As an audiobook addict (See Part 1), when I became a published author I loved to imagine my books in audio. My original publishers weren’t bringing out audio editions – so I tried not to obsess.
Before I wrote novels I published a relaxation CD. I recorded my narration in a local studio. I loved the experience and learned that if creating a professional recording of a 30-minute relaxation was difficult, producing an 80,000-word novel into a listening experience would be overwhelming. When I had the rights back to publish on my own books I was afraid of the decisions involved in producing my own.
I also realized that my voice, which was good at relaxing and putting thousands of people to sleep, might not be a good choice for keeping readers awake and engaged.
In 2011 Audible launched ACX, allowing authors and rights holders to publish audiobooks hiring voice actors. Still I hesitated. Production involved upfront costs and after years as a listener I had very high standards.
Then Came Scribd…
In 2020, Scribd, a subscription service, asked to contract for the exclusive ebook editions of my books with the option of creating audio versions. I didn’t believe audio would happen but – in time for the 2020 holidays my paranormal romance novella Christmas on Whatever Island (narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya, debuted as my first ever audiobook.
Early this year it was followed by my two Arizona romances, Hearts in the Vortex (narrated by Luci Christian) and Heads in the Clouds (narrated by Hallie Ricardo).
I was thrilled. (Big grin.) But after listening, I was even more pleased at the quality of the professional narrators Scribd had chosen for my books.
Faith Connor read Released, the first book in my Shapeshifters’ Library fantasy series, into an audiobook and Rebecca Ehrenpries read Retrieved. Later Sacha Dunbrooke and Maria Liatis read the the final books (my secret favorites). Little did I imagine, when writing the series and creating an international cast of quirky characters, that one day a narrator would be asking me about how each of my characters sounded and how to pronounce words and names that had lived only in my head.
Sometimes called “the Netflix for books,” Scribd Inc. is an American e-book and audiobook subscription service that offers one million ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more. 80 million users can access unlimited books a month from 1,000 publishers. Scribd audio titles are available to Scribd subscribers.
I hope audio will introduce new readers to my stories. But I also hope they aren’t all addicts who lose friends while listening.