Things I learned from making my audio book #WriterWednesday #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #AmWriting #Audiobooks

I just pressed ‘submit’ for my first audio book ever. Yes! I’m super excited, but I’m also more than a bit worried. The entire process of creating an audio book is not a cheap endeavor. Will I earn back my investment? *Bites nails* Only time will tell. I just keep telling myself at least I learned a lot from the process. Here’s what I’ve learned thus far.

Time – the entire process takes up oodles of time

findaway voicesWhich provider to use? First, you have to figure out which company to use. As I don’t live in the US or the UK, my options were limited with regards to Amazon’s Audible. I spent some time trying to figure out how to get around their requirements, but finally gave it up and went with Findaway Voices. I’m planning a blog about why I chose Findaway, so stay tuned for that.

Choosing a narrator. I decided not to narrate my own audio book. After a bit of research, I realized two things. One – I didn’t have the time to narrate a book. And two – I had no desire to buy all the equipment necessary for this ‘experiment’. I asked Findaway to give me some choices. I thought this process was going to be difficult, but the second voice I heard nailed my character. I went ahead and asked for auditions from three narrators, but ended up going with the first voice anyway. This entire process, however, took nearly a month. No one will confuse Findaway with Speedy Gonzales.

Proofing. Oh lord – the proofing! Other authors had warned me about the time suck proofing would be. I thought yeah right, it can’t be that bad. WRONG! I can be that bad. Proofing my six-hour novel took me the better part of a work week. BE WARNED.

Prep work – You’ll need an audio book version of your novel

Yep. More work. But all those click links don’t translate well to an audio book. My books also have a ton of back matter. Every minute the narrator records is more money. Do you want all that stuff read? Is it necessary? Something to think about. You’ll also need to make a new cover as audio book covers are square.

Editing – I ended up updating the novel and uploading a new version to Amazon

AB audio coverAbout Face, the book I’ve transformed into an audio book, has been out for a few months. It’s been to the editor, I’ve self-edited a gazillion times, and early reviewers have provided commentary. I knew it wasn’t perfect. Nothing I do will ever be perfect! But I didn’t realize how much listening to my novel would make me want to make changes (I do read the novel to myself while editing but obviously I suck at that). These are the things I learned about my writing while listening to the audio book:

Character names. I write the character names WAY too often. I worry readers won’t know who’s talking and err on the side of caution. After listing to this book, I am going to make some changes in future books.

Repeated words. Like all good self-editors, I have a list of words I use over and over again. That, yet, so, shrugs, just, really, only …. etc. etc. These were not the problem. Not at all. No, the problem was the use of the same word in one paragraph. UGH! Lesson learned.

Missing words. Apparently no matter how many times you and your editor review your novel, you will still miss words.

Conclusion Wow. Yeah. I’ve learned tons about my writing and the audio book world during this process. If the experiment is successful, I’ll be well prepared for the next round of audio book preparation.

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This blog post is part of the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop. This is a monthly blog hop hosted by @raimeygallant. Make sure to stop by the other author blog posts in this month’s blog hop to fill up your author toolbox! Just click on the graphic to take you to the list.

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22 thoughts on “Things I learned from making my audio book #WriterWednesday #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #AmWriting #Audiobooks

  1. Carmen Lezeth Suarez says:

    For a while I was working as a voice-over artist. I still do it when asked, but I don’t go out regularly to audition. I enjoyed commercial work and short films, but when I was asked to do an audio book, I was convinced I couldn’t handle it. From the VO artists point of view, it’s also a lot of work. And I had read the first chapter of the book offered to me, and was clear it was so badly written I just wasn’t interested! Ha! But I will say, I haven’t considered doing my own book. And you’ve just sparked another idea for me. Thank you! Congrats by the way. I know you’re not super happy with the results, but what a great step! And you’ve provided all of us with such a great lesson. I appreciate it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meka James says:

    First congrats on getting your first audiobook done!!! I want to do one but the cost is not in my favor and I only got one hit for the royalty share and I didn’t like the voice. It’s great you’ve gone through this and took each step as a learning process for the next book in general. Best of luck and I hope it sells well!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Brigitte Kirady says:

    Congrats on finishing your first audio book! You mentioned that this is a pricey endeavor. Do you have any advice on approximately how much to expect to pay for this kind of service? I’m looking at some options, and yeah, it’s expensive but I’m not sure if it’s reasonable compared to other services.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. raimeygallant says:

    This was really eye-opening for me. I had an idea it would be a lot of work, but honestly, I thought most of the work would be done by the narrator. Of course, now that you say everything that the author has to do, it makes perfect sense. Really looking forward to the Findaway post, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. charityrau says:

    I bet you would learn a lot from hearing someone else read your book aloud. I want to do an audiobook for my novel as well. Good to have an idea of what it’ll be like. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lalanquist says:

    This is something I hadn’t ever thought about before! I’m still a newbie writer, so the idea of having an audiobook at all is kind of a distant dream. I suppose I should have known it’d be a lot of work!

    Liked by 1 person

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