storytelling, audiobooks, maybe with background music?

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    Michael E. Walston
    • Topics - 38
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    Tonight I tried reading Saviors of the Galaxy aloud, pretending I was doing it for a much loved friend, and I was quite surprised at how much I got into it, and how much animation was in my voice. Since audiobooks are a “thing” anyway (I’ve never listened to one and I haven’t given them much thought before tonight) I’m suddenly intrigued by the idea of recording and releasing an audio edition, only where would I sell it? Smashwords doesn’t include audio books, does it?

    I am also something of a musician, given to noodling around on keyboard and guitar, and I would purely love to compose a soundtrack. Is this done? Do audiobooks have soundtracks? Would I be a pioneer? Would people think I was an idiot (not that I care)?

    Back in the 90s at one point there was a lot of buzz about “multimedia”. As far as I can tell that never evolved into a robust art form, but I liked the idea then and I still like it now.

    Oh yeah, I’m also something of an “artist” (translated: sometimes I like to draw and paint) so I would also be pleased to include “illustrations” in my multimedia SOTG edition. I would not be adverse to including actual dramatizations of certain scenes, given the affordability of software like PowerDirector, the many excellent digital camcorders that are available now, and the ubiquitous presence of ham actors and actresses everywhere you look.

    Are other people doing this sort of thing? Or am I nuts (okay, rhetorical question)?

    Storytelling and drawing and making music must surely be the oldest art forms. As we evolve into new eras and new media, my take on it all is that it would be pretty cool to just experiment.

    What do y’all think?

    Ashe Elton Parker
    • Topics - 475
    • Replies - 9,558

    I, personally, would not object to images somehow included with an audoiobook. I would, however, object to a soundtrack playing in the background of the read-out-loud book. I rarely listen to audiobooks, because it forces me to sit very still and concentrate very hard on the narration, because I don’t always comprehend spoken word, particularly that of audiobooks. A soundtrack would distract me, no matter how softly it played (it takes me longer to learn the words of songs, even those I learned in chorus class in high school, because my tendency is to listen to the music being played and not the words I may need or want to sing).

    This difficulty comprehending spoken word is one of the reasons why I love DVDs so much. I get a pretty accurate copy of the dialogue being spoken from the subtitle option (which may vary wildly depending on what the director/editor/whoever manages the application of the subtitles wanted to provide).

    Overall, however, I much prefer to read my books. I can move around while reading, sip a beverage, munch a snack, or even wander around the house if I like with the book in hand. I can’t do any of this while listening to an audiobook, or I miss whole sections of the story.

    Ashe Elton Parker
    "Just love me, fear me, do as I say, and I will be your slave." ~ David Bowie as Jareth in Labyrinth
    Member since 1998.
    Look me up on Wattpad for some of my books!
    Weird Jim
    • Topics - 131
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    This is just personal, but I hate the overdone audio books. Suddenly there’s dialogue being hissed (and,yes Holly, words can be hissed although I think this is the only place it’s done.) messing up the concentration I put into understanding the readers voice; tuning my brain to the sound, so to speak. Some audio book producers seem to feel that an actor is required to read the books. Not for me they are not. Music is also an interuption, especially when it’s ‘artistically’ blended with esssential chapter and scene opening words.

    As I said at the beginning, this could be just me. Surely the producers would not use these techniques if readers did not like them — or would they?

    • Topics - 4
    • Replies - 89

    Personally, I like a good audiobook, but I think I would find background music distracting. I prefer a well-read story (without excessive attempts at accents) with some subtle characterization.

    I know there’s at least one company (ACX) that works with authors who want to read their own books for audiobooks, helping to get the files set up for or for sale or free download from the author’s site.

    I know Dean Wesley Smith advocates having audiobooks available (though I can’t recall which of his blog posts mentioned it, at the moment.)

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