The Challenge: Self-Published Audiobook

Genesis of audiobooks (for me)

I love writing. I love telling stories. When I began writing books, ebooks were just starting to be popular. My publisher printed copies of my first novel but it was several months before they made it available as an ebook. My next four novels were self-published and I made it a point to always produce an ebook as I formatted a print-on-demand book. It made sense. More people actually purchased ebooks than POD books but I believe they are both necessary.

I began listening to books-on-tape many years ago. They have always been great to listen to but in the past few years the demand for them has exploded. When they first came out, as cassette tapes, a novel might cost $25 but the public library carried a good selection of them. Then they were CDs and eventually downloadable from the internet. I get new books to listen to almost every week and they come from the public library.

“Doing” and Audiobook

Just like options to self-publish print-on-demand books and ebooks, audiobooks can be “self-produced.” I’m finding the process to be daunting. The reason audiobooks are expensive to purchase is that they are often expensive to produce. Hiring talent to narrate the book or studio time to record is very costly. Doing-it-yourself takes some no-how and a good quality microphone.

I decided to record my own books. I have a decent voice and I know how I want my books to sound but one of the biggest hurdles seems to be finding quiet time to actually do the recording. Knowing how I want the recording to sound makes me my own toughest critic so it is hard to re-listen and approve what I have recorded.

Nevertheless, I’m trying. I’m recording one chapter at a time and doing the editing. I can’t wait until I get to the part where I can finally prepare the files to submit to the company that will actually produce the book.

My parents both have lost or are losing their vision. They love books and have found audiobooks to be a wonderful way to continue “reading” the books they love. I would love for them to be able to enjoy my books too and hope to complete at least one while they are able to listen to them.

Still to Come

I will share my thoughts about audiobooks and the hurdles I have to jump to get my first audiobook into production. Check back soon for more about self-publishing your own audiobook.

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About smcpherson58

Aside from loving chocolate and coffee (not necessarily in that order) Scott McPherson has learned that he loves to write. He writes fiction and, so far, has published two novels. Scott has many varied interests, though he tries to focus on one at a time. He has worked for nearly thirty-five years as a family physician, a pass-time that gives him great pleasure and pays the bills. He has five daughters and dotes upon three grandchildren. Recently married, he really loves life. Scott writes from his life experiences and from travel. His career in the active Air Force was brief, but he has been a member of the Nebraska Air National Guard since just before 9/11 in 2001. The aftermath of that great disaster changed the face of the Guard and led to missions in far-away lands. He has spent time in Turkey, Iraq, Spain, Crete and Guam in missions related to support for Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He has been to Iceland and Antarctica as well. Scott has no personal experience with violent death or murder, but has gained knowledge from experts. In his first novel, “A Step Ahead of Death,” his character, Jack Sharp MD, becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. First as suspect, then as amateur sleuth, Jack tries to make a difference. He finds himself right in the middle of an investigation well beyond the scope of a local murder. A man of faith, Scott traveled to Africa with his small family in the 1980s and served as a medical missionary in Zaire (known as Congo today) with a church organization. The vast difference in what it takes to exist in such an environment served as a basis for much of his second novel, a thriller, “Congo Mission.” His character, Jack, is twenty years younger than in the first novel. In “Congo Mission” Jack serves as a physician in a missionary hospital in the jungles of northwestern Zaire. There he is not only captivated by a young woman visiting the region, but falls victim to his nemesis Jacques Levant. His motivations and faith are tested and his resolve to do God’s work gets pushed to the limit. When he is not writing Scott enjoys walking, a practice that actually led to his first attempt at writing a novel. He began making notes and writing prose about the mundane things around him. He tried to make the details sound interesting, even though it was just for his own pleasure. Eventually he found that he could expand his prose to “what if?” “What if I just kept walking?” “What if I, or my character, found a dead body in the ditch along the side of the path?” That was the premise for the first novel, “A Step Ahead of Death.” Scott McPherson is an avid trombone player and has played since he was nine years old. He marched in the Cornhusker Marching Band at the University of Nebraska and now takes advantage of one free football game a year by playing in the half-time show with the UNL Alumni Marching Band. He plays in the Lincoln Civic Orchestra and a community band from the nearby town of Waverly, Nebraska. Scott loves to sing as well, though his range seems to have diminished in recent years. He has sung in college and church choirs and remembers performing parts of Handel’s Messiah as a highlight of his singing experience. One little-known fact about Scott is that he once sang soprano in a boys choir. Scott plans to keep writing as long as the ideas flow and others show interest in his stories. He loves to interact with other writers or readers about what has become a passion in his life. Reviews are always welcome as are questions and comments.
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