When ACX Isn’t Enough – Finding Books to Narrate

Audiobook Narrator - Reader




Are you tired of visiting ACX’s “Titles Accepting Auditions” section and seeing:

  • Roddy and Roxy Ride Rough and dozens of other erotica titles
  • Royalty titles 10+ hours long that even friends and family will never buy
  • $100 Per Finished Hour “books” that are really 10-minute long articles (less than $17 for the narrator)

I decided that when the pickings are slim, it’s time to start picking somewhere else! That’s when I started stalking, uh, make that marketing directly to, authors and publishers.

  1. Go Where the Authors Are

I began by joining every author and writer group I could find in my Denver area. Almost every group had a Meetup Group, so I started attending meetings and socializing with every author I could find. I volunteered to speak about audiobooks – whether they should do them (of course!), how to do them, and how much money they could expect to make.

  1. Be an Audiobook Coach

I offered to walk the authors through the ACX process, show them how to choose a narrator (me!), and explained how the royalty share and pay for production options work.

  1. Be an Audiobook Producer

For authors insisting on narrating their own books, I set up a partnership with Denver Media Center Studios, a local recording studio, and directed and edited the author’s work.

  1. Promote Yourself

Beyond local connections, start writing blogs to help authors with audiobook questions on every social media platform you can find. Email authors and small publishers of book genres you enjoy. Sci-Fi fan? Check your favorites to see if there are Audible versions. You like pets? Contact pet authors. There are a million (OK, rough estimate) books out there without audio versions. Go get them!

  1. Audition for Other Publishers

It’s not easy to get on the other big audiobook publishers rosters, or everyone would do it. But go for it! Contact Penguin Random House, Hachette Audio (formerly Time Warner Audio books), HarperCollins (Harlequin) Audio, MacMillan Audio, Recorded Books, Simon & Schuster Audio, and Amazon’s Audible directly. Some of the Independent Audio Publishers with larger studios like Brilliance, Blackstone, and Deyan Audio are producing hundreds of audio books each annually.

  1. Find the Money to Fund Audiobooks

Show authors how to raise money to get their books published through crowdfunding. Pubslush specializes in helping writers raise money. Make sure authors include money for the audio version production costs in their campaigns.

  1. Write Your Own

Yes, I’m an author, too. And chances are pretty good I will choose myself to narrate my book “The Author’s Guide to Audiobook Creation” when it’s published in December.


In the past 18 months, as the Audiobook Coach for Author U in Denver and other direct connections, I have produced and narrated 18 books through ACX and 12 others for authors outside ACX, with 6 more in the pipeline. All of them are either “Paid for Production” or hybrid “Production/Royalty Share” projects.

My thanks to David Lawrence XVII and Dan O’Day of the ACX Audiobook Mastermind Group, and my voice acting coaches Sean Alan Pratt, Paul Rueben, Pat Fraley, and Melissa Leebaert.

Richard Rieman
Linked In: linkedin.com/in/richardrieman
Twitter: @RichardRieman


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