You’ve got your book up on ACX, ready for a reader. So do dozens, hundreds, of others. You’ve made your book sound as appealing as possible, picked the best scene in the book to intrigue any reader who happens along. And nothing happens. One day, two, three go by, and no one comes knocking. Discouragement nibbles at the edges of your enthusiasm. You wonder if anyone will ever find you. Surely someone out there would love to read it and make buckets of money.
How do you find a reader?
You go hunting, of course. One thing I learned: on ACX it is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, to invite a reader/producer to audition for your book. Don’t believe me? Here’s a direct quote from the ACX website:
Post your book so Producers (narrators and studio professional) and audiobook publishers can contact you. Or do your own casting call—listen to sample narrations already posted by actors and then invite a handful to audition for your book.
How do you begin? Listen to the choices the readers have posted. Under Search-Producers For Hire, there are currently 36,000 samples posted. These are not individual actors/readers, these are each and every sample each and every reader has posted for you to analyze. Readers will put up examples of their range. Can they do accents? If they can do humor, can they also do serious? They will list their own favorite bits, read from books, or plays, or poems, little morsels of their talent.
You can narrow the 36,000+ samples down. On the left-hand side of the Producers section, there is a filter chart. If you need the English language, a British accent and a female voice, as I did, once those three filters are applied, 36,000 samples are down to 1,491. Bearing in mind that each reader might have posted 5 or 10 (or more) examples of their talents, you might have just reduced this down to less than 200 readers to pick from. That is manageable.
For myself, I wanted my reader to sound adult, but not TOO adult, since I had a twenty-something female protagonist. Applying the “Voice Age” filter with “Adult” brings the individual audio samples down to 1,052.
Is your protagonist brooding? Sarcastic? Inspirational? There is even a “Vocal Style” filter.
If you hear something you like, by all means send a message through the ACX message icon and invite them to audition. All they can do is say no. Or ignore you altogether. Think of it this way; When you contact them, they know they have something out there that people like. I had one lovely reader get back to me and say she was booked up right then, but she thanked me and wished me well. I was very impressed with her. Enough that I kept a record of her name and someday might well contact her again. Whatever you do, be polite and courteous. You might just have found your next reader and be working with them for a long time.
Most of all, don’t give up.
(original blog date 8/24/2015)