Earning a Stipend from Audible
A production stipend is where Audible pays the narrator $100 per finished hour, but the narrator has to agree to a royalty share to get the money from that, and the book has to be finished and approved in 60 days. The total amount available is also limited to $1000. Also, I believe producers/narrators are limited on how many stipend contracts they can take. It’s to encourage royalty share deals, because they really aren’t always all that appealing to narrators. They’re a bit risky and many narrators are getting burned.
You can’t choose if you get a stipend from Audible or not, though. You have to earn it. Fateful was awarded a stipend from Audible within a week of listing the book on ACX. I may have just gotten lucky, but I can share with you what I’d done, and maybe you’ll get lucky too. (Of course, there are no guarantees…)
You need to show that your book has good earning potential. So in “Comments from Rights Holder” I put things like this: (Also, I would say books that have been out longer than others, with a good sales track record, might be more likely to get a stipend.)
Marketing and sales:
A DETAILED Marketing Plan. And I mean very detailed. Like list plans for paid advertising, etc.
Past sales/download numbers. If over 200 thousand ebooks have been downloaded, then put that, even if they were free downloads. You’ve still been able to reach that many readers.
Past sales rank, like if you’ve been in the top 100 on Amazon before.
List future books in the series. Include published books and ones in the plans.
Awards (Highest Amazon rank, New York Times, etc.)
Social Media Stats (Twitter, Facebook fan page, YouTube, even Pinterest)
Number of 5 star reviews on Goodreads and Amazon.
And then notes for the producer about production like:
Tell them to “show” you what they can do. This lets them know you plan to give them some creative license. Artists like that kind of stuff, I should know…
List accents they’ll needed to perform.
List the point of view for the book.
For me, I also explained why I wanted a male reader. (It was because while book 1 was 3rd person female perspective, future books switched. And I had way more male characters than female characters in the story. And in my audience research, my readers preferred listening to a male.)
Tips for the Audition Script:
Male and Female Characters
Humor or Tension
Keep it Short
Also, I had a sentence in there that could be awkward if the narrator wasn’t good enough to make it sound natural. I didn’t really do this intentionally, but the one who made it sound natural was easily the one who got the job. The female character said, “Gee, thanks Ethan,” with heavy sarcasm. The others made it sound so awkward I actually cut it from the book, even though the one who got the job managed it just fine…
If you’re curious to hear how my books turned out, check out the audio samples on Soundcloud.
Thanks for visiting my blog! If you have questions, please leave them in the comments.