So let’s light this candle! It passed the “I’m not crazy” test, in which other people listen to me reading and declare that yes, Brad, you can do this for money.
I’m going to do “A Little Too Broken” as my first Audible book. It’s short, meets the “MCs together on the page lots” test, and everyone loves it.
I’m really pleased what a low budget enterprise this is. I bought a Blue Snowball for $50 some time ago as an impulse purchase, thinking I’d do audio books. But I was still working two jobs between the day job and “being Brad,” and that was unrealistic, so into storage it went. I got a small acoustic enclosure for the mike for $70 (open box, $30 off, and naturally enough missing the stand and the bolts, but I made it work). I just ordered some acoustic foam tiles, $70 bucks on Amazon, which I can duct tape together and hang from the rafters in the dungeon er basement to take down the echo effect that I couldn’t remove from the SoundCloud sample. (Dude at Guitar Center tried to sell me a $180 sound muffler package that was basically the same thing as what I just ordered for $70, as well as a $60 pop filter – the Internet told me to never pay more than $20, but he said it’s better because “it has a metal screen you can wash.” Right.)
The day job was definitely good practice for this – I’d become a seasoned veteran at editing narration, taking out the background noise and silencing the breaths and gulps and snorts.
And yes, once I have it all down pat, I’ll create a DIY guide for authors on How I Did It. Obviously, you have to have the voice for it, but other than that, it’s not hard or expensive to get going on this. There are about 1,000 gay romance audiobooks on Audible, whereas there are about 16,000 gay romance books/ebooks on Amazon. So you’re 16x more likely to be seen there, right? I don’t know what sales on audiobooks are like, but shit, the list prices on these books are $20, and if you get 40% (if you’re all in with Amazon exclusive), that’s EIGHT DOLLARS a copy, as opposed the the $2.80 in royalty or $1.33 in borrowbux that I get on a $3.99 novel.
And, for everyone who joins Audible and buys my Bradiobook as their first purchase? I get a $50 bonus. Fuck yeah!
So I’m excited. No, this doesn’t have any impact on my wordage/output. I think centuries of day jobbing have ingrained my work habits permanently – I’ll always write early in the morning, and tap out by mid morning at the latest, but that leaves the rest of the day to do other projects. I really, really, really needed three months off from “working two jobs,” but I’m finally ready to gear up and get some other things rolling in my afternoons.
Who know? I may end up narrating books for other people. I’m already pondering offering my editorial/advising services to other writers, to supplement my wavering book income.