PRODUCING YOUR AUDIO BOOK and expanding your consumer base.
They used to be called “talking books”, “spoken books” or “narrated books” and were a wonderful solution for persons with serious reading impairment such as blindness or low vision.
Today they are for everyone with an iphone, ipod, kindle fire, windows phone, etc.
So why an audio book?
FOLLOW THE TREND!!
Jan. 2013. Audible.com, the world's largest producer and seller of digital spoken-word entertainment, announced that the Audiobook Creation Exchange, the online audiobook rights marketplace and production platform it launched in 2011, produced ten times as many audiobooks in 2012 as it did during its debut year.
Industry research (Calleycat) indicates that downloaded audiobooks increased a whopping 32.7% from 2011 to 2012. (25 million vs 18.8 million).
So why is this new digital trend taking off so rapidly?
• Some say “It is the only way busy people have time to read anymore”. Now they can multi-task by reading a book while driving, or walking their dog, or simply going for a morning jog along the waterfront.
• Others predict it is today’s digital devises enabling everyone to catch up on their favorite authors or just allowing them to keep constantly in touch with their industry, business and people trends wherever and whenever.
Why should an author go audio?
I have learned from 30 years of creating and marketing products that it is often the hybrid of the original concept that actually sells the most units. So by widening your product choices for your consumer – you are widening your consumer base and letting your end consumer decide which product best meets their needs.
And, most importantly, by offering your book in many different versions–you instantly expand your product line and increase consumer awareness – which, in turn, results in additional sales.
Also, if your listeners love your audio book- chances are they may even buy a paper copy so they can underline it and give it a home in their bookcase.
I, personally, like that fact that there are millions of books on Amazon and only 100,000 titles on Audible.com
So how do you go about recording your Audio Book.
I contacted a local recording studio; http://www.castaway7.com in Ventura.
JP Hesser, the owner is amazing. He charges only $100.00 per hour (versus $200-$300 per hour in the LA studios)
I made weekly 2 hour appointments over a 4 week period to do the VO in his studio.
We would record and then he would edit my mistakes and give me the recording on my flash drive so I could go home and listen to it and mark in my book any further changes that were needed.
Using my own voice was a concern for me. But my publisher, upon hearing a sample, agreed that my voice was acceptable and, in fact, preferred for the audio book version. It is imperative that you get approval from either your publisher or professionals in the field to approve your voice as acceptable. I don’t know about you, but I have been instantly “put off” by an author’s voice reading her own book – and found it irritating to listen to and I could not listen past the first chapter.
It took me approx. 8 hours to record 4 hours of finished VO. So allow for twice the length of time it takes you to read your book.
When the whole book was completed. JP separated out the chapters with a small musical note interlude. My book, being non fiction, it seemed a nice way to break up the information.
Your sound studio and/or your publisher will be able to advise you what format the finished product needs to be in before becoming a marketable product.
So, go for it. Make an audio version of your book. Follow the trend and enable your readers to enjoy your book without having to “take time out” of their busy lives.
For more information on what you need to know if you are recording your book in a studio – go to:
The Art and Science of Audio Book Production
Causes Leonie Mateer Supports
St Judes Children's Research Foundation
Conservation international Foundation
Breast Cancer Research Foundation