None other than Neil Gaiman has advised us in his : "Audiobooks--A Cautionary Tale." As he writes:
I think what I want to say mostly is, if you are an author,
Get Involved in Your Audiobooks Early.
Get your agent involved and interested.
Talk about them at contract stage.
Find out if you're selling the rights,
and if you are selling them
then find out what control you have or
whether you are going to be consulted or not
about who the narrator is and how the audiobook is done.
Another thing to consider:
Very soon (frighteningly soon)
titles without audiobook versions will not have the perceived value as those that have them.
But if you have the rights and are in the process with ACX, then what?
YOUR AUDITION SCRIPT:
Make it short ( 3 pages of prose from your novel.)
Make it riveting (this is the prospective narrator's first idea of how well you can write.)
Make it reflective of your novel as a whole. (Don't choose the one torture scene in the book.)
Here's what you need to know about stipends.
I have no idea why the site asked for producers to log in....I logged in as a "rights holder" and emailed, and they responded right back.
This section is where you sell prospective narrators on why your novel is good gamble for them.
Royalty Share is truly the only affordable way most of us can do an audiobook,
and so the narrator is betting 70 HOURS of her or his livelihood that you are worth it!
State your sales numbers, your monthly blog visitors, your loyal twitter followers, and why the reader market is ripe for your book should it be turned into an audiobook.
HOW TO BE APPEALING:
1) A GREAT COVER -
Cheesy cover art is a big indicator that the author isn't willing to make an investment in their career. So, why should the narrator?
2) NOT TOO LONG -
No narrator is going to tackle a 300,000 word epic. That would be over a month to gamble on an unknown! A 50,000 to 70,000 novel is more apt to approached for a gamble.
3) BE IMPOSSIBLE TO SAY NO TO -
4) SOUND LIKE A FUN DATE -
WHEN YOU GET A NARRATOR:
1) Listen to the 15 minute sample and either approve it, or ask them to make changes/try reading things a different way
2) After the 15 minutes are approved, you wait for the whole thing. Each chapter is a separate file to download. In addition, the narrator should send you a opening and closing credits and a 5 minute sample.
Be smart and get the narrator to send you each chapter to inspect so that words, names, and accents that run throughout the entire novel are done well the first time.
Listen to these intently - it's totally fun! - and make notes of any changes.
3) When you're totally satisfied with your audiobook, all you have to do is approve it and it goes to ACX for a final vetting. That is to insure the narrator isn't saying "fjord, fjord, fjord" for 8 hours. That will take 21 days.
After that, it can take a couple weeks to distribute out to Amazon, Audible, and iTunes. For me, it showed up on Audible within a day, Amazon not much longer after that. iTunes was the hold out (as per usual).
The one sort of weird thing about the whole audiobook experience is that we don't control the price.
So what are you waiting for?
Audiobooks are the next BIG THING. Wait too long, and you will have been left behind. Ouch!