Audiobooks: An Explosion of Sound! pt.2

Maria V.

In Part 1 of this series of articles, we established that audiobooks are a viable source of income for authors. In this second part, we’re going to take an in-depth look at hybrid audiobook production companies. These companies help authors find narrators. They provide a platform for communication between authors and narrators and will sell the finished product to various audiobook distributors. ACX, Findaway Voices, Scribe, and Lantern Audiobooks (formerly ListenUp) are some of the companies offering this service. This article will provide information on using both ACX and Findaway Voices to produce your audiobook.
ACX is Audible/Amazon’s audiobook production company. According to their website, “ACX is a marketplace where authors, literary agents, publishers, and other Rights Holders can connect with narrators, engineers, recording studios, and other producers capable of producing a finished audiobook.”
Findaway Voices has a similar goal. From their website, “We help new and established authors reach a global audiobook market fast, and our distribution network opens up a healthy, WIDE sales ecosystem with great alternatives to exclusivity.” Going wide is the term for having your audiobooks available for sale on over 40 retail markets. Findaway Voices also has partnerships with Draft2Digital, Spotify, and Chirp Books.
Both companies need you to set up an author account, which is free. Once finished, you add your title. In order to work with ACX, your title must be listed for sale or available for pre-orders on Amazon as an eBook or print. This is not necessary for Findaway Voices. However, Findaway Voices won’t be able to distribute your title on Amazon/Audible until there is a matching eBook or print edition.
ACX is very diligent in ensuring authors have the right to produce an audiobook and are the Rights Holders. For example, for my Archives of the Invisible Sword series, I sold my Australian audio rights to Harlequin Australia, but retained them for the rest of the world. When I began the process of getting the first book, "The Eyes of Tamburah" listed, they sent me an email requesting proof that I held the rights. I had to scan the appropriate pages of my contract and send them to ACX before I could move forward. And yes, I had to do it for the next two books in the series as well. Annoying, but also gratifying that they are committed to protecting my rights.
When you enter your title, ACX will display a number of books and you click on yours. Hopefully it’ll be available. When I entered my book, "The City of Zirdai", it came up with my cover, but was unavailable. Seems another person/company AKA pirate had claimed the title. In that case, you need to contact ACX support and be prepared to be patient. It took them three weeks to finally take down the illegal listing...

Read the entire article in the June 2023 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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