Update on Audio Version of Swamp Ghosts

Good News!!

Thanks to an interesting and encouraging post by Don Massenzio, I decided it was time to make my work available as audio books. I signed on with ACX, put up a sample from Swamp Ghosts (the one I’ve had the most requests for), and found a reader whose voice I thought would work. Yesterday, I got the news she has finished recording, and now it’s up to me to listen to the entire book, suggest any changes I feel are necessary, within guidelines, upload the cover resized for a jewel case, and voila! It will be ready to finalize and publish.

So far, this has been an easy process, though with books as long as mine, it does take some time to get them both recorded (on the reader’s end) and proofread (proofheard?) on mine. I have to find 9 hours and 44 minutes in which to sit back and listen, chapter by chapter, author’s notes, acknowledgements, and all. That’s a big chunk of time for me, which I will have to tackle in bits and pieces, but in the long run, it will be worth it.  Audio books are growing at an unprecedented rate, and I believe it’s important to be sure readers have that option.

When this is all over, I’ll post about the entire experience, but I just had to share that the longest portion–reading a 400-plus-page book aloud–is over! I listened to the prologue tonight, and think it sounds darn good, so I’m really excited to see how my narrator has done with the rest, and very much looking forward to being able to offer all of my novels in audio form!

What about you guys? Any of you thinking  of producing audio books? Have you started yet? Do you like to read them, yourself? Have you had experiences you’d like to share? We’d like to hear from you.

29 thoughts on “Update on Audio Version of Swamp Ghosts

  1. Good luck, Marcia. My experience has been mostly positive, but I also had one that was abandoned due to difficulties during the editing process and another where the completion time has been amply exceeded and I the recording has not been completed. Listening to it is a great experience but it can take well beyond the time allocated, especially if you have to take notes and check things.
    I look forward to hearing about your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the input, Olga. On the one not completed, I believe you can break that contract, and find a new reader, if that’s something you want to do. (I think I read that in the Help files). And I’m sure it will take me longer than the 10 hours, due to my hearing issues, even though with my WONDERFUL new hearing aids, it’s not the issue it once was. Still, I have to listen very carefully, and go slowly. But I’m hoping that by following along with the written text, it won’t slow me down too much. And I’ll make notes as I go. I’m planning to complete each chapter, with notes, as I work. The prologue doesn’t need a thing, so . . . so far, so good! 😀

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  2. Good luck. I have no experience of going audio – ( fantasies of my favourite actors reading my longest novel…..) , but have spent a decade delivering library audio books with ‘Books on Wheels’; volunteers taking books, jigsaws etc to the housebound. Auido books are vital for the blind, but with age many readers progress from large print to audio!

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    • I agree, and in addition, the largest growth in the market is among people who are too busy to sit down to read. They listen to audio books as they drive to work, or do their household chores, and the like. I have read it is the fastest growing segment of book marketing, and that’s something I’d like to take advantage of. But even if I don’t sell tons of audio books, I think it will make many readers happy to have that choice, and to my mind, happy readers are what it’s all about. So, I’m going for it. 😀 Will keep you posted on how it plays out. (See what I did there? 😀 )

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  3. Well done, Marcia. It’s something I’ve thought about but never done anything about. I look forward to reading your final report on the whole experience. I don’t listen to audio books but my husband does and quite a lot of my friends do.

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    • OH, I don’t listen to them, either, Mary. I get too tense, straining to be sure I understand the words. Besides, when I’m reading, I often stop to re-read a sentence or description I love, and to highlight things (only on my KINDLE, of course, since I’d NEVER mark up a book, haha). I flip back a page or two now and then, as well, wanting to think about where a certain event is leading. I can’t do any of those things on audio books. Plus, I have an aversion to narrators who drastically change their voices for each character, to the extend it sounds like a mother reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears to a child. Eeek. 😀

      However, reading (and listening) is totally subjective, and what doesn’t work for me is likely to be perfect for someone else. After being asked (at events and on Meet the Author eco tours) if my books were available on audio, the light finally dawned. *head smack!* I need to get these books RECORDED! So, will definitely keep you posted on how it’s going, but so far, so good.

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    • Thanks, Don! I owe it all to you and your encouraging and informative post. (Feel free to share the link here, if you’d like. I’ve lost it, somehow.) I just listened to Chapter 1, and I’m feeling better and better about my choice of narrator. Of course, the next chapter will tell the tale. It’s when all the MEN’S voices come into play. 😯 But I have faith in her. I can’t wait to hear more, though I have to stop now, and go over my Powerpoint presentation for tomorrow.

      I’m really glad you’ve had such a good experience with Book 1 and so far with Book 2. Keep us posted, and in fact, let us know when the next one is out in audio form. We’ll be glad to share the news.

      Liked by 1 person

    • SG is 94,244 words, or 410 pages. I write LONG books. 😯 The audio is 9 hours and 45 minutes. But from what I’ve seen, that’s not a deal-breaker. Those who don’t have time to sit and read don’t seem to mind having company while they do other things, even if it takes a few days to get through a book.

      Of course, as I have said since I started considering this, I’m not doing it for the royalties. I’m doing it because readers are asking for it, and it doesn’t cost me a thing to give it to them, so why not? And if it increases my income, then that’s a plus. At least, that’s how I see it.

      It is easy, Debby. I just had to spend two afternoons or so, uploading samples, and then listening to the resulting auditions. And I keep coming back to the part where it’s free! You CAN pay a fee up front, but it can get pricey, and for me, since I have no idea whether or not this will sell in any great quantity, I’d rather just do a simple royalty split.

      Hope you decide to check it out. If so, be sure to let us know how it goes for you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I will, really.
        I realise listeners don’t seem to mind how long the books are, which is just as well – I asked to get an idea of how long mine might turn out – Prince’s Man is 124K, and Prince’s Son 135K.
        They are, after all, epic…

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  4. Awesome Marsh! I”ve been contemplating doing audio but probably not til next year. That’s a lot of listening, lol. No, personally. I don’t prefer audio books. as much as I know how popular they are for the younger generation. For me, I prefer to listen to music or the news and read a book. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing about your experience. And just about ready to start using Word to read back my work to me for my latest MS. 🙂 xx

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    • Looking forward to hearing about your experiences with audio, when you’re ready. As for Word reading your book, OMG. I’m so hooked on it! Now, I listen to each scene, even as I’m doing my draft. I catch and change things on the spot, and my draft is so much cleaner for it.

      I do NOT like to just scribble out a draft as fast as I can. I don’t even seem to be capable of doing so. Once I’m relatively happy with it, I post it on my private blog and let my betas have a look. But the first thing I do every morning, is read through the previous days draft, and fix anything I realize sounds off, or that I forgot to mention. I’m happier working this way. And the read function in Word makes it SO much easier. Now that I’m in revision mode with The Emissary, I use it extensively. (It’s just easier than opening up a reading program, and I like it almost as well, so why not?)

      However you prefer to go about editing, I think you’ll find hearing your words is a HUGE help. And then on to audio books! 🙂

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      • Thanks for letting us know about that reading feature Marsh. I have the Natural reader program downloaded as you first suggested, but then thought Word direct would be easier. Now, if I can only remember how to find it Lol. Please remind me. 🙂

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        • Mine shows in the top bar of a document. It’s a speech bubble on the left, and I don’t think I did anything to add it. If you don’t find it, let me know. I like both programs, but if I can do it ALL in Word, it’s just simpler, and so far, it’s working well. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Marje. So far, so good. I figured since audio books is the fastest growing market in publishing right now, and I can do it for free, why not? Nothing to lose, and possibly a lot to gain. And it’s easy, relatively. I’m up to CH 10 now, doing my proof-listen. 🙂 And so far, have only found minor errors, some of which I’ll overlook because they don’t change the meaning of anything. There are a couple of places I’ll have to ask my narrator to fix, as they are mispronunciations, and I can’t let those slide. Overall, I’m enjoying hearing my book read aloud, and I’m learning a bit more about what to tell the next narrator before he or she begins work on the project.

      I highly recommend you give it a try, when you’re ready, and I’ll be posting more on my experience when the book is done. 🙂

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