Thursday, 28 August 2014

REMIX the audiobook

Soon the audio version of Remix will be available to buy on Audible - an exciting moment for me.

I've always wanted to have audio versions of my novels, but for indie authors ACX offers the only simple way of achieving this, and until this year ACX only dealt with the US. As soon as they opened their doors to the UK, I dived in.

The author posts details of his book, and decides whether to offer payment between $50 and $400 per finished hour, or a royalty share. With a royalty share, the narrator (known as the producer since she also edits and produces the master file) takes half of the profits from books sold but does not charge an upfront fee.

I was lucky - ACX chose Remix for the soon-to-be-defunct stipend program, meaning they offered $100 per finished hour to the producer, and we share the 40% royalty. I believe the stipend was very popular with producers. Although I needed an English accent for my protagonist, Caz, and most of the narrators are American, I got many auditions emailed to me. I chose Anne Day-Jones, who has a lovely clear voice and is really good at dialogue. You can listen to the sample here.

Anne suggested doing Ric Kealey, my rock star hero, with a light Irish accent, and once I'd got my head round the idea, I liked it. That was the most difficult part for me - in fact the only difficult part, as Anne did all the work - adjusting to hearing another version from the one in my head. But it's good, and I hope listeners will like it.


  1. Are you sure she's British? She doesn't sound at all like Dick Van Dyke's accent on Mary Poppins!

  2. Lord love a duck and strike me pink! Maybe she ain't, Russell. Never thought to check her passport...

  3. This is exciting! Way back when the Arizona Library for the Blind made an audio recording of "Close Enough for Government Work", the book I eventually reworked and retitled "Boomerang". Anyhoo, it was one of the neatest things that has ever happened to me as a writer. The narrator was not a professional actor, but a volunteer with the library. Nevertheless she did a wonderful job and for something like two or three years after it became available it was "checked out" almost constantly. Lexi, I hope this brings you lots of listeners. In today's busy world, listening to books while commuting, exercising, making dinner, whatever, is the only way a lot of people can enjoy a great story. I'm sure they'll love yours!

  4. So you were an early adopter, Alan :o) It sounds an enterprising and beneficial scheme for a local library to set up. I guess this sort of thing has been overtaken in recent years by the ready availability of audiobooks.

  5. I listened to the sample and liked the narrator's voice, though the sample only had short samples of the spoken word. I like the way that her voice deepens for Ric.

    Mary Jo Putney has an interesting discussion of making her latest audio book and points out the importance of including as many voices as possible in your sample:

    I will look out for the book at Audible .... A great new adventure for you! :)

  6. Interesting article, Q. I'm aware that as this is my first audiobook, I'm a real newbie with a lot to learn. The second should be easier :o)