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Do an Audio Book of Your Own Books

images of books made into audio books

For Canada: Brave New World, my seventh book, I strayed from my usual format. I wrote a number of the stories myself but put out a call for others’ stories because of the nature of the book. Getting first-hand stories was very important to me and I’m very glad I took the road I did. Getting right into the words and voices of so many of the stories really shows how individual human beings can be. That adds to the overall book.

When I decided to to do an audio book, offering the submitters the chance to read parts of their own stories just seemed natural. I especially liked the story partly read in Rudy Zimmer’s German accent as it so accentuated the whole topic of Rudy’s submission. That decision gave my technician and me a lot more work. It also slowed the process of recording but I’m delighted we did it.

Book Cover The Life of an Immigrant As with all of the tasks in my writing/publishing journey, I choose which things to do myself and which to hire out to professionals. In the small city where I live I found a small recording studio where I could learn from the owner/technician how to do my own recordings. I had the courage to do this as one librarian where I had spoken told me that the group I had read to as part of my presentation decided they would be happy to have me read the whole book. I guess those years as a performing English teacher paid off! With Jack London’s help, I went down the recording road.

Jack is a singer and recording artist so is well-versed in the how-tos of recording. That was and is invaluable to me. He has a sound proof room where I wear a headset, listen to his instructions, and his telling me we have to do a part over again. Together we get a great recording. He prepares all the chapters or separate stories and I then take a flash drive for him to transfer them to for me to take home. I have an account with ACX which is the back end of Audible and I upload the files there. Then ACX approves the files that are satisfactory to them and points out any parts which have a problem. Jack looks after making sure the files are perfect as that is his forte.

Once we get the go-ahead from ACX the files are ready for Audible and in a few days the audio book is listed for sale on Audible. I am given a number of free codes for me to send out to people in order for them to get a free copy. This helps get the book into customers’ hands. My newsletter recipients all have the chance to get one of these codes. (If you forgot to get yours for this book, email me.)

The audio book is also listed as one of the book format choices on Amazon. I love that aspect of using Amazon.

If you are wanting to do an audiobook of your own book there are several ways of doing it. Hire someone through ACX/Audible. You will have to have an agreement of how you pay them, either by a percentage of sales or by paying their bill. I pay Jack London Studios for the tech stuff so when I get my payments for audio book sales it all comes to me.

3D image of book front coverAnother way of doing your audio book is to work with a professional who helps you get the correct recording setup right in your own house. My daughter, Beth Cougler Blom, did that for her book Design to Engage and was very pleased with the process her professional led her through.

Why would an author go through all of this work?

The web is full of articles about the reasons to listen to audio books. My husband and I have used audio books borrowed from our local library for our car trips. We choose something we both want to hear and listen for up to an hour at a time as we travel south to the US or west through Canada’s Rockies or east through Quebec and into the Atlantic provinces. I am told that people who drive long distances for a living love audio books and that makes sense to me.

Here is a site I found that gives loads of reasons to listen to audio books. One friend even told me she listens while she is doing her vacuuming. As you can see there are dozens and dozens of reasons to turn on an audio book.

So for us authors this is just another way of getting our stories and our thoughts and words out to the world. I hope you pick up some of my audio books and have a listen. And I especially encourage you to do an audio book of your own books!

Elaine Cougler recording her book

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