Audiobook Production with ACX Case Study Part Six (Paying Narrator)

In part six of The Asset Audiobook Production with ACX case study, I’ll be covering paying for the audio work.

ACX Audiobook Production
Not so fast there, pay the narrator first!

Once you approve the audiobook the next step is to pay your narrator. I thought that ACX would handle the payment to the narrator in the same way it’s done by the freelance for hire websites like oDesk, but I was wrong.

On oDesk when you hire a freelancer you issue payment via oDesk. They escrow the money until the job is completed and you authorize payment to be released to the freelancer. It offers protection for me and the freelancer since oDesk escrows the payment. The other nice thing of this arrangement is that since the payment is handled by oDesk, I don’t have to deal with the IRS for things likes issuing a 1099 tax form.

ACX operates differently, you have to pay the narrator directly and since most audio jobs will be more than $600, you will need to send them a 1099 (don’t any of this as tax advice, I’m sure as heck not an accountant so check with one versus going off this blog post, I’m just sharing my personal experience).

My narrator is a pro who has been in the business for awhile so he knew what to do. He sent me an invoice with his W9 tax form (which has the tax information I’ll need to send him and the IRS a 1099 form).

The Check is in the Mail (Really)


ACX Production PaymentMy next question was, how the heck do I pay you? Like PayPal or what? He preferred a good old check. So I wrote him a check, I typed up a remittence advice for record keeping and mailed it off to him in New York via USPS Priority Mail (around $5 with tracking).

Once the check was in the mail, I logged into ACX and I clicked on the “I sent payment” button which notifies the narrator/producer that payment has been sent. ACX will not move to the final stage of the audiobook production until the narrator confirms they’ve been paid, which makes a lot of sense, it protects them from getting stiffed.

It took less than two days for USPS to deliver payment from Northern California to up state New York, so that was slick. My narrator then logged into ACX from his end and confirmed receipt of payment. I got a notice on my end:

ACX Audiobook Production Case Study
Payment received

ACX Validation period

ACX Audiobook Production Case Study
ACX message about file validation process.


The ball is now in ACX’s corner. They’ve confirmed that payment was received and the production of The Asset is ready for retail. The audio files have to go through their internal validation process before it’s available for sale on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

According to the ACX email the validation process takes 14-20 days, so in about 2-3 weeks the audiobook of The Asset will available for sale on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes!

Thanks to the prompt and efficient work of my narrator/producer I’m a month ahead of schedule! The agreed upon time for completion of this production was December 1st. That would have meant The Asset audiobook would have been ready for sale in mid December, but now (barring any issues during the ACX validation process) The Asset audiobook will be ready for sale by mid November. Awesome.

More Case Study

Although the Audiobook production steps are completed, I’ll continue this case study until the The Asset audiobook is live. I will also follow up with audiobook sales updates as well, so stay tuned for that.


I'm a full-time Internet marketer and infopreneur and an aspiring fiction writer. Blogging about my fiction writing at Fictive Universe.

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