So why audio? Why do I make it? Why produce things as audiobooks? I like to write, so why do audio?
I recognize not a lot of authors create audio, and even fewer authors create their own audio. (Which is 100% ok!) I was asked why I did it, especially when I talked a little about how much work it is.
I’ve actually got a good bit of experience in doing audio. Not entirely like audiobooks or podcasts but similar.
I worked in radio for a while. I produced news segments. (I actually have the skill of splicing tape, and I’m not that old, but I’ve chopped audio up into tiny bits and put it together.) I also hosted several shows and spent a good chunk of time on air.
I also have experience with doing shorter, more highly produced audio for elearnings. I do quite a bit of professional audio work that way now.
So why audio?
Audio is something that I like to consume. I listen to a lot of audiobooks. (I was a member of audible a forever ago, back before it was an amazon company.) I’ve been listening to podcasts for a really long time. I’m sure I listen to more books than I read. I don’t know that the majority of my information consumption comes from podcasts and audiobooks, but it is a significant portion.
I also know that audio is valuable to a lot of people for a range of reasons.
Some people have commutes that are hours and hours long, being able to escape into a novel is a great way to pass a commute. I’ve known people who have jobs that are primarily driving, same thing. So just having a lot of time commuting and being able to spend that with consumable information is wonderful.
For people who have trouble reading, audio is incredibly valuable. Being able to listen to a story and enjoy reading and other worlds, as well as consume information in a quick way is a great boon of living in the future now. (And yes, there are tools like text to speech, but they don’t have the same kinds of human qualities that a person would **yet**.)
I like bringing worlds to life. I know that some people really enjoy and focus on cover art and other art for books, but for me the moment it is brought to life is when I hear it. It creates a richer world. Both for me creating it, and when I consume it.
Audiobooks are better. I said it. Ok maybe not all audiobooks are better than all written only books. But in general I think that doing a read aloud of a book makes it better. Even if you aren’t going to publish the audio version reading it will help you catch things you wouldn’t otherwise. I know when I’ve read something of mine or someone else’s when I read it out loud I always catch something new. I think that it really does help to improve the book to have a pass of reading it.
So why audio?
Because I like it. Because I want to share my work with people who need the accessibility or the flexibility of being able to listen to audio. Because it helps me improve the quality of my work.
(As a bonus, I will often do multiple audio reads because one of the people I turn to for beta reading sometimes prefers audio. These pieces I feel like really improve greatly.)