Indie Rambles #8 - My first audio clip - Jo-Ann Carson

Indie Rambles #8 – My first audio clip

Creating an audio clip

Creating an audio clip

Materials I use:

  • Snowball iCE, a USB microphone called Blue (which can be used on Macs and PCs – available everywhere for about $60.00 cdn, including taxes)
  • lap top (Mac OSX 10.4 or higher, PC Windows 7, Vista, or XP)
  • Audacity software (free on-line)
  • script

Learning Curve

Almost non-existent. You plug in the mike, put the curser on the record circle and talk.  You export the file to whatever format you like.

Then you practice, practice, practice.

Why do it?

That’s the big question. Creating a good audio tape is time consuming. I enjoy reading stories out loud. There’s something magical about sharing a story with your voice. I struggled with whether I should I take time away from my writing to create a clip for about a day.

In the end, I took a leap and decided to give it a try. So much of the “Indie thing” requires leaping.

Anyway…I created an eighteen minute, MP3 tape of the first two chapters of Covert Danger to put into my November newsletter. Why?

  1. as a present for the people who follow me (newsletter sign up link below).
  2. to listen to my story out loud.
  3. to explore the process to see if I want to go the next step and tape a whole book, which would potentially reach more people

Will I do more?

If I get positive feedback, I’ll definitely do more short clips. It’s a great way to introduce a story. The Covert Danger tape introduces the three main characters, a sly female spy, a handsome protective hero and a slightly whacko, evil villain who consults with an Egyptian sorceress. I think the audio tape is more powerful than an excerpt.

I’m not sure that I’ll continue and read the whole book, but we’ll see. I love listening to audio books and they are popular. I can create a product and sell it directly at a much more affordable price than the big guys.

With the help of friends…

I couldn’t have done this without help. My son-in-law, the musician, told me about USB microphones. PJ helped me purchase one and set it up.

Judy, a writing buddy, forwarded me a great post by Johanna Penn (How to read your own AudioBook and sell to Customers). I especially like her suggestion of clapping your hands when you make a mistake so you can find the spot and edit it easily. In the end, though, I didn’t go back and edit. I prefer to hear the story as it flows.

Many thanks to all of my helpers.


My Doggy Problem Solved

I was looking for a name for my spy’s labradoodle puppy in Ancient Danger (the second book in the Mata Hari series).

Talk about friends! I had 26 dog names forwarded to me, and they’re all great! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I decided to go with Cassanova, because he was a sexy spy who loved Venice. So Ros, your name will be in my book, and I’ll be sending you an autographed print copy when it’s published. Thank you.


 Newsletter Contest Reminder

If you’re interested in receiving my newsletter click here to sign up. At the end of October one subscriber’s name will be drawn for a ten dollar Amazon gift card. My November edition will name the winner and have an audio clip from Covert Danger, the first book in my Mata Hari series, launching April 1st.





0 Replies to “Indie Rambles #8 – My first audio clip”

  1. Audiobooks – add this to the list of great things to do when you don’t actually feel like writing. I”m in a book club and one of our members, a former teacher, is slowly going blind for a frustratingly unknown reason. We always pick books that are available as audio books. My sister is a weaver and listens to audio books while she weaves. There are many reasons audio books are popular. Love Casanova – especially for a puppy!

    1. Hi Judy
      I think it’s wonderful how audio books are becoming popular, and I appreciate you sharing your stories about them.
      My one concern is how expensive they are. I allow myself one a month (via my audible subscription) and savor every moment of listening time. This month I downloaded Daniel Silva’s The Heist, a spy thriller set in Europe. He’s a new author to me, and while I wouldn’t give the book a raving review, I am enjoying his detailed scenes.
      Hearing the words in a story improves my writing. I pick up the cadence of speech and a better feeling for how much is too much in a description of setting. Being able to close my eyes and listen to a story is heavenly after a day of working on a computer screen. I also love them for travelling. I could easily get addicted to audio books.
      I’m going to have fun with Cassanova in this series.
      Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting.
      Best wishes always

  2. This is a fantastic idea for your readers, Jo-Ann. Thanks for sharing 🙂 One thing I heard over and over at the RWA conference is that audiobooks are a profitable and important step for authors. Are you for hire?? LOL

  3. Very cool idea Jo-Ann, so if you decide to finish the book can you upload to Audible? It would be a great way to get around the country constrictions with ACX. And what’s up with that anyway? I always feel like a second class citizen with the states, frustrating.

    1. Hi Jacquie
      I’m not sure if my audio file can be uploaded to Audible, but I don’t think I’d want it to be. I’d rather sell directly from my website at a reasonable price.
      I didn’t realize there was a problem with Canadians using ACX. I’d love to know more about that.
      I know Susan Lyons has books on Audible
      Happy Writing

      1. Hmm, I wonder if it’s because she’s traditionally published. I’ve tried a couple of times now and they ask for U.S. address. They aren’t allowing Canadians at this time. Funny thing is they do allow U.K. customers.

          • Hi Jacquie
            That is frustrating. I know a lot of people who keep PO boxes on the other side of the border, but I don’t know if you want to go to that trouble.
            You might want to consider taping your own.
            Thanks for the info.
  4. Jo-Ann I was puzzled when you said audio books were so expensive. I have always rented mine from the library for free. But perhaps audible books are different to audio books? Ah. I think my ignorance is showing. In any case I’m a great fan of audio books. They’re a godsend after eye surgeries. I remember, years ago, chuckling my way through an audio of ‘Miss Manners’ while trying to keep my eye completely still.

    1. Hi Daniela
      It sounds like you’ve had great fun with audio books. You’re smart to borrow them from the library. Audio books from Audibles average around eighteen dollars.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. First off, Jo-Ann, you continue to awe and inspire me! What a great idea. I love audio books whenever hubbie and I go on road trips. We don’t always agree on what music to listen to, but we can usually agree on an audio book. And secondly, squee!! I’m so thrilled you picked Casanova, especially out of all those great entries! Glad you liked it. Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

  6. Of course, you’re jumping on the newest thing, Jo-Ann. So impressive hon! And finally, I’ve found a reason to have a newsletter to add n audible clip of your book. May have to look into this. I believe one of my SILs could help me, too. Will have to check with him. Congrats on blazing new trails for us.! I’ll share.

    1. Hi Marsha
      Thanks. I’m fumbling in the dark like everyone else, so your kind words are like rays of sunshine making me feel that maybe, just maybe, I’m finding my way in the maze of the new publishing world. Working on an audio-tape has been great fun.
      I can’t believe you’re thinking about a newsletter! You could offer the audio tape on your blog or website too. I think I may eventually, but the first people to get it will be my inner-circle, my newsletter followers.
      Thanks for sharing and being there.

  7. What a super idea! A few years back, I bought a bunch of equipment and then a young wizardly-friend was going to assist me -but then he moved to China.

    Alas, maybe I will get back into that at some point. Bravo for giving it a whirl! I love to read aloud, all those years in schools, classrooms etc. No problem!

    I love how you are forging ahead in this strange publishing business.

    And your chosen doggie name is very sweet!

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