Producing an Audiobook: Reflections of a Narrator & Author

How are audiobooks changing the publishing industry? What is involved in the production of an audiobook? What is it like for an author to have her book narrated by someone other than herself? This month we interview author Kate Rademacher and audiobook narrator Becket Royce about their experience collaborating on the production of Following the Red Bird: First Steps into a Life of Faith. If you have any questions you'd like to ask our authors, make sure to leave a comment on our Facebook or Twitter!

Thank you for joining us for this month’s blog about the production of audiobooks. Can you both introduce yourselves?

Kate: My name is Kate Rademacher. I published my debut memoir, Following the Red Bird: First Steps into a Life of Faith, in mid-2017. The audiobook version, which was narrated by Becket Royce, was released in March 2018. Following the Red Bird is the story of my very unexpected conversion to Christianity, and how I began to understand what it means to be a Christian in the first year after my baptism. I like to say that the book explores not only the why of Christianity but the how.

Becket: I'm Becket Royce, and I was very pleased to have been chosen as the narrator Following the Red Bird. Most of the audiobooks that I've narrated are fiction, so I really enjoyed the challenge of narrating the words and thoughts of an actual human being! I'm honored to be a part of this project.

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The Adventure of Publishing

Brad A. LaMar is author of the upcoming young adult fantasy series, Celtic Mythos. Book one in the series, The Obsidian Dagger, will be released on February 20. Book two, The Megalith Union is anticipated for Fall 2013.

© Surpasspro | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

It was February of 2012 when I was first contacted by Light Messages about my manuscript, and I have to be honest, I had already been down this road a lot of times where an agent or publisher would give my stuff a once over and then decide to pass.  This time felt a little different.  The email had the hint of excitement in it and I became cautiously optimistic.  I submitted the manuscript and Elizabeth, the Senior Editor, got back to me a week later with the news that I had been waiting a long time to hear: "We want to publish your book."

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Stop the Presses--DON'T Publish that Book

PrintingPressAs the Senior Editor for a small publishing company, I see a lot of potential books pass through my hands. To be honest, most of the manuscript submissions Light Messages receives have great potential. The themes are creative and timely, the information is engaging, and the characters are colorful. But more often than not, the books are simply not ready yet.

The single biggest mistake I see new authors make is to publish a book too soon. And I understand how it happens: You write the final line, share the manuscript with a few close friends and family, receive adoring reviews, and then proceed to submit the manuscript for publishing because you think there's nothing more to be done. Then, you wait. And wait. And wait some more. But the call never comes.

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Authors - Do Not Read This At Home

As an author, you've probably been told time and time again that great authors read great books. You can't write if you don't read. And as an author, you probably always have a book by your bed, one on the kitchen table and another in the living room. Books lined up on shelves, books stacked on the floor, and books intermingled with various pages of your latest manuscript.

You read for research. You read for inspiration. You read for pleasure.

So what if an acclaimed novelist told you, "Don't read that book"?

About a month ago in a column for The Tyee and in an interview on NPR's Talk of The Nation, that's exactly what Crawford Kilian told aspiring authors.

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Why Partner Instead of Going Solo?

HelpingHandIf you have a book (or book idea) and have started to explore your publishing options, then you've no doubt run into several different models. On one extreme there are the traditional publishers who buy manuscripts, pay a small royalty, and own the rights to your book (some would say they also own your soul). On the other side of the pendulum lies self publishing where you do all the work but then keep all the profits (but perhaps not your sanity). Somewhere in what we like to think is the balanced middle lies Partnership Publishing, which just so happens to be our model.

Partnership Publishing is an innovative option for independent authors who are looking for an alternative to the traditional publishing model but who don't want to go it alone.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's impossible to self publish successfully. There are a good number of authors who are exceptionally successful with self publishing. They write the book, create the layout, design the cover, learn all the rules for print, learn all the rules for e-publishing, do all their own marketing, and, yes, keep all their profits. They do everything--alone. The successful ones are the exception, not the rule.

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How Do You Know You Are Ready To Publish?

Ready-set-goSometimes, knowing when you're ready to publish is as hard as writing the manuscript. There are always final edits, and you could have a thousand final drafts. (FinalDraft.doc, ReallyFinalDraft.doc, ReallyReallyFinalDraft.doc, OkThisOneIsItFinalDraft.doc.) Sound familiar? Around here, it's our writers' favorite tune.

It's ok. We get it.

You've poured so much energy and love into your work and now you have to ship it off to a printer and send it out into the cold, cold world. You want to do everything you can to ensure its success.

Or, perhaps you're so sick of the darned thing you just want to be done with it. You're tempted to send it in. No. Matter. What.

So how do you know if you're truly ready to publish?

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Welcome to Writer's Lamp

now open slowdownWelcome to Writer's Lamp! This is the first of what we hope will be many posts designed to help you publish.

As a writer, you have a story to tell. Maybe you've already written your story and you're not sure what to do next. Maybe you're still choosing which story you want to tell, and you're looking for a boost to get you started.{jacomment on}

Either way, we're here to help.

At Light Messages, we believe that the time has come to turn the traditional publishing model upside down. We want to view our authors as partners––partners in sharing messages that brighten the world, add knowledge, and fill our hearts with pleasure.

(You can learn more about our innovative partnership model here.)

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