There is a disturbing trend going on in the world of Audiobook narration. Scams. When I think of “scams” I think of some shady looking hacker out there trying to steal my bank information or personal passwords. In this world, it works a little differently.
First (and most obvious) is a person posting a well known book by a best selling author on ACX for audition. The one that comes to mind that was recently posted is “The Sun Dog” by Stephen King. This scammer tried to choose a title by Stephen King that was not as well known perhaps. The Sun Dog was actually a short story included in one of his compilations of stories. First red flag? No way are Stephen King or his publishers scouting for auditions in what is essentially an “indie” website for narrators. I use ACX almost exclusively right now, but I am relatively new in this business, so to speak, and am still working towards my big break. Best selling authors and their publishers typically have their own hand picked narrators that they use exclusively for their books. If you see something listed by Stephen King or James Grisham….move on-do not audition!
Second scam out there….rights holders asking you to send them your promo codes. Not only is this strictly forbidden by ACX, they can remove the book off the market, and POTENTIALLY make you pay back the money you have earned on it if it was a royalty share project. Don’t take a chance! Save your promo codes to help you market your work, or for your friends and family.
Another thing going on that I don’t think is necessarily a scam, per say, but many narrators would disagree with me, are foreign rights holders who are asking you to narrate a book without providing you a manuscript to proof first, telling you it needs to be submitted within 5-7 days, and it MUST be a minimum of 5 hours long. These are usually non fiction books with sub-standard cover art. Oh, and by the way, they are going to pay you $45-$50 per recorded hour. Newbies fall for this all the time. They don’t realize at first how difficult this job can be. They think, “Oh-I can make a quick $250.00 for a 5 hour book, cool!” Nope….that 5 hour book is going to take a minimum of 15 hours to narrate and produce. On top of that, the manuscript is usually poorly written, forcing you to read sentences that don’t flow well and the punctuation is non-existent. Now, that 5 hour book will most likely take you 20-30 hours. Are you only worth $12.50 an hour? My advice-pass on these. They will try to solicit you especially if you are new. If you do not want them to solicit you, change your hourly rate in your ACX profile to $200+ an hour. They will skip right over you!
Check out my website for links to my projects on Audible, and don’t forget to like my Facebook page!
Here is a sample from my latest release, Phoenix, written by Prudence MacLeod:)