Sometimes You Have to Make Choices for Yourself

I’m going to discuss audiobooks again. If this topic bores you, feel free to skip. I know I’ve been rambling on a lot about this topic recently.

I fell into something of a funk after making my last blog post where I said I was putting a pause on making audiobooks. It took me a day, but then I realized this is something I really want to do. Maybe it’s stupid. I admit I do not have the professional quality a lot of narrators do. My house is a small trailer, and with six people living here, closets aren’t a possible place for me to narrate in. There is a chamber-like quality to the audio. It’s not an echo, exactly, but the ear can pick up the “space” around me. This space is my bedroom, and I don’t want to put foam all over the walls to buffer the sound because then I’ll have to remove all the pictures that make the place feel cozy. Also, I don’t know what it is, but there are little clicks that pop up here and there in the audio recordings. I don’t know if it’s mouth noises or something in the microphone. Maybe it’s a mixture of both. Who knows?

What I do know is that my eyes are not as good as they used to be. I can no longer read a paperback or ebook without my eyes bugging out after thirty minutes, and that’s even with the new glasses I got this summer. I have Reticare on my computer to help my eyes out, and it works great. I also take lots of breaks so I’m not staring at the computer screen all day, and unless I have something I need to do, I get off the computer before dinner and don’t return to it until the next morning. I have learned ways to limit eye strain because I want to be able to type on the computer. I have dictated a few books, and while it’s been okay, the editing takes three times longer to go through, and I hate editing. I don’t want to spend 2-3 more time of my life doing something I hate. I’m in this to write because that’s the fun part.

Alright, so I rambled on about all of the above because I want to be able to listen to my own books. No one in this house wants to read them to me. They think romance is boring. (I know. It’s ridiculous, but no one in this house wants to go anywhere near a romance.) The Kindle I have has been sufficient, but the text-to-speech feature has gotten to be uncomfortable for me to listen to. I need a human voice. I can’t afford to have all of my books made into audio. I ran the numbers, and I’d have to pay out over $100K to hire a professional narrator to do all of my backlist. I don’t have that kind of money.

So the option that is easiest for me (as someone who wants to listen to my own books) is to narrate most of them myself and have my oldest son (who is good) help me out with the rest. I know writers are told to avoid putting anything out there that isn’t “excellent” in quality, but this is something I’m doing for me. I am doing my best with the narration, and while I know that makes some people laugh, I’m tired of putting things off just because someone doesn’t like it. I already received feedback that I’m not any good from someone close to me. The person did it gently, so it’s not like she was rude or anything. I took her input into serious consideration, and it’s why I almost quit the whole audiobook thing. But then I thought, “These are my books. I wrote them so I could read them.” Now that my eyes are not able to do the job, my ears will have to. This is why it’s a labor of love. Sometimes you have to make choices for yourself, and this is one I’ve decided to do for me.

I am publishing them through Findaway Voices so they’ll be on multiple retailers. I want to buy them so I can download them on to my phone. I like the cute cover and how easy I can access the audiobooks on my Apple library. I have to publish them so I can access them.

The reason I’m announcing this on this blog is so that people don’t think someone is stealing my books and making them into audiobooks again. I will add them to my audiobook page on this blog, but I’m not going to make any special blog announcements. That way if anyone worries, they can check out the page on this blog and know that I authorized the production of the audiobook in case they wonder if it’s a legit copy or not. I get a panic attack every time someone tells me they saw a stolen version of my book, and I’d rather skip the panic attack if possible. I appreciate how kind you guys are when theft happens. It means a lot to me to know you care about things that happen to me.

My advice is to skip the audiobooks. I’m not even comfortable putting them on You Tube, Rumble, or Bitchute. My son wants to read Return of the Aliens, so we’ll work on that project for those channels. He loves my thrillers. When we do a romance together, I think that might work for those channels, but I don’t want to put up any book on social media unless he helps me with it. He’s got skill at this. I don’t. I can write books, but that’s about it.

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I Decided to Put off the Audiobook Idea

Yeah, I know. I was excited about this. Really excited. Until I listened back over the audio files and noticed the clicks and the “sounds like I’m in a large chamber somewhere” background effect.

I don’t know how to better explain those things than that, but suffice it to say, my ability is not “professional” quality, and I know some people will expect “professional”. I’ve read enough comments under You Tube videos on how to narrate a book to realize that some people want “perfect” when it comes to audio.

This all made me feel a lot of stress, and the closer I got to today, the worse the feeling in the pit of my stomach got. Something just kept telling me it was a bad idea. So I went into You Tube and Rumble and deleted the Meant To Be chapters I had uploaded there. This was only five chapters, so it wasn’t like I got far. (Bitchute just has a draft option. It won’t let me schedule a post. I was unable to unschedule the videos on You Tube and Rumble. All I could do was delete them to stop them from going live in the upcoming days/weeks.)

To be honest, I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. While this was something I did enjoy, I don’t think it’s something meant for the public. I don’t know if I can figure out a way to make audiobooks private that I can just put on my iPhone or not, but that is what I would like to do. Due to the time I spend on my computer writing, I can’t read ebooks or paperbacks without my eyes giving me a lot of grief. All I can do at this point is listen to books. I get why people like audiobooks. They’re just so expensive to create (or restrictive if an author has to go the split-royalty with the narrator route). I have a Kindle for the text-to-speech feature. I believe Google tablets have the same option. From what I know, Kobo, Nook, and Apple devices don’t have this. If I’m wrong, please let me know. Some people are speculating that AI will make audiobook creation much more cost effective for authors. I guess we’ll see how the technology develops. At this point, all I can afford is me as a narrator, and that won’t measure up to some people’s standards for audiobook.

The fun shorts I did for October are fine. I don’t do those to go with my author brand. I don’t know what I want to do with those channels I have on those sites. For the time being, I’m keeping them up. I used to think I wanted to do videos for writers, which is why You Tube has those old videos. The problem was that I ran out of topics I was interested in talking about, and doing video where I’m talking to a screen doesn’t come naturally to me. I prefer to write things out than speak them. I think better when I type. I used to also think I would make a trailer for every book I wrote, until I realized they don’t do much good for promoting the book.

I’m going to go back to my older posts and edit out the stuff with Meant To Be. I will not be publishing those chapters on You Tube, Rumble, and Bitchute. I’m going to put the audiobook thing on hold for now.

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Cold Blooded Killer (October Spooky Story #5)

Illustration 197598741 © Jumpoth Satiranunt | Dreamstime.com (Text added by me)

This short story wraps up the final story for the Halloween season. 😀

Here’s the description: Upon finding his best friend holding a bloody knife over a dead body, Ryan has to decide whether his friend is a killer or not.

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