On audiobooks

I am an avid consumer of audiobooks.  I have read the entire Dresden Files (by Jim Butcher) end-to-end at least three times, all though the masterful narration of James Marsters.  I have loved listening to many stories.  I listened to Andy Weir’s The Martian (excellently narrated by R. C. Bray), Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One as well as Armada, both narrated by the incomparable Wil Wheaton.

A good narrator paired with a good story can be amazing.  That’s not to say that an excellent narrator can turn a bad story around; both parts must be good.  But an excellent narrator working from a great story can be a thing of wonder.  Such a pairing happened with Bronson Pinchot narrating The Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia.  This pairing was a thing of beauty.  I am old enough to remember watching Perfect Strangers.  So seeing that Balki Bartokomous was going to be reading the story made me worry.  Turns out, Mr. Pinchot is flipping amazing.  I say that without hesitation, his reading of that trilogy was brilliant.  So here was a phenomenal pairing of a great reader with a great story.  It was fun.

I have considered the option of doing an audiobook of my novel.  I have a pretty good speaking voice.  A pleasant, resonant baritone (or so I’ve been told). It can’t be that hard to do, right?  Oh, how wrong I was.  It wasn’t the reading that was the problem; it was a problem of time and equipment.  To do a professional-ish audiobook version would require renting time at a sound studio and paying an engineer to handle the board.  I don’t have that type of money (or time).

“So why can’t I do this at home?” I asked myself.  “I’m smart, I have access to Amazon, surely this is something that I could do over a few weekends at home.” This brings us to the present.  To purchase a decent microphone and a small (2 track) mixing board isn’t the issue.  I can get both of those for much less than you might imagine.  It’s setting up a calm, quiet space in which I can sit, for hours on end, and record my voice.  And then comes the hard part.  I know this story.  I didn’t just write it; I know it.  I know all the hidden things, all the backstory – all of it.  So how do I make sure not to record any subtext about [REDACTED]? Or, how [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] aren’t really [REDACTED].

I imagine that if there is a call for it, then I may try and see if I can get an audiobook version of the story.  At this point, though, I am just happy to have gotten a single review.