How to Create an Audio Book! It’s Easy! (part 1 of 2)

faeries, elves, warlocks, fables, riddles, fairy tales, theatreHow I got started…Producing audio books was a really good idea and it wasn’t even mine…….. One day, a friend asked me, “when are you going to create audio-books?  Your kids’ books would do great.  Anyone under the age of 25 is ‘listening’ to books not reading.”   This friend even found www.acx.com (Audiobook Creation Exchange) for me so I had no more excuses as to why I wasn’t putting my books on audio.  Since acX.com was an Amazon company, I knew there would be quality there and a great distribution plan in place.

It’s a pretty easy web site to use and they have a very large ‘stable’ of narrators to choose from.  As the author, you are in control every step of the way.  You fairy tales, fables, elves, fairies, running away, audio books start by posting an audition excerpt from your book.  Professional narrators then send you their audition.  I have always received 8-15 auditions for each book, so I had many to choose from. You can pay them outright from a sliding scale (which is my preference) or give them a percentage of the book sales.  It took me two tries to find the ideal narrator, Carin Gilfry.  She is open and friendly and extremely patient making any changes I want, no matter how small.  After you find your narrator and

they accept your terms of the contract, there are very easy steps you go through as they narrate your book.  You proof chapter by chapter, (on line) ask for the corrections or tweaks via acx.com email or personal email.  It’s been a positive wonderful experience with Carin helping me create my characters with her fantastic character voices.

Tip: You should always review and edit the manuscript that you are converting to an audio book before giving it to the narrator.  I find that with an audio book, I delete about 50% of the:  ‘she said.’  ‘he replied.’ ‘she exclaimed.’ ‘he told her.’  They are just not necessary because you have a voice telling the listener who is speaking.

Mastrilla in La Perichole   New York City Opera

Mastrilla in La Perichole New York City Opera

As I considered writing this post about audio books, I thought ‘what an interesting topic if I could get Carin’s prospective on this process’ and she generously contributed to this blog.

Enjoy!!

kids books, audio books, fairy tales

Carin recording Trisha’s kids’ books

Carin G.  I am an opera singer by day, and children’s book superhero and audiobook narrator by… well, also by day. I have two jobs. Half of the time I travel around the world performing the operas of Mozart, Offenbach, Verdi, and all the other famous old dead guys, and the other half of the time, I narrate audiobooks. I love both my jobs. I went to school for years to study opera. I got a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Southern California, and then spent two years in New York City at Julliard getting my masters. I even worked one year under Placido Domingo at the Los Angeles Opera in their Young Artist Program. But… the opera world is getting smaller and smaller. I found myself making enough money as a singer to survive, but so bored with all my free time. Worse, some of my contracts started to get canceled because of lack of funding. Money for opera is a problem all over the world, even in Europe, where opera is almost as popular as hockey in the US. (Which isn’t saying much, I know!) I love singing opera, and I have worked so hard to make it my livelihood, but the jobs are getting fewer and fewer for everyone in the business. So, while I pursued opera, I decided to also turn to my second dream.

To become a Disney Princess…

Yes, I know, it’s even more unrealistic than being a full-time opera singer, but hey, a girl can dream! I started taking character voice acting classes, voice over classes, and asking friends in the cartoon business if they had any job leads. A friend pointed me to ACX, an Amazon.com company which connects voice over actors with rights holders for books.

Zweite Dame in The Magic Flute at The Juilliard School

Zweite Dame in The Magic Flute at The Juilliard School

I started narrating Trisha Sugarek’s Fabled Forest Series in March, with the third book in the series, The Exciting Exploits of an Effervescent Elf. Have you ever had one of those moments when it feels like you have discovered a part of yourself you hadn’t really cultivated, but had always been there? That’s how I felt when auditioning for The Fabled Forest Series. Somehow, everything just came together. Trisha’s characters just jumped off the page……

Join us for Part II of Creating Audio-Books on Thurs., October 29th!

 

Audio books are available at www.audible.com, www.amazon.com and www.iTunes.com
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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!  “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview with one once a month . These authors have already responded and you can read their interviews by clicking on their name: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal,  Karen Robards, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Tasha Alexander, Patrick Taylor, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Cathy Lamb, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Raymond Benson, Andrew Grant, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  September will feature Tasha Alexander. Jeffrey Deaver is October’s author and Patrick Taylor will join us in November.  Slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter. Loretta Chase will be featured later this year. Raymond Benson is my January author.

To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side there is a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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