Seven Questions to Ask a Book Narrator Before You Hire Him or Her

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ACX is the place where you can find narrators who turn your book into an audiobook.

According to the statistics from Publishers Association, sales of audio books have doubled since 2011 to more than 11 million.

This is from Audio Publishers Association: “Based on information from responding publishers, the APA estimates that audiobook sales in 2014 totaled more than $1.47 billion, up 13.5% over 2013. Unit sales were also up 19.5%, nearly five times the increase of the overall book trade industry (4.2% as reported by the Association of American Publishers in June 2015).”

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What are people listening to and why: Click HERE for the full report.

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To find a quality narrator, go to ACX and click on the SEARCH drop down box in the right top corner and notice the “Producers for Hire” tab. Click on the Producers for Hire to listen to all the different voices you might want to hire. You can send a person a message and ask him or her to audition for your book’s narration.

First, you’ll need to load a sample of your book, the description, genre, and what you’re looking for in a narrator. Sell the story to the narrators so they’re interested in investing their time. They will send you LIVE AUDITIONS for your book. It’s a blast listening to all the different voices.


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1. After you click over to their link and research their experience, ask them how many books they’ve done.

2. Do they have a quality studio with professional equipment? This is extremely important. You don’t want them to record it on a subpar mic in their bedroom. Listeners will hear the lack of quality.

3. What is their timeline availability? Make sure it fits in your timeline expectations. Keep in mind that once you’re done approving everything, it will take up to two weeks for ACX to approve the CD. 

4. Will they edit the book with a professional editing service, or will the narrator’s boyfriend help her? Some narrators expect you to do the editing. Listening to hours of recorded narration is time-consuming. Do you have time to do this and mark every place that there’s a problem? (The first book I had narrated ended up a disaster. It wasn’t edited and would have taken me months to edit. I decided to abort the project and stop my losses.)

5. Do they expect you to share the royalties? I didn’t do the royalty split. Authors have this option. If you don’t have the money to pay the narrator up front you might want to pay them a piece of your royalties, but you don’t get to choose the price of your audio book. ACX does that for you.

6. How much will they charge if you don’t split the royalties? Start low. You can always raise your price. Plan on spending close to $200 or more for an hour for a decent voice. (My 80K word novel took approximately 9 hours.) For my first children’s book it took the narrator just under an hour to record and edit. The book had roughly 10000 words. I paid her $175 an hour, so the total audio book cost me around $160.

7. For FRACTURED NOT BROKEN I found two narrators I wanted to hire. They had equally quality voices. In the end, I chose the one who responded to my emails promptly and with organized letters. Her communication skills were superior to the other candidate’s. I decided that she was going to be a better “bet” than the other one. I was right, too. She produced a quality product that I can be proud to share.

Feel free to visit my Amazon page to listen to a sample of this quality narrator HERE.

Feel free to ask questions or leave comments that will help other authors on their AUDIO journey!

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