#WritingWednesday - A new and exciting adventure - PART 3: Findaway Voices Progress Report

October 11, 2017

If you're a regular either here or on any of my social media accounts, you'd know that I'm in a blissful state of audiobook production. <sigh> Even writing the words makes my heart flutter. 

It's been a long journey - writing, that is - and I've always wanted to get an audiobook produced for at least one of my books. Then, lo and behold, my wishes came true when Draft2Digital (D2D) (who I use to sell my books across multiple platforms (excluding Amazon)) teamed up with Findaway Voices (FV) who can produce and sell your audiobooks. If you want to read about how that evolved, you can check out my posts, PART ONE and PART TWO

Things have progressed quite a bit since my PART TWO post, so let's get into it...

1) After I got to hear the sample from my selected narrator and chose to go ahead with the project, FV sent me a Rights Holder Production Agreement, which was a one-page contract outlining the details of the title of my book, the narrator I selected, the hourly rate of the narrator and also the estimated completion date for the project. 

Once I signed and sent it back to them, they counter-signed and returned it. In the meantime, I was asked to provide production notes. Now, these were a completely optional thing, but I chose to send them since I have some characters and terminology with difficult/confusing pronunciation. Since I'm a grammar nerd, and I know the phonemic alphabet, I translated the word directly. Here's a sample of what I sent:  
Aesir – Ey-zir /ˈeɪ zɪr/ 
Agarwaen – Ah-guh-r-a-n
Hel – hell /hel/
Jotunn - yaw-toon /ˈyɔ tʊn/ 
Morier – more-ee-er
Niflheim - niv-uh l-heym
Vanir - vah-nir  /vɑ nɪr/
Sigyn - see-gin /ˈsi gɪn/
Narvi – nar-vee /nɑ:vɪ/
Skadi – skay-dee /skɑ:dɪ/
Brynhilder – brin-hill-der /ˈbrɪn hɪlder/ 

Of course, you don't have to do this, but I never miss a chance to phonemically transcribe a word. (nerd *cough* nerd)

2) Once my narrator signed the agreement it was time to get my 15-minute sample of Dark Deceit. I was notified by email when it was available. It was uploaded onto my dashboard where I could access it immediately. Hearing my words read aloud again was phenomenal. As I listened, I made sure there weren't any pronunciation issues or words missed. If there were, there is a little icon I can click on the side which gives me the opportunity to give feedback notes directly to the narrator. Cutting out the middleman, it makes corrections to the recording much more streamlined and faster. As always, if I were to have any issues, I could email FV directly and they would solve the problem - so far, I've had none and I'm so happy with how smoothly this process is going. 

To give me a little direction when I was listening, I was sent 3 documents which were:

1. New Audiobook Checklist: This outlines the key steps involved between now and publishing with Findaway Voices.

2. Tips for Reviewing the First 15-Minutes: This overviews the goal of having your narrator provide the first 15-minutes of the audiobook for your review and approval before beginning production on the full audiobook. It also includes helpful guidelines for what to consider while reviewing the audio and how to provide feedback.

3. Tips for Reviewing the Full Audiobook: This includes helpful guidelines for what to consider while reviewing and providing feedback on the full audiobook once submitted by your narrator.
Right now, I'm in constant communication with my narrator as he provides me with a new chapter or two every day or two. Like I said before, as I listen, I can add notes directly to my narrator as I listen to there's no need to make long lists to later type out and send; if there's an issue, it can be resolved almost immediately.  

I'm still feeling very good about this whole process. FV updates me regularly with emails, and my narrator also keeps me up-to-date with the recording on his end. 
I'm looking forward to hearing the final book, and to share it all with you. Stay tuned for another update soon!

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