So, I’ve been working on the audiobook version of Dragons’ Truth (available now in paperback from Modern Evil Press) for the last several weeks. At least a full week, perhaps week and a half, was spent learning how to use the hardware and software tools I have available to reduce background noise as much as possible. In the future (when I’ve been at this for longer, and have more experience (and more equipment. ie: a better sound environment)) I’m sure I’ll want to re-record Dragons’ Truth. I’m somewhat a perfectionist, and this recording isn’t as perfect as I’d like. But it will have to do, for now.
That is the conclusion I came to after the first week of fighting with the background noise. The other few days were just me trying to get it “good enough” for now. It’s better than a lot of the stuff that’s out there, it’s just … not as good as I’d like. I’ve played it for a couple of “normal” people (ie: not audiophiles) through “normal” audio players (ie: not high-end closed-ear headphones; just a regular stereo, regular earbuds) and they don’t even hear the things that bug me about it, so … it’s good enough. Lost and Not Found, which I would like to tackle next, should be better.
I’m planning on podcasting these audiobooks, for free, through Podiobooks.com and perhaps through a Modern Evil Press feed that has everything. (Multiple books, videos, et cetera…) There are hundreds of authors/titles already on podiobooks.com, and a huge base of listeners, hungry for new books. The traditional model for podiobooks authors seems to be to only have a few episodes (or none) recorded ahead of when they hit the site (typically one episode a week). The guide recommends to have 5 episodes finished before your first episode goes live, in case anything slows production down the line – no one wants an episode to be posted late, and it’s a sure way to lose traffic fast. So, for most first-time podiobookers, based on what I’ve seen in the mentorship forum and from chatting with them on Twitter, they spend several months working on an episode or five, and then just try to stay ahead of the release schedule from then on. I state this for contrast from what I’m doing:
Even including the 1.5 weeks lost to my insanity, I’m spending less than a month recording an entire audiobook. I want the whole thing done, ready to go, before the first episode is available for free to the internet. I want the completed audiobook to be available for sale before the first episode hits the internet for free. I want to have links to where you can buy the audiobook as an MP3 CD (or AAC CD), as a set of audio CDs, or where you can subscribe to dl it for free, one episode at a time over months, and I want all three links to go up at once. That month includes composing intro/outro/bridge music (so I don’t have to pay or credit anyone else for that), editing, mixing, test-burning CDs and designing labels and packaging for them, because I plan to do all that myself, too.
All of this is possible because of digital tools available to me relatively cheaply. This audiobook is relatively short (it’ll probably come in at around 4.5hrs when I’m done), but with experience recording should go faster, so the next one will probably take fewer days per hour of audio, and at a higher quality. Packaging for the LaNF audiobook, which will probably be on 10+ CDs, I don’t know about right now, but I’ve already got some good ideas about how to package D’T, and some ideas about combo-packages I can offer (buy the paperback and the MP3 CD together and save!)… hopefully this will help with sales of everything.
Anyway, I’ve been somewhat busy lately with this one project, at the exclusion of almost all else, because I want to get this launched ASAP. I want to get the audiobook broadcasting (podcasting) as soon as possible. But since I also want to get the entire thing done ahead of time … it’s a lot. Oh, and people keep reminding me First Friday is THIS Friday, and am I ready? Of course I’m not ready! Are you coming?