Thursday, October 26, 2017

Producing Your Books in Audio Part Six: Approving and Paying for Your Book

By Angela Quarles, @AngelaQuarles

Part of the Indie Author Series

I'm continuing my series on producing books in audio with ACX. Last month, I covered Producing Your Books in Audio Part Five: Proofing Your Book

This month I'll give tips on approving the final version and marketing your audio book. It's kind of funny how these posts are now lining up with the exact stage I'm in right now. Last month I was in the middle of proofing, and now I just had the payment received on Monday, so I'm waiting for ACX to approve.

Tip #1 - Check the corrections

How much you check is dependent on how much you trust your narrator and your turn-around time. My narrator is excellent, so I don't pull up the pick-up sheet and download each chapter and check. If you do want to make sure, that's the quickest way to check your fixed version--pull down each chapter that had a correction, skip to the first time stamp you marked and listen to see if it's been corrected.

This is now the 4th book with my narrator, so this last time I just checked the really big corrections (dialogue in wrong voice, missing lines, etc).

Tip #2 - Communicate

This should be something you do during the whole process, but this is your last chance to make any changes. However, this is not the time to ask them to change something new. Only corrections you should be asking for at this stage is if they didn't get something fixed you had in your list.

Tip #3 - Check the order of files

This has happened several times for me, so I thought I'd mention it. Make sure before you hit Approve, that the files are in the right order Mine have sometimes been out of order and if they've already marked it as Done, you can't drag and drop to change the order. When that happens, you need to hit the Request Change button and ask them to put them in the right order.

Tip #4 - Check your sample file

You might have thought to specify to your narrator which section to pick for the sample. But in case you forget (like I always do), listen to what they uploaded and make sure it has a good cross section of voices. This is especially true if you write romance--you want to make sure the listener can hear how they handle the voices of the opposite gender from them.

Tip #5 - Hit Approve and line up payment

Once you're happy, hit Approve. ACX will then calculate the exact amount based on final length that you need to pay the narrator. Contact the narrator to find out how they'd like to be paid. The first time I did it, she wanted me to pay via direct deposit, which was pretty straightforward. However, you might want to alert the bank of the large amount. I had them flag that payment as suspicious and it delayed the process.

The last two times, she wanted it to so through SAG so she could qualify for insurance, so I had to coordinate with the company who accepts payments for actors, who then sent the money via direct deposit to my narrator. Find out if they expect you to pay for their wire fees in addition to the one the bank will charge you.

Some banks have a limit as to how much you can send online via direct deposit. My bank wouldn't allow me to do such a large amount, so I had to physically go to a branch and pay for it there. You'll need not only their bank account and routing number, but also the name and address of the recipient. Fees can vary--I think my bank charged me $25, so make sure to figure that into your budget.

Once you're done, go back to ACX and hit the button that marks the payment as sent.

Tip #6 - Drum your fingers and wait.

It might take a few days, but when your narrator receives the money, they'll mark it on their end, which then sends the files to ACX for quality testing. ACX says it takes 10-14 business days. I've seen it take less than 7 days, but I've also had it take the full 14 business days, so it's hard to line up promo as you can't predict when exactly it will go live.

Hopefully you will not have it sent back as not meeting their specs. If that happens, you'll need to go back to the narrator and have them fix the issue(s).

You can use the wait time to do several things:
  • Make the corrections to the ebook that you marked as needing to change in the ebook instead of having the narrator fix it on their end. (I sometimes find I like her word order, etc)
  • If you already have an ARC team, email them and ask who is interested in reviewing
  • Investigate the blogs you can submit it to for review once it's ready
  • Read up on any other audiobook marketing posts you find
  • Prep your ads you might run on Facebook or elsewhere
  • Make your website page for the audio book
  • Create a new live alert list. Since you don't know when it will go live, you can create a temporary mailing list in your favorite newsletter client and then post on social media that they can sign up to be alerted when it goes live on ACX. I plan to do this for my next release, which is currently in the "drum your fingers" stage. That way, when it finally makes it through ACX, I'll have some people to email about it. Of course, I'll also mention it with my regular newsletter, but this could be a way of getting new subscribers. I make sure on the signup page that I articulate that this is a one-time list and that I will not email them again. At the bottom of the email, I'll include a link to signup to my regular list if they want to stay on.

And that's it. Do you have any questions or tips for this phase? 

Angela Quarles is a USA Today bestselling author of time travel and steampunk romance. Her debut novel Must Love Breeches swept many unpublished romance contests, including the Grand Prize winner of Windy City's Four Seasons contest in 2012. Her steampunk, Steam Me Up, Rawley, was named Best Self-Published Romance of 2015 by Library Journal. Angela loves history, folklore, and family history. She decided to take this love of history and her active imagination and write stories of romance and adventure for others to enjoy. When not writing, she's either working at the local indie bookstore or enjoying the usual stuff like gardening, reading, hanging out, eating, drinking, chasing squirrels out of the walls, and creating the occasional knitted scarf.

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About Must Love More Kilts

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