Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Behind the scenes of a Publishing House - producing an audio book


Today I have the lovely Lea Bronsen on my blog talking about her very first audio book.

Welcome, Lea, and congratulations! I am brimming with questions, but firstly tell us a little about you…
Thanks so much for having me! Needless to say I'm very, very excited about this audiobook release. It's amazing enough to have the crazy stories in my head put onto paper and spread widely in the book industry – but having someone read each word aloud for the whole world to hear is mind-blowing! Especially since this story is erotica, lol.
As for me, I like my reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strive to give my own stories the same intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime drama with my debut novel Wild Hearted, I divide my writing time between psychological thriller, suspense romance, and erotic dark/contemporary romance.

Terrific. As for your anthology that is an audio book. Can you give us the blurb? How long is the book in words and audio book in timings?
Anthology blurb:
What is your secret fantasy? That one thing you dream of doing but have never had the chance to fulfill in real life… Thirteen writers present sexy, steamy stories of women getting the chance to live out their personal fantasies. What's yours? Whether it's several lovers at the same time for a pulse-pounding ménage scene or the allure of getting caught in public, these stories will set your mind ablaze. From voyeurism in a sex club to swinging, cuckolding to cosplay, SURPRISING MYSELF brings you stories from thirteen hot new writers to watch out for and just might make you think about fulfilling your own wildest fantasy.
The eBook is 46K and the audio version lasts 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Blurb for my story, Come Aboard:
A young American reporter travels to a port town in France to cover a yacht race. She hopes she'll be able to experience her wildest fantasy on the beach - sex in public. Due to getting on the wrong train, she has an argument with the controller, who she finds both immensely sexy and annoyingly arrogant.
When he brings her to the engine, pretending to restrain her but instead getting intimate with her, she sees the opportunity to live out her fantasy...

I am intrigued as to the process – did you decide on having an audio book or was it the publisher’s decision. And was this story out in print/ebook before or did you write it specifically to be an audio book (sorry – lots of questions in one!)
The anthology was originally supposed to be an eBook only, but a few months prior to release, Insatiable Press announced it would be released in audio version, too. Imagine my excitement at this fantastic news!
I came up with the idea for my story upon seeing a submission call from the publisher. Since I didn't know the book would come out in audio at the time, I wrote in my usual narrative style. It's first person present tense, so technically I already convey the character's thoughts and feelings quite "orally", but I'm sure if I had known my manuscript would end up being read, I would have used even more spontaneity and shorter, direct sentences – less prose!
(yes, I wondered about that. JD)

Who got to decide on who did the reading? Did they match your expectations of what your characters’ voices were like?
I didn't take part in the process of picking a narrator. It made it all the more exciting to hear the way my story sounded aloud with another person's voice.
Since both my heroine and the narrator are American, you can say the accent and the speaking flow are accurate. I'm not a native English speaker, so she definitely does a much better job at it than me! *laughs* The only thing that makes me frown somewhat is her pronunciation of French words, which is not quite right. That's something that can easily be fixed in beforehand. But who, other than me, would notice, right?

I’ve never actually heard an erotic audio book, although I’ve been (and taken part) in readings of erotic fiction. Do they read it in its entirety, eg, sex scenes included? And if they include all scenes do they all excited in their voices or breathy?! LOL
Great question! Yes, the stories are read in their entirety, onomatopoeias, curse words, and heavy breathing included.
I wouldn't say the narrator got as excited as someone would in real life, but to hear some of my sentences read aloud made me cringe, you know the ones like, "How do you want to be fucked?", "I offer him my open, dripping pussy", and, "My boobs dangling in the window"… I almost want to go into denial. Did I really write that? Noooo… LOL
(I know what you mean. It’s the same when you are reading excerpts! JD)

I’ve no idea how well audio books sell – as this is your first I guess you don’t have sales figures yet but do you have any general idea of sales, and who is your market likely to be?
Well, since I'm not the one who uploaded the book on the different sales sites, I can't check sales figures like I would if I had self-published it.
This is all very new to me, so I'm not too familiar with the market yet. But I've heard audio is going to be the new trend in the publishing industry, and I'm very grateful to have been given the opportunity to take my first steps in that direction.

Having done one audio book, would you do another and would you do anything differently?
For reasons given above, I would definitely do another audiobook, only this time I would write the story differently – in a much more spoken way, technically - and probably spend hours reading the manuscript aloud to myself to make sure all of the character's experiences are conveyed as directly as possible. I want the listeners to feel like they are inside the heroine's head!
(Maybe, as writers, we should do that anyway?! Food for thought. JD)

And now can you give us the all-important buy links.
Yay! I love to hear from my readers, so please write to or meet me on my Website / Lea's Crazy Nights Blog / Facebook profile / Facebook page / Twitter / Amazon.

The audiobook is available on Insatiable Press and Amazon.
The eBook is available on,, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
You can preview the eBook's first steamy pages on Amazon.
You can also add the eBook to Goodreads and see the inspiration pictures for my story Come Aboard on Pinterest.

Last but not least, I've made a book trailer for Come Aboard:

Thanks for taking part, Lea. Good luck with your audio book.

Thank you very much, Jennifer! What a great interview.

If you are interested in reading the other posts in this series, here are the links:


  1. Fab post! It must be amazing to hear your story read by someone else! Well done, Lea x

  2. Jennifer, thank you so much for interviewing me! I had a blast answering your questions :)