The Art of Audio production.
Imagine what it is like to hear a professional actor/actress read the book you spent years labouring over. It really is the most wonderful experience to have your characters interpreted and brought to life by a professional. This week was the week that two of my audio books were approved and have joined the queue of new audio releases.
Allow me to share with you the process, and I will be honest, it does involve work. First you have to make sure that your books are up to standard. They will have been proof-read and at publishable quality. You then offer them up for audition on ACX.com. Should a producer view them as profitable they will audition. You may receive a number of auditions for a book. It is then down to you to select the right voice for the book. Alternatively you can select producers who you will pay to produce your book. There are a couple of options on payment; however, you have to make a decision whether you wish to share royalties or make an initial payment. Personally I went for the shared option because then both the producer and I are making a time investment with potential of continued return.
Once the producer has agreed the terms of contract, they will then provide the first fifteen minutes of audio. It is during this time that you provide character insights and any details that you feel the producer should know in relation to character portrayal. You then allow the producer to get on with the project. I have worked with four different producers who all have somewhat different approaches. One lady produced the whole thing and advised me of her progress all the way through. I then went through and approved the whole book in consecutive chapters over a week. Two of the other producers went one chapter at a time, I validated and approved as they worked through the books. The fourth producer is going to provide the final project. He has had little contact or prompting and I am looking forward to hearing the final piece. Something I would say is that you have to pick the right producer for the work and trust them. They are professionals. For those who are control freaks, this process might not be for you.
Once the book is produced you will have to go through chapter by chapter. You might not realise this but this is hours and hours of work. I did this on top of my writing and full time work. Needless to say it was quite a challenge. However, it is absolutely worth it.
Once you have approved your work it is then submitted for quality validation by ACX. Now I have to say they are very detailed. They have asked for revisions and smoothing of background noise. Also another major fail on audio books is the cover. You have to make sure the title and author name absolutely match the details on the sales channel. Once this has all been approved it is time for your book to join the release queue. This is where I am now… I am sooooooooooo excited. The delivery on Money Farm was so powerful. It is such a delight to listen to such a creation. The funny thing is that I listened to the book and had forgotten that I wrote it. That is how good Helen Lloyd, the producer is! Amazing!
Labyrinthine is the other book that is being validated at the moment. Claire Ottewell produced this and she astounded me by her ability to shift through accents, ages and gender in the character delivery.
So all that remains now is to see how the world responds to the first two releases! Exciting!