Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Audiobook Struggles

Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking. If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

April 6 question - Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

The awesome co-hosts for the April 6 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Jemima Pett, Patricia Josephine, Louise - Fundy Blue, and Kim Lajevardi!

I do a LOT of my own reading in the form of audiobooks. 

I adore being able to read while I'm busy doing other things like the laundry--tasks that need doing but don't engage much of my brain because they're rote and uninteresting. 

Add an audiobook to a pile of unmatched socks and I'm much more willing to take on the task. 

So, of course, I want my own books released on audiobook. Menopausal Superheroes would definitely make doing the dishes more interesting. 

In fact, my publisher had gotten pretty far in the production of an audiobook for book one of the Menopausal Superhero series: Going Through the Change

He'd contracted with a recording artist who recorded it. She'd only ever done one audiobook before, but it had been well-received. We'd communicated about pronunciation details (Like Linda and David, two Hispanic characters being LEEN-dah and Dah-VEED, rather than the more anglo pronunciations). 

We were all happy and excited. I included promises of that coming audiobook in my newsletter and social media posts. 

Then began the waiting. The proposed delivery date kept getting extended: increased demands at the day job, health issues, etc. Even though this part took way longer than it should have, we were all trying to give each other grace during the pandemic, so I was patient and kept my frustrations mostly to myself. 

But, then, when the file was finally delivered, it didn't meet technical specifications. This part I don't know the details of (like, what, exactly was wrong--I've left this in the hands of my publisher), but I do know that the file could not be uploaded and used as is, and that attempts to address that by having other audio professionals worked on it did not help. 

So, here I am three years later, back at square one. No audiobook in sight. 

My last conversation with my publisher let me know that there's about a $1000 investment up front to get an audiobook produced, and, yes, he does plan to try again, but he can only do so many at a time, so it might be a while yet. 

So, sadly, I'm still waiting to hear my work as an audiobook. But I have faith we'll get there eventually. 

Are you an audiobook reader? Have you been a part of this process at any point? I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments. 


  1. I'm so sorry that didn't work out for you.

    I have an author friend who actually reads, records, and produces his own audiobooks and he says he took him a while to figure out the right conditions to net the best quality recordings. There are certain times of day he can't record at all, and things he never thought might impact a session render a recording unusable. It's quite the process.

    I don't listen to audiobooks personally. I lack the focus for it.

  2. So sorry your plans for an audio book haven't worked out so far. I like audio books too, though I have been reading more print books lately.

  3. I do love listening to audiobooks. Like you, I like doing two things at once. hehehe

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  4. That really sucks the file didn't work. Hopefully they will try again. My publisher has done many audio books and I don't think they were that expensive.

  5. I'm sorry, Samantha. That doesn't sound good at all. Here's hoping they figure it out soon. Wish I could add some advice but I know squat.

  6. Oh how frustrating, Samantha! I hope it all works out! I don't do well with audiobooks. I'm strongly visual and kinesthetic ~ auditory not so much. But I know a lot of people enjoy them. Take care!

  7. When the solution depends on others it can be quite a challenge. I'm so sorry things fell apart. Sounds like there are options offered to you, so there's hope!

  8. That's awful that the recording didn't work correctly, especially after waiting so long for it. I haven't listened to any audiobooks, as seeing the words in print works better for my brain than hearing the words. I hope you do get your book into an audiobook someday soon.

  9. I've come to realize in recent years, that I sometimes need audio to consume text otherwise I struggle with it. I've even installed a text-to-speech reader called Natural Reader for school work. I want to get my books made into audiobooks, but I'm not sure all the hoops I need to jump. I'm not a noob when it comes to recording, but I wanna make sure I use the right tools and such. As it stands, I sometimes listen to my books using Alexa's reading of Kindle books. She's not bad.

    1. Yes! I find audiobooks really useful for dense text or even for older fiction that uses dialect or old fashioned language. It's very helpful to hear and see it at the same time, so I often have both the kindle and audio editions.

    2. And knowing there are other folks out there that need it even more so than me, makes it all the more important to have audiobooks made.