Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Audio books a viable option

Musings by: Joe P Attanasio

Have you ever listened to an audio book?

I would guess that most people never have. I imagine people might liken them to watching a story on television but without the picture. Audio books might also seem like listening to a talk show on the radio. Well, they couldn’t be more wrong.

I discovered audio books when my work situation in California changed and required me to drive over an hour each way to work. I got a few tapes of books I thought sounded interesting at a used bookstore. They were three for $5. I got the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, Contact written by Carl Sagan and Timeline by Michael Crichton.

I did not even know if I would enjoy them as I had never tried an audio book before. When I was leaving for work the following morning, I popped the Da Vinci Code tape in my car player as I pulled out of the driveway. A soothing man’s voice started telling the story. He spoke clearly and was easy to understand. He was not just reading the story. He was an actor and he acted the story beautifully. He changed his voice and accent as he switched between portraying Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu. He nailed Sophie’s French accent perfectly as well as the male French detective in the story. I was immediately engrossed with his compelling performance.

When I left work that day I was looking forward to the drive home so I could hear more of the story, which fascinated me. I was no less pleased with the other two tapes. It was like I was reading these books myself. I saw every scene come alive in my mind complete with all the minute details you only get from reading. I eventually saw all three of these stories on the big screen. Trust me when I say, ‘The books were so much better’, because they truly were.

The reason for today’s blog topic is that recently, a fellow author from the Booktrap website, Thom Stark released an audio clip for the beginning of my newest novel ‘Sarah’.
Thom has a great speaking voice and reads with feeling. It was thrilling to hear my words brought to life by him.

I know little of the process involved but I will share what I do know. The process started with Catherine Lenderi who manages the booktrap website for more than a dozen of us authors. She asked me to send her the first chapter of my latest book “Sarah”. She forwarded this in the correct format to Thom Stark to create the audio clip. I imagine Thom read over the chapter a few times to become familiar with it first. Then he might have written phonetic spellings of some words like my last name to help him not stumble while reading into the microphone. When he was comfortable he recorded the clip to a sound file for publishing online.
TheBooktrap has an account at Soundcloud.com where Thom or Cat (Catherine) uploaded the file along with a picture of the cover of my novel. 

The result can be seen on my facebook page or by following this link and playing the file. You do not have to be a member to listen to the clip. Click the player in the lower right corner of the screen.

You might also visit our website at:

Thanks for coming by to see what is on the menu at Joe’s.

Be sure to check my archives for other stories.

No comments:

Post a Comment