Monday, January 27, 2014

My Next Adventure: Creating an Audiobook

A few years ago, I made a personal challenge to read 100 books in 12 months.  I succeeded, but only because I added audiobooks to my bookshelves.  I was driving around a lot in those days, going to doctor appointments and physical therapy, and figured listening to a book during my travels would boost the number of books I'd read.  It turned out to be addictive.  I always have a book on my iPhone to plug into when I'm taking a long trip, working out, cooking, or doing house and garden work.  I'll even listen to a story when floating in my pool or lounging on the beach.  Most times are a good time to listen to a great read, and it beats channel surfing on the radio.  

So, it is with great pleasure that I embark on my next adventure in publishing: creating an audiobook of Blue Hydrangeas with actor Elinor Bell and ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange, an Amazon company.)  ACX is a marketplace where professional authors, agents, publishers, and other rights holders can connect with professional narrators, engineers, recording studios, and other producers capable of producing a finished audiobook, as well as with audiobook publishers. With ACX, I am in control of my project, choosing my producer/narrator, the time frame for the project, where it will be sold, even the royalty structure.

More than twenty producers/narrators auditioned for Blue Hydrangeas.  I chose Elinor Bell because of her professional approach to the audition and because I liked her voice and the way she read the sample script.  I was looking for a mature reader, without any regional accent, and someone who appreciated the story of Jack and Sara.  Elinor met all of my criteria and more.  We had a lovely discussion on the phone to finalize details of our contract and I learned she has first-hand knowledge of dementia as her mother suffered with it.  She also loved the book, which is very important to me as the author. Elinor has extensive experience on stage, in film, and in commercials, voiceover, and audiobook narration.  She also swims and sings (mezzo soprano), which are talents I greatly admire. 

Production has started and I am waiting for Elinor to deliver the first fifteen minutes of the book, which should be a good indicator of what I can expect for the remainder.  We will work closely together throughout the process, communicating chapter to chapter, with her recording and me reviewing and revising as we move along.  Our goal is to finish within sixty days. 

Once complete, the audiobook will be available for digital download on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.  I chose an exclusive distribution option, which guarantees the book will be for sale on these three sites at a minimum, as opposed to the non-exclusive distribution option, where I would be able to distribute the audiobook to any additional retailers, in digital and/or physical format, on my own.  Since these three leading digital retailers reach the vast majority of audiobook buyers, I felt comfortable going the exclusive route.

I will write about this project as it progresses.  Please follow this adventure in publishing.  Sign up to receive emails on blog updates or join my mailing list by emailing


~ Sandy said...

Marianne, this sounds like such a fun adventure. And you're certainly done your homework so you know what to expect and what you want. I think it will be a wonderful piece of work. Elinor sounds like the perfect narrator.

Congrats! And may you sell a million audiobooks!


~ Sandy said...

oops! I forgot to add how much I love Blue Hydrangeas, reading or hearing :)

Marianne Sciucco said...

Thanks, Sandy. This is an exciting time for me and the book. It seems to resonate with readers, especially those who are living or have lived the Alzheimer's life Your support means a lot to me. Marianne