How to Find the Right Audiobooks to Audition For

Feb 10, 2021

How to Find the Right Audiobooks to Audition for



Today, I'm going to be answering another question that I get a lot.


Hey Anthony,


How do I know what type of audiobooks to audition for?



I think that this is definitely a question that has come often for you guys ad myself. Especially with some of the challenges that have gone on with ACX.


When I say challenges, I mean all of the different flooding in of books that are not necessarily grammatically correct or the struggle sometimes of finding a book that's actually going to be worth your time and effort.


So, I think the first thing to note is that you've got to determine what type of books you want to do. If you are trying to do audiobooks that are nonfiction, that's definitely one genre.


If you're trying to do books that are fiction that's another.


However, within fiction and nonfiction there are many other subcategories.


In fiction, there’s murder mystery and thriller.


There's science fiction, there's fantasy, there's drama, and there's romance.


There are so many different subcategories and subcategories of the subcategories!


In nonfiction, you have more and more subcategories there as well. I mean you've got finance, you've got personal growth and development, and memoirs or biography, etc. All kinds of different things.

So, now that you've got some ideas you need to narrow your focus.


The next thing that you need to do is you need to make a decision about what you are trying to accomplish with the books that you are

auditioning for.


What I mean by that is there are many different ways that you can audition.


What do I mean by this?


Meaning you can get paid for the books right now.


You can have books that pay you a royalty for how many books that are sold.


Or you can have books that pay per finished hour. It can be anywhere from a couple of bucks to hundreds and hundreds of dollars per

finished hour.


That's up to you to decide. But I think the heart of this question goes to you know how I find books that are either well-written enough that makes me want to narrate them? Or find books that are ranking well

enough on Amazon for me to spend my time auditioning to work

with them?


Especially in a royalty share format…


So, I want to dive into that really quickly.


First off for royalty share you want to be looking for books

that meet a certain type of criteria.


The first step is to do some research and to see what ranking that book is

getting anything that's over 20,000 or 30,000 or 50,000.


Anything that's over that is really a book that you might want to think twice about before auditioning for royalty share.


Remember royalty share and I'm talking about through ACX. The Audiobook Creation Exchange, which is owned by Audible, which is

owned by Amazon. (Side note: just in case you didn’t know.)  


That's kind of the primary place where freelancer voiceover artist and freelance writers go to meet up and produce books they can get published.


Everybody can make some money. That’s what I want you to understand when I'm talking about royalty share.


To recap: something that you need to know what ranking it is because if it's too high, like if it's over a 100,000. The likelihood is that you're going to do a lot of work and not make any money on a royalty share.  


You get royalties for seven years as a voice-over artist and you share in a percentage of the royalties.


Currently ACX is doing it royalties like this: you share in

40% of every book that's sold, but you share that. So, you will receive 40% which you would share in 20%.


That means if an audio book is like $0.99, if you sell one then you're getting twenty cents ($0.20).


That's how much money you would make. You can see from that example that you have to sell quite a bit in order to make money.


That's where volume comes in and there's many different tactics.


But the point is none of that matters if your audiobook is not selling.


Which means that you've got to pick a book that firstly has a high enough selling ranking. That's why I try to choose anything under 50,000,

20,000, 10,000. The closer to one of those numbers you can get the better.


The second thing that you want to look for is: have people actually purchase the book and have left a verified purchased comment?


Reviews are important because there are a lot of books that can also get on to the KDP unlimited program and basically, it's a free thing that Kindle offers through Amazon.


In the KDP unlimited program, you can promote books by offering it for free.


An author, depending on how many downloads they get, there's like a pot that Kindle puts in every month of like a couple million dollars.


And depending on your downloads, you as an author might get some of that money depending on how many downloads you get but it can falsely rank a book.


Yes, I really do mean it can be falsely ranked.


That's why if you ever go see how much this book sells for and it's free, you're like it sells for $0 if you own a Kindle!


If you’re wondering how is it can be offered for free, what now? That doesn't mean that you get $0, if it's sold.


You'll still get what the percentage is if it was to sell regularly. So, to clarify you get a percentage of the audiobook, not the book.


But you have to think about that when it comes to rankings for the Kindle books. That the rank you saw when you started the audiobook might not be the time same when you finish narrating the book.


You might go on there and you're like wait a minute… it was 5,000 and now it's 150,000?!


But that happens and that's hard to measure but that's just something to

be aware of.


That's why it's important you have verified purchases and reviews, so that you can look over that and say oh yeah this is good. They’re getting purchased, etc now.


This is getting harder, but it happened me.


So, I also want you to look at how long a book has been on the market.

Ideally it would be nice to do books that have been on the market longer than 3 to 6 months with verified purchased reviews and has a really great ranking.


That's the ideal book for you to audition for because it's proven itself. It's getting reviews and it's getting purchases.


That means the audiobook is likely going to get reviews and that is what we are looking for when we are talking about royalty shares.


If we move to the other side which is per finished hour, you have to decide what your price is. Because if that's the case then it really doesn't matter what ranking it is. This is the price in which they're going to pay you.


But you have to decide what type of books you're going to audition for and what price you’re going to charge when just starting out.


They offer on ACX $0 to $50 per finished hour, then it's $50 to $100, then it's a $100 to $200, and then it's $200 to $400. And then I think it's $400 to a $1000.


Those are the per finished hour rates that they can

fall under on ACX. You have to decide what you're willing to work.



I always make sure that I take half up front and half upon delivery so that I don't get stiffed from all the work that I've done.



But that's up to you but remember on ACX, you have to literally get paid through PayPal or whatever. ACX doesn't handle payment unless it's royalty share.


Then that comes through your Amazon account, but the idea here is that

you are choosing books that are hopefully paying you what you want.


I hope this has helped you understand how to find the right audiobooks to audition for.


For more information on how to choose the right audiobook you can check The Complete ACX Guide For Voice Over Artists or if you would like to learn how to get your voice over business off the ground, sign up for a 1 on 1 with me here: Coaching Session With Anthony 

Thank you for reading A VO's Journey blog! 

Here's to your success,



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