Creating Audiobooks?

The problem with reading is that I can’t multitask. I love stories and books, but reading always competes with my job, children, chores, and even my WIPs. Audiobooks, on the other hand, work really well for me. I also absorb more when I hear things.

I’ve decided I’m going to make an audiobook for This World Bites. It might take me a while, because the microphone I’m using is really good (thanks to my best friend who was a music major in school) and it picks up my daughter’s TV sing-along playing in the background. To avoid having unintentional mood music, I’m going to have to find someplace quiet, which is downright difficult when you have two young kids.

Now, I’m among the people who say, “I hate my voice.” In my opinion, I always sound stuffed up, and my husband has occasionally mixed up my voice with my daughter’s. Yes, I sound like a 4-year-old.

But I’m going to make an audiobook anyways.

Why not use a professional service like ACX? I’ve been considering it. But as an eternal DIYer, I want to give it a try first. I have the resources to do it anyways. And This World Bites is only a novella, which makes it a great candidate for a test project.

So how does this relate to my inability to multitask with my reading?

I’ve decided to turn some of the books I have on my TBR pile into computer-read audiobooks using Balabolka. I’ve listened to two books so far, and I must be getting used to Microsoft David’s voice, because it’s starting to sound natural to me…as if it wasn’t a computer reading to me. Yeah, he doesn’t have much personality in his rendition, but I can at least listen to him while I cut code for my day job.

What’s your opinion of audiobooks? What audiobook services have you heard of? Have you ever wanted to do voice acting?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

16 thoughts on “Creating Audiobooks?

  1. My house is so noisy, I can’t even use automated phone systems because the computers pick up the background noise and get confused. I always select key pad selection. I didn’t know you could turn books into audio books. I could handle audio David to get more more read. What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. I like audio books when I’m driving long distances, but it’s been a while since I’ve listened to any (the ones that I own are all in cassette for so that might give you some idea). If I’m at home or in some static location I’d much prefer to read as I can get through a book more quickly, but for driving listening is great and it makes the time flow by very nicely.

    I think it’s great that you’re doing your own as an initial test rather than making the investment to do it professionally. You can always go back and have it redone if you find the test to be successful. Good luck with it!

    Tossing It Out

  3. I checked out Dan Brown’s Inferno for a long drive to Indiana last year. Sometimes, hearing the voices makes the characters a bit more real for me.

  4. I do like audiobooks but haven’t listened to one in years. Good luck creating one. I hope you tell us how the process goes for ya.

  5. I didn’t know there was a service that turned print into audio. That’s cool.
    No way I would record my own voice. You are brave!

  6. I’ve done 3 audiobooks via ACX, but don’t plan on doing another. Only one of the three sells. So unless the sequel sales pick up, I’ll not do anymore.

    I suppose if I had the equipment to record my own, I might ask a friend to read the others.

    On long trips, audiobooks are fabulous.

  7. First of all, that picture is awesome 🙂

    Second, I love that you’re turning TWB into an audiobook! That’s a great idea. I hate the sound of my own voice, too, but then I think most people who aren’t actors or politicians feel the same way. Definitely go for it. I really like being able to hear authors read their own stuff!

  8. What a cute picture! It’s awesome you’re doing your own audiobook. I know very little about them unfortunately.

  9. I’m not a huge fan of audio books, but then … I’ve never been in a situation where I could appreciate them.

    You’re brave trying to record TWB yourself. I could never try doing my own, I’d be so worried that my accent would make even normal words incomprehensible. Good luck.

  10. I think this is so neat that you’re going to attempt this! I’m another that thinks I sound weird, like a chirpy little mouse or something. I don’t listen to audiobooks, mainly b/c I don’t know how I would listen to them. I don’t have an Iphone of Ipad. Just the CD player in my car! =)

  11. My mind tends to wander when I listen, so I haven’t had much luck with audio books. I do like the text-to-voice feature on my Kindle for editing, though. Helps me catch things my un-objective author eyes would skim right over. 😉

    I agree with Alex. You’re brave to record your own voice. 😛

  12. I listen to audiobooks from Youtube and Librivox. It’s a good way to “reread” something while multitasking. I’ve done one novella through ACX. I’ll probably do more since the cost to me in terms of time and money is low. You’re very brave to record your own voice.

  13. ooh what a good idea! I never listened to them but I have wanted to do voice overs for TV! when I worked at Conan they asked me to do the outgoing message for the voicemail. That was my big claim to fame, voice wise haha. I took a lot of speech and voice and diction classes in college (broadcast journalism major) so it took a few years to get rid of that pesky Long Island accent lol

  14. So far I’m underwhelmed by audio books, but in all fairness, I’ve only tried two. I’d say go for it and find out how it works. If you like the results great. If you think you need a professional, then you can hire someone.

    Good luck.

  15. If I had a decent mic and a quiet place, I would totally give one of my next titles a whirl! (Fortunately, I found an awesome narrator for this series.)

    Good luck! 😀

  16. Somewhere on Audible they have lots of info about creating your own home recording studio. I entered the Missouri Review audio contest and it was quite the task to time it so the neighbor kid would be coming home in his spiffy Trans Am with the speakers thumping. I finally pulled it off, but if I record again, I plan on recording in the closet since all of the clothes hanging around me would further dampen the sound.

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