Literary Love for Audio Books

Love_Ipod

I love a great novel for many of the same reasons mentioned this month, so I thought I’d take this topic of Literary Love in a different direction.

Finding the time to sit down and read has always been a challenge for my hyperactive tendencies. Perhaps that’s why I crave the mental activity of crafting a novel instead. But I still love taking in a great novel whenever possible, it’s just a matter of multi-tasking. Hello, Audio!  

My love of audio books started when I was self-employed in the late 90s, retouching negatives for professional photographers from dusk ’til dawn (tedious, mind-numbing work). Music stations were unbelievably repetitive, talk radio with Art Bell (conspiracy theories and paranormal topics) lasted only a few hours each night… but books on tape? LOVE! I could finally stay awake as long as necessary to keep up with my workload. And at that rate, I actually did devour 100s of novels on cassette and CDs from our local library.  

But these days, I have a family to take care of, a writing fetish to appease, and a never-ending list of chores and responsibilities that must get done… I’m as busy as ever and seem to require more than 3-4 hours of sleep each night. 

I can justify the time I spend writing as ‘work’, but there’s a certain amount of guilt that comes when I’d rather write than do dishes, or any of the other things I “should” be doing to keep the house and yard in reasonable condition. But sitting down to read a book? For fun? I just can’t get myself to sacrifice the time when there’s so much to do… and that’s why I love audio books! Everything I get from reading a great novel can be guilt-free, just like those high-calorie cookies at the blood bank, if I happen to be doing something productive at the same time. And as a writer, the audio format prevents me from slipping into edit-mode when something doesn’t feel right.

So for me, I love a novel that can turn hours of routine work into pleasure, a novel that keeps me looking for projects to add and cross off the to-do list. It’s a win-win for everyone. 

Have you considered putting your novel in an audio format? 

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About Toni Kerr

Toni Kerr is the Author of Descendant, a YA Urban Fantasy due to be published in December of 2013. She loves the peaceful silence at 5am and Oreo ice cream, preferably scarfed down before her kids get out of bed. Salty french fries, Sushi, and being on a warm beach at sunset rank pretty high as well.

16 thoughts on “Literary Love for Audio Books

    • You should! It’s an entirely different market. I have a wonderful friend who LOVES novels and only listens to audio, because she has severe dyslexia and reading anything is too hard to enjoy. Do it!

  1. I’ve never listened to an audio book. Can you believe it? I keep thinking, “I should buy one of those.” But since I don’t really have a car and … I guess I’ve just never done it. If I were to buy one audio book, what would you recommend?

    • Audio books are available wherever books are sold, and are also available on itunes. There are sites that want you to subscribe, like audible.com… but just like ebooks.. there are promotional freebies all the time. 🙂 And there’s an app for pretty much any sort of device. If you still have a discman (for portability) … check the library and see what they have. They might also have the digital formats available (mine doesn’t offer audio, but they do offer ebooks)

  2. Yeah, I’ve used ACX (https://www.acx.com/) to make an audiobook for Lyon’s Legacy. This website helps authors/publishers find and hire voice artists/producers at varying price levels. You can even offer to split royalties with the producer if you don’t have the cash to pay upfront. Please let me know if you have any questions about how ACX works. All that aside, I still prefer reading to listening to books myself. It’s easier to focus on the page than when I listen.

      • Thanks for the info! I do want my book in audio and I’ve already decided it’s not a task I want to handle myself. Trying to be a VO artist might kill the magic for me — if I suddenly start hearing all the splices and background noise in everything I listen to. 🙂 (just like head-hopping never bothered me until I became a writer)

  3. I nver listen to audio, but I should invest. Usually long trips are spent with five kids who have something to say even when they’re reading or watching movies. I would sure love to see my books converted into audio books.

    • Yeah.. my kids are chatty in the car too. But I can always hear what’s going on around me, and pushing the pause button is pretty much the same as setting a book down. (I’m rarely listening to something everyone should hear anyway, so I use earphones 90% of the time). I’ve tried playing kid-friendly books for everyone to hear when we travel, like Rick Riordan, but it rarely goes well if they lose interest. 🙂

  4. I’ve only ever listened to one novel via MP3. I think the key is the reader has to be a good voice actor, otherwise it could fall flat. It would be cool to have my books converted to audio. 🙂

  5. I actually did record one of my novels and put it out there–it’s a lot harder than you’d think, particularly to do it well. One of these days, I may investigate Amazon’s ACX program, where you can get an actor to do your reading for you. I haven’t checked it out deeply, but it looks intriguing.

  6. For any author, it’s definitely something to really consider. Trouble with us authors is that we forget that our readers (I write Middle Grade) now use phones to read with as well as to listen with. But it is not easy to do it yourself. I would not do a whole book, but I have done sample chapters as podcasts. But you need a good microphone with decent software (garage band is okay–ish), use a pop shield to stop plosive sounds etc etc.There are lots of good websites out there with excellent advice. But the biggest thing to overcome is the cringe factor of listening to yourself afterwards!

    http://www.rajonesauthor.com/podcasts/

    You be the judge.

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