Audiobook Adventures

Benny and the Bank Robber Audiobook cover

From time to time I have shared our journey as we published new books and learned new things about publishing. Some people already know that I have been trying to record and release an audiobook of Benny and the Bank Robber. I have been working on it since January. I set up a little sound booth in our closet, softened it up with lots of blankets, foam, and fuzzy fabric, and put in my little rolling desk padded with cork and more soft stuff. To that I added four microphones, our preamp, and lots of pop screens and stuff to try to get sound quality as good as possible.

The next step was to find the right settings. The four mics went down to two, and finally one, while still using the dual mic setup to do some filtering control and adjust settings to the best possible level. Finally, I was confident that it sounded as good as I could get it in my nicely-softly padded headphones.

I have tried to record lots of things over the last four years, since we got off the road and into a house. You can’t record good audio living in a truck. But I still found that there were noises I couldn’t live with so I kept giving up. I started a podcast, made some short videos with voice narration, but it was just too hard to get clean sound.

At last I determined that I was going to do this. I studied narrators and sound engineers and tried to apply their advice. I got Audacity, a free program, for filtering and editing, and went at it. It was March before I completed the first recording of Benny and the Bank Robber and got it uploaded.

You may be slightly aware that in March Covid-19 was trashing normal life and productivity all over the place. So of course my audio files languished about with no one to listen to them. But when someone finally did, the files were rejected. Rejection letters from audiobook companies are pretty vague. They said my room tones (quiet space) at the beginning and the end of the files were inconsistent and there was background noise. No specifics, just, out of 18 files (15 Chapters, a Prologue, and the opening and closing credits), go find inconsistency and noises. So I went through again, and got rejected again, all at Covid-19 speeds.

I did upload to Findaway Voices, but, though the audiobook became available on several respectable sites, it was rejected again when they tried to send it to Audible. Ouch. So, I determined to try again, and today, July 31, 2020, I got the notice that ACX had finally accepted it.

This is a very exciting time. I hope it’s the beginning of many happy successes at audiobook creation. I thank God that it worked this time, and I hope readers will give it a listen!

Here’s what I posted around on social media:

Took me three tries to get rid of all the funny noises ACX didn’t like, but my first audiobook is now live on Audible, Amazon, and soon on iTunes, along with other great sites! Listen up! I am VERY happy today. Thank you LORD!




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