Four Reasons to Record an Audiobook - Capture Your Audience with the Lost Art of Storytelling!
"LISTENING IS THE NEW READING"~Audible.com
Can you recall the pleasant memory of someone reading or telling you a bedtime story as a child? I do! I can still feel the transformative experience of being magically transported to another fantasy world with every rise and fall of their voice and breath. I'd like to carry on that rich tradition of storytelling by recording my memoir, TigerFish, into an audiobook to share with my readers while they are on the go, on their commutes, or their treadmills. I'd like to take them on a journey to a faraway land where I grew up many years ago, and as I came of age as a Vietnamese refugee in America in 1975.
One of the most compelling reasons for me to record TigerFish is that as human beings, there is something profoundly satisfying about being entertained by a storyteller.
I treasured listening to audiobooks now on long drives, just as much as we did with our young children on family vacations. For this reason, I'd like to share my story in an accessible format for those who are in transit. (I for one, get carsick if I attempted to read while riding in a car or train). I believe that this is what we are missing in today's busy lives; children and adults alike yearned to have a story deliciously told to them. Perhaps, the lost art of storytelling is regaining its popularity and fueling the rising demand for audiobooks.
"Listening is the new reading," is a phrase from Audible.com that I agree with wholeheartedly. I will launch my TigerFish audiobook in early 2018, and I'd like to share my decision process as well as what I've learned thus far. (If you are an author, this article from Authormedia.com will give you more compelling reasons for recording your books to reach more of your audience).
Another reason for recording TigerFish is that millions of people are having longer daily commutes, who would prefer savoring the art of storytelling, escaping to another literary world, rather than being stuck in their current stressful drive or traffic jams.
In my first year as an author, one of the most frequently asked questions at my author events has been, how do you pronounce your name? I’m honored that my audience respects and values ethnic diversity. They genuinely wanted to say the author’s name correctly. I didn’t overthink about this request until I read an excerpt of my book on Facebook Live and one of the comments was, so that’s how you pronounce those words!
"This was the light bulb moment when I decided to produce an audiobook to enhance my reader’s experience as well as broadening my book's reach to the millions on-the-go and daily commuters."
TigerFish is my memoir of growing up in Vietnam during the war and the ensuing journey to America as a refugee. It’s also my coming of age memoir of a jarring acculturating process. In this book, the characters and cities’ names are foreign, and the readers would pause to sound out these new words. It is typical of reading any book with foreign language references and mine isn’t different. Even though there's a pronunciation guide to these Vietnamese words, it’s still limiting with its phonetic solutions.
I decided to create a pilot project; I recorded myself reading a few pages and shared it on Facebook where I received overwhelmingly positive response. This short recording was successful marketing research as it confirmed the demands for a TigerFish audiobook and that I must be the narrator.
3. Unanimously, my readers didn’t want a professional actor reading my book, and they loved learning how to pronounce these words from their author and native speaker.
4. Lastly, I will admit that there is another reason, a personal interest, of leaving my voice legacy for my future generations to learn about their family history.
As I began this audiobook project, I looked for recording studio recommendations from family and friends on social media. I immediately received a reference from a friend who I met at our local PBS station, KVIE where I had my first TV interview for TigerFish with Scott Syphax. My friend Danna was a volunteer when she was not working on her own production company at Danna Wilberg.
Danna introduced me to Alex Wilkensen at the Venekular Music Inc. in December of 2016, and we immediately started recording my book. I discovered that as an avid listener to National Public Radio, audiobooks and podcasts, this has helped me define my reading voice of which included my breathing pattern, the pronunciation of words, pitch, and delivery.
As I started reading, I put myself in the listener's place, and I became conscientious about enunciating words for more precise sounds. I also found that I projected my voice more powerfully by standing up despite the advice from some websites to do otherwise. Alex also suggested that I use an e-reader to eliminate the rustling sound of a page turning, something I would never have considered or thought of before working on this project.
It’s taken thirteen hours to record twelve out of twenty-six chapters so far. In my estimate, it will take another thirteen hours to finish the book. After that, the editing and mastering will be handled by the recording professional.
My goal for 2018 is to launch TigerFish audiobook to Amazon, and you can find it on Audible.com.
I’m continuously paying attention to my audience and readers to find out what you would like to read, answering your questions, and providing contents that are meaningful and useful to you. For this reason, I treasure my time at author events where I can engage with you on a personal basis. Until we meet in person, please visit me on social media and my blog, and we can interact virtually. Thank you for being my readers and a virtual supporter. Please stay tuned for the audiobook launch date of TigerFish.