I’m an Audible addict. I love audiobooks.
My Audible library is packed full of crime thrillers, self-help books, business books, easy-reading chick-lit, 19th century classics (Dracula’s my favourite but don’t read it if you’re walking your dog in the dark #lesson learned) and contemporary fiction.
Audiobooks fit in so well with my lifestyle and because my only focused ‘reading time’ is just before lights out, I can’t get indulge my cravings as much as I need to.
Audible is simple to use (just add an app to your phone) and costs only £7.99 a month. There’s also a free 30-day trial running right now so you can try before you buy. Here’s a link if you’re keen to indulge your inner bookworm and grab the free trial.
Anyway, I digress… I am asked about producing/creating audiobooks quite a lot, and never quite know where to direct people to but then I found out about Nik and asked if he’d like to take part in an interview with me, and he agreed! Thanks, Nik. Here’s our Q&A.
Nik de Garis, Audiobook Producer
Nik de Garis from the UK charity ‘Listening Books’ https://www.listening-books.org.uk/ has kindly taken part in an interview which I’m sure you’ll find valuable as writers, self-published authors (and aspiring indie authors) and particularly if you’re thinking of having your book produced in audio format.
Hi Nik, thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed. I’ve looked at your website and your charity is fantastic. Enabling both children and adults who cannot read in the usual way to have access to audiobooks is a wonderful idea. Can you share a snippet of the charity’s history please and tell us how you got involved?
Our charity, ‘Listening Books’ was founded by Norma Skemp in 1959 after she was involved in a car accident which caused sight issues, but she still retained some vision which meant she wasn’t applicable for the audiobook services available at the time. We are now in our 60th year of giving those who have an illness or disability in the UK the opportunity to be able to read through audiobooks. The technology has obviously moved on a bit in that time from records to cassettes to CDs and, more recently, to online streaming. I’ve been working for the charity as an audio producer for over a year and half, coming here straight after completing a Masters in Radio Production at Bournemouth University. I’m primarily responsible for producing educational content for children and teenagers, but I have also overseen the launch of our book podcast, Voluminous, as well as running Listening Books Productions with my colleagues.
What a fab job! I work with many authors who ask about turning their books into audio books and I see that you offer a service – Listening Books Production – which does just that. Could you tell us what is involved in the audiobook production process please?
Our audiobook production process involves three basic stages: preparation, recording and editing/mastering/proofing. As the only audio producer for the charity it is my responsibility to be in charge of the whole process and so I organise the production from start to finish.
The preparation involves finalising the manuscript, finding a voice talent (if the author hasn’t already decided to either read it themselves or made their own arrangements) and, most importantly, read the book! We then take it to the booth to record in our professional central London studios. I provide direction to the reader as we go through the book, making sure to emphasise the author’s intention. Finally I will go back through the book to take out any mistakes or background noise and save it in the quality standard set by Audible.
We believe it is important to support independent authors which is why we don’t distribute audiobooks – this allows you to keep control of your product – nor do we take any royalties from sales.
Thanks for that, Nik. It’s a new area for many self-published authors, so it’s great to have an insight into the process. Finally, can I just ask you one last question? What is the best way for potential audiobook authors to get in touch with you or the charity?
If you are interested in asking about getting your book made into an audiobook and getting a quote, I would be happy to help. You can either ring and ask for Nik on 0207 407 9417 (in the UK) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fantastic, thanks very much for your input, Nik, greatly appreciated.
Are you thinking of creating an audiobook? Or have you already produced yours? I’d love to interview you so you can share your experience. Please get in touch via the comments and/or the contact form.