Let's face it, it's easy enough these days to publish an ebook or a print book and distribute it on Amazon and other online bookstores.
So the next frontier in indie publishing has got to be audio, followed by translation/foreign rights.
In today's show, I interview Veronica Giguere, voice talent and my narrator for Pentecost and the other ARKANE books coming soon. You can listen to the show above or on the podcast feed, or you can watch the video on YouTube.
In the intro, I talk about where my various creative projects are right now as well as the exciting reports coming out of the US about the ‘sea change in publishing‘ attitudes. Plus, Prophecy, ARKANE Book 2 is now available on Audible here.
Veronica Giguere is an award winning voice artist as well as an author of science fiction and fantasy. She narrates professional audiobooks as well as podcast stories and has recently narrated my own ARKANE books, Pentecost and Prophecy, available on Audible and iTunes.
- How Veronica started narrating professionally in 2007, and also started writing more seriously in 2009. As a gamer, involved in role play, she found her group were more interested in writing and dialoging stories rather than ‘playing'. This has turned into the Secret World Chronicle series. When the stories weren't turned into audio fast enough, Veronica started narrating them herself. We talk about gaming actually benefits people – if you're not convinced, check out this TED talk by Jane McGonigal.
- Veronica used to be very self-conscious and did theatre, pretending to be other people and often type-cast. She did listen to a lot of radio plays. Now the different voices are more about playing. Veronica talks about how she learns accents by listening and asking people where they are from. The town and suburb, not just the country. She also watches people speak and figuring out where the sound comes from in the mouth. She also watches cartoons and listens to the range of voice actors. With series characters, she does keep a little snippet of sound file so she can refresh the sound memory.
- If you want to do it yourself,you need to keep a few things in mind. Your sound going in is the most important thing. That's your voice, the room and the mic etc. The basic pro setup isn't very cheap and then you have to remember the time aspect. For every hour of finished audio, it is 3-4 hours of work in terms of prepping, recording, listening again, corrections, mastering and publishing. Not a lot of authors want to go through the book AGAIN after all the writing and editing.
- You can sell audiobooks at Audible so the quality has to be very high. Podiobooks has a slightly lower spec because the audiobooks are free, but the listeners also expect high standards. Audible has an audience of people who devour audiobooks and if you listen regularly, becoming a member is the most cost effective way. ACX is the Audiobook Creation Exchange and it's a way for authors, narrators and producers to find each other and work together. You can do royalty split or do an upfront payment of around $200-$400 per finished hour, around $5000 for a finished book.
- Veronica talks about how she picks projects. A royalty share split is a better idea when there are shared marketing opportunities, and a series with multiple books can be profitable for everyone. Marketing audio is about connecting with other authors with audiobooks and audio opportunities like podcasts and word of mouth, as well as platform. A brilliantly written book with an author who can't market isn't an attractive prospect for a joint venture. Veronica doesn't shy away from erotica, and will consider any type of book.
- How audio is a market for the ‘moving' world these days. Local radio is dying but online radio is a growth market. Segmented media is the trend as well as mobile, so people are craving audio content. People are busy and you can multi-task with audio. If people like the audio, even a specific narrator/voice actors, they will buy all the series. We discuss hating our voices, and why that is …
- To find a narrator, listen to podcasts and audiobooks and then Google the narrator to contact them. You can also check out ACX.com for the narrator list. If you find someone, email and ask them about your project.
- Veronica is also the author of ‘Fear of Thought' as well as being a Mum and working at a college in education. She actually teaches time management and life strategies so she has some tips. Tell people ‘no' and decide on your priorities, because you will always do what is most important.
Her sci-fi novel, Fear of Thought is available on Amazon here.