Audio Book Update

I have several audio books out kind of “in production,” but two of them are at the “waiting for the narrator to give me something” stage and the third is in the “wait for the narrator to show some actual interest in the project beyond ‘yeah, I’d like to do that'” stage.

So I went and recorded my own audiobook, dang it, with the help of the astounding B-Hop and his Sound Cage. I chose “Bridges,” because it’s one of the more popular of my short stories, and because I thought I could finish it in one day.

B-Hop had a big monitor set up as a teleprompter that worked great, barring a bit of trouble scrolling the text at first. I stood and talked into a mike and narrated the first three chapters before we broke for a (very late) lunch. You may remember that those chapters have a lot of sex in them. That was not as uncomfortable for me as it was to read out loud some of my old writing, which made me think, “Oh, I want to change that…I want to tighten it up…” Nothing that would affect the story, you know, just making the text cleaner and easier to read. Oh well.

One of the other challenges was that the bathrooms in the whole building were out of order due to construction. This wasn’t so much an issue for B-Hop or Kit, but as I was talking pretty much non-stop, I went through a Grande tea and a bottle and a half of water in the morning and ended up having to take a couple trips to the very nice carpet store across the street.

After lunch, I went back to record the last three chapters (I included the bonus story in the narration just ’cause). The writing in those was better, I thought, barring one bad typo in Chapter 4. And toward the ends of chapters 4 and 5, I found it difficult to read; in fact, I had to do the very end of the book one sentence at a time, because my voice kept breaking if I tried to do more.

But I got it done! B-Hop is going to do a small amount of post-processing on it (he did a lot of editing-as-we-went, meaning when I flubbed something, we’d back up the recording and just start over) and then I’ll be working on getting the finished recording up at Audible/Amazon/iTunes through ACX. It looks like the price will be $15-25 based on their pricing model for a six-hour book (I would guess it’ll be at the low end)–I have no control over that.

(Note: If you join Audible and select one of my books as your first pick, I get a bonus from them. :) And I am committed to having other books up there…)

I enjoyed the narration a lot. I am not a skilled voice actor, but I can make my voice go higher or lower, and play around with cadences and accents, so at least hopefully there’s some variety in the voices. It all sounds like my voice to me.

And big huge thanks to B-Hop, who not only let us use the studio, he monitored the production and backed me up on a few lines where he didn’t think the pacing was quite right. He really stepped up, and all the credit for how good the book sounds belongs to him.

And by the end of the session, my throat was pretty darn sore, so of course we went to dinner in a place with a loud live band, and then to Frolic, where I gave up on talking altogether because it actually did hurt to talk.

But hey! I did something cool, and if you guys are interested in hearing me almost break down at the end of one of my stories, just keep an eye out in March. I’ll announce when it’s up for sale.

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