Island of Fog audiobook planned for release in the spring

Posted on January 6, 2015 (Subscribe to Blog)

It's on! The first book in the Island of Fog series will soon be an audiobook courtesy of Amazon's ACX audiobook program, and is due for release in the spring assuming all goes well. It will be available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.

The chosen narrator is the super-talented Fred Wolinsky. Check out his website and you'll see my book listed at the bottom of his home page as an upcoming project. Listen to his audio samples for a wide range of voices and accents.

Island of Fog Audiobook Cover

Fred has supplied me with a couple of audition pieces, and we've discussed some of the character voices. Here's what I said about his first stab at a classroom scene where the classmates introduce themselves:

  • Hal was good, fairly ordinary and neutral, which is what he needs to be.
  • Robbie had a perfect amount of geekiness. Love it!
  • I liked Abigail's voice as a main girl character, not too over-the-top.
  • Lauren was cute, just right.
  • Darcy was just fine, no problem.
  • Emily was lispy and nerdy, not what I imagined but still funny. Let me think on that one.
  • Dewey was just fine, small and shy.
  • Fenton was great!

His portrayal of Miss Simone was a little "old ma'am / school teacher-y" for me, but he didn't know much about her at the time. When he's finished reading the book, he'll see that she's quite sultry in an indifferent kind of way; her enchanting beauty is part of her magic, much to her annoyance.

In another scene, I wanted to hear what Thomas would sound like. A manticore's voice is traditionally described as "high and fluty," and I went with that in the books... but we both agree that a slightly more whispery, sinister voice would be better.

Once we get started on this, Fred will produce the first fifteen minutes and let me hear it around the beginning of February. Once I approve that, he'll continue with the rest of the book and complete in April. The entire audiobook should be about ten hours long, but it will take much longer to produce it. As Fred said in an email:

"There is quite a bit of work that goes into putting together a professional-sounding audiobook recording. I first read and prep the script, then I record (with lots of stopping, starting, and retakes until I am happy with every sentence), then edit, quality control, master the sound levels, clean up any pops, crackles, and extraneous breath noises, and convert the files for the web. On average, it takes me about 10 hours of work for each finished hour of audio. I know some narrators cut corners, and their recording quality, flow or consistency is not as professional sounding. I have great integrity in my work, and will put in whatever time it takes to do it right!"

Fred has passed Audible's stringent review process and been granted "Audible Approved" status, which only about 10% of the narrators on ACX have.

I can't wait to hear the finished book and launch it. I have no doubt Fred will do a great job, but I'm a little nervous about how clunky my writing will sound when spoken aloud, especially with Island of Fog being the first book I published. I'd be much more confident with Book 9. But anyway, all that aside, I'm hoping this will open up a whole new market for the series.

My next post on this subject will probably be sometime in February when I've heard the first 15-minute sampling.

Comment by BRIAN B. on Tuesday, January 6, 2015...

How awesome for you! Sign me up. I only recently found out that my boss has been "reading" audio books for many years during his long driving commute. Frankly, I thought they were only for blind people.

Comment by KEITH ROBINSON on Tuesday, January 6, 2015...

It's definitely a commute thing. My wife "discovered" audiobooks a few months ago, and now she can't wait to get in her car and drive 45 minutes to work. When she comes home, she remains in the car in the driveway, and I have to assume it's because she's riveted to her audiobook rather than being reluctant to come into the house.

Comment by DONNA C. on Tuesday, January 6, 2015...

My husband is a delivery truck driver in the Atlanta area, and he has been listening to audio books for a few years. He can get most of them free from the library and a few other websites. He can listen to at least 2 or 3 books a week this way, and hardly ever actually reads a book anymore. He says it feels so antiquated to have to read a book to himself now. Before I retired i used to take advantage of audio books myself. Now I use the Kindle for PC free reading app, on my desktop computer. My eyesight is poor so unless a book is in large print, I cannot read a normal print book anymore.

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