C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

See all my books at AllThatChazz.com.

How to create your own audiobooks

See on Scoop.itWriting and reading fiction

For authors who want to use their own home equipment to narrate an audio version of their own books, or if you want to record your kids reading their favorite stories for posterity, you can do it with a microphone, and iPad and GarageBand.

Robert Chazz Chute‘s insight:

At the link, you’ll find an interesting how-to breakdown on DIY audiobook creation by Geoffrey Goetz. Learn at the link!

The post brings up a question that isn’t much dealt with in this particular article. It’s not a how-to question. It’s a should-you? Would you be comfortable putting a DIY audiobook up for sale on iTunes?

Standards for what’s acceptable vary.

A comedian friend refused to sell a recording because the audience wasn’t on mic. Without their reactions, he didn’t feel the funny was legitimized to the listener (even though he killed.) He thought selling that recording would be “mercenary”. Meanwhile, another professional comedian performed a special for an audience of two: Her parents. (The review was on the Slate Culture Gabfest and they loved it.)

I record author readings on the All That Chazz podcast. I do the podcast for free, but I’d worry about production quality if it were on iTunes. But maybe I’m being too shy or plain wrong about that. Maybe I’ve been indoctrinated with historic audiobook rules instead of looking to the future.

Do you need a full studio to produce something to sell? A video engineer friend of mine announced recently that he’s ditching the heavy, $6,000 camera and making movies with an iPhone now. You can produce high production values with relatively inexpensive equipment. New tech can often deliver higher production value than what the richest Hollywood studios had a few years ago. If you can rise to the occasion in employing that tech, you could come pretty close to par. The first no-budget Paranormal movie comes to mind.

Back to audio:

On Podiobooks, audiobooks are given away free. There are still hoops to jump through, but since it’s free, few listeners really expect perfection. Up the capitalist foodchain, if you go with ACX, you’ve got professional voice talent and an expensive production that’s still much cheaper than it used to be and you maintain control of your art.

As the bar to entry has lowers through easily accessible technology,will the audiobook production industry undergo an influx of independents as has happened with the book industry? Audio purists will likely be resistant to that idea.

We touched on this issue in a post last week: Experts recommend their services and condemn all intruders in their realm. This isn’t just in publishing. To illustrate, let me paraphrase an old medical adage: If you go to a surgeon for advice, his advice is going to be, “I’ll cut you” Every specialty is predisposed to recommend their intervention.

Could we sell a DIY recording on iTunes (through CD Baby)? Yes.

Should we? Before we rush to judgment, consider that independent musicians reach professional standards from their garages and basements all the time. People who call themselves “Indie” in the music and film industries get much more respect than Indies in the book industry. Musicians and filmmakers are called brave, innovative and entrepreneurial. In the book industry, outdated views still hold with the term “vanity press”.

I can’t fathom why this is so. I’m not pretending. I’m publishing.

~ Chazz

See on gigaom.com

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Ultimate Blog Challenge: Indies Versus Committees

The Senate Committee on Budget (ca.1997-2001).

The Senate Committee on Budget (ca.1997-2001). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The common wisdom is that all of us together are smarter than any one of us. Combine a group’s brains and their solutions will overcome that of a genius. That’s not my experience. Here’s why one head is often better than several:

1. The smartest person in a group is not the one who gets to talk in a committee. The loudest person does all the talking and steers the ship, often into the rocks. Stupid people are always the most confident and the less a person knows about a subject, the more certain they are of their opinions. That’s called leadership.

2. Take any group and there’s always one wacko*. Said wacko will espouse insane ideas. The rest of the group will then compromise with the wacko, thus arriving at terrible ideas that only seem more sane within the room in which the committee meets. Half wacko is still wacko.

3. People vote for the lesser of two evils, so they still vote for evil.

4. Committees search for reasons to justify their existence. They don’t complete a task and disband. They say, what can we do next? How can we extend our power, budget and egos? I call this committee creep. It’s for creeps.

5. A committee is a team. It becomes an expression of our genetic gravitation to tribalism. Committees become Us Versus Those Peons over there. (For the Latin derivation of the word “peon”, break it down into syllables.)

6. A committee is a way to spread responsibility around. If an individual says, “I made this decision,” he or she will have to live with it. Put it on a group label and everybody’s hiding behind the responsibility diffusion.

7. When I make a decision about my publishing company, a book cover, a sales platform or an editorial choice, it happens immediately. I may consult my friends with expertise or bat ideas around with my graphic designer, but the decisions come fast. I’ve waited long enough. I’m not waiting anymore and I’m certainly not asking for permission. I can screw up on my own easily without help.

8. I mentioned that, without a committee, the fault gets assigned to me for bad, independent decisions. The rewards come straight back to me, too. Then I dance with naked abandon, so it’s good I’m alone at the time.

9. Without a committee, I am in control of my destiny as much as any human is. Sure, there are a lot of whims and variables beyond my control. One of those variables isn’t a pinhead named Mort from Middle Management who’s telling me what to do. Screw Mort.

10. Committees are cooperative ventures that require a lot of socializing, neckties and appropriate office behaviour. I do not share toys. I do not play well with others. I’m writing this in my underwear. There might even be a naked abandon dance party later.


*If your group has no wacko, the wacko is you.

And yes, I am qualified to diagnose under the It Takes One to Know One Rule.

Get Bigger Than Jesus

~ Like my flavor? Listen to the first chapter of my crime thriller, Bigger Than Jesus. I’m podcasting the book through the summer. Enjoy!

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Check out Sue Kenney’s My Camino

In case you missed this morning’s nice comment from the post below, here it is again! Woo-hoo, Sue! That sure made me feel good.Sue_Kenney
Chazz. Glad you got your very own copy of My Camino. Hiring you to do an edit/polish, I felt confident and relieved to have another chance to clean up the grammar, tenses and spelling mistakes before the next printing. Your expertise and attitude made this editing process exciting for me. My Camino came out in 2004 with a small publishing house and I was told it had ‘long legs’ (just like me) and might survive 3 years on the shelf . Who would have thought that 7 years later the book is a national best seller, there is a feature film adaptation in development (I co-wrote the script with Bruce Pirrie) and in the next couple of weeks it will be available on Podiobooks as an audio book. What a journey and now you are a part of it. Thank you so much. It was truly an honour to work with you. See you at the movie première in 2013! (fingers crossed)

Go to her website here: Sue Kenney

Filed under: Author profiles, authors, Books, Editing, Editors, publishing, Useful writing links, , , , , , ,


Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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