Audiobooks Through ACX
Expand your reach with a digital audiobook! The Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) makes it easy to produce and distribute your digital audiobook, and you'll also be able to take advantage of the exciting new Kindle features Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading to reach more readers in more ways.
You can use ACX to produce a digital audiobook version of your book, and to enable your book for the new Whispersync for Voice functionality which allows customers to switch seamlessly between reading the Kindle book and listening to the professionally-narrated audiobook across devices without losing their place. Audiobooks will also be enabled for Immersion Reading which will allow customers with Kindle Fire HD devices to listen to the professional narration as the words of the eBook are highlighted on the screen. When customers buy your Kindle book, they will be able to purchase your Whispersync for Voice-ready Audible audiobook at a special limited time discounted price.
You can earn royalties of up to 40% on your audiobook when it's created and distributed using ACX. ACX was developed by Audible, an Amazon company, to help authors and publishers get their books into audio and gain access to the growing audience of audiobook listeners. ACX provides access to thousands of talented audiobook producers, and both actors and studios, available for hire for a fee or for a no-cost, royalty-sharing partnership. ACX also provides great distribution options across all of the leading audiobook retail channels. It's free to try ACX.
Authors can learn more about ACX at www.acx.com.
Audiobook Production with ACX
How can I create a digital audiobook version of my book and make it eligible for Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading?
You can use the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) to find narrators to produce your books so that they are available in audiobook format and eligible for Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading. For more information, visit www.acx.com.
Can I choose the narrator?
Yes, you can choose the narrator. (Note: on ACX, narrators are generally referred to as "Producers" because they not only narrate the audio version of your book, but they produce a retail-ready audiobook). You can search the ACX website for the perfect narrator/producer, or wait for ACX narrators/producers to audition for your audiobook project. You will also be involved in the audiobook production, approving it at various points along the way.
Can I narrate my own audiobook?
We find that most audiobooks are best performed by professional actors, but it is possible for you to narrate your own audiobook.
I live outside of the US and cannot provide a W9. Is ACX open to me?
At this time, ACX is open only to residents of the United States who have a US mailing address, a valid US Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), and have or can submit Form W9. For more information on Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) please visit the IRS website. We hope to open up to a wider global audience in the future.
Enabling Audiobook for Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading
My book is already produced in digital audiobook format and available at Audible.com. How can it be made eligible for Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading?
Currently, not all books are enabled for these new features, but the Audible team is working to increase the number of books enabled. If your book is already available on Audible.com, you can contact Audible's customer care team to discuss Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading.
How are Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading different than the current text-to-speech Kindle feature?
There are several differences between these features – a full description of each can be found at Audible.com. Millions of customers who already use Audible know how wonderful it is to listen to a book narrated by the author or performed by a skilled actor.
How long will it take to produce my book and enable it for Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading?
From the time you start the production process, we estimate that it will take about 3 to 8 weeks to complete the audiobook, depending on the length of the book and the Producer's schedule. Once the finished audiobook is approved by you, it typically takes up to 14 business days to get the audiobook into stores. The work done during this time ensures that the audiobook is packaged correctly and ready for retail distribution, and enables it for Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading.
How can I make sure my Kindle book and audiobook are able to sync?
We need the narrated words to perfectly mirror the words in the Kindle book. Here is some general advice for both you and the audiobook's producer:
- Avoid ad-lib in narration.
- Make sure the audiobook is edited well and sentences are not inserted twice (e.g. editor leaves in duplicate actor takes of the same sentence).
- Do not add audio content that isn't in the Kindle version. Usually a little bit of front matter and back matter will likely pass, but if there is a chapter of audio that isn't in the Kindle book it is often is not sync-able.
- Avoid background music; music in the audiobook reduces the likelihood that it will be sync-able.
- Do not have the narrator read footnotes "in line."
- Do not describe figures or photographs when the description isn't in the actual text of the Kindle book.
- Avoid working with a narrator with a very strong accent that makes it difficult to match the written word with what is being said.
Can I still make updates to the Kindle version of my book or will that impact the Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading features?
Metadata changes to your book will not impact the features (price, title, author, product description, etc.). Changes made inside your Kindle book may impact the Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading features. However, if you are alerted about formatting issues with your Kindle book, we recommend that you correct those issues. When you make these changes, your book will not by sync-able immediately. If it remains un-synced for more than 1 week, we suggest that you contact the ACX customer care team to alert them. Some changes including margin size, font color, font size, background color, and minor punctuation updates may not impact the features.
Royalty and Distribution:
What is the audio distribution and royalty that I will get?
ACX distributes your audiobook to Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes, the three leading retailers of audiobooks. Your royalty is dependent upon the distribution option you select. If you choose to distribute exclusively to these three channels, you will earn 40%. If you choose to distribute your audiobook non-exclusively, you will earn 25% and retain the right to distribute your recording at your discretion. More information is here.
Where will my finished audiobook be sold?
Kindle customers will see the audio upgrade on their device, but non-Kindle users can purchase it, as well. Posting your book on ACX means that if and when your book is made into an audiobook, the finished audiobook will be available to consumers on all of Audible's retail channels, currently Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes. These three leading digital retailers reach the vast majority of audiobook buyers. You will also have an option to choose a non-exclusive distribution option, through which you can distribute your audiobook to any additional retailers, in digital and/or physical format, on your own. However, the royalty rates for the non-exclusive distribution option are not as high as those for exclusive distribution.
How do I get paid for my audiobook sales?
You may choose to receive monthly royalties via check or by direct deposit to the account of your choice. You'll get a routine statement from Audible (since ACX is Audible's platform), which will include unit sales numbers from sales on Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes. Along with the statement, if sales are more than $50 per period, you will receive a corresponding royalty check.
How much will I get paid for sales of my audiobook?
Royalty rates are outlined here, and if you are eligible for ACX's $50 bounty program you can earn an extra $50 on certain sales. Get more details on the bounty program.
Why is the upgrade price for my digital audiobook for customers who buy the Kindle version different than the a la carte price for my digital audiobook – and how are these prices set?
We want to encourage people who have purchased a Kindle book to try the new Whispersync for Voice and Immersion Reading features, so prices for this digital audiobook upgrade are generally lower than purchasing the audiobook a la carte.
If my book is in KDP Select and available in the Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL), will people who borrow my book through KOLL be able to purchase the digital audiobook at the upgrade price?
No, only purchases of Kindle books qualify for the audiobook upgrade discount. If a customer has borrowed a Kindle book through KOLL, they are not eligible to the discounted price at Audible. Those discounts are tied to purchases only.
Will people who download my book for free during my KDP Select free promotion days be able to purchase the digital audiobook at the upgrade price?
Yes, they will be able to get the audiobook at the discounted upgrade price if they have bought the Kindle book, even if the price of the Kindle book is $0.