Audiobooks — The New Frontier for Indie Authors?

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A good book makes an hour on the treadmill seem too short.

A good book makes an hour on the treadmill seem too short.

Is Listening Really Reading?

I have a confession to make: I have become an audiobook junkie.

Back in the day, when an audiobook cost $80 dollars and came with a tray of cassette tapes 20 strong, I had to be highly motivated to check one out of the library. Even when my family purchased the last Harry Potter on CD for a long car trip, it was not a lightly made purchase.

But then along came .mp3, digital media, and now I love listening to books when I’m in the car, out walking, or running on the track at the Y.

In the car, I listen to Book Radio on Satellite radio when I can (bits and pieces, but I love it anyway). On our summer trip across the country, my husband and I must have listened to ten books in various genres. Some good, some not so good. All better than most of the choices on FM radio.

I hadn’t considered turning my books into audiobooks, though. It seemed like too much work. Until Audible (an Amazon company) performed its magic and created ACX — a platform that allows authors and narrators to team up to produce and sell audiobooks.

Still, I hesitated. Were my books really good candidates for audiobooks? I dithered. Recently, I decided to stop listening to other authors talk about turning their books into audiobooks and dive into the audiobook world myself.

So far, I have one book produced and expected to be on sale in a few weeks (The Unintended Bride) and six more in various stages of production. I’ve learned a lot — especially that, yes, my books are good candidates for audiobooks.

I should know. I have to listen to each one twice. The first time I go through while reading the text, to catch any errors or omissions. The second time, to make sure any changes have made made, and no new errors crept in (producers are miracle workers, they can edit in one word change and make it sound seamless, I am more in awe of voice talent and producer editing than ever before).

I only wish I could do the same for my Salem Witch books (but I can’t, they’re controlled by Simon & Schuster).

Having conquered audiobook production (finding the right narrator, proofing, listening), I wonder what frontier is next for me. A game tie-in? An app? The sky’s the limit.

I feel lucky to have had the ACX opportunity, and I once again marvel at the powerful tools the digital evolution has put in my hands.

May I always wield them wisely.

And a question for readers everywhere — do you consider listening to audiobooks to be reading? What’s your favorite genre to listen to?

Kelly is a writer, a mom, and a reading tutor for children with dyslexia. Plus, she is totally addicted to her iPad. Curse you, Steve Jobs.

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Posted in Crazy or Genius?, My, How This Business Has Changed, My, How This Business Has Not Changed
4 comments on “Audiobooks — The New Frontier for Indie Authors?
  1. Tammy Seidick says:

    Good info to know Kelly!

  2. Bella says:

    I love mysteries on audio. My favorite lately have been M.C. Beaton, Agatha Christie and Maggie Sefton. I definitely consider them reading and love that I can do something else like knitting at the same time!

  3. JoAnne Kamman says:

    I LOVE audiobooks! In fact, the primary reason I got an iPhone 4 was so that I could listen to Overdrive WMA as well as MP3 books from the library! I also purchase from Audible. I love being able to listen while I’m doing chores around the house, cooking, and running errands! I’ve listened to books by Jim Butcher, Tessa Harris, M.J. McGrath, and Amanda Quick – oh, and Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey to name a few! Please put your books on audio!

  4. Hi JoAnne,

    I read Wool, but haven’t checked out the other stories yet. I’ll definitely consider getting the omnibus on audio — his narrative voice is wonderful to read, I’m sure it must be even better to listen to.

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