Per Shelf Awareness today, Audible has launched ACX, which enables authors to create audiobooks of their work, either by narrating them or by hiring voice actors from the registered database of talent.
Here, have a video about it, featuring two actors who really irritated me with their pseudo-bashful self-congratulatory demeanor:
The upshot is that so many excellent books are not made into audio books, and with the increasing success of self-publishing ventures in digital and print-on-demand, audiobooks are a natural extension of that success. The ACX program is available to authors at a flat rate or at a 50/50 share of royalties.
I figure that anything which increases the number of audiobooks for those who need or prefer the format is a very good thing, particularly if it allows authors who hold their audio rights to exercise them for fun and profit. On the flip side, though, as Don Maass said on Twitter, if a publisher exercises unused audio rights, what will be the author’s share in those circumstances? And vice versa?
On one hand, ACX forces everyone to pay closer attention to the potential of audio rights in the digital age. On the other hand, it also forces everyone to take a look at how audio rights exist right now, and what may change with this (and I assume other forthcoming) opportunity.
Sassy Outwater tweeted that she loves the possibilities as both a narrator and a blind person who relies on audio books. What do you think? Would you be interested in a wider selection of audiobooks if authors started self publishing them? Do you wish for a better selection of audio books? If you’re an author, would you use this service? And do you want to hire talent or narrate your own?