Create an Audio Book!

Several years ago 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 (Audiobook Creation Exchange) for me so I had no more excuses as to why I wasn’t putting my books on audio.  Since 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 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, for my children’s books.  She is open and friendly and extremely patient making any changes I want, no matter how small.

Book 1 in series

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 email or personal email.  

I then went on to launch my true crime series into audio-books. Daniel Dorse is the voice of my lead detective, Jack O’Roarke of the NYPD. His voice is right out of the Jack Webb, Dragnet era and I love it! 

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.

The result is that I have a steady stream of sales every month from these books.  

Emma and the Lost Unicorn
Dance of Murder 

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Latest books in the series, World of Murder, Now in Audio Books!

Beneath the Bridge of MurderGood news!  With the recent recording of Bridge of Murder and Video of Murder, all of the true crime series are now available on audio books. Just added: 

 In Book #6 of this true crime series, someone is knocking off the homeless of NYC. There don’t appear to be any motives; what could a bum have that anyone would want? Their life style affords the killer plenty of opportunity. Nobody cares what happened to these shadow people?  Detectives O’Roarke and Garcia quickly realize that they have another serial killer on their hands as more bodies are found at an alarming rate. 

Available soon on, and for purchase

Sample of Bridge of Murder 

Sample of Video of Murder 

A murder occurs every day in the Big Apple. It follows that homicide detectives carry a case load of three to seven cases, at all times. In this new thriller, Video of Murder, NYPD Homicide Detectives O’Roarke and Garcia investigate seven killings. Every case has one witness who is never mistaken, can’t remember, or tells a lie. The video camera. They must enter the unknown world of the Tongs, the Chinese Mafia, when one of its members is beaten to death, sparking a string of retaliation-type homicides. At the same time they investigate the random murder of a cross country trucker only to be interrupted by a domestic disturbance case gone horribly wrong. A normal day in the life of a murder cop.


Coming soon! Shadow of Murder in Audio!

Now available on, and for purchase


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A Chat With Tavia Gilbert, Professional Voice (conclusion)

tavia.headshot.-400x266continued…… Can you tell us about your process when you begin to narrate a book?.
A. …….voicing the foreign language phrases the writer included in the book, listened to several bird calls to include in the book (a young boy is an expert at bird calls, so I have to approximate a cardinal, a blue jay, and more), learned the Welsh national anthem — in Welsh, reacquainted myself with several old hymns…I’m recording very slowly and carefully, while preserving a fresh sense of discovery and using the technology to make my many, many stops and starts sound seamless. That’s more than most books require, but it does offer a glimpse into the challenges of an audio book narration. I want my work to be excellent every time. Each project is different, but it’s great to really commit and make sure I’m doing everything I possibly can to make the most complete audio world I can. Once the recording of each chapter is complete, I upload it to my publisher. They edit and proof the recording, ensuring that my narration is word perfect to the script. They send a list of corrections, which I record and send, and then the book is ready to go out into the world!

Q. Do you have rituals before you begin?

A. I do. Donna Eden’s five-minute energy technique and a few other of her energy practices, which ground and settle me and get me in a good space to focus. I put some lavender on my fifth chakra (throat chakra). I make a quick shot of ginger, turmeric, coconut water, salt, lemon, and honey, and then I settle in with water with lemon and a kombucha. Continue reading “A Chat With Tavia Gilbert, Professional Voice (conclusion)”

Interview With Tavia Gilbert, Voice for Audio Books


TS.  I have used a narrator for many of my own books and know what an integral part they play in the success of an audio book.  Tavia is one of the best out there!

Q. Tell us about your acting/voice career.

A. I work as a full-time audio book narrator, recording primarily in my home studio in Brooklyn, New York. I’ve been passionate about sound, voice, and story all my life, and it’s been exciting to see where my career takes me. I graduated from Cornish College in Seattle with a BFA in Acting, with a concentration in Original Works. Soon after graduation I moved to Portland, Maine to study documentary audio storytelling at the Salt Institute. I worked in Portland as a commercial and theater actor, before focusing on audio book narration. I began working full-time as an audio book narrator in 2007, and in these eight years I’ve recorded more than 400 books for virtually every publisher, in virtually every genre. When I completed my MFA in Creative Non-Fiction from Vermont College a few years ago I moved from Maine to Brooklyn, to further develop my work as a performer, producer, and publisher.

Q. What led you to start a narration career?

A. I was born with deformed feet and have had more than a dozen corrective foot surgeries since I was seven months old. I remember an intense yearning to be an actress as early as about four years old, and I did theater in my hometown when I was growing up with dreams of working as a performing artist and living in a New York City apartment with a fire escape (and now I have my very own fire escape!). But I struggled somewhat in college, with another surgery that required time away from school, and later with the physical demands of the actor conditioning program at Cornish. I’m so grateful that Cornish pushed me as hard as it did physically, because I came to understand that I was stronger and more capable than I thought, though I was dealing with — and still do — some quite serious physical challenges. Once I decided to stay permanently in Maine (I lived there for 12 years), I realized that there would not be enough professional commercial or theater work to sustain a career from Maine. Just at that time the voice-over and narration industries were beginning to transition to home studios, so I set my sights on narration. I was an avid listener, Continue reading “Interview With Tavia Gilbert, Voice for Audio Books”

FREE Audio Book: “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”

fairies, books for children, literacy, reading, bullying, bullies, elves,
A story book with full color illustrations

FREE!!  Have you got a child, grandchild or great grandchild under the age of ten??  FREE audio-book of “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys”  (Five lucky winners and One per family)

And I would like to share this with you…..first come, first serve.  Sign up for my blog and leave a comment on my site Code: ‘Bookworm’. and I will send you the code and the instructions on how to get your copy.

Listen to Sample of the book by clicking here

Bertie, the bookworm is the fabled forest’s elder and teacher. Every week he has a spelling and reading circle where everyone is welcomed. Slam, the badger and his gang of bully boys are forever teasing, disrupting, and bullying Bertie and the group of faeries and woodland creatures.
Continue reading “FREE Audio Book: “Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys””

Where to Find a Narrator for my Audio book? (Part 2)

Part II An Interview with VO professional and actor, Daniel Dorse       (Part I, click here)

It’s Easy!  I use  The platform is simple to use and they have a terrific ‘stable’ of professional narrators.  Your book is published in audio form at, and  You can pay your narrator/producer a percentage of sales or a one time fee.  The one time fees are on a sliding scale depending on what the narrator requires ‘per finished hour’.  With you will know what you will be paying (it’s based on the number of words in your manuscript.) before you commit. Tip. Eliminate all extra words like copyright page, acknowledgements, title, etc. and count only the words of the manuscript.

My one and only complaint about is the length of time they take to do the final quality control bit.  Two weeks.  Now sit back and enjoy the second part of my chat with Daniel.

Daniel working in his studio
Daniel working in his studio

Q. Can you tell us about your process when you get a job to narrate a book?

A. When I’m hired to produce an audio book, I should read the entire book, making character notes, notes on pronunciation, mood, transitions, accents, etc. In fact, I like to live dangerously, reading only a few chapters ahead (to avoid too many unwelcome surprises, like , “Uh-oh! This character I’ve been voicing for 15 pages is supposed to be Irish. Now I have to re-record.”). I do this, I tell myself, because I like to retain an element of spontaneity in my read, but it’s probably also because I’m both lazy & overly cocky about my sight-reading abilities.
Continue reading “Where to Find a Narrator for my Audio book? (Part 2)”

Ready to Find that Ideal Narrator for your Audio-book??

earChoose a narrator for your audio books….sounds easy doesn’t it?  I’d like to share my hit and miss experience and some tips about finding those perfect narrators for your audio books.  The good news is that now that I’ve learned a few things I have two wonderful reliable ‘voices’ for the production of my books.   The miss (when I didn’t know what I was doing and was new to the audio book world)  was the situation where I found my first narrator wasn’t willing to collaborate and work with me. She said that she was hired and paid to narrate the book that I sent, nothing more.  Sigh!

You will find, as I did, that your book ‘sounds‘ far different than the written word on the page and how it sounds in your head.  You, the author, will need a narrator that will allow you to make changes.  You might remember my interview with my childrens’ book narrator and gifted opera singer, Carin Gilfrey.  Now I thought it would be interesting for my readers to get to know, Daniel Dorse,  the voice of Sergeant Detective Jack O’Roarke.  (The World of Murder Series). Continue reading “Ready to Find that Ideal Narrator for your Audio-book??”

Writing and then ‘Hearing’ Wild Violets

NOW AVAILABLE in AUDIO BOOKS!!!    “Wild Violets”

fiction, women, flappers, prohibition, San Francisco, roaring twentiesFrom the author:  It was great fun writing this book about a young woman so ahead of her time.  Basketball star, speakeasy owner, flapper who literally worked all day and danced all night.  The story about her red evening gown is true and her friends would make her change into it before going out on the town.  The story about playing poker with a Catholic Bishop is true.  She ultimately had five husbands, but always said the first one didn’t count as they never consummated the marriage.  She went on to be the champion women’s bowler in California.  She had three kids which she didn’t take very good care of.  She was human with many flaws, she was selfish and generous in turns, she was wild and ladylike……she was my mother. Sometimes I ask myself:  ‘did the apple fall very far from the tree?’

Writing it was fun but hearing her ‘voice’ and that of the other characters was amazing.  When you hire an audio professional the author remains in control (quality) and can ‘proof’ ever word.  It’s crucial that you hire the right narrator as your book sounds different from the written page. It’s important that the narrator is willing to work with you on edits, add on’s, and you can ask this upfront before you choose from the audition pieces that you receive.

Continue reading “Writing and then ‘Hearing’ Wild Violets”

More from the Opera Singer/AudioBook Narrator/Producer (part 2)

In Part I, I told you how I got started formatting my existing books into audio books with the help of my producer/narrator Carin Gilfry. Here is the rest of Carin’s story.

audio books, books for kids, fairy tales
Carin as Estrella in Life is a Dream at the Santa Fe Opera

Carin Gilfry, narrator: I always knew how each character should sound by the way the dialogue was written. Cheets in particular, the mischievous and very effervescent elf, quickly became my favorite. I always wanted to be a Disney princess, but in reality, I think I was more like Cheets as a child. Eager, loud, and always wanting to be everyone’s friend. I always intended to narrate books when not in a production, but I actually narrated EEElf, while in rehearsals for Offenbach’s La Perichole with New York City Opera. It worked surprisingly well. Though, I did get locked in a hotel closet, trying to find a quiet space to narrate… Adventures of audiobook narration on the road!children's books, audio books, the fabled forest, elves, fairies Continue reading “More from the Opera Singer/AudioBook Narrator/Producer (part 2)”

“Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys” now an Audio Book!

fairies, books for children, literacy, reading, bullying, bullies, elves,
A story book with full color illustrations

The third in the Fabled Forest Series, “Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bully Boys” is now available as an AUDIO BOOK  at and as well as www.iTunes. com

Bertie, the bookworm is the fabled forest’s elder and teacher. Every week he has a spelling and reading circle where everyone is welcomed. Slam and his gang of bully boys are forever teasing, disrupting, and bullying Bertie and the group of faeries and woodland creatures. Pansy, the pixie is a new character in this third of the Fabled Forest series. She is a defender of reading, truth, and Bertie. Cheets, our beloved elf from past books gets in with the wrong crowd and his friends are worried that he will become the newest member of the Bully Boys. Best friends with Cheets, Pansy is determined to save her friend.  The story teaches gentle lessons about literacy, bullying and ageism.

In an October post I’ll tell you more about the adventures of producing AUDIO books…..meeting new people, choosing a narrator, (a young opera singer from Switzerland)….the character voices she was able to create.  Listen to Sample

Continue reading ““Bertie the Bookworm and the Bully Boys” now an Audio Book!”