Looking for Voices   15 comments

Are audiobooks the future of book sales? Do you have your stories on audio?

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Someone hailed me a prophetess in a book review recently because I had riots and a deadly flu years before they showed up in reality, but I think I just got lucky and have no special ability to see the future. So, I hesitate to say something WILL happen. I can look at trends and make surmises, but predictions need a bit more accuracy than that.

Audiobooks are certainly a growing proportion of the book sales market and I feel safe in saying they aren’t going the way of the dodo anytime soon. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re “the future of book sales”. There are a lot of visually-oriented people who will still prefer to read books rather than listen to them. Personally, my mind wanders when listening to an audiobook while print books can hold my attention for hours. Remember when the forecasters insisted physical books were an endangered species? Well, they’re still more popular than ebooks, so….. Audiobooks are certainly growing in popularity and I think they’ll be part of the future market mix, but I don’t think they’ll replace or even overwhelm print sales. Variety is the spice of life and literary enjoyment.

My Books?

My books are not on audio for a couple of reasons.

The first is that I don’t like my voice. I don’t like to see myself on camera and I don’t like to hear myself on recording. I hear all my flaws and I don’t like it.

So I’m looking for audio talent, but I can’t afford to pay anyone (it makes no sense to spend money you will never recoup) and nobody ever responds to the royalty-share offers. My husband says he’ll do it (and he has a lovely voice), but it’s not as simple as he is willing. Audiobook production requires a quiet space, no background noise, no hard drive whir, etc., and he’s come to the conclusion that he might need to build a sound room to get the production values Audible requires in a house that requires a heating unit to come on about every half hour in the winter and the windows to be open in the summer.

But once I overcome those challenges, I definitely plan to produce audiobooks. I’ve had requests, but…yeah, it’s not as simple as “Good idea, let’s do it.”

15 responses to “Looking for Voices

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  1. I wish it was easy! Or a whole lot cheaper. Then maybe I’d give it a try.


    • The technical requirements are stringent and Alaska is weird for sound. In the winter, you can hear the train slowing down at the train yard six yards away. The furnace has to come on to keep the house warm and there’s no where in the house that is quiet when it’s on. My husband is trying to build a sound room, but he gets distracted by other shiny objects.


  2. Keep trying with the royalty share on ACX. I’ve never had any trouble finding narrators. ACX do like no background noise at all, and will send the files back if there is any. I found out that most of my narrators have their own studios and the ones that did not had their files rejected by ACX, who could hear noise that I could not.


  3. You can isolate a clothes closet on the cheap. Most of the noise deadening is already there. If you just have a noisy house or outdoor environment build the equivalent of an insulted 2×6 with plywood on both sides shower stall and line it with this https://auralex.com/
    I had one in my garage for a while but couldn’t keep it cool without turning it into a meatlocker before use. Now I use a closet with aurlex on the door and record on off traffic hours. I used a studio a few times years ago that was on the terminal grounds of Love Field in Dallas and it was dead aa could be inside. i have no idea how. It would vibrate when jest took off but you couldn’t hear them,.


    • The closets in our house are so small, I don’t think that would work. My husband has identified an area in the corner of the basement that he thinks will work, but he has to build it — and provide heat to it in the winter, which it currently doesn’t have. But he’s checking out your link and says he can do it — eventually.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You might give him a nudge. It doesn;t have to be pretty, only functional. A skill saw and materials, a Saturday. Done deal.


      • Mostly the problem is that lumber is undergoing significant inflation right now, so we’re delaying hoping the prices drop a little. Same with the green house we were going to build. I think I finally won the design discussion and we’re using fencing to bend hoops for a high-tunnel instead.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good. Heard that about lumber. We were going to replace our fence this summer. Forget that!


      • Yeah, metal high tunnels work well here. You put up 4- or 6- foot fence poles (I’m short and only 5′!0″) and then you bend what would be normally toptail to creat an arched roof. Cover the roof in chicken wire and then a thick clear Visqueen tarp (or you can use corrogated greenhouse panels, but they’re hard to work with) and viola, you have a green house. My husband’s an electrician so he knows how to bend conduit, but his electrical benders are the wrong size for toprail, so now he’s trying to figure out how to build a jig out of scrap wood. Our daughter has done it several times, but she’s in Hawaii and her descriptions are less than descriptive. She’s an artist and I keep saying “Draw us a picture”, but she just keeps trying to tell us verbally. Our family projects also include lots of humor.

        Liked by 1 person

      • DIY without a sense of humor would render it impossible. Down here there are a lot of quickie greenhouses made with the same wire and clear poly, but the frames are PVC. The stuff is ridiculously cheap.


      • Yes, but it won’t withstand our snowload, so you have to take them apart every winter. Friends who have these greenhouses report they can start working the soil six weeks before I can and then they get about two weeks more growing time in the fall. Considering we only have about twelve weeks of effective growing season, it would make our garden so much more productive.


  4. Hi Lela, I enjoyed your contribution. I feel pretty much the same as you do about audiobooks. They are part of the marketing mix but expensive to create unless you do it yourself which is very time consuming.


  5. I have also found good narrators via royalty share. However, since the audiblegate thing kicked off, they seem to be thinner on the ground. One even pulled out of a deal because of it.


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