Making Sense of the ACX Submission Requirements

Want to know a shameful secret? 

The first time I submitted an audiobook to ACX it was REJECTED!

It was a terrible feeling. I had spent hours recording, editing, and proofing my audiobook.  It sounded perfect! 

Where had I gone wrong? 

The problem was that I didn't fully understand the ACX Submission Requirements.  Without knowing EXACTLY what I needed to do to get my audiobooks approved by ACX, I was doomed to fail over and over again.

I spent the next few months researching audio terminology, messing with plugins and effects inside of Audacity, and hunting down audio engineers who could help me understand what the heck all of this meant. 

The goal of this post is to help you understand why these requirements are important and to gain a clear understanding of what each one means. I even created a free video training + PDF checklist that walks you through everything you need to know (including a  "must-have" free plugin if you are recording in Audacity.)  

I don't want these requirements to scare you away from creating audiobooks. Once you understand them and know what you need to do to satisfy them, they are actually pretty simple to satisfy. It's when we "don't know what we don't know" that we run into trouble. 

What are the ACX Submission Requirements? 

The ACX requirements are a list of technical rules or specifications that your audio files must meet if you want to sell audiobooks, or create audiobooks for authors that they can sell, on sites like Audible, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble,, etc. then your audio MUST meet the ACX Submission Requirements. 

It's important to understand that you'll need to be able to satisfy these requirements if you plan on submitting your audiobook through ACX or Author's Republic. These are the two main platforms that you can use to get audiobooks into the major audiobook retail sites, like 

Here's the complete list: 

1. All audiobooks must be narrated by a human (no computer generated speech.) 

2. Each file must contain only one chapter or section.

3. Each file must be no longer than 120 minutes.

4. Each uploaded file must be no larger than 170MB.

5. Each file must contain the section header, if contained within the manuscript.

6. Each file must have 0.5 to 1 second of room tone at its beginning and 1 to 5 seconds of room tone at its end.

7. Your audiobook must include opening and closing credits that match the title's cover art.

8. Your audiobook must include a retail audio sample that is between one and five minutes long. Explicit material is not permitted in the sample.

9. All files must be the same channel format (All mono or all stereo files).

10. Each file must be 192kbps or higher 44.1kHz MP3, Constant Bit Rate (CBR).

11. Your submitted audiobook must be consistent in overall sound and formatting.

12. Each uploaded file must be free of extraneous sounds such as plosives, mic pops, mouse clicks, excessive mouth noise, and outtakes.

13. Each file must have a noise floor no higher than -60dB RMS.

14. Each file must measure between -23dB and -18dB RMS.

15. Each file must have peak values no higher than -3dB.

As you can see, some of the requirements are really straightforward, but others... not so much. 

Since rejections are embarrassing, I want to make sure that you have all of the information that you need to get your audiobook approved, whether you are self-publishing your own audiobooks, or producing a book for someone else. 

I created a FREE mini course to walk you through each of these requirements and explain them in a way that is simple and makes sense.

I also tell you which plugin I use for Audacity that will let you check to make sure that your audio levels are where they need to be before you submit your audiobook to ACX or Author's Republic.

ACX Submission Requirements

Tutorial + PDF Checklist


**This tutorial and PDF checklist will only be available for a limited time. If you want to start getting paid to record audiobooks or self-publish your own audiobook, you won't want to miss this info-packed free training!