Friday, October 28, 2011

Guest Blogger- Dave Farland on Audio Books

David Farland/Wolvertin
Dave Farland
Extra Extra!

I've been looking into turning my book into an audiobook because so many people have approached me at
 signings and asked when it will be in audiobook form. (I also listen to my fair share of audio-books) They assure me that they will gladly buy it because they just don't have time to read anymore. 

Have you looked into getting an audiobook made? Wow! Those services are expensive and you're not even guaranteed a great reader.  They can run you around 20 grand. Yep! Take that deep breath.

So, when Dave Farland asked for volunteers to host him this month I was so excited to have him address this very issue. If you don't know about Dave. Go visit his site. He's awesome.

Here's what he had to say..oh, and if you leave him a question today, he will answer you, so be sure to click the box that will send you his response when you ask a question in the comment form.

Breaking into Audio Books by Dave Farland

As an indie author, how do you break into audiobooks?
Ah, that’s an easy one!  Most indie authors are afraid of what it might cost to hire a celebrity actor to read a book.  Really, folks, there are other ways.  A few years ago, I had some readers ask if I would ever be willing to podcast my own novel.  I’d never thought of it.  I’m not an actor.  But I did a little informal survey over the next few weeks, and found that 55% of the people who asked about audiobooks said that they would prefer to hear the author read it in his or her own voice.
Of course they would!  I’d love to hear Tolkien read Lord of the Rings to me.  I’d much rather hear it from him than from the finest actor.  In fact, I’d love to listen to both, one after another. 
The point here is that you can do it yourself.  You can either get your own recording equipment or find someone to do it for you.  If you have a local college nearby, find someone who is already working in sound for films.  You can probably hire them to use their own equipment and even mix it for you, taking out your “um’s” and “ah’s.”
Don’t be afraid.  Take an acting class or two if you feel that you must.  As you record, just make sure that you read it the way that you wrote it—with the names spoken the way you want, the stresses put in the sentences the way that you imagined it, and so on.  If you don’t get it right the first time, you can do multiple takes of the same line.  It’s really not that hard, or that scary.
If you really feel that it would be better with a professional actor, just look around.  I have a friend whose voice would be wonderful for broadcast work.  I knew an actor years ago, a fellow in a motorcycle gang, whose “look” would only let him play crazed villains in movies.  He was a big old monster of a fellow, with an enormous beard, and biceps the size of beer kegs.  But he was a sweet guy, and his voice was amazing.  Many times, great voice actors just don’t have the face needed to be popular stars.  So you can often get them to work for you inexpensively or even free, so that they can boost their own resumes as they go seeking other voice-over work.
Your audiobook doesn’t have to be expensive to produce.  You can edit in sound effects if you like.  With my latest book, we had a professional composer create a full soundtrack for it, which is a first for me, but you don’t need all of that.
Once you’ve made your recording, you can post it to the internet from your own website, and even sell it on places like iTunes.  You might even submit it to professional audiobook publishers like Audible.com. (Please see the various vendors for their own rules on how to submit.)
David Farland’s latest novel, Nightingale, tells the story of a young man who is abandoned at birth, and raised in foster care.  At the age of sixteen he is thrown out of his house, and meets an extraordinary teacher, a woman who recognizes that he is a “Nightingale,” a creature not quite human.  The novel is available in audio format, enhanced novel, e-book, and hardcover.  Check it out, along with the soundtrack, at http://www.nightingalenovel.com/
Do you have any questions for Dave? You have his undivided attention. Just leave your question in the comments and he'll answer you.
I wouldn't dare do my own audiobook, but I sure know a lot of high school drama whizzes and college production majors....how about you? Would you be the voice of your book?

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