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Audiobooks are one of the fastest booming markets.
Over the last five years, both the number of titles produced and the sales of the product have skyrocketed. Publishers reported a production increase from 7,237 titles in 2011 to 35,574 titles in 2015—a nearly 500% increase. The ease of digital files has fueled the explosion.
We thought it was high time The Fifth Sacred Thing received the audiobook treatment. (We’ve got a sample at the bottom of this blog.) The hefty sized 496 pages of the original book often competes with the short 1:30 attention spans of the new YouTube generations, but this story is too important to leave with the dusty relics of patience. Or to those of us over 30. Plus, the orgy scenes are great for awkward road trips… am I right?
It’s taken us a while because producing an audiobook is no easy feat. It takes countless hours for both narrators and sound engineers. The ratio to narrate an audiobook is two-to-one, which means two hours in the studio for every one finished hour of listening. Our finished hours were just under 22 hours, which is a whopping 44 hours of work. The engineer’s time is often triple that. In our case, it took 168 hours to edit the breathing, mistakes, room tone, magic of the moment, and momentary stomach gurgles. (And yes, our audio engineer kept a gag reel of best bloopers.)
To make that time real to you, after the narration recording, it took three solid weeks of working 8 hours a day, every single day including Sat/Sun. I learned quite a few things about creating an audiobook of this size.
Here they are, in their glory:
And here’s a snippet of all the hard work. (We had to cut out the curse words for this Amazon sample.) This was always one of my favorite scenes in the book: free, sensual and brave. The full book will be available in TWO WEEKS, keep checking Facebook for updates!
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WATCH: "One Act of Courage"
Promotional video narrated by Olympia Dukakis.
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