Audiobooks are NOT “Fun Stuff!”

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During Rob’s filming of my live Transformation 101 course, we realized I say the phrase “fun stuff” often. Too often. Like… 10 times in an hour. That’s a major no-no.

That phrase has been an obsession since last August and realize it’s part of my regular vocabulary. I usually mean it as an ellipse when I’m speaking… “x, y, z, and all that fun stuff.” It speeds up my pacing if I feel I’m going on a tangent.

After 30 hours, I can say with confidence I never wrote the words “fun stuff” in my book. Whew!

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been editing the audiobook of my Transformation 101. I love audiobooks and I had the time during winter to focus on it. Only 5% of the books on the market have audiobook versions. I even suggest audiobooks IN this one, so why not make one myself? I didn’t realize how much time I’d need this winter because I’ve never done it. As they say, hindsight’s 20/20.

I’m blessed Rob has the makings of a recording studio. A professional music producer in a past life (he still produces his own personal works), he has the programs, plugins, mics, and knowledge needed to record programs. Thank heavens… when I took classes on how to create audiobooks, I realized how expensive and confusing this venture can be.

Here’s a rough estimate of the time spent on the project. I didn’t start tracking it until I was into chapter 5 but I’m guessing the entire process took 30 hours. The bold chapters are free chapters for you, available on SoundCloud.


Chapter

Edit Start Time Edit End Time Time Spent Editing Chptr Length Before Edit Chptr Length After Edit

Minutes Removed

1 7.36
2 14.57
3 17.04
4 16.46
5 9:53 am 11:46 am 2 hours 29.41 23.24 6
6 11:49 am 1:07 pm 1.5 hours 18.52 15.13 3.5
7 1:38 pm 1:58 pm 20 minutes 5.52 3.57 2
8 2:03 pm 3:21 pm 1.20 hours 27.53 19.17 8
9 3:26 pm 3:52 pm 30 minutes 7.31 4.42 3
10 4:22 pm 5:20 pm 1 hour 19.52 12.02 6.5
11 10:04 am 12:03 pm 2 hours 23.47 17.18 5.5
12 1:13 pm 4:35 pm 3.2 hours 44.08 24.58 20
13 5 pm 5:34 pm 30 minutes 8.19 4.56 3
14 9:27 am 10:02 am 30 minutes 4.50 3.43 1
15 10:46 am 11:23 am 45 minutes 9.11 6.20 3
16 11:42 am 12:50 am 10 minutes 13.02 9.47 3
17 12:56 pm 2 pm 1 hour 16.36 12.17 4
18 2:01 pm 4:13 pm 2 hours 20.02 13.07 7
19 2:14 pm 4:14 pm 2 hours 17.23 10.26 7
20 10:50 am 11:15 am 25 minutes 4.02 2.50 1
TOTAL (EST)     19.5 editing 366 (6 hrs) recording 4 hr, 5 min. audiobook 84 minutes removed

I quickly learned it takes 30 minutes to edit each 10 minutes of recording. It takes longer when there are multiple mistakes. Recording 3 or more hours per day increased my mistakes, as you can see by the original length of chapters 10 and 12. I’m not a professionally trained speaker who can record an entire book in a weekend, though it was close!

Here are other important lessons:

      • Pronunciation is difficult for readers versus people who listen to books or watch movies/TV/videos. As I learned from Stephen King, if you haven’t heard a word pronounced and have only read it, you may pronounce it incorrectly. I now know how important it is to not judge people who mispronounce words and I have a new respect for media personnel!Had I not read King’s advice before embarking on this journey, I would have ditched the project. But hey, it’s ok if I say something phonetically wrong… it’s all I know. I fumbled and moved on, not letting it stop me. I apologize to you, dear reader, as well as those who have their names said incorrectly. I simply have the words in visible print only and have never heard them pronounced for me. As for the other words said incorrectly, well… I’m human.Examples: glycerol, cyanocobalamin (I still can’t say it, despite writing it with ease!), Jay Burachel, and Doctor Douillard. Ironically, I heard Doctor Douillard say his name after submitting my audiobook to ACX. The correct pronunciation is “doo-yard.” Sigh… I sucked at French.
      • I discovered I have asthma 2 years ago, admittedly very late in the game. Until then, I just thought I had weak lungs from multiple episodes of bronchitis and a mother who smoked during pregnancy and throughout my life. There are plenty of moments in live presentations I speak and can’t catch my breath or wheeze. Recording presentations brings a level of humility and awareness you’ll never experience elsewhere. Thank heavens I can edit most of it out—it’d be distracting for you as a listener. I never knew how distracting until I began editing.
      • I recorded this in January in Maine… there were times I forgot to turn off the heat during recording. You can’t edit the “pop” of the heat kicking on and air blowing while you’re reading. Stop, turn off the heat, record, freeze, repeat.
      • I learned we have a rush hour! 2:45-3:45 is a HORRIBLE time to record. It’s also bad to record during cat feeding time: they bitch until you feed them, bitch if you ignore them AFTER feeding (this is the time for playing and snuggling), and they hit the litter box immediately after eating (conveniently located next to my office).
      • Here’s 2 minutes of bloopers edited for obvious reasons. CAUTION: expletives. 😉
      • I love editing for many reasons; one is the chance to alter pacing and make your book flow better.
      • I don’t always love editing. Matching a retake to the earlier line is tricky when your pitches don’t match. Monotone versus animated? Sounds fake and edited. While it’s obviously edited, no one wants to KNOW this. We know they edit reality shows, movies, YouTube vids, and we’re ok with that; editing helps maintain interest and pacing. Leave the wizard behind the curtain. Piecing sentences together is time-consuming. It’s worse when you falter through a line and don’t re-record it, though. Trying to remove a Nano-second of a stutter is… &^%$
      • I’ve spent the winter reading books on writing and purchased software to increase my writing skills. Even after reading my book multiple times and having an editor, I found minor errors whilst recording. Most people will miss the errors unless they’re writers themselves. A word used too frequent, vague words, extra adverbs, so on. The content is correct, thankfully. I now get to add “new edition of Transformation 101” to this year’s project list.
      • It’s a good damn thing I’m passionate about this material. This book is a mix of the most popular workshops I’ve held over the last decade. It started as an online course, grew into live teachings, has been recorded and edited as an audiobook, and I’ll teach it again this year to live audiences. Rob recorded the 2018 live teachings… we’ll be editing THOSE in the next couple of months so I can add them to the online course.

     

    As a side note, the live teachings don’t cover the full book material; the class would run much longer than 3 sessions and some material is best left out of live settings. Those who attended those live classes will get a discount on one of the 2 versions of the book as a thank you.

    As Mel Abraham says, love what you do because you’ll be recreating it for the next 5-10 years minimum. Selling books is job which requires you to handle the same material a gazillion times. Are audiobooks fun stuff? To record, yes. To listen to someone else’s, definitely. To edit your own? The jury’s still out…

What are your thoughts?

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