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10-21 Sarah Raplee – Author of “Blindsight” Psychic Agents Series, Book One

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hear, Hear for the Holidays! T’is the Audiobook Season (I Hope)!

By Linda Lovely
Who listens to audiobooks?
A lot more people than I imagined when I decided to create an audiobook version of DEAR KILLER, the first book in my Marley Clark Mystery Series, in partnership with talented narrator K.C. Cowan.
Before I started, I knew about three core groups of audiobook fans—folks embarking on long car trips, commuters, and parents who spend much of their waking lives chauffeuring school-age children and/or waiting in idling cars.
What I didn’t realize until DEAR KILLER was released is how many readers now tackle their too-many-books-and-not-enough-time dilemma by listening to books while they perform other tasks—walking on treadmills, cooking, knitting, or even cleaning the garage. While their hands are busy, their minds can fully engage with books they don’t have time to sit down and read as paperbacks or ebooks.
Friendlier technology and a bigger selection of audiobooks are helping to snag more and more multi-tasking listeners. Books can be downloaded in digital formats that play on such ubiquitous devices as smartphones, Kindles, iPods, and dozens of available MP3 players. In fact, downloadable formats now account for nearly two-thirds of the audiobook market.
The audiobook selection is getting bigger because authors who hold the audio rights to their novels can bring out audiobook editions with absolutely no upfront monetary investment. However, before DEAR KILLER was released as an audiobook, I did invest in the neighborhood of 20 hours listening to auditions, preparing audio notes, corresponding with my narrator, and “proof listening” to recordings. That time estimate doesn’t include any promotional efforts.
I teamed up with narrator K.C. Cowan through the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) website, which has paired more than 25,000 authors with narrators. The resulting audio version of my 88,000-word, 290-page mystery, DEAR KILLER, runs eight hours, 56 minutes. You can listen to the first chapter of DEAR KILLER here
Amazon/Audible is currently offering deep discounts on audiobooks that have the Whispersync for Voice feature if customers own or buy the ebook edition of the same novel. (Whispersync lets readers switch seamlessly between ebooks and audiobooks, with the synching technology picking up where the reader left off regardless of format.) Last time I checked the Amazon/Audible promotion meant a reader could download BOTH the ebook and audiobook version of DEAR KILLER for under $5.
Happy holiday listening!
Do you listen to audiobooks--or think you might start? If so, what device will you use to listen? Comment and I'll enter your name in a drawing for a free DEAR KILLER audiobook.

17 comments:

Marilyn Levinson said...

Linda,
I listen to audio books all the time. I always have one going in the car. I don't drive all that much, so sometimes it takes a month or two before I "finish" a book. No matter. It's what I prefer listening to when I drive. Mysteries 99% of the time.

Linda Lovely said...

Thanks, Marilyn. I've just downloaded my first audiobooks on my Kindle. Will definitely be listening on my next drive.

Robin Weaver, Author of Blue Ridge Fear said...

Good information. Hope Dear Killer does well in audio format

Ashantay Peters said...

Congratulations on expanding into a new media format! I hope your audio book brings you new readers.

Cindy Sample said...

I had never listened to an audio book until I decided to do my own audio book through ACX. I was surprised how entertaining the audio version can be since I'm such a visual person. I already have DEAR KILLER which I'm sure will be equally wonderful in audio form as it was on my Kindle! Good luck, Linda.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for sharing your journey into the audiobook market, Linda. I know several other authors (including a couple of Genre-istas) who are doing the same with their books.

How does it work that there is no cost? Doesn't K.C. get paid? or does she get a percentage of royalties?

No, I don't listen to audio books or even motivational audio tapes like I did 20+ years ago. Books especially are too distracting! and I use that busy time to reflect on an aspect of my story or my life. It seems the rest of the time my mind's too busy. Just don't multi-task like I used to...

Linda Lovely said...

Judith, KC was paid $100 per finished recording hour by ACX because DEAR KILLER was deemed eligible for a stipend. In addition, KC will split the royalties with me 50-50. If a book isn't selected by ACX for a narrator stipend, the author has to pay the narrator a negotiated rate and/or the narrator has to be willing to take a risk that splitting the royalties will compensate her/him or the time invested.

ckcrouch.com said...

I prefer the old fashioned way of reading my book myself lol. My niece loves audio books but I prefer to read. For her it could be her dyslexia makes it harder to read, but I prefer the book. And I have a Kindle but will take a paper book over an e-book. But if I can only get it as an e-book then I'll read it on the Kindle. I play a lot of games and used an office program on it for writing when I'm not able to drag out the laptop.

Linda Lovely said...

I think a lot of younger readers like audiobooks because they can multitask--something that's not so easy for me! I haven't abandoned paperbacks. I still enjoy them. But I also read ebooks, and I'm enjoying my first audio downloads while I'm making holiday candy.

Linda Lovely said...

BTW, I'll do the drawing on Sunday, Dec. 29. So any folks who want to comment before then will be entered.

amber polo said...

I listen to an average of 2 audiobooks a week and have been for over ten years. I have trouble driving without listening. :)

Linda Rima said...

Have really gotten into listening to audiobooks in the last few years either through my library or buying them myself. Some I read the print & the later listen to it. I commute to work (45 min each way) and its better than a soothing musical cd. I tend not to listen to them at home.

Look forward to your audio series.

Linda Lovely said...

Linda, sounds like you listen to CDs. Hope you can download audiobooks as well. It appears the market is going that way with all the new download/listening options.

Diana McCollum said...

In the past I've listened to Audio books on long trips in the car. Alas, our CD player in the car no longer works. I could probably listen on my Nook, but haven't so far. Good luck on sales.

Paty Jager said...

I'm having my first book made into audio and have just selected my narrator.

Maggie Jaimeson said...

From what I've heard from other authors, they are making good money on their audio books. It is definitely an entirely new audience for a writer. I wish you the very best with your audio books.

I have it on my schedule to get into audio in 2014.

Linda Lovely said...

My husband just drew the winning name--Paty Jager. I've contacted her offline to provide download instructions. Thanks to everyone for commenting. Hope you have a wonderful 2014. If you didn't win, I'm giving away three more copies on January 15 to winners of a drawing on my website: www.lindalovely.com