Preparing an Audio Book

You’ve written a great book. You’ve published it as a paperback and an e-book. But now you want to publish it as an audio book. To do so, you need to create a transcript or audio version of the book for a narrator to read. What changes, if any do you need to make to your book for the transcript. Here’s what I do:

  1. If there’s anything I’m omitting or omeletting, I put a note up front in the audio transcript referring people to buy my paperbook or e-book if they want that bit. For instance, if it’s a technical book with programming code in it, I leave out that code. If the lists are too lengthy and I feel they’d be too difficult for a narrator I leave those out. However, Betty Johnston does a great job of reading my reference books with lists (she also does great with my fiction books), and Daniel Curtis did a great job narrating a computer book for me (I did remove all the code first).
  2. I remove footnotes and endnotes.
  3. URLs – http://www…, etc. I replace them with just the website name – I also look for site (which finds website), http, www, com, org, net.
  4. References to pictures in the book – to find these, I look for the following – picture, image, see, saw, look.
  5. I remove appendices sometimes.
  6. In my series, the Wizard without a Wand, I  put a cast of characters at the end of each book. This helped me keep track of everybody and I figured it would help the reader. Amazon/Audible don’t like to have sections of stories repeated in different books. And since there were some changes to the cast of characters, but not many, I decided to omit it from the audio version. Besides, it’s much more helpful in a paperback or e-book version.
  7. In book four of that series, I include a sentence which is read entirely backwards. Sometimes when somebody reads something backwards, only the words are backwards. In this case, however, the letters were backwards. I haven’t gotten to the publishing the audio version of this book of the series yet. When I do, I’ll have to figure out what to do about that.

I edit my books using several methods, one of which is to have the computer read me the story. The computer’s reader is terrible. I’d much rather have a person read it to me. But it’s easier to make corrections while the computer is reading it to me. Anyway, that’s also useful for noticing when something is hard to read. So I either make changes then if I want those changes in the paperback version, or I note them down for when I make the audio transcript.

You can find my books on Amazon. Search for Dale Stubbart books.

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