Just Answer the Question – Week 31

I have completed my first full week and a full-time, professional Voice over Worker. I thought I would update you on my numbers, just because it has been a while.

  • 82 Projects
  • 40 Pending Audtions
  • 454 Auditions
  • 90 Offers
  • 14 In Production
  • 68 Completed
  • 63 On Audible
  • 634 Units Sold

So, if I take a look at my favorite ratio here, which is Auditions to Offers, I am still running about 5:1. It has felt lately like my number have really dropped off, and in part that is possibly due to a couple factors.

I have not gone for as many Royalty or PFH books in the $0-$50 range. I used these categories early on to get as many titles as I could handle, because I felt it was best to build a body of work. One drawback to that is, in general, the manuscripts for these books are of a lower quality, which means your production ratio drops because of frequent stopping to figure out what is going on in the script. There is another drawback, but I don’t want to get into that because it might offend the people I have worked with that DO act professionally on ACX.

Also, I have experimented with my suggested rate on ACX, by switching back and forth between $50-100 and $100-150. To my surprise, when I have a higher rate and audition for something below that rate, I am less likely to get some interest. That’s not a scientific study, and I don’t know if it is causal or even correlated, but it is an inkling that I get.

On another note, although still within the ACX milieu, I provide the following email exchange for your entertainment. This exchange was similar to the one with Beacon Audiobooks, and now as then I will stipulate that I do not consider myself to have acted completely professionally. As we discussed before, ACX has their own certification process, for which I applied many weeks ago. I heard from them finally, and the conversation went thusly:

Hi there,

Thank you for applying to the Audible Approved Producer program. One of the major factors we take into consideration when weighing Audible Approved applications is the consistency of your audio outputs. While displaying the ability to produce high-quality audio is promising, we’ve noticed that some of your samples and completed audiobooks are not as polished as others.

For now, we are unable to include you in the Audible Approved program, but hope that you will complete additional audiobooks so that we may reconsider you at a later time. Please apply for Audible Approved status again after six months or so. We look forward to re-reviewing your material at that time

All the best,
ACX Client Support

Disappointing, but maybe understandable. Wanting a little more information on what exactly might be the problem –

Thank you for your response.

Is it possible for you to provide specific information, such as the titles that were reviewed to reach this decision? I will certainly agree that the beginning books varied widely in quality as I worked toward establishing my studio and processing chain, but I would have expected the more recent titles to be consistent.  If you have found the same inconsistency in the titles over the last few months, as compared to each other and not my earliest productions, that is information that would help me to improve.

I asked this sincerely, although maybe some sarcasm could be read into it.

Hi Russell,

Good Evening from ACX. Thank you for your interest in the Audible Approved Producer program.

We hear a lot of potential in your ACX portfolio. To enhance your future productions, our production coordinator suggests focusing on ensuring that your outputs are consistently high-quality from project-to-project.

Although we will not include you in the program at this time, we look forward to hearing more of your audio.

Thank you for your time and your contributions to the ACX community.

Okay. Is this not the same answer as the first one? Nice try, but not now, effectively.

Thank you for your quick response.

Unfortunately, the response below did not answer the question I had asked, and seems to have been a quick cut and paste from the support manual possibly.

I certainly understand that you cannot provide individual support for every producer requesting feedback, and I will henceforth be focusing on ensuring that my outputs are consistently high-quality from project-to-project, as basically was stated in the first message notifying me of my rejection as well.  I did find the reiteration of the rejection redundant.

Okay, so here I started getting frustrated with the pseudo-information. This was like getting a politician to give a yes-or-no answer.

Thank you for contacting ACX.

I have reviewed the notes left on your submission and I can see that they cited several books had duplicate files & in general have RMS levels higher than required as primary concerns.

Please focusing on making sure that your files meet all the specs required by our QA department so that your books pass on the first attempt every try.

I hope that helps!

Best,

Sincerely,

Audible.com

That’s where I had to stop. Three times with the same info, never expanding on it to help in any specific way. Customer service is more than just quick response – you actually should provide a response that addresses the reason for the contact in the first place.

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