1) As we all know, books are still produced traditionally. But eBooks (to be read on screens, large or small) and audio books (aBooks, to be listened to on various devices) become more and more common.
2) Last week I discovered that publishing an audio book via ACX is said to be very easy, provided the author already has an eBook (or a traditional book) at Amazon. I am starting this thread to share what I know (not a lot at this stage) about the ACX. I hope I am not the only one (on this list) who is trying to publish an aBook via ACX. Perhaps we can learn from each other.
3) Here is what I did so far. I went to < http://www.acx.com > , pressed the GO, and created a password for my account. Then I created the profile for my book, following their instructions. People who create ACX accounts are either authors or producers. The terms "narrator" and "producer" are used (in short tutorials) as if they were synonyms. The ACX is the online market place, created by Amazon, for authors and producers. A producer wants to find an author and an author wants to find a producer. They accept each other's offer and sign a contract. The author has nothing else to do, because Amazon already has the text to be narrated and recorded. The producer narrates the text and delivers it to the ACX. They create multiple copies of aBooks, and deliver them to their three stores.
4) In some contracts an author pays the producer a flat fee, or they may agree to split royalties. My book consists of 35,720 words, and some illustrations. This translates into approximately 3.8 hours of narration. The flat fee is typically between $200 and $400 per each hour of narration, depending on the producer. Illustrations would be ignored, when the aBook is produced. Why am I prefer the split-royalties agreement? Because it implies zero expenses.
5) How to find a producer? The first step is to go to < http://www.acx.com >, as before. The page that opens has the "search" menu, at the upper right corner. One of the options in this menu is "Producers for Hire." I chose this option and saw the beginning of the list of nearly 27,000 producers, in the ACX database. By clicking the displayed name of a producer I can read his or her background, and what they offer. Fortunately, there is a way to automatically eliminate producers, which do not satisfy my expectation, by using buttons on the left side of the list. Each button brought a set of options; I was able to eliminate female voices, foreign languages, unwanted accents, etc. At the end the list was reduced to about ten names. I selected one after listening to samples of voices. For each producer I had two choices, either to send a personal email, or to make a formal offer.
6) Undecided what to do I simply wrote down the producer's name. Next time I will be able to do what I decide, after typing that name into the dedicated box (that appears after the "Producers for Hire" button is pressed. Producers search for authors in a similar way. Instead of clicking the "Producers for Hire" they press the "Titles accepting auditions," from the "search" menu.
Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
Writing this online document was a moral obligation to my parents, and to other victims of Stalinism.