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E9: Writing a Book - The Learning Curve (41-45)

Errors & Audiobooks...

· writing a book

What is your opinion of audiobooks? For me, I felt like I had to do it myself...so in today's edition, we'll talk about that process, but first, the errors in the book (that reading it myself for the audio narration made me find).

Lessons 41-45:

41. I could never hang out with a proofreader: I wrote the manuscript and submitted it to the editor. The editor crushed me, but the end result is amazing. Now comes the proofreading - looking for errors. The book was proofread twice, then put into final format and proofread again. The woman who did the proofreading was unbelievably meticulous. She found a font issue with an apostrophe in a footnote! Read that sentence again. Apparently when I moved the manuscript from Scrivener to GoogleDocs, the fonts didn’t copy over correctly, and she found it. She also found piles of miswritten footnotes, which I had to go re-find and re-document. Get your footnotes right! I was blown away by how unbelieveably anal this person was.

42. There will be errors...no matter how many times you proofread: There are seven errors I’m aware of in my book right now. They aren’t spelling errors, so I can’t blame the proofreader. They’re word usage errors, like using “build” instead of “built”. Although there is one that should have been caught and drives me NUTS every time I see it. Apparently the formatter caused it, trying to create a page break by simply hitting “enter” created an empty bullet on a list. Hate that. But anyway, no matter what you do, achieving a “perfect” book is nearly impossible.

43. Recording the audiobook yourself is cool: There is clearly a lot of momentum around audio. Podcasts are all the rage, and audiobooks are as well. My publisher offers a service where they create the audiobook for you. They have a narrator, studio access, and a process to have it done. However, I wanted to do it myself. I wanted to record my own book in my own voice. So, I went searching for studios in Chicago. I reached out to three, and found one that was willing to do the work with me. It wasn’t cheap. It wasn’t easy. But from a “bucket-list” perspective, I will forever be grateful that I decided to do the audiobook in my voice.

44. Recording the audiobook yourself is grueling: Ok, so reading a book is easy, right? Try reading a book with perfect clarity, energy and enunciation for hours straight. My book is a pretty easy read, in that you can bang it out over a weekend. However, in a recording studio it took three days of complete focus. In the end, we recorded 9 ½ hours of audio. The final version is 4 ½ hours, so you can imagine how much editing was required. Every gap had to be perfect. At the end of reading each chapter, the audio technician would then say, “Ok, Todd, let’s go back to the beginning of the chapter. Paragraph 1. Sentence 3. There was a problem between the words ‘the’ and ‘proposal’, so re-read that sentence.”. In each chapter, there would be 20-30 of these re-reads. Hours and hours of talking with passion (versus just reading it out loud), and it had to be perfect.

45. Recording the audiobook requires absolute silence: Did I mention it was grueling? There couldn’t be an extra sound. I had to pause at the end of each chapter before flipping the page, because the recording could not have rustling of papers. When I recorded the book, it was in the middle of Chicago’s coldest spell of the year. Temperatures where consistently below zero. The first day, I go into the sound booth, and about two hours in, I can feel myself shivering. I can see my breath. I asked the technician, “Is the heat not working?” He replied, “It works, it just can’t be on because of the blowing noise. Dress warmer tomorrow.” I dressed like a sherpa that next day.

In the next edition, let's talk about how you make money...and what role speakers bureaus and reviews play in the process. Check it out...Edition #10!

Let's connect! Here's a couple of upcoming stops / talks I'll be making. Would love to see you there!

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