You have an account, you’ve claimed your first book, and you’re beginning to learn your way around the site. New terms and rules are buzzing through your head.
The whole goal of this is to get the right person to read your book. To do that, you have to make your book irresistible. The first part of this is very similar to what you did when you set your book up on Kindle. You want a synopsis that will grab their interest.
When you are working up your ‘sales pitch’ you can put in links to your book’s page, to your author website, if you have one, to anything pertinent that will convince a reader that you are a serious author who deserves their time and attention. Savvy readers will check you out 60 ways from Sunday. They will look up your rating on Amazon, they will read your reviews, even see how many followers you have on Facebook, if it will help them decide whether or not to sacrifice the next 2 months or more of their lives to your book.
Put some time and attention into this part. Do you have a number of characters? I had characters ranging from small children to elderly men and women. Give the feel of the book, if it’s horror or romance, if you want someone who can do wistful or brooding or sarcastic. I needed someone for my first book who could do everything from snobbish British upper crust all the way to Cockney. For my other two books, done in formal Biblical speech, I needed readers who would not be intimidated by books that had no contractions at all, and made a point of that in my listing.
You will have to put up a sample of your book for them to use as an audition. That section might be what makes or breaks their decision to audition. You can take this from anywhere in your book. Include a brief setting, and a character list with name pronunciations for them. After all, if you have unusual names in your book, it won’t be fair to listen to someone massacre them and then try to judge. Pick a section that will give you a chance to hear their range. Old, young, tense, funny, whatever will let you get a feel for what is important in your audio. ACX gives you a word count that will be only 4 or 5 minutes, as I recall, so find something that includes enough to let you decide.
When you have chosen a reader, you will have to give them a Complete Character List along with the full manuscript, so this is a good chance to get part of it ready. Believe it or not, there are actors all over the place who very much want to show off their stuff. What better than a novel that lets them play every part by themselves? If they have range, they will leap at the chance to stretch.
You can go back and edit if necessary if you find your initial approach doesn’t work. Make it the best you can, and prepare yourself for those first auditions. Take it from me, seeing that first audition show up on your page is exciting!
(original blog date 8/20/2015)