On Friday, I started recording my first, and possibly last, audio book.

Yes, The Reading Promise will be available to you in your car, on your bike, and if your headphones are waterproof, while you are going down a waterslide.

I have to be honest, though- the project was (is, really- I have two more recording sessions to go) much more intensive and exhausting than I ever would have expected. I mean, it’s just reading a book, right? A book I wrote and know pretty well. A book that is already written in my voice.

But the thing is, you need to say every line exactly as it appears in the text. If you ad an “a”, drop a “had”- take it back and rerecord the line. I never noticed before just how often I do exactly that. Unless I take it very, very slowly, I add or drop a word at least three times in one paragraph. It’s crazy! My whole body got tense from concentrating, and when I got home all I could do was flop on my bed and think about the beautiful day I was missing outside.

On the plus side, the studio itself was absolutely lovely, and for a moment I felt like a real recording artist!

My view from the studio. Hey Jeff, the audio guy!

There was a kitchen full of drinks and treats just for me, and everyone was very very nice. I guess they had to be, though, because I was so tense, they couldn’t risk me freaking out and screaming and breaking all of their expensive equipment. And this is coming from someone with years and years of theater experience- how do normal people cope? Aren’t writers supposed to be introverts, anyway!?

So if you choose to buy the audio book, please think of the struggles I went through to record it. Tell your friends to have a moment of silence. Though, if you are listening to an audio book, you will probably already be silent.

Which do you guys prefer- audio books, or the real deal text?

Published in: on March 21, 2011 at 11:00 am  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. i’m so excited to read this! and from the looks of the photo, chapter seven looks grand.

    ps – i’ve found waterproof headphones on ebay.

    • Then you’re all set and ready to go! Water parks, here you come!

  2. I enjoy listening to books on audio while driving to and from work. But my favorite is the real deal — I love reading books. I recently got a Kindle and I love it for its convenience sake. However, I miss touching and holding a book though — there is nothing quite like it!!! I’m curious, do you own a Kindle or a Nook or something similar?


    PS .. I can’t wait until your book comes out on May 3rd. I saw a blurb about it in my Parents magazine. Very enticing!

    • I prefer the real deal in all forms. I do not own a Kindle or Nook, and I don’t often listen to audio books. I just love the smell, the texture- even the weight!- of a good book. It would take a lot to convert me!

  3. Thanks for your comments. I listen to a lot of audiobooks when I commute. It is such a great use of time and my reading quotient skyrocketed.

    In all my book listening, this is the first time I have ever read about the process of recording the book. I pay attention to what is said sometimes, and some authors do modify the book as they go. I’m not so sure that is such a bad thing. For example, if the text says “as you read this book”, it can be modified to “as you listen to this book” and perhaps avoid a conflict while listening. When being acted, rather than strictly read, it is pointless to add an emotion that is in the text that can be communicated vocally. For example, ‘”No!”, she replied emphatically’ can be read with an emphatic ‘no’ which will be just as or perhaps more effective.

  4. I am a devoted audiobook “reader” but as I write this I have the library’s hardcover copy of your book in my lap. If I can’t get a book on audio from the library I occasionally read “real” books but I’m a great multi-tasker so I can read and still get things done – knitting, gardening (I can weed for hours with a good book to keep me company!), cookIng, driving, etc. My husband and I also listen together over dinner and on long car trips so it’s a good way to share a good book. Plus professional readers are such talented actors – and as in your case it’s another level of connection to hear a writer read their own work. Only you know what you’re really trying to say and how to say it! This is totally long winded because I’m passionate about audiobooks. Thanks for letting me share!

    • I totally get it- audiobooks can be so much fun! I love your idea of sharing them with your husband.

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