In response to reader requests, I have moved forward with the production of audiobooks in the Dickie Floyd Detective novel series. The first two are now available!
Since most people have no idea how this is done, I thought it would be fun to show you a little bit of the process.
First, the Books
Door to a Dark Room
I am very excited to announce the release of this audiobook as the story is perhaps my favorite in the series. It was fun to write and I still enjoy reading it. Give it a try and see if you agree!
Narrated by Tom Taverna.
I think he is a perfect fit for the series, so I am excited that he has agreed to produce the remaining books in the Dickie Floyd series.
I hope you enjoy his performance as much as I do.
Here is a sample of the book:
sample from DOOR TO A DARK ROOM:
A Good Bunch of Men
A GOOD BUNCH OF MEN, the first in the Dickie Floyd series, was produced as an audiobook in December 2018. Narrated by D.C. Newman, this is a fun listen with plenty of action, humor, and police procedure.
You can listen to a sample of this book through the Amazon link.
The Audible App
You can download the Audible app on your phone here, if you don’t yet have it.
The Production Process
Here is a thumbnail sketch of how an audiobook is created:
I use ACX, a tried and true audiobook company. They are essentially matchmakers for authors and audiobook narrators—also referred to as producers—and their platform for production is both simple and solid.
There are about 100,000 narrators affiliated with ACX. To narrow the search for one, an author selects the genre of his/her book, the preferred gender of the narrator, and the language and accent that best suits the story.
You must also choose a plan for compensation. Many authors opt for a shared revenue plan. No money is paid to the producer up front; rather, they receive 50% of the author’s earnings from sales for the life of the audiobook. The author receives only 40% of total sales (ACX retains 60%), so in a shared revenue agreement, the author and the narrator split that and each receive 20% of sales. Not all narrators are willing to agree to those terms.
The shared revenue platform is what I selected for the first book, A GOOD BUNCH OF MEN. However, when it was time to produce the second book, DOOR TO A DARK ROOM, I put the money up front in order to broaden my option of narrators.
By putting the money up front, I mean to say I selected the other option of paying a narrator directly for the production. There are tiers of rates, and the rates are based on the finished hours of the production. The more popular the narrator, the higher the rate. Without getting into the specifics, I’ll just say that you get what you pay for. Now I need to sell a bunch of these audiobooks!
The author provides a script for narrators to read to audition for the job. More than thirty auditions came in for my second book, DOOR TO A DARK ROOM. After listening to each of them, I narrowed the selection to three narrators, and then to two. I had a very difficult time choosing between the final two, and I believe either one would have been a great choice.
Editing Your Audiobook
The producer will send you chapters as they are edited. This is when the author must pay close attention to every spoken word. Not only are you editing for content, but for accents, effects, and pronunciations of certain words.
For example, my narrators had to learn the street terms that are used in my books: vato, ese, carnal, to name a few. I actually sent my narrator video clips from movies such as “Colors,” and a Snoop Dogg music video, to help him with some of the gangster words and terms. (I apologized to him in advance.)
After the first few chapters, and with a little instruction, the production went rather smoothly. However, it was still imperative to listen carefully to each chapter as it was produced.
In short, there is a lot of work that goes into an audiobook production, and not just for the narrator.
Do it Yourself
I’ve had many people ask, “Why not do it yourself?”
You can’t imagine how difficult a process it is. Without even talking about the equipment, studio, et cetera, just record yourself on your phone and read a few paragraphs of a book. Believe me, narrating an audiobook is a serious talent, one of which I greatly respect.
I hope you will give these audiobooks a try, and if you enjoy them, be sure to tell your family and friends.
Also, I will thank you in advance for reviewing these books at whichever retailer you purchased them. Reviews are very critical for sales, and every author greatly appreciates each one that is written.
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Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you will share it with your family and friends.