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Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't You Love the SOUND of the Paranormal?

by Terry Spear

Well, maybe not like ghostly sounds or banshee screeches…but your words turned into voice.
We all have voice, but what if you turned your book into a real voice, one that you can hear?
I am the proud producer of a couple of audiobooks. Some of my Highland books were turned into audio, which was lots of fun. I love Scottish dialogue. But I wasn’t involved in the process.
This time, I was. With The Dark Fae. And Kiss of the Vampire. Two young adult books. Two different projects and ways of going about it.
With The Dark Fae, I found a narrator on ACX. This is owned by Amazon. It was different from Voices, in that once I approved the book, I was ready to sell it. I just need to pay the narrator. I didn’t have to. I could have paid just through royalties, 50/50, but I wanted to pay an hourly rate. And then it was done.
But if you don’t want to or can’t afford to invest, then the 50/50 royalty is a good way to go. You have to decide who to distribute it through also. If you want only Amazon to distribute it, then you receive a higher % and they also make it available on Itunes. If you want to make it available to other outlets, you couldn’t do it if you check Amazon only, so if you’re looking for other outlets, it’s better to check the block for that.
For The Dark Fae, the check is in the mail, literally, and once the narrator receives it, I can have ACX distribute it.
With covers, you can’t use the original cover you would use on your books. Audiobook covers need to be square.
Terry's book covers shown here are for demonstration only

So I played around with that until I could create a whole new cover, same look, but square. Of course, I tried the easy way out first, thinking to squish and squash it into the right size. But it would have looked awful. So I had to start from scratch. They won’t allow you to use borders either. All in all, you want the best look, so that’s important!
Now, with the other project, Kiss of the Vampire, I went through Voices. Once you have a book narrated there, you have to upload it to someone else to distribute it for sale. If you agree to pay a set price, you have to put that money in escrow right up front. Then when you have finished reviewing the files and agree to them, you can approve it and release the money right then and there.
I didn’t care for having to set up the escrow, but in the end, it was easier than having to pay the narrator through ACX since my narrator didn’t want to receive payment through Paypal because she’d lose some of her payment that way.
Why even create an audiobook? There are lots of audiobook readers. I love to listen to audiobooks! Especially on trips. It gives your book another outlet. Ebook. Print book. Audiobook.
Will you sell a lot? You never know. It’s just like with any title. We never know which will do well. You have the added advantage/disadvantage of adding voice—a narrator’s—to the mix. Some will love the narrator’s voice. But if the majority don’t care for the audiobook version, it can hurt audiobook sales.
I remember a friend saying she was buying the author’s book and wouldn’t listen to the audiobook because of the way the story was written and she felt she wouldn’t get as much out of it by listening to it. So it doesn’t mean that an audiobook will hurt book sales. In another case, I tried to get into a book and just could not. So by accident, I picked up the audiobook version and didn’t have anything else to listen to on the way back and forth to work and so I kept listening to it until I reached the end. Good book—to my surprise!
Why keep the option open to be able to distribute on your own? You can make cds of your works. Offer them as gifts. Offer them for reviews. Get creative
What is the next project? Second book in the fae series. And since I’ve already worked with my narrator, we’ve already agreed to terms and she’s delighted to start a new project.
And that means more audiobooks in the future.
So, ever listen to audiobooks? Do you produce them for your own work? Or have you thought of giving it a shot?


Bestselling and award-winning author Terry Spear has written a couple of dozen paranormal romance novels and two medieval Highland historical romances. Her first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, was named a 2008 Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year, and her subsequent titles have garnered high praise and hit the USA Today bestseller list. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry lives in Crawford, Texas, where she is working on her next werewolf romance and continuing her new series about shapeshifting jaguars. For more information, please visit www.terryspear.com, or follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear. She is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear .


Terry Spear said...

They want 2400 x 2400 on covers now! New requirement. But it is fun having them in audio when you can be in charge of the production. :) Make sure words are pronounced the way they should be, etc. :)

Bonnie Gill said...

Hi Terry,
Great post. I usually listen to audio books on long trips. It makes the time go by so much faster.
I love the Dark Fae cover.

Vonda Sinclair said...

Great post, Terry! I love learning about this. Hopefully I'll get around to putting mine into audiobook.

Terry Spear said...

Thanks, Bonnie, me too. I missed my exit on a freeway one time, I think because I was sort of engrossed in the story, ended up heading for Austin, coming back from Houston. LOL :) I was trying to be so lazy on The Dark Fae cover, but when I did a square version, I thought it turned out nicely. :)

Terry Spear said...

Thanks, Vonda!!! You'll have so much fun doing it. :)

Misty Dietz said...

Great information, Terry! I love that you almost missed an exit because you were so caught up in story. That's a beautiful thing. I think in our busy culture, multitasking is only going to increase, and therefore audiobooks are just one more way of reaching readers you might not otherwise find. :)

Terry Spear said...

Thanks, Misty! Yes, I agree. It took me quite a while before I figured I was on the wrong highway home. LOL

I so agree. I didn't think of that, but yes. It's a way to multitask. I wouldn't find anything decent to watch on tv while I made my teddy bears for orders, so I'd listen to a book. I love it!

Nancy said...

I am purchasing Photoshop Elements 11 today (on sale at Staples) so I can make my own book covers. I hadn't thought about an audio book! Good to know it is easy to do. Thanks!

Terry Spear said...

Nancy, have fun with Photoshop! I've got both that and the free GIMP2. I toggle between them. :)