My first books, were written over twenty years ago and I did nothing with them apart from read them aloud to classes of children I taught, or others read to their classes in other schools. I started book three, but a comment made me stop for twenty years. It was my eldest son wanting me to do something with the first so my grandson could listen to it, was the way I got back in. I can’t say that I have ever really listened to audiobooks, but I used to listen to BBC radio dramas and the most memorable of these was The Lord of the Rings trilogy in twenty six half hour episodes. I thought it was fantastic and had recorded them off the radio onto cassettes (Tape for those too young). They were grand affairs with different actors, sound effects and stirring music.
As a result, I thought all audiobooks would be like this and so I set about recording my first novel, for children, Wickergate. I had access to my own recording studio from my music and I set to work producing what I thought was an audiobook. I did all the various parts and added sound effects, most of which I created myself and really enjoyed the experience. It also got me into re-editing the book at the same time. I had no idea that it was possible to self-publish, nor how easy it was, but this I discovered by a bit of research on the internet. I learnt a great deal from producing the audiobook and realized how I should have approached it. All the speaking parts should be recorded individually to ensure consistent voices etc., but it didn’t really matter. I completed the work and shortly afterwards published Wickergate on Amazon/Kindle.
I did the same with my second novel for older children Soulmare and again enjoyed the experience. Unfortunately my grandson was too young for the content as it scared him, but when he is older I am sure he will re-listen to them and enjoy them. The process of reading a draft of a novel I have found to be a really useful tool in the editing process. Your brain interprets too much when you read silently, misses out words, fills in spaces and fools you into reading what should be written, rather than what is on the paper. When reading aloud you read each word and it brings up repetitions, omissions, punctuation and a range of errors. I would thoroughly recommend it to anybody editing their own work.
When it came to my first and longer adult novel, I was faced with a dilemma. To do a radio play style audiobook, was going to be too time consuming, so I decided to just read and thus produce a more typical audiobook. For me, this worked just as well and I think in some ways it allows the reader to be more active in interpreting the novel. I have not had feedback indicating disappointment and it is much quicker. The first in this form was The Moonchild and I am halfway through the second book in the series, Rock God. Audiobooks do allow you to listen in the car etc. and for some, who do not find reading easily accessible, a doorway into the fabulous world of literature.
My first three audiobooks are available to listen to on SoundCloud, links below, and the first nine Parts of Rock God. New parts are added each week. Feel free to have a listen and I would love some feedback.