Like many first-time authors, writing and publishing my book, We Are All Sales, People, was a passion project that I had to work into my “normal life.” Although getting the book finished was a start-and-stop process, the Peacock Proud Press team made it work.
After publishing in February 2020, the book successfully climbed to #1 in several categories on Amazon. As a sales and marketing professional myself, I had a great marketing plan to expand the print book’s reach, including a series of speaking events. Then this little thing called COVID hit. Plans ruined. Still, I knew over time, if I wanted to expand my personal brand through the book, I needed to make the written words audible, whether as an audiobook or a podcast.
Considering my busy personal and professional life, a recurring podcast didn’t seem realistic, even though I enjoy listening to podcasts and find the short form content attractive. So I decided to record my book, which launched live on Audible August 2, 2022—an exciting achievement!
Who Should Do the Voice Over Work?
To begin my audiobook journey, I connected with an old high school friend, Kane, that I knew did professional voice over work. Primarily, I wanted to know whether he’d be interested in doing the recording for me. “If there’s any way you can record it yourself,” Kane advised, “you should try to do it in your voice.” He told me that if I chose to speak, blog, or write further about the topic of my book, I should associate my voice with the work since it was quite personal. After doing more research and talking to a few more folks, I decided I’d record my own book.
Fortunately, I caught a break because Kane had retired from the voice over business and sold me his equipment at a reasonable cost. I did the actual recording on a 2014 MacBook Pro that my daughter had used in college. After upgrading the operating system, I used a free version of Audacity as the recording software. I actually learned how to record an audiobook from several online websites with videos tutorials. The ACX website itself, which provides the standards for recording and publishing on Amazon’s Audible, is excellent as well.
Hiring Out the Audio Editing and Production
While I felt comfortable reading my book aloud to record it myself, I absolutely had no intention of editing the audio I recorded, so I submitted my project on Upwork and received several offers to do the editing—a godsend because my technical skills and patience are very low.
I thought the recording process might be incredibly difficult, taxing, and stressful, so I paced myself out one to two chapters during the day when my stamina felt high and my voice sounded fresh. It took me a few tries to get the cadence down, but ultimately, recording wasn’t as bad as I thought.
Read from a Kindle, not the Printed Book
Also, instead of reading the book from printed pages, I bought a kindle and used an extremely large font to make the process easier—a tip I picked up during my research. I also drank plenty of water and took breaks when needed.
After recording, I’d ship each file off to my audio editor/producer. He reviewed the files and deleted any pauses, skips, or other errors. I had to re-record three chapters due to a settings error I made, but all in all, doing the audio recording myself was well worth the effort.
Pacing My Side Gig According to My Own Schedule
One great thing about being an author as a side gig: I can pace myself throughout the process, using professional resources when I need them, such as the team at Peacock Proud Press or a freelance audio editor, and putting in my own time on my schedule.
That flexibility came in handy when I had a heart attack on April Fool’s Day 2021while my wife and I were on Spring Break! I had just set up the recording equipment in my lower-level family room and had planned to get started right after I returned from vacation. As you might have guessed, plans foiled—again! But I didn’t give up on the idea of an audiobook, waiting close to eleven months to start recording when it worked for my schedule, and I knew I was healthy enough.
A Lifelong Foundation of Content
The printed book, website, and now audiobook provide me a lifelong foundation of content that I can use across my personal and professional pursuits. If you have it in your heart to record your book, I can’t encourage you enough to go for it!