The Problem with Audiobooks

Updated: Aug 5

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I love audiobooks. I discovered them years ago in the library, and they often keep me company during long hours in the car. My family loves to tease me because on one drive home, I stopped about two hours away to gas up, then got so distracted by my audiobook that I drove an hour in the wrong direction before I realized what I’d done!


The first time I ever heard an audiobook, I remember thinking, “I wonder if I could be an audiobook narrator.” My dad is one of the best story book narrators ever, entertaining us for hours as kids as he did various voices and read stories with great enthusiasm. In seminary, it was drilled into me that when you read the Bible aloud, you do so with meaningful inflection. Narrating an audiobook seemed like a lot of fun, but I had no idea how to get a job like that.


As I was writing my own book, it occurred to me that I could finally have my chance! I researched audiobooks and was delighted to find that some of the top audiobook narrators were happy to share their secrets.


Then I started really practicing. Every night before bed, I read to the kids from The Boxcar Children series. I came up with different voices for the male and female, old and young, characters, never telling my family why I was doing so.


Once the book was complete, I decided to find out what it would take for ME to make my own audiobook. Several music-industry friends in Nashville referred me to someone awesome, so I scheduled a quick trip to Nashville to get it recorded.


The first hour that I was in the recording studio, I was so nervous that I couldn’t catch my breath. Between sentences, I loudly gulped for air. It was so embarrassing! But the sound engineer knew how to calm my nerves, and soon I was comfortable. He gave me some pointers, encouraged me, and my confidence grew.


Then I hit the really hard part of the story – the one that sent me to the therapist for PTSD. It was really hard, but the amazing thing is that God provided! Two of my dearest friends showed up to hang out in the studio while I worked. They made me laugh when I couldn’t speak for the tears. They encouraged me to keep going, and I finished the whole book in three days.


At the end of the third day, I was exhausted and had no voice left, but it was done. Then the sound engineer explained to me that I needed to edit it! What? It was his job to create the audio files, then it was my job to listen to them with the book in my hand – watching every word to make sure that it was correct.


That was probably the hardest part for me. Total focus was required to listen to over ten hours of audio and ensure that it was correct. No multi-tasking allowed! I found some funny mistakes too. Redmond had major health issues during that time, requiring me to stop working on it for long stretches of time. But finally, it was done!


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The sound engineer sent me the final files and I uploaded them to Audible.com and created an audiobook cover (who knew they were different than paperbacks and e-books?). I was so excited to have my audiobook done! They passed a check as each file uploaded. Once all the files were uploaded, Audible thanked me and said it’d take about 30 business days for them to review it and get it ready.


WHAT?


I went back through everything and there was no mention of a 30-day review process. So, that’s where I am today – waiting for them to review it and approve it for distribution. Once that process is completed (around April 29th), it will be available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes!


I really hope you like it.

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KW

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Based on a rural Midwestern farm

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