Acx help - Cancelling a narration.

Hi folks.

Well with my first narration/production for an author’s Acx book, I made a mistake and got in too deep: I vastly underestimated the amount of time it would take to complete, and now I think I will have to cancel. The amount of grammatical errors in the book makes it even harder.

Has anyone any experience with cancelling an Acx book narration?
Does it put a black mark against your name?
How does it affect your ACX account?



I’m lost.

You volunteered as a theatrical reader for other people’s works? Other people unknown?

I think that’s between you and the rights-holder/author. I don’t think ACX cares as long as you submit perfect, correct, marketable readings.

I made a mistake and got in too deep.

Don’t beat yourself up over it. The microphone makers all have you buying their microphone, setting up on the kitchen table, and cranking out a successful audiobook before lunch.

You are Performer, Recording Engineer, and Producer. Until not that long ago, that was three people.

I have no experience with Voice For Hire. The very best thing you can do is post back how it goes so we can tell others. We can wait for others to post.


I haven’t, but there’s some information about cancelling a contract on the ACX site:

It looks like the first step should be to contact the person that you are reading for. If you can amicably agree to cancel, then cancelling looks straightforward.

I would recommend that you do not mention that when writing to the author. It will be much harder to achieve an amicable cancellation if you place blame on them.

I wouldn’t expect so for a one-off incident, but if you gain a reputation for not completing, then it’s unlikely that anyone will want to hire you in the future. Treat it as a learning experience and take more care to find out exactly what is involved before committing to future work.

The amount of grammatical errors in the book makes it even harder

I’m curious about that. Actual grammatical errors, or written in regional vernacular? I can imagine trying to follow or present something like Creole or Deep Appalachia could be interesting. Somebody had to agree to publish and make it available on Amazon before the audiobook, so just bad writing presents an odd conflict.


Thanks for that Steve. Yeah, I will definitely research more and go for the shorter books next time.

Yeah, actual grammatical errors. After a bit of research on related blogs and downloading a lot of audition scripts, it seems they are quite notorious for it. So add proofreader to the list of jobs for narrators!


I just did this. I first messaged the rights holder and explained my situation (my father goes in tomorrow to remove brain tumour). The RH did something on his end because I then got a message from ACX cancelling the contract.

I also had to do quite a bit of work on manuscript to make it flow properly. You could tell it was written in another language as they often got his/her and other parts mixed up. I didn’t count on being an editor, too.

Word has it that several authors out of Italy are trying to get new narrators to do their work in the hopes that the books will pass through ACX. I’m discouraged right now with other issues affecting ACX like how they are letting readers return books no questions asked - which affects royalties.

I know I’m a bit late to the game here, but If you’re cancelling because you’re worried about not getting it in by the deadline, talk to the author! I fell behind on things a couple of times, once around the holidays when life got crazy unexpectedly, and again after Covid hit and my kids were home all day and I became a teacher of four grades! Each time, I contacted the author and they were MORE than happy to give me as much time as I needed to complete the books. Unfortunately, with the era of self-publishing, you’re almost always guaranteed to get a book that makes you want to cry! And the trouble is you don’t get a very clear look at the whole thing before you agree to take it on. You also can’t tell by the book’s sales because some really good books are far down on the list!

If you’re cancelling because you can’t stand the book as a whole, then what everyone above said is the way you’ll go. If you’re only cancelling because you ran out of time, talk to the author and see about an extension. No worries!

Of tangential interest, ACX has changed their return policy. They will pay royalties after a 7-Day product return.

No more royalty claw-back a year after the purchase.


wow i have noticed this too! I tried auditioning for some books full of errors! We are not supposed to be editors right? I mean on top of sound control, narrating and producing? Sounds a litle crazy and sorry to hear!