This post is carried over from a Q & A from Veronica Cline Barton's Blog where she asks important questions about what an Indie author might expect venturing into the exciting world of audio books. Read Part 1. on her blog Here
Do I hope that audio will find my ideal book readers?
Absolutely, otherwise I wouldn’t do it.
What has become important to me beyond format is, will it make the listener imagine, help them escape turmoil or give them the courage to stand up?
This is where my true passion exists. I write about heroines, using their instincts and assuring readers that an underdog sometimes wins. Love has the power to defeat evil. I believe this. I want others who struggle out there to believe it too.
What was your production experience? (Budget, choosing narrator, schedule, QC checks etc.)
I was fortunate. I stumbled upon a talented narrator on ACX. This isn’t the only avenue to make or distribute audio, but it’s how I found my narrator for The Soul Keeper.
Budget along with the right audience is a huge factor too. Studio time in Savannah runs 55$ USD per hour, with a minimum of three hour blocks at a time, whether I use the block or not.
That’s roughly a 3-6k $ project for a novel, as the narrator needs to be paid upon completion as well. Everything is negotiable and there are profit share deals that take the sting out. If you farm out the audio cover art that’s an additional cost too. The final number goes down with a short story or novella.
This is a collaboration, respect, clear directives and an open dialogue is integral. Nobody is “working” for you. You are a creative team and the relationship ideally doesn’t end after production. Everything needs to be marketed. If you share profits, you are equally responsible for the financial success.
Talk about EVERYthing before you plunge in.
Audio rights for a book are separate than first, print, as are film and foreign rights. Please read the fine print before you sign book contracts, as audio rights are considered separate, unless they are lumped in.
Some authors do their own audio. Do have an engaging voice that lends itself to public speaking? If not, then a professional is best.
Keep in mind; if you are taping audio, it takes you away from writing. It makes good sense to write and keep creating new material while someone more qualified does the heavy lifting.
What works for me, may not work for you. There is no magic recipe. (I wish!) It’s important to look at each project as a bicycle wheel. Would audio extend your “spokes” for this story? I will always have a female lead, and one as my narrator. I wish to support women in The Arts as much as I can.
CIRCE is the first audio book I heard where the narrator brought me in and truly engaged me. The reading is dramatic and compelling. Madeline Miller penned a brilliant novel and Perdita Weeks has a dulcet-smooth style that takes you back to ancient times.
On the flip side I listened to an audio clip where the actor sounds robotic and stiff. He’s narrating a novel that is not about AI or robots. I didn’t finish, and ordered the book, because I couldn’t get beyond the monotone delivery.
Lessons learned, what you're watching for with the new release...book reviews?
Of course I’m always thrilled for reviews, they are integral for success in the digital age.
Hearing from others about what spoke to them is a rocket boost, and makes a huge impact on my visibility.
‘Give love where you get love.’ If a story enriched your life in some way, let the writer know in a way that will offer the exposure and feedback that they deserve.
Looking at each project individually is important.
Trying something new and being on the forefront of technology is also a key factor for the way I work and look at projects. I aim to add mystery and wisdom to someone’s life and constantly explore new ways to reach more readers.
Engagement via story is the path to a better world and a brighter, more inclusive future for everyone. It’s magical when everything comes together.
Thanks again to Veronica Cline Barton for asking the questions that will help guide others on their writing journey. It’s been exciting so far and I can’t wait to see how this new format changes how I tell and deliver stories.
My deepest appreciation to my loyal subscribers The Literati and everyone who engages loves books and leaves reviews for hardworking creative’s. It’s wicked good y’all!
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Until next time, Find your Peace, Love, Hustle, then Read or Write.