Helping ACX Rights Holders Bundle Anthologies

Hey there!

My lovely client, Gina, called me up (as my Pros can do anytime) and asked me a question I’d never been asked before

“I’ve voiced a series of books for a rights holder via ACX, and now, she wants to bundle them as an anthology and offer them for sale. She asked me to take care of this – so how do I do that?”

Great question! I’ve had this happen twice now, once with a royalty share set of books, and once with a per-finished-hour book. And I’m going to go into great detail with this process in the newly updated ACX Master Class.

Here’s how you do that.

This bundling process is mostly clerical in nature. There will be at least two files you’ll need to re-record, and you’ll have to choose a retail sample for the anthology.

Other than that, it involves coordinating the process with the rights holder. And the process is almost exactly the same whether your original projects were royalty share or per finished hour.

The process is as follows, and you can share this with your rights holder:

  1. The RH needs to create a Kindle version of the anthology. This means creating a new document that includes all of the content of the books she wants to bundle, in order, and then mastering that new document for Kindle. This means a new title, new cover art, new descriptions and more. That is her responsibility, as you can’t do anything on the ACX side until this happens.
  2. The RH then publishes the Anthology on Kindle, watches it go on sale, then goes over to ACX and claims this new title that will appear in her list of books.
  3. The RH then offers you the project on ACX, with the offer dependent upon how you were paid to voice the original books on ACX. More on that below.
  4. Accept the offer, and upload any “first 15 minutes” you like to the anthology’s production page on ACX, just as you would with any book – this is only heard by the RH, so it doesn’t matter what you upload. I usually upload the first 15 minutes of the first book, as I save that file whenever I produce a book.
  5. Make sure the RH quickly “approves” that first 15 minutes.
  6. Create a whole new set of folders in your client folder on your computer to house all the files for this anthology.
  7. Begin by copying all of the MP3 files for the first book ONLY from the book’s already existing MP3 folder, into the MP3 folder for the anthology, except for the opening and closing credits, and retail sample.
  8. Rename each of the copied MP3 files, adding 001 – , 002 – , 003 – etc. to each of the MP3 file names to keep them in order. If the original file name was chapter-01.mp3, the new file name would be 001 – chapter-01.mp3
  9. Copy all of the MP3 files for the second book into the MP3 folder for the anthology, except for the opening and closing credits, and retail sample.
  10. Pickup where you left off in the renaming of the files: if the first book’s files ended at 011 – , start renaming with the first file of the second book at 012 – , 013 – etc. to keep them in order.
  11. Continue this process for each successive book in the anthology, making sure not to copy over the opening and closing credits, and retail sample. Be careful to keep all the files in order.
  12. Once you have all of the files in order, record the new opening and closing credits for the anthology. You might also record the titles of the individual books to insert at the beginning of each so the listener knows they are beginning a new title.
  13. Pick a retail sample (which could just be the retail sample from one of the books – for simplicity’s sake, I usually just copy over the retail sample MP3 from the first book in the anthology.
  14. Once the files are all assembled, start uploading them to the anthology’s project page on ACX.
  15. Be sure to upload the newly recorded opening and closing credits, and the chosen retail sample.
  16. Click the I’m done button.

How do you charge for this? Here’s where the PFH versus Royalty Share decision comes into play:

  • Come up with an agreement with the rights holder for what you’re going to charge for the assembly and upload work. This can vary from no charge (doing the work as a favor to the client) to $100 to $500 or more, depending upon how many books are being bundled.
  • If any of the original books in the anthology were produced under a Royalty Share agreement, so then should the anthology be offered to you as a Royalty Share project. Tell the client to do this, and to separately send you a payment (outside the ACX system) for the assembly work.
  • If all of the original books in the anthology were produced under a Per Finished Hour agreement, you wouldn’t get paid again for simply doing the opening and closing credits. Have the RH offer you PFH of $0 for the project, and collect the separate assembly fee from them, again, outside the ACX system.

This process is a tedious one, but one that I enjoy. It gives the RH another reason to value you as a narrator/producer, and it gives you another title in the Audible, Amazon and iTunes marketplaces.

Hope this helps.


5 Responses to Helping ACX Rights Holders Bundle Anthologies

  1. Jill Maglione July 9, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    Super helpful, David – thanks!

  2. Linda Roper July 10, 2016 at 6:52 am #

    Thanks Gina for asking the question and David for his clear answer. I may be bundling two books, and now I can suggest this to the author. I love this site. Keeps me up to date and thinking about the possibilities. Namaste

  3. Cindy July 10, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    Thanks, David and Gina!

  4. Tim ODell July 11, 2016 at 4:33 am #

    I recently did this for two different anthologies. In addition, I had the narrator record (so I could add at the beginning of each Prologue or Chapter One) “Book One, Book Two, Book Three” otherwise a listener would hear only “Prologue” (or “Chapter One”) each time a new book was started.

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