Plus, tips on how to use ACX and Whispersync
After I shared the manuscript of my high-tech conspiracy thriller Biohack with my Book Launch Team, the first question some readers began to ask was: When will this be available on Audible?
For today’s mobile, on-the-go workforce, tens of millions of us prefer to listen to our books rather than read them. Some even go back and forth with a new Amazon feature called Whispersync: You leave off on a certain page when you finish reading before you turn in to sleep, and then you pick right up where you left off with the Audible version during your morning commute. Amazingly cool! (It works only with Kindle e-books and Audible audiobooks.)
In the technothriller genre, the vast majority of narrators are men (although Amazon’s ACX service gives authors a wide range of women narrators). Given the theme of “Biohack” (a Shadow Operatives thriller), I wanted a woman’s voice, so I turned to longtime friend Denise Howell, host of the “This Week in Law” podcast, where I’ve been a guest three times. We came up with a flat fee rather than a royalty share and went to work.
I was hoping to launch the Audible version the same day as my book release event on May 22, but I didn’t account for the extremely long review process that ACX imposes on all titles. (The startup world has made me accustomed to fast turnarounds.)
The narration was also affected by some last-minute changes to the manuscript –my launch team members kept sending back edits and suggestions that were fairly minor but important enough to include in the audio version. So Denise cheerfully went along and re-recorded a couple of dozen passages throughout the first third of the book.
When the final one of the 76 separate .mp3 files were finished (one for each chapter, plus the dedication, epigraph, opening credits, closing credits and retail sample), the upload process was pretty slick. Just press an upload button and ACX sucks it up and adds it to the draft version. It turned out that after you submit the final version, ACX requires 10 to 14 business days to review the files to ensure proper audio quality and to make sure all everything is in order. After some tweaks and another two weeks of waiting, ACX finally gave the green light and I used Author Central to add the Audible version to the book page for “Biohack.”
I was surprised to learn that Amazon-owned Audible doesn’t let authors set the price for their audiobooks. So you’ll find my thriller with an audiobook price of $17.47 or one credit. Most Audible members get their audiobooks as part of their monthly subscription.
I hope to do a raffle later this summer with some free credits, so stay tuned for that.
To start listening to the story of Kaden, Nico and Sterling Waterhouse right now, head to the “Biohack” book page and select Audible. If you want to start by sampling the first four chapters, head here. But be warned: It’s text.