Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Producing an audiobook

I have a most interesting interview today – with the three authors who wrote a book about producing audio books! Welcome Renea Mason, Noah Levine and Erin deWard.

What inspired you to write The Audiobook Book?

Hi Jennifer.

Thanks for letting us stop by your blog.
In answer to your first question, we were inspired by several factors.  A lot of people have, at different times, asked all three of us about getting started on their path to producing/recording audiobooks.  It’s something we’re all passionate about, but it’s hard to give all this information to people on an individual basis. More importantly, we believe fostering the creation of more audiobooks is good for everyone – authors and narrators.

It’s a growing industry and listeners are hungry for more content.  If a person listens to one audiobook and likes it – they’ll want to listen to more. That translates into more sales for authors and narrators, and more listeners appreciating what we all work so hard to create.

Lastly, we had such a great experience collaborating on all the books we’ve done together.  We want others to have similar experiences.  Not all authors and narrators will want to collaborate as fully as we have. Our way certainly isn’t the only way, but we felt having both narrators and authors understand a bit more about the challenges each other faces when creating audiobooks would go a long way toward enhancing empathy and potentially, better audiobooks, smoother productions and happier experiences.
(absolutely fascinating! JD)

What sorts of things are included in the book?

We tried to include everything we could think of, from soup to nuts, to help both authors and narrators through the process.  Upfront costs for narrators just getting started, financial considerations for authors with regards to producing and promoting the audiobook, the different types of contracts that authors and narrators can enter into, the ups and downs of those different contracts, how vitally important clear and open communication is from the get-go, how to set up an ACX profile, how to run an audition, the different narration styles, figuring out which one(s) are a good fit.

We also covered aspects of performance, marketing, and generally speaking, the need for all of us to support each other. Sure, there's a certain amount of competitiveness between authors and other authors and narrators and other narrators, and a healthy does of competition can be a good thing.  We emphasize the overarching idea of mutual respect, understanding and support is a big message in the book.

What made you decide to work as co-authors?

When we worked collaboratively on audiobooks, we found that the final result was benefited from our multiple viewpoints.  As individuals, we each do the best work we can, and hopefully, our readers and listeners enjoy the work, but there’s something special about the creative process being collaborative.  So it seemed like a natural flow for us to write the book together, each giving our individual perspectives, drafted as one unified message.

How did you find it working together?

It was both rewarding and challenging in equal measure. We each have different writing styles and degrees of experience writing, but in the end, we fed off each other’s ideas and styles.  For example, all of the anecdotes in the book came as a secondary thought.  The first draft felt a little stiff and too business-like, but when we added some of our personal experiences to the mix, it took on a whole new flavor. It made the presentation of all the business material a lot more entertaining and intimate.  But we definitely faced our challenges with deadlines and edits.
(having co-written a book myself I know what you mean about rewarding AND challenging! JD)

Buy Links

All other major online retailer -

Print and audio editions coming soon...
The price is $3.99.

Author bios

"Sexy, fun and so creative it makes my head spin! I'd read the damn phone book if Renea Mason wrote it." 
-NYT and USA TODAY Bestselling author ROBYN PETERMAN

Multi-award-winning and bestselling author Renea Mason writes erotic romances which challenge the definition of conventional love. Whether it be contemporary or paranormal, the author of the 2016 Audie Award-Winning Curing Doctor Vincent, prides herself on bringing readers unique storylines, memorable characters, and top-notch audiobook performances in her tales of love, lust, and mystery.

In addition to being an author, Renea has spent more than two decades in leadership roles, from manager to vice president, in various fundraising and healthcare organizations. Currently, she works under her legal name, Sheila Hollums Bates, as a Senior Business Advisor, providing management and process consulting services to internal constituencies for the seventh largest revenue producing company in the US.

When she isn't crafting sensual stories which stimulate the mind and body alike or providing the latest management and process guidance, she spends time in the Laurel Mountains of Western Pennsylvania with her beyond-supportive husband, two wonderful sons, and two loving but needy cats.

Renea loves connecting with her readers. Visit her on…

Twitter – @reneamason1
Instagram – @renea_mason

Noah Michael Levine is an Audie Award-Winning narrator, actor and author, living in the beautiful Hudson River Village of Nyack, NY. He has narrated 200 audiobook titles and looks forward to doing many more. He truly loves his work.

Sometimes known by #AuralSexpert, he’s performed a lot of Romance and Erotica, but his catalog spans the full breadth of genres, from history, philosophy, science, and literary critique to drama, comedy, young adult, and thriller. He is deeply thankful for and grateful to both Audible and ACX, as well as the authors and lovers of audiobooks who make his work possible.

Noah’s career in the entertainment industry spans over thirty years, including a long run as lead singer, lyricist, and keyboard player for the largely unknown 1980s-era band PLCourage and as owner of Eleuthra Productions. He’s appeared in many productions from stage to TV and Film, in addition to writing and producing works for large and small screens.

When not in “The Booth,” he’s an avid home chef, lover of animals and is working on his first novel.

ACX Narrator Profile - Noah Michael Levine
Twitter – @badnoah
Instagram – @therealbadnoah


Erin deWard is an Audie Award-Winning narrator with over fifty titles in genres ranging from Spirituality to Young Adult to Adult Contemporary and others. She's worked on stage, screen, and behind the mic for over thirty years. She is beyond grateful to have come to this place in her life and thanks all of the people and organizations that sped her on her way.

In addition to her love of acting, Erin is passionate about her work as an audio describer, translating visual images in media and performance into aural pictures for people who have low or no vision. She studies and performs Shakespearean text and can most frequently be seen cavorting onstage with The Strange Bedfellows, the adult troupe of the Children’s Shakespeare Theatre of New York.

Erin lives in lovely Nyack on Hudson, New York with her husband, daughter, sometimes her college-aged son, and two ill-behaved but loveable dogs, Annie and Benevolio.

ACX Narrator Profile - Erin deWard
Twitter – @erindeward
Instagram – @erindeward

Thanks for sharing with us. Good luck with your book.

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