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
Which 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
About 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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