Adventures in Audio

May 10, 2019

I love storytelling. As an actor and an author, that’s really what both of my careers focus on. Sure, being an actor requires a lot more sequins and makeup, but at the end of it all, it’s really the same job. And, I’ve recently begun combining the two avenues of storytelling even more, by venturing into audiobooks.

 

If you have an ear to the ground in the publishing world, you know all the buzz is about audiobooks. I want to reach as many readers (or listeners) as I can, so expanding into this new platform is really important to me. After careful consideration of all the options, I decided to record the audio myself.

 

There are many reasons for this, starting with I know how I want it to sound in my head, looping around a bit of cost-benefit analysis, and cutting back to sustainability in a new market.

 

To start off small, I decided to record the audio for the extended version of Death of Day. The story as released is 5,000 words, so about two chapters in a book. The full version (which was created for my former publisher, but now I get to keep it and use it how I like—mwahaha) is 10,000 words.

 

At about 1/6th of a normal book, Death of Day is a nice way to dip my feet into the audio world without drowning. I plan on offering the audio for $0.99, or as close as the different distributors will allow me to get, so it will also serve as a nice test to see how many of my established readers are really interested in audio.

 

Lessons learned so far.

  • It’s all about the mic.

    • I had a really great omnidirectional mic from previous recording projects. It worked all right, but after purchasing a mic that’s meant specifically for single voice work, I really appreciate how much the proper tools can help.

  • Making an at home sound studio is easy, but way harder than you’d think.

    • Once I figured out how I wanted to set everything up, both for comfort and sound, everything was fine. It took like four different set ups before my little closet studio was born.

 

  • Sometimes, things do happen for a reason.

    • Remember that time I had to work sound for bands for a month? Or how about my husband making instrumental tracks and working on independent film recording? All those random things made understanding things like sound shelves, gates, and RMS possible.

  • Be kind to yourself when learning a new skill.

    • This one comes into play a ton in author life. Being in charge means making a lot of decisions and taking on a massive amount of work. Audio has presented a huge learning curve, but to have my stories available as audiobooks while maintaining my autonomy as an author is worth every second of frustration.

Fingers crossed the full version of Death of Day, complete with audiobook, will be available in June!

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Megan O'Russell

Fantastic Worlds. Unlikely Heroes.

Megan O'Russell

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