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The year of the audiobook

Posted in Audiobook, Goals, Production, and Publishing

I've made up my mind. This will be the year I publish audiobook editions of all my titles.

So far, only To Carry the Horn has an audiobook edition. (I've written about producing it here.) I did the narration myself, and I relied upon a local music studio to do the recording.

I'm pleased with the quality of the result, and the reviews are favorable. I've even had a few fans contact me looking for more — but I've balked at producing the rest of them because of the cost of the studio work.

Today, however, my friend Katie persuaded me otherwise.

Here's why…

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm planning on writing several entries in the new series, The Affinities of Magic, before publishing them at the beginning of 2018, one every month or two. I think that'll be an interesting experiment in building momentum, and I should be able to manage 4-6 entries before my publishing schedule catches up with my writing. Since it's a new series, I'm hoping my readers won't mind too much waiting a little bit to begin it, if I can saturate them with new entries from the start.

It also lets me experiment with pre-orders, and all the marketing related to that, since I'll have plenty of time to line those dates up.

The bad part of that, for me, is that it means I won't be publishing much except a few shorter works in 2017, and sales tend to drop when no new titles come out.

Katie suggested putting up the missing audiobook editions (as well as audiobooks for the new series ahead of time). That would give me new editions to publish and keep the momentum going for 2017. It's a great idea.

We kicked around the idea of getting local college or high school media interns to help out, but then I realized nothing was really keeping me from just doing the whole thing myself. Nothing that I couldn't solve if I tried.

What's been stopping me from setting up a home studio is that I'm living in a tiny 1812 log cabin, and there's no room that's out of reach of the hot air furnace, and only one where the television is inaudible.

I don't have a good place to set up as a studio, with sound insulation and all the rest — not without making everyone else tiptoe around to accommodate it. It's not like we have a spare closet.

Desktop microphone isolation stand

But, you know, technology marches on. The popularity of podcasting has created a demand for gear that can create a mini-environment for recording on a desktop. If all the noise that reaches the mike is controlled, maybe the entire room doesn't have to be deadened like a real studio.

I'm an audiophile as a consumer, but not as a producer. I can grope my way around an audio editor program like Goldwave because I'm also a fiddler and I needed a tool to clean up workshop recordings, but that's a far cry from being an audio engineer. On the other hand, this is spoken word, not multi-track music.

What's one more learning curve for an indie author and publisher, eh?

I'll have to wait until spring is far enough along that I can shut the furnace down for a couple of hours at a time, but by then I expect to have a portable home studio set up for less than the cost of engaging an audio professional to do the work for me for a single book.

And then I'll start cranking them out.

Writer by day, and narrator by night.

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6 Comments

  1. Glad to hear it (hehe).

    It’s a great idea – and please at least mention what equipment and software you end up using!

    And I hadn’t thought about that last part – it fills in the space between books if you have the audiobooks (which don’t require writing) coming out. So obvious once you said it.

    January 30, 2017
    |Reply
    • Oh I’ll certainly do another post or two, once I get everything set up. 🙂

      To produce 10 finished hours takes 20-30 raw ones, and no doubt the first one I do entirely on my own will take longer. Still, that’s a lot faster than writing another book and I should be able to squeeze it in between the writing of the new books. At least until heating season starts up again in the fall.

      January 30, 2017
      |Reply
  2. You might see if Librivox offers advice on this topic. Suggestions their volunteers use with public domain books—hardware, software and location—would apply equally well to recent books.

    https://librivox.org

    January 30, 2017
    |Reply
    • That’s an excellent suggestion, Michael — thanks.

      I’m going through their archive material now.

      January 30, 2017
      |Reply
  3. Claudia Starr
    Claudia Starr

    Thanks, Karen, this is great info. I am following for future updates!

    February 8, 2017
    |Reply

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