Bonus Story Audio Version

If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed yesterday that a bonus story just went live: Demonic Café: Extra Hot. It’s really more a collection of vignettes than a story per se, but it does feature Sam and Cassie’s first meeting.

I also recorded an audio version of the main story. This is a test: I’m not sure if this is the set-up I’m going to use to record my audio going forward. I’m not sure if the vocal quality is good enough; it’s fairly clear, but there’s a kind of graininess to it that I can’t seem to counteract. Maybe this is as good as I can get without investing in a $200 microphone, or maybe I just need to optimize my recording room some more. In any case, I’d love to hear feedback about how the audio sounds.

Little Demonic Comics

I’ve been posting these little Demonic Cafe comics to Instagram, just for fun. I found a tiny little sketchbook with pre-drawn panel borders, and it was too cute not to use for something. I was thinking that if I did enough of these, eventually I could compile them into some kind of little book, but in some ways, making it project-oriented could defeat the purpose; I like the idea of them just being fun little doodles.

It’s a challenge to draw in such a tiny sketchbook (the shot of the pencil in the third image gives you an idea of the scale), but in some ways I think that’s better; makes me stop obsessing and just get the basic idea down. I look forward to doing more of these, during those little gaps of time when I need a break from writing but I feel like doing something quasi-productive.

Getting into Audio

My new little mic
Isn’t it cute?

Above you can see a picture of my new microphone, complete with POP filter. I’ve been meaning to start producing audio books for some time, and I’ve finally got the equipment to do it. I need to produce paperback editions of my books too, which should probably take priority, but buying the microphone was more fun, lol.

There are several reasons why I’d like to record the audio versions of my books myself. Number one is cost: getting a professional narrator to read your work is very expensive, and I just don’t make that kind of money from my books yet. Of course, having audio versions available is one way to make more money, so it’s a bit of a Catch-22 scenario.

Number two is fun. I’ve always enjoyed acting, but in recent years, I’ve really had no outlet for it. I’ve also enjoyed editing podcasts in the past, so I have some of the necessary skills for audiobook production.

Three is quality. I have no illusions that I can produce a better audio book than a troop of professional voice actors, but I do have certain advantages. For the Demonic Cafe books in particular, I think I could do a good job as the voice of Cassie– possibly better than a narrator who is completely new to the characters and the world. I might be completely wrong about that, but it seems like it’s a good reason to at least try.

So far, I’m having a tough time of it. Even though I have audio experience, trying to get good audio for a book is pretty tough. The level of quality that’s considered okay for podcasting is decidedly not good enough for audio books, and having a better mic is only one small part of the process. I’m probably going to have to set up a place in my house to record, because trying to do it in my office just isn’t working: there’s too much of an echo, not to mention background noise. I still think it’s doable, but it’s going to take some real work to get decent sound quality.

Part of me thinks this is all a waste and that this is time that would be better spent writing, but eh…I can’t write for ten hours a day, you know? Some indie writers work with the mindset of trying to churn out as many words per day as possible (10K per day! 20K per day!) and while I can see the merit of that to an extent, I’m not on that train yet. For me personally, I think spending a couple of hours writing then switching over to something else would be healthier for my brain anyway.

So I’m going to be spending the fall trying to get my audiobook production up and running, in addition to hopefully finishing a couple of novellas I have in progress. I’m even thinking of posting sample chapters to this blog (via Soundcloud), so I can possibly get some feedback on my audio before I upload it in finished format. Who knows; if you’re diligent, maybe you can download an entire book in the form of sample files and not bother with having to pay for it on Audible! Here I am, out here with my microphone under a blanket, saving you money.