As I concluded Part 2 of this series, narrator Leah Casey and I were working on the final round of audio corrections. I’ve gushed at length about Leah’s professionalism and talent, and I’m thrilled to share her work with all of you. But, these posts have mainly focused on my process, so let’s finish recapping how it all came together.
Step 1. Corrections to Second Pass Narration
Once Leah had recorded all the first pass pickups (i.e., the corrections or changes I’d made to the first version of her audio recording), I listened downloaded all the corrected files, listened to the places where a change was made, and made sure
- It was made correctly
- The new audio meshed with the old and didn’t sound like an inserted sound byte.
Here’s an example of a first and second pass correction.
First Pass Pickup
Second Pass Pickup
As I mentioned in the previous post, Leah’s outstanding narration required very few fixes, and there were even fewer second-pass changes. I think there was a single third pass pickup, and then, we were done!
Step 2. Hit the “Approve” Button
Once I was satisfied with all the audio pickups, I clicked on the button to Approve the audiobook, whereupon I received this email:
Woo hoo! I could hardly wait to see it appear for sale!
Step 3. Pay the Narrator
This is important! As detailed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, narrators work very hard, and the production phase may take two or three times the number of hours as the finished recording. As described in Part 1, Leah and I had agreed to a hybrid deal in which I paid her a flat fee for production based on the duration of the finished audio, and then we set up a royalty share deal for ongoing sales. The total duration of the recording came to 14 hours, 20 minutes, and Leah based her final invoice on that figure.
Step 4. While You Wait, Begin Marketing Your Audiobook
While I waited for the quality assurance check to be completed and the audiobook to appear on retail sites, I began making some noise about it on my social media accounts. Unfortunately, ACX doesn’t provide indie authors with a specific release date for their audiobooks, and Leah (who’s been through this process before), said I would get an another email when the book became available, usually about 2 weeks after approval.
However, because I was both excited and a bit obsessive compulsive, I kept checking my ACX dashboard. Five days after I received the “approved” confirmation email, the status of the project changed from “Pending Review” to “Headed to Retail”!
While I waited for the status to change to Available for Sale, I started announcing how close we were on my Facebook and Twitter account by posting this picture in my feed as well as in some groups. A Wizard’s Forge is currently entered in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off (SPFBO; and is being evaluated this month by Lynn’s Books—gulp!), so I included the #SPFBO hashtag in my Twitter entries and posted in the FB group dedicated to that competition. I also reached out to potential reviewers who had expressed interest in the audiobook and promised to provide them with promotion codes.
Again, I obsessively check AWF‘s status throughout the day (I should probably talk to a therapist about that), and because I do, I saw that the Audible option appeared on its Amazon sale page before the audiobook was available on the Audible website itself! This happened on October 2, 2018, 11 days after I hit Approve and within the 10-14 day timeframe promised by ACX..
I immediately announced this development on social media.
That spur of the moment tweet was followed by a properly hash-tagged and illustrated version a few hours later.
At 7:30 in the evening, about an hour after I noticed the Audible link appear on Amazon, I received an email from ACX saying that A Wizard’s Forge was finally and truly available for sale.
The email confirming sales availability included instructions for requesting up to 25 promotion codes, which permit people of your choice to download the book for free from the US or UK Audible sites. I made this request immediately, and received my codes the next day (the offer email says Audible will respond within 5 business days).
Step 5. Continue Marketing Your Audiobook
During the period when I was tweeting out news of the audiobook’s imminent release, a follow author asked me what I planned to do to support the launch. My top-of-head answer was “Uhhh….” Sadly, that’s my usual answer when it comes to book marketing questions. So, all I can do here is list out what I am doing and plan to do—and ask all you savvy followers to post your suggestions below (not to mention share the news or even…dare I say it…buy a copy! <wink, wink>).
So here’s what I’m doing now or in the near future.
- Serendipitously, the audiobook’s availability coincides with a promotional Ebook sale I’m doing with other dark fantasy authors from October 3-7, 2018 (all titles 99 cents), which is probably a great way to launch the audiobook, since many eyeballs will be landing on the Amazon sales page. Perhaps some of these viewers will snag a copy of the audiobook.
- I began distributing promotion codes to potential reviewers.
- I will send an announcement about the sale and the audiobook launch to my newsletter subscribers.
- I am doing a short run of Facebook ads to support the launch. Facebook ads are expensive (even a low budget of $5 per day adds up if you run the ad all month), so I don’t plan to keep those ads running more than a couple weeks.
- I have ongoing advertising on Amazon for the AWF.
- I am writing this blog!
It’s a Wrap!
All in all, finding a narrator, working with her on the production, and launching the audiobook have been a fantastic experience. I hope readers—or rather, listeners—enjoy the finished product as much as I do.