When I was a little girl, I loved it when someone used to read books or stories to me. It was one of my most favorite pastimes. When the teacher read at school, I was always front and center. I used to spend hours listening to those fairy tales and short stories for children. Times have now changed, and so did the form of the books.
Audiobooks these days are gaining immense popularity, and at times, this format surpasses that of eBooks and printed books, too. Printed books have struggled in recent years, however, they will never go completely out of style, as far as I’m concerned. According to statistics, one-in-five Americans now listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks are also said to be a 1.5-billion-dollar business. More readers are getting attracted towards the audio version of books and are always looking to listen more rather than reading. That is why it is essential to turn your book into an audiobook in addition to print and cater to that segment of the clients who like to listen to books. A large community of folks who find reading difficult, are gravitating towards audiobooks.
People love to listen on the go! They want to read more and get the information easily. Why? You learn, and it keeps the brain sharp. Just imagine your morning commute to work, or a long trip for a conference or vacation. Whether you are on a long flight or traveling by car, or even laying out poolside or at the beach, listening to a book would certainly make the trip more enjoyable. I am one who hates to work out. However, listening to audiobooks help me to stay on the treadmill longer than I would have.
The present-day Trend Most writers would want to have their book available in all three versions possible – printed hard copy, an electronic version as in an eBook and an audio version as in an audiobook. Catering to every segment of the modern reader is essential.
There are a couple of different ways to achieve this.
Ways to turn your book to an audiobook
There are multiple ways to create an audiobook out of your manuscript. A few may need you to invest money, while there are ways to do it for free, too. It depends on your ability to spend and your choice for the quality of the end product. Take a read and choose for yourself.
there is some software which can convert your manuscript into audio. These are called text to speech software. You will input the text from your manuscript, and the software will “read out” the book in computer-generated voices. At times, these voices would sound mechanical. But, if you want to invest more, there are excellent, professional software that produces much better sound and natural voices. There is some free software as well, but the quality of the audio generated may not be something you want to out your name on. You know the saying—You get what you pay for.
Do it yourself: this is probably the most common way to create an audiobook and is practiced by many authors worldwide. They read out their manuscript and record themselves while doing so. This process can be time consuming and daunting, but I would recommend doing this yourself. Why? Because you are the best one to express the true emotions associated with the text that you wrote. You are the best candidate to bring your characters to life. Since you wrote it, you would know where exactly to put in that extra ‘sauce and drip’ in your writing. Moreover, on top of that, this process can be absolutely free. You may want to rent a studio and have a professional to assist you. And, of course, you will have costs associated with that. You may also want to cast your characters with professional or local actors to read the story. In that case, you will also incur costs. I believe those costs would be well worth it.
Note: if you do plan to do this yourself, check your voice and diction. Do a pre-record. Do a test run of the first paragraph into your cell phone, play it back and listen to how it sounds. Ask yourself the following questions:
Is your voice clear?
How is your diction?
What about the tone of your voice?
Do you have a marketable voice?
Do you have a high-pitched voice that may annoy the listeners?
Do you have the right equipment and microphones if you do it solely on your own?
I have had a few clients who were not aware of their voices at all. They were not aware of the issues they had with diction. Whether it was a slang that they grew up on or a regional accent that they grew up with, they were unaware. I’ve recommended to several people to take Speech classes or join the local Toastmasters in their area. Don’t get me wrong, though. If your target audience speaks Ebonics and that is what you need to speak to get through to them, so be it. Who am I to stop you?
Hire a professional: now, many writers are not professional readers, and many do not have a loveable voice. If you are not comfortable reading out the manuscript in a way that the listeners will love the content, it is best to hire a professional. There are a lot of places on the internet where you can find professional readers. They can convert your manuscript to an audiobook very quickly and professionally. However, this process would need some initial investment, but I can assure you that every penny you invest in this will be worth in the long run.
Below are some helpful resources or tools. I have no affiliation with any of these resources.
Download Audiobook Maker file (Free)
Go to www.acx.com. Create an account.
You are now equipped with ways that you can turn your book into an audiobook. Depending on your book, I would suggest you go with a cast of local actors and pay for some studio time to knock it out, but the final choice is obviously up to you. Keep in mind, this is for a novel with heavy dialogue. If you go with ACX, you can also work with pros.
A few things to note:
When you create an audiobook, you create another stream of income!
Once it’s done, it’s done!
It is downloadable and can never run out of stock.
You can reach a different audience.
That is all, folks!
You should be able to have a successful audio book! If you need my help in reaching your writing goals, email me at CrystalClearPublications@gmail.com. Or, you can text, I'M READY to (443) 826-9646. Also, check out the PREMIUM course at Creative Writer's University.
Cheering for your writing success always!