The Audiobook Creation Exchange is run by Amazon and Audible. It is an online platform that lists narrators and their rates, authors can find a narrow they like and create an audiobook. In the past 8 years over 160,000 audiobooks have been created from a pool of 106,000 producers. 41 ACX titles have been nominated for Audies, and 9 have taken home the coveted Audie. Even more have been nominated for and won the Voice Arts Award, the newest recognition for excellence in narration. ACX is available to creators in the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland. There are more countries earmarked for expansion, but none have been publicly announced.
There are two different ways authors can work out a deal with a narrator. The first is billable hours, which is the most popular method. Authors can work with a narrator that offers a low price, but has a high quality studio. The second is royalty sharing, where a narrator will do the audiobook production for free, but take a share of the royalties, on a per unit basis.
Hannah Wall, Director of Marketing & Communication for ACX told Good e-Reader “Since ACX was created, we’ve seen growing interest from people interested in gaining the resources and guidance to self-publish an audiobook, which is why we created ACX University, a recurring series of videos featuring industry pros who take a deep dive on the latest audiobook publishing and performance trends. We’ve turned this program into a bi-weekly web series to further simplify audiobook self-publishing with over four hours of training and coaching for free.
The latest “season” of ACX University will premiere October 28, and we would love to get the word out in the creative community. Some highlights from this year’s program include:
- Performance coaching from Scott Brick, narrator of over 900 titles, including JURASSIC PARK, HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, IN COLD BLOOD and HELTER SKELTER.
- A round table on marketing to new audiences featuring listening tastemakers from Audible’s Editors.
- A roadmap for organizing and recording multi-cast performances featuring a New York Times bestselling author and narrators.
What are the best genres right now for converting an ebook to an audiobook? Hannah said, “Audible listeners have an incredibly wide range of tastes, and we like to think there’s a listen out there for everyone. A wide range of genres have become bestsellers on Audible that got their start on ACX: from life-coach Mel Robbins (The Five Second Rule) to LitRPG fan favorite Aleron Kong (The Land) to swoon worthy romance author Lauren Blakely (Big Rock), and more. There’s something for everyone on ACX.”
What type of author publishers with ACX? “Our platform is made up of a mix of indie publishers and small presses, recording studios and independent narrators, all collaborating together. Opportunities exist for authors large and small to collaborate with producers of every size.”
Hannah summed up some trends she has noticed on Audible in the past year “People are listening now more than ever. Programs like ACX make it easier to deliver engaging storytelling experiences to listeners, and we’re seeing innovations in multi-cast narration and audio exclusives that make us really excited for what the ACX community will create next.”
You can learn all about the audiobook industry with our 2019 report, it looks at current trends for the retail, library and streaming services.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.