Author Topic: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?  (Read 794 times)  

Offline G. G. Rebimik

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Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
« on: November 07, 2018, 04:57:31 pm »
Would love to hear if you thought it was worth it.....any storied would be helpful.


best, g.g.

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    Offline 9 Diamonds

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #1 on: November 07, 2018, 05:36:17 pm »
    Before I left trad publishing I recorded 19 of my trad published books with a trad audio publisher. The good thing was the audio publisher paid well for my narration; the bad thing was the royalties from the audio sales never seemed worth it. Now that I have the rights back to all these properties, I wouldn't bother with redoing the audios.

    Offline Awasin

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #2 on: November 07, 2018, 06:18:52 pm »
    The consensus here has always been to hire a pro but it's something I've always wanted to do.  I have a quiet room, a good mike, and I know how the words I've written are pronounced.  Oh, and I have a sexy voice according to the ladies (alas, I'm otherwise repellant to those gentle yet discerning creatures).  Self-narration would save a fortune and could be a great self-editing tool.

    Derek Doepker is advocating for author narration and may have some good tips. 

    Offline Fabien

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 02:43:28 am »
    I have just recorded one of my short stories (not novel). This is a great experience IMO, as reading your text aloud makes you feel conscious on your own style, and on things that could be improved.

    I've been a comedian and radio host for several years, though, so I'm used to reading texts aloud. If you've never done it, it make take some practice first.

    Fabien Delorme

    Offline 39416

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 03:20:04 am »
    I just did it, book went up four days ago (has so far sold three --second book from left, below).

    I bought the cheapest of the good-enough-for-ACX recording equipment (mike and interface); cost me $234.

    I used the free recording app Audacity. I would say that learning how to use it was about the same level of time/work as learning how to use Word (they are set up similarly).

    The "hardest" part was the mastering --softening all those s'es and hard consonants. It's repetitive and mind-mindbogglingly boring.

    BTW, in case you don't know, you can send in a sample to ACX and they will tell you if it meets their requirements, and if not, what you can do to fix it.

    Offline AuthorX

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 03:31:43 am »
    I have the equipment to do it, but it doesn't seem worth it. The amount of time it takes to record, edit, and master the audio, you could be writing more words. A fast narrator will take about a month to produce the audio on a 100,000 word book, from my experience. The end product is usually a little more than 10 hours of audio.

    You can find good narrators for less than $200 per finished hour. Expensive narrators are $500 per finished hour. When you crunch the numbers, it might make sense if you don't have the cash to spend, but usually it's better just to drop a few thousand on a Narrator while you continue working on what you do best.

    Offline ziertz

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #6 on: November 08, 2018, 04:47:14 am »
    I bought the cheapest of the good-enough-for-ACX recording equipment (mike and interface); cost me $234.

    What equipment did you buy?

    Offline Deke

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #7 on: November 08, 2018, 07:37:59 am »
    If you have a reasonably decent voice and are handy with audio production software, then go for it. I narrated my plot-design books and one novel and will do others if I ever find the time.

    Dale Kutzera | Website

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #8 on: November 08, 2018, 07:44:28 am »
    Narrators are performers. If you haven't been trained, I wouldn't recommend it. Saying anyone can narrate is the same thing as saying anyone can act. It's simply not true.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline starkllr

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #9 on: November 08, 2018, 07:54:48 am »
    If I had to listen to my own voice for 10-12 hours straight, I'd kill myself.

    So, nope, never narrated one of my own books, never will.

     
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    Offline Brevoort

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #10 on: November 08, 2018, 08:07:59 am »
    Would love to hear if you thought it was worth it.....any storied would be helpful.

    While I encourage you to try it, there are some things to be aware of that might affect you.

    I recorded my thriller several months ago and learned a lot.

    I come from a previous background in television news and documentary work, as correspondent and producer. I thought doing my own book would be a walk in a quiet park. It was more like wandering down the middle of a four lane highway. The amount of physical and mental energy that went into recording eight finished hours was extraordinary. I found that I could last about two hours a day in the recording booth before things started to fall apart.

    It would have been far worse had I been my own audio engineer; I simply could not have handled the extra load.

    I am fortunate to have one of the best sound engineers in the country as a friend and close by. He recently built a sound studio in his basement that shames some broadcast network control studios. And it has one of the most important things you need in sound recording, a very low noise floor. I doubt that a grave could have been quieter than his sound environment.

    He is also an experienced studio director of quite major narrative and music productions. That qualification is of supreme importance when recording your own stuff. You need an experienced set of ears to detect when you have unknowingly mispronounced something, substituted an incorrect word, or messed up the emphasis of a sentence. Just as typos on a page can survive repeated readings without notice, audio mistakes can sail by the narrator's ear without recognition. And keep in mind at all times that there can never be any situation where you can let a less than perfect recording into the wild. The slightest mistake, the faintest of far off extraneous sounds, the most minor of botched edits will bring down the wrath of listeners. I have a theory that humans are much more highly tuned to the human voice by thousands of years of oral storytelling than they are to words on a page. A screw up in voice seems to be far more jarring than a misspelled word on a page.

    Speaking of typos; the manuscript of Cobra Flight had been vetted by an experienced copy editor, two (2) proofreaders, and three beta readers, along with every piece of grammar checking software I could lay my hands on. It had already been published wide by the time I started audio recording. Yet, I cannot tell you have many typographical, grammatical, and semantical mistakes came to the fore only during the reading.

    Although the production has been well received, I found it to be such a stressful and draining experience that I doubt I will ever want to do it again. Also, and I only realized this late in the process, the while recording experience blocked me from doing any other form of writing for about three weeks.

    Now, this of course is one person't experience and there are a lot of people here who have had quite positive experiences doing their own recordings, and I would recommend that you at least try a short story. But be aware that the physical act of reading, together with the need for high order technical precision in the editing, is likely much harder than one would suppose.
    Rick Grant
    Calgary

    Offline jdcore

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #11 on: November 08, 2018, 08:20:38 am »
    I podcast (podcasted?) several of my short stories, and want to make an audiobook from the files, but I can't seem to get any reviews on the ebook version of the collection. I won't make an audiobook of a book with no reviews.

    Offline jdrew

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #12 on: November 08, 2018, 11:27:39 am »
    Thanks to all those who posted here.  I haven't done anything yet, other than talk to my son-in-law who has a recording studio already.  I'd love to get him to narrate a book for me, but really, I know even if he said he'd do it, he does not have the time.  So, I'm thinking of trying it myself and based on what I rad here, I think I'll go with a short story first and see how that turns out.
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    Offline xcaliber

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #13 on: November 08, 2018, 11:50:09 am »
    Unless someone is a wildly popular author - isn't it a problem that audiobooks sell for too much compared to kindles and paperbacks? And if a listener does fork over the big bucks for an audio book, won't they get ticked off that it has a homemade quality? (Since for the same money, they get professional versions from competing authors?)

    Offline 39416

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #14 on: November 08, 2018, 11:52:37 am »
    What equipment did you buy?

    I PMed you.

    Offline 39416

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #15 on: November 08, 2018, 12:09:16 pm »
    So, I'm thinking of trying it myself and based on what I rad here, I think I'll go with a short story first and see how that turns out.

    Just be aware, very few listeners buy audiobooks at full price. They buy them with monthly "credits" and prefer to spend these credits not on short stories, but on full length novels, the longer the better.

    Offline scott.marmorstein

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #16 on: November 08, 2018, 12:11:54 pm »
    Narrators are performers. If you haven't been trained, I wouldn't recommend it. Saying anyone can narrate is the same thing as saying anyone can act. It's simply not true.

    Or write a compelling story...

    Offline Awasin

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #17 on: November 08, 2018, 11:33:00 pm »
    Narrators are performers. If you haven't been trained, I wouldn't recommend it. Saying anyone can narrate is the same thing as saying anyone can act. It's simply not true.

    And yet you're making seven figures as a writer with no training at all.

    Could it be, dare I say it, that you have a gift?

    And would-be narrators might too.  It could be worth a try.
    « Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 11:38:15 pm by Awasin »

    Offline Fabien

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    Re: Have any authors here narrated their own novel?
    « Reply #18 on: November 09, 2018, 02:35:49 am »
    Unless someone is a wildly popular author - isn't it a problem that audiobooks sell for too much compared to kindles and paperbacks? And if a listener does fork over the big bucks for an audio book, won't they get ticked off that it has a homemade quality? (Since for the same money, they get professional versions from competing authors?)
    Wondering about that: wouldn't it be a possible indie advantage to be able to sell audiobooks at a smaller price than traditionally published big names? Provided the quality of recording is OK, obviously (good quality microphone, good speaking/acting and good editing).

    Fabien Delorme

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