rest of my family had gone off to bed, I finally polished off my project profile and posted it, open for auditions.
Saturday morning I awoke to find several auditions waiting for me in my inbox. Not only were the responses prompt, they were good. And best of all, the narrators were reading my words. How cool was that?
Throughout the weekend, auditions continued to trickle in, and for the sake of completeness, I also requested auditions from specific narrators whose voices I had found intriguing. Some happily obliged right away.
By Monday, one particular audition kept drawing me back to listen to it over and over again. Joe Formichella had managed to capture the pauses and inflections in a way that resonated with the writer in my head. I opened a dialog with Joe through the ACX messaging system, and it became clear after a short time, Joe and I were on the same page in financial terms.
Less than a week from setting up my project profile on ACX, I extended Joe an offer and he accepted.
Production began shortly afterward in late November 2016 with a target completion set for early January 2017. I couldn't have been more pleased. ACX had certainly lived up to their claim of indie audiobook publishing made ease.