When I wrote my blog yesterday evening I was tired, but quietly confident about the project to narrate my books onto audio. By mid morning today, I was becoming increasingly frustrated.
The process of writing a novel is a mammoth task, but errors can be easily corrected and all corrections are part of the creative process. When recording to digital file, each tiny mistake means that your entire piece needs to be deleted. The truth is that I’m not an expert in the area of audio narration. I am a writer and editor. I can also turn my hand to a certain level of digital marketing, but I’m not an actor or a sound engineer.
By lunchtime, after throwing several items of soft furnishing around the office, I realised it was time to bring in some professional help.
I was required to consider the nature of the help I needed. As an author-publisher, I like to do things myself. But I do appreciate I have limits. My dad, a retired bank manager, handles my finances. If I tried to file my own tax returns without assistance it would be carnage. But in all those areas that don’t involve a working knowledge of maths I feel I might have a fighting chance of having a go. If I took several years out to train in the art of audio production, maybe I could master the art. The truth is I haven’t got several years to devote to the project, and my time would better spent writing my books than in taking on such a huge task.
So the decision is made. I have submitted Against a Dark Sky to the ACX Amazon audiobook programme. For an author share in the royalties I have requested the services of an audio publisher and a professional actor to perform the reading of the book.
Now the frustrations of my failure have subsided, I feel quite excited. I have submitted a script for a selection of actors to read. I will then need to decide which applicant would be best to take the project further. I had the option to choose the gender of the narrator and their regional accent. The Dani Bevan books can now be read by a native Scots speaker, as they always should have been.
The original plan was to transfer my books onto audio so that they were available to a wider range of readers and to utilise every medium available in the book market. Ideally, it would have been nice to complete the task myself, but I feel confident now that I am in the hands of professionals. I shall use my new equipment to record some podcasts and produce proper audio narration for my promotional videos. And I’ve learnt an important lesson from the process. You can’t do everything yourself, so seek professional help when necessary, and stick to what you do best, as this will always be the core of your business.