January 30th, 2013 | by Beth Barany
Welcome to today’s guest post by erotic author (and our client), Liz Adams, on her path to making her ebook into an audiobook for extra cash. This is part 1 of 3.
Every month I get a large envelope in the mail with a happy check made out to me. This month it was over $70. The money was for the sales I made selling my audiobooks (Hear a sample, here! Rated R, not safe for work.). I didn’t even do any marketing! Are you interested in some extra cash?
My writing mentor Ezra Barany wrote an article in June 2012 with abundant help on how to start getting your books turned into audiobooks. Though he never actually published an audiobook himself, he was instrumental with helping me get mine done. Now that I actually went through the process, I’ll share with you some tricks I learned.
You can read Ezra’s great post on what ACX is here.
Great! Now that you’ve discovered the wonders of ACX, here’s my experience.
First I went to the ACX website and browsed through the possible narrators who read erotica and were willing to split the royalties 50/50. I found this amazing reader, Kitty Bang, and sent an email to the recording technician representing her. The technician, Chris of Brick Shop Audiobooks, replied saying I would need to pay $85 per hour, so my cost would come to about $450 to cover the technician recording fees. The fee was reasonable, but I didn’t have the funds to cover it. Chris recommended I try asking ACX for a stipend to cover the costs of recording.
I wrote ACX requesting the stipend. Ezra helped me with drafting the email request. Here’s essentially what I put in the letter:
Subject Header: Inclusion in Stipend Program
1. The purpose of my letter – “Dear ACX, I am requesting my novella, Alice’s Sexual Discovery in a Wonderful Land, be included in your stipend program.
2. The appeal of the book – If I’m asking them to invest in my book, they should know why readers would want to buy the book. Not what the book is about, but what experience the readers will have. I used the High Concept pitch I learned from my writing coach Beth Barany. “My book is an erotic version of Alice in Wonderland. (All consenting adult humans).” Since I knew that Amazon has an aversion to non-consentual sex stories, underage sex, and beastiality, I felt I needed to add that disclaimer.
2. My credibility – There were three parts to showing my credibility. First, I wanted to show that my book sells well. ”Alice’s Sexual Discovery in a Wonderful Land came out at the end of April [2 months before I wrote this letter] and has sold 426 copies so far.” Next, I wanted to show that the readers liked the book. “Currently, all the reviews on Amazon are four and five-star reviews.” Last, I wanted to show that the good reviews are not just from friends and family. “Just a few days ago, I saw another five-star ‘Amazon Verified Purchase’ review was posted, this one by a Pamela Chismar (I have no idea who she is).”
3. The marketing I’ll do – By showing how much you’ll market your book, Amazon will like that you’re in essence volunteering to market for them. “So far, I have 158 friends on Facebook and 497 followers on Twitter. I have posted interviews, articles, and news about my novella on five different blog sites, so far. My book mentor created a book trailer for the novella that has had 794 views since its release one month ago.”
4. Summarize – I think Amazon prefers to have happy customers more than a lot of customers, so I focused on how I could help them please their customers. “I strive to give good quality reading to my audiences. Now, with your help, I’d like to give quality listening to my audiences.”
5. Sign off – “Thank you for your time, Liz Adams.”
6. More credibility – Under my name I quoted several of my five-star reviews.
” ’5 stars! A wild erotic ride.’ ~Randi Alexander
’5 stars! Liz is a brilliant storyteller and her words flow effortlessly across the page.’ ~Lexi Bay
’5 stars! Liz Adams is a first-class writer.’ ~Avid X
’5 stars! I have read many attempts at making this story have an adult erotic twist, and I was left unsatisfied. This one did not leave me unsatisfied!’ ~J.A. mcCorkle
’5 stars! Wow, what more can be said?’ ~Pamela Chismar”
The next day I got a three-sentence email from ACX saying they’d review my book. Half a month later, I got a cute one-sentence email from Audible stating that my stipend was now eligible. I squealed with delight, knowing I was on my way to having my novella become an audiobook.
Liz Adams, author of the erotic fairy tale Alice’s Sexual Discovery in a Wonderful Land, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA. Her short story Amy “Red” Riding’s Hood, an erotic version of Red Riding Hood, is an Amazon bestseller and winner of Goodreads’ Book of the Month for October 2012. Liz studied music and creative writing at UCLA and worked as a freelance model before making her writing her career. In her spare time she cuddles with her husband on the couch to watch her favorite shows and often they work together doing research for her books. Feel free to contact Liz through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Liz.
Alice’s Sexual Discovery in a Wonderful Land: http://bit.ly/
Amy “Red” Riding’s Hood: http://bit.ly/
Hansel and Gretel with the Sexual Hunter: http://bit.ly/