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10 Top Tips and Other Great Ideas for Creating Your Audio Book

When you began writing your book, you probably visualized it in print , but did you know there is a ready audience for other formats, especially audio books?  Not only is there growing demand for audio books, but limited availability of them.

In a recent post, Joanna Penn, at The Creative Penn, featured a guest blogger, Brendan Foley, author of  The 5 States of Success: Create Meaningful Success in Your Career, Business & Life, who shared his experiences in creating an audio book. After reading Brendan’s tips examine the extra information Joanna shares.  You can read the full post here.

When I left a comment on Brendan’s blog post regarding my own experiences with trying to create an audio book, he generously expanded on the tips he had already given in the article. I’ve put my comment and Brendan’s response below.

Brendan,

Thanks for sharing the steps and tips to creating an audio version of your book. When I set out to create an audio version of just a 34 page ebook, I discovered what a monumental task it is.

First mistake: I didn’t create a script. After all, how hard could it be to read my own nonfiction work?
Second mistake: I found myself wanting to reword what was on the page as I thought of better ways to express the text.
Third mistake: I tried to record the whole ebook in one sitting. Exhausting.

I haven’t finished that recording yet, but with the tips and sources offered in this post I’m encouraged to return to creating my audio book.

As for turning my 213 pg print book into audio, I’m very definitely investigating the services who have proper studios and know what they’re doing.

Blessings,
Flora

Brendan July 16, 2012 at 2:22 am

Hi Flora,

Yes when you start to look at audio you begin to see how different it is as a medium. I can so empathize with your mistakes above, but they are worthwhile in pointing you in the right direction. To build on your learnings I would say;

Mistake 1 – No Script; rewrite your piece or mark up your text. By this I mean use a color coded system and series of symbols to show where natural pauses are, words that need emphasis, changes in tone and links where sentences should flow into each other.

Mistake 2 – Edit as you go. Here is where you really benefit from a director or sound engineer. We often take things for granted or assume our readers know what we are talking about. Having another person there when recording allows you to be challenged as to your flow or meaning and then you can do a live edit. Also when using a sound engineer there are two ways to edit as you go; ‘rock n roll’ or ‘fluff n repeat’. So ‘rock n roll’ is where you make a mistake and the sound editor drops you in at the point of the mistake and then you continue on, ‘fluff n repeat’ is repeat the entire paragraph until it is right. I used ‘rock n roll’ when I recorded because it saves time and edits if they need to be made can be added to the script quickly. see http://loreleiking.blogspot.ie/2011/04/its-only-rock-n-roll.html

Mistake 3 – Time and energy. This is the one that really got me. I speak for a living as a motivator, coach and trainer. I am fit and healthy. I thought this would be a walk in the park… I was amazed at the level of concentration and effort required. So here is what I would do;
1. Warm up physically by walking as you will be sitting for some time.
2. Warm up your voice signing HIGH, Middle, low.
3. Drink LOTS of water as your vocal cords can dry out quickly, it also stops you sounding ‘lippy’.
4. Read for no more than 40min periods then break, stretch out and relax your brain.
5. BREATH. Your voice is created on your out breath so find a way to breath deeply to give you a good length of phrase. (Roger Love the US voice coach has some good techniques in his book).

I hope that this helps and best of luck with your audio endeavors!

Yours in ‘meaningful’ success,

Brendan

———————————

If you are ready, I’d love to be your travelling companion to make your writing journey a fun trip with a soft landing. Once you’ve completed your manuscript, you can convert it to many profitable formats. Begin with the 7-Step Roadmap to Publishing Success at http://www.abookin90days.com

Get Dan Poynter’s New Book on Writing, Free July 13 and 14–Hurry!

“Forget what you heard about book writing, publishing and promoting; the model just changed–for the better! Now you may print shorter runs at prices that make sense, publish your “books” in other (electronic) ways, sell them automatically and promote them for practically nothing. You will discover how to wring maximum value out of your work. This is an exciting time to be a writer.”

This is how Dan Poynter begins Writing Your Book: Cashing in on Publishing, Faster, Easier, & Cheaper, his 54-page ebook loaded with tips, steps and advice based on decades of experience and success. This Kindle version is free today, July 13 through July 14 until midnight.

You do not have to own a Kindle in order to take advantage of this. Amazon makes Kindle reader apps available free for your computer or mobile devices. Grab yours at Kindle Reader.

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Always keeping up with changing technology, Dan admits that he is testing Kindle Direct Publishing Select Freebie Day. He says,

You can help me gain experience, figures, and even some money, by downloading this free book on writing books.
The above is the pitch I am testing.

He begins his book stressing the importance of researching your topic for comparable books, readers’ reviews to ensure that there is a market for your book. From there, he goes on to tell you how to

  • Build your book using the world’s largest library that’s on your desk, the Web.
  • Get your book professionally edited and reviewed
  • Register your copyright
  • Properly use quotations and other information from others
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  • Convert and post your ebook
  • Collaborate with a colleague, editor or ghostwriter
  • Package, publish and promoting your book

The greatest benefit of Dan’s book is learning that you don’t have to choose between self-publishing and traditional publishing or ebooks v.s. print books. You can do all of these if you wish. He tells you how to do so profitably.

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How to Get Your Book Published: A Video from Danny Iny

You’ve already heard many times that 4 out of 5 people want to write a book, but that sadly many of them won’t.

It has very little to do with talent, skills or even time. You’ve already discovered that you make time in your life for the things about which you are passionate.

So, what is the problem. Why are people still not getting their books written and published?

Fear, lack of confidence and uncertainty are the culprits.

One of the best ways to get around these problems in addition to developing a positive mindset, is to listen to and hang out with folks who have already published a book and are willing to share techniques and tips with you.

In addition to what I share on this site, I like to bring in other authors who will share with you.

Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing created over 41 videos to respond to questions from his readers. Here is one about publishing your book. Watch. Learn. Enjoy.

New Authors Have a Reason to Smile

Dellena Ludwig shows off her new book, “Where Did Dinosaurs Come From? ” In her book, children will learn just that! A poetic, biblical look at the history of dinosaurs is sure to teach you but also entertain. You’ll laugh and smile as you learn the important history of the origin of dinosaurs and where they are now.

Dellena is putting the finishing touches on her book release party slated for this upcoming weekend.


Dwayne Carl kicked off the first signing of his memoir,” Out of My Second Closet: I Have AIDS Get Ova It,” last week at the Gay Pride Parade and Festival in Long Beach, CA. Dwayne’s book is a compelling journey of one man’s plight from a deadly illness, to a life of prejudices, inequality, stigmas, the world’s misunderstanding the pain of a person living with the aids diagnosis.


Both of these authors have a reason to smile because they followed a dream of sharing their compelling stories when most aspiring authors never do. It is believed that 4 out of 5 people want to write a book but most never do. That puts Dellena and Dwayne in rare company, along with my other successful clients.  By the way, their books are available on Amazon.com and from other major booksellers.

How about you? Are you ready to experience the smile that only holding your new book in your hands can bring on? It’s not magic. It requires taking the first step and following through with determination and courage.

If you are ready to go, I’d love to be your travelling companion to make your writing journey a fun trip with a soft landing. Send me an email at flora@florabrown.com with “Ready” in the subject line along with your phone number and best time to call. I will call you at your next availability.

I’m going over to check for your email right now.

How Do You Write a Book Worth Reading?

When Jonathan Fields, blogger, author, and entrepreneur recently announced his book marketing program, Tribal Author, he wrote

This is the most incredible time in history to be an author. Power, freedom and, yes, money, are there for the taking…if you get what’s really happening and are willing to act on it.

Doesn’t matter if you’ve never published or you’re an established author. Nor does it matter if you’re a writer’s writer or a business person wanting a book to use as a business card. You don’t need to censor, cannibalize or sell-out to benefit from the revolution. In fact, it’s more important than ever to write a phenomenal book.

Further down the page he stresses the importance of building an enterprise (more than what most call a platform) and learning to launch a campaign because writing a great book is not enough. If you are scanning his blog page fast you may miss when he says this

(Hack alert: this assumes you actually know how to write a book worth reading. Nothing will save a book that’s horrid).

I  agree that this is the most amazing time in history for authors who grasp the part they must play in selling their book, but how do you determine if a book is worth reading?

Some pretty horrid books were forced upon me in college because somebody had decided they were great literature. I survived to go on and write some pretty horrid stuff myself, some of which a few people bought.

Who decides if a book is worth reading?

The road to writing success is paved with rejections. A few of these are legendary:

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul books were rejected by more than 100 publishers before they found one who would print their book.  They still had to create demand for the book, working everyday for a long time until their idea caught fire.
  • Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for lack of ideas.
  • English novelist John Creasey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books.
  • By the time Stephen King was 14 he had received so many rejection slips that they were too heavy for the nail holding them up. He replaced it with a spike.
  • J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishers and almost by a 13th publisher, who gave in when his daughter pleaded with  him to publish the book.

These authors could have been rejected for many reasons, of course, but it’s clear that their writing was not considered worth reading.

Who decides if a book is worth reading?

Since a publisher takes a substantial financial risk in carrying a book to market, it’s understandable that they get to decide if a book is worth reading. Publishers don’t like taking risks. They are like banks that only want to loan money to people who already have plenty of it.

If a literary agent is being asked to shop your book around to find a willing publisher, it is the agent who quickly decides if she thinks she can convince a publisher to take on your book.

But what if the end user, the reader, got to decide what is worth reading. Wouldn’t that be great?

That is exactly where we stand now with blogs, ebooks and other digital products. Because the reader is free to read these types of writing directly from the author, it is the reader who decides if your work is worth reading.

No one is born a great writer

“Some critics will write ‘Maya Angelou is a natural writer’–which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.”
– Maya Angelou

Like learning to play the piano, lining words up to convey our thoughts may come easier to some than others, but we all have to practice, refine and hone our writing skills. Who is to say when our writing is good, good enough or great?

Writing is a lifetime endeavor, in fact. Every time an author starts a new book, she is at the beginning again.

There is a point at which you must let a manuscript go, a point at which you must decide you’re finished. You remember that feeling when an assignment was due in high school or college and you had to turn it in, imperfect as it was.

Writers don’t have to be great to be worth reading

Changes in publishing  have made it possible for anyone  to churn out a book. Some may have to hawk their work directly to readers to find their audience. But every writer’s  goal may not be to please a big audience or to rake in millions.

Take the poems I write every Christmas chronicling the year’s events in my family, for example. My audience is small. My poems are corny and the ryhming fractured. And yet, if one of my friends fails to receive his copy of my Christmas poem, he calls requesting it.

Since greatness is in the mind of the reader, I encourage writers to write, to rewrite, to read what they consider good writing and then write some more.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”–Toni Morrison

If you intend to make your living from writing or will measure your book’s worth by how copies sold, then by all means you must turn substantial attention to marketing. Introvert or not you will have to hustle.  The traditional publisher, even after you win his blessings, won’t be much help with this. Dan Poynter, Mr. Publishing, points out that whether you go with traditional publishing or self-publish, you will have to market your own book.

How do you write a book worth reading?

Write a book worth writing.

How do you decide a book’s worth?