It wasn’t long ago that the range of audiobooks was very limited and the assumption was that they were purely for the visually impaired, like a talking newspaper. Times have changed and the market for audiobooks has increased dramatically. I ‘read’ most of the books I get through as audiobooks. Because I have to read millions of words for my editing work I feel less inclined to read when it comes to downtime. Besides that, there are hours in the car, time taken cooking and many many hours of dog walking to be filled. Some of that time goes into planning my own writing, but large amounts of it are ideal to read books.
You used to have to wait months for new releases to appear as audiobooks, now they come out simultaneously and I have already downloaded Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set A Watchman’ ready to listen over the next couple of weeks when time permits.
Why am I telling you all this? At the moment none of my own books are available as audiobooks, which I think is a weakness. It is now possible as an author or small publisher to produce your own audiobooks and upload them for distribution to Audible. You can employ an actor to read your work, you can employ a studio for the recording and an editor to put it together… if you can afford to put a large sum of money towards it, which as a relatively unknown author is unlikely. Alternatively, you can do it all yourself!
For a while I have been recording bedtime stories for my Goddaughter to listen to. It means she hears my voice when I can’t be around and with a copy of the words her mum hopes it will help her to learn to read when she can look at the words as she listens a little later in her life (she’s just six months old now). That means I’ve been getting used to using the editing software for a while and am reasonably happy with how to use it. I don’t have a studio, but I can find somewhere quiet to record and ensure that all extraneous noise is removed to an acceptable degree. It helps that we live in a quiet village and are unlikely to suffer much in the way of traffic noise, except the occasional overhead light aircraft. I won’t record when the nearby RAF base is doing one of its low flying exercises! I have done some research and taken advice as to the right type of microphone to use and have the most amazing Rode Podcaster mic set up properly on an arm at face level with a shock mounting. Now I’m going through the guidance of things such as ‘don’t eat anything with dairy’ leading up to when you record and have a honey drink to hand to keep the voice lubricated and throat soothed. I shan’t be able to start the project for a couple of weeks, but after that I will begin a test recording of ‘The Appearance of Truth’ and see where that takes me.
If you are thinking of having a go at recording your own work, you might like to look at Audiobooks for Indies: The One-Stop guide for Authors Looking to Make More Money Selling Audiobooks by Simon Whistler.
I’m also wondering about setting up some podcasts and interviewing other authors to load one www.alfiedog.com, but that is another experiment with some work still to be done!
If you have not used Audible I do highly recommend it and with a subscription the price of books is very reasonable indeed. You can find it below.