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  • Writer's pictureDiana Johnson

Creating an Audiobook

When I started down the path to self-publishing I had tons to consider. I was learning the process as I went and made plenty of good mistakes. Once I had my eBook and paperback versions up and generating interest, I started getting quizzed by my friends and family about when the audio version was coming out. I had no idea how many people 'read' on their commute to work or had an audiobook on in their headphones while they worked.

Turns out, a good many!

So I started exploring the self-publishing options for Audible and created an account with ACX, Amazon Publishing's branch for the production of audio content. It was a similar process of uploading my manuscript but instead of publishing it, voice actor/producers would submit audition tapes of it for my approval. Once I found the voice of the book, I made an offer to share royalties and the production began.

For Cold Daughters, I was fortunate enough to get Beth Sarah to narrate and produce. Beth is from West Sussex in the UK, and runs a preschool by day, when she isn't writing and illustrating children's books or recording original music! Her British accent was perfect for the global cast of Cold Daughters and her production was flawless. Beth was so easy to work with too. She would record bits at a time and email me to listen and critique as I saw fit, and the results were amazing! I had a friend who read the paperback listen to the audiobook later and she said, "The narration brings it to life and adds a whole new dimension to this complex beautiful story of devotion, sacrifice, and love." And I couldn't agree more, Judy!

Once Just DIY was finished and because I had such an amazing experience with Beth, I couldn't wait to start auditioning again. Unfortunately, I needed a Yank for this one so Beth was out of the picture. But it wasn't long before I found another incredibly talented voice actor/producer in Laurie Collins. She's a Texas native who co-hosts a Sumo Wrestling podcast with her sister Leslie, called Sumo Kaboom! She's acted in theatre and film productions, and teaches other women how to create their own podcasts! She has worked diligently on perfecting Just DIY for our Audible debut at the end of this summer and she's been an absolute blast to work with.

I don't know how in hell's half acre, I ended up lucky enough to hit it out of the park TWICE on my first two at-bats, but I'm so grateful to these women for their talent and hard work. This process has the potential to be a tug-of-war if the right people aren't on board but I've never stressed about a single word with Beth and Laurie. I will be forever thankful that I connected with both of them and hope we stay in touch forever!

I hope you'll take a minute, look them up, and patronize their other projects. Their such cool and interesting people! I'm so glad I got the chance to work with them both!

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