Audio Book vs. Written Book – Should You Write Differently?

As more and more people discover the joys of listening to audio books, more of my clients are asking if they need to write differently for audio book projects.

The short answer, if you’re a writer and are wondering this too, is no.photo of ear, Sandy Weaver Carman, Voicework on Demand, audio products, audio learning, audio books, writer, speaker, trainer, coach, author

Write in your voice, in your style, and with your words. Write the way you normally write, and let your editor edit your work normally. You don’t need to do anything differently unless the spirit moves you to make an audio book edit to your manuscript. One of my clients does that when we do audio versions of his short stories – he wants them to be as easy as possible for his listeners to follow, as there’s a lot of dialogue in his stories. If you write with a lot of conversations in your creations, you might want to think of making an audio book edit to your manuscript, too, since the listener can’t hear open and close quotation marks!

The one thing you have to know is that the voice actor who reads your book for the audio book version may make slight word changes, and that’s normal. As a matter of fact, the best narrators know how to make very small changes that help the listener stay in the story. They’re not mistakes – they’re deliberate language changes that take your manuscript and make it into the best possible audio book.

Should your book be available in audio form? Well, since my company produces audio books, you won’t be surprised that my answer is yes! But, here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to turn your book into an audio book:

  • In January, 2011, the Association of American Publishers reported a slight decline in sales of physical audio books, ie: cd and cassette versions. Downloadable audio book sales were up nearly 10% year over year as sales of books declined.
  • In their 2011 professional survey, The Audiobook Publisher Association reported that audio book downloads represent 36% of dollar volume and 52% of unit sales, with downloadable audio book sales growing 300% in dollar volume the previous 5 years.
  • In a report issued September of 2012, Business Insider revealed that 78% of the US adult population uses a smart phone or tablet, and the percentage is expected to grow to nearly 85% by the end of 2013.

Smart phones and tablets are changing the way readers “read” your books. Ebooks are dominating the book sales marketplace, and downloadable audio books are the even easier way for people to read a book. Amazon.com introduced a Whispersync app, which encourages purchasers to buy both the e-book and audio book version, and seamlessly switch from one to the other. Go to bed and read chapter four on your Kindle, wake up and listen to chapter five on your smart phone or Kindle as you work out or commute, and there’s no searching for your place – all of your devices know where you left off, and pick up there, no matter which version you’re reading.

As you go through your normal day, pay attention to the number of people you see with headphones or earbuds on. They’re not all listening to music – chances are many, if not most, of them are listening to an audio book or podcast.

If you’ve written a book or are working on one, don’t worry about making any changes if you want to have an audio version available – simply write, knowing that people will love your book – and audio book!

Do you have a question about audio products? I’d love to hear it, and maybe answer it right here. Helping people monetize their content is what we do!

Sandy Weaver Carman
CEO, Voicework on Demand, Inc.

Voicework on Demand, Inc.

I partner with writers, speakers, trainers and coaches, taking work they’ve already done and turning it into a revenue river. Ready to get your feet wet?

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Audio Books – 3 Reasons Your Book MUST Be an Audio Book

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As more and more people move to smart phones, they’re discovering the ease and fun of listening to an audio book. If you haven’t become hooked by audio books yet, know that the world is about to pass you by – listening to an audio book has become so much easier than reading an actual book or an e-book that the audio book market segment is the fastest-growing.

People use audio books to prevent squabbles between their kids in the back seat, to become a better person, or to make distance running palatable, Continue reading Audio Books – 3 Reasons Your Book MUST Be an Audio Book

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Audio Products, Exercise and Priorities

Exercise - some motivation required picture of a dinosaur chasing a tiny human being audio products, audio books, Sandy Weaver Carman, Voicework On Demand, speakers, writers, authors, trainers, coaches, repurpose, revenue river

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You may think you know where I’m going with this post about audio products, exercise and priorities. You might be right, but I bet you’re not. Let’s see who wins!

In a moment of clarity this morning, I noticed my surroundings as I parked to go to the gym. The gym is in a suburban strip mall in a space previously occupied by a grocery store, and at the front of the parking lot is a fast-food place that features a large, yellow, double-humped iconic logo. You know the one I mean! Continue reading Audio Products, Exercise and Priorities

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Audio Products – the Case for Big & Little

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Time. Who has enough of that? Multi-tasking has become second nature for many people, which is great news for writers, speakers, trainers and coaches who offer audio products. Multi-tasking professionals use audio products as a way to learn while accomplishing something else: travel, exercise, chores, etc.

People who offer their intellectual capital in audio products often don’t maximize the profitability of those products, though Continue reading Audio Products – the Case for Big & Little

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Audio Book Production – or, Why I Love My Job!

Audio editor with audio book, audio products, created by Sandy Weaver Carman, writers, authors, speakers, trainers, coachesIn my business, in addition to producing other audio products, I produce an audio book every month or so. Usually, I get hired to read and produce business audio books. I love doing that, because I learn so much. As it happens, I’m currently working on two pieces of fiction, which is a fun change of pace. Continue reading Audio Book Production – or, Why I Love My Job!

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Vital Information – Free! Three Learning Opportunities You Can’t Miss!

image of a professional microphone, audio, audio books, audio products, Sandy Weaver Carman, Voicework on DemandIt’s beginning to look a lot like summer school! Three different organizations have asked me to present for their members next week – two webinars and one in-person seminar – and you’re invited to attend, too!

Here’s what you need to know: Continue reading Vital Information – Free! Three Learning Opportunities You Can’t Miss!

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Road Trip – Will People Take Your Audio Products for a Ride?

Do you have travel plans this summer? I’m about to go for a drive, from the Atlanta area to the Memphis area. And you can bet I’ll be Sandy Weaver Carman awarding Best in Specialty Sweepstakes to Mary Uhlir and Mischief, audio products, audio books, Voicework on Demand, authors, writers, speakers, trainers, coachestaking along an audio book, plus audio products I’ve purchased from speakers so I can learn as I drive.

Why am I going, you might wonder? (Or maybe you’re not wondering, but I’m going to tell you anyway!) In 1979, my heart was stolen by a little red Siberian Husky puppy, and my life went to the dogs shortly thereafter. Continue reading Road Trip – Will People Take Your Audio Products for a Ride?

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How Audio Products Will Speed Your Success

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Total Communications Coach Dr. Joan C. Curtis

Do you work with a business coach? I do, and don’t know what I’d do without her. She keeps me focused and she keeps me accountable. She’s available to brainstorm solutions to the obstacles that get in the way of every growing business. And she keeps me pointed in the direction of success.

If you work with a business coach, chances are you get some of the same advice from yours that I get from mine. One of the things I’ve dropped the ball on is an audio version of my book, “The Original MBA – Succeed in Business Using Mom’s Best Advice.” She’s laughed with me that I stay so busy making audio products for clients that I haven’t made any for me. Continue reading How Audio Products Will Speed Your Success

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It’s a Triple! Audio Books for All Phones!

HTC Windows phone audio book app, audio books, Sandy Weaver Carman, authors, speakers, trainers, coachesMicrosoft is having a busy week. First they announced a new tablet, to be rolled out this fall, and now they’ve jumped on the audio book bandwagon. They’ve partnered with Audible.com to produce an app for their Windows phones, and it’s available in the Windows app store.

Android phones and iPhones already had an Audible audio book app, but with this announcement, virtually every smart phone in use has access to over 100,000 audio books via the Audible.com library. Continue reading It’s a Triple! Audio Books for All Phones!

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Audio Book – “Still Standing” by Carrie Prejean with Sean Hannity

picture of the cover of Carrie Prejean's "Still Standing" audio book, audio products, Sandy Weaver Carman, writers, authors, speakers, trainers, coachesIt’s always a privilege and a compliment when an author or her agency chooses me to produce their book in audio form. One of the things I love about producing an audio book is that I love books – I love to read, so getting paid to read almost feels illegal! Continue reading Audio Book – “Still Standing” by Carrie Prejean with Sean Hannity

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