For a while now, I’ve been contemplating producing an audiobook. Sales of audiobooks have risen in recent years, apparently, and I can see the appeal. Many of us don’t have time to sit and read. With an audiobook, you can listen while doing something else.
But that isn’t the only reason for me to dip my toes into the audiobook market. My father lost the sight of one eye at the age of eight when he had an altercation with a two-ton truck while on his trolley and came off worst. My mother lost the sight of one eye due to a haemorrhage when she was in her sixties. In later life she had a cataract, glaucoma, and macular degeneration in her ‘good’ eye. My mother-in-law also suffered from macular degeneration. While Dad managed to read perfectly well with one eye, Mum and Mum-in-law both struggled to see, let alone read. For them, talking books were a lifeline. I wanted to provide something that would entertain people who, for one reason or another, couldn’t read for themselves.
Not having any recording equipment and having a voice that sounds like grated metal, I looked for a narrator. The costs were frightening unless I opted for a royalty share. Not expecting to sell many books at the equally frightening prices that were likely to be charged – I can’t set the price myself – it seemed only fair to the narrator to pay up front and cross my fingers that one day I might make back part of the costs. It was in a good cause after all, and that was my main motivation.
It seemed sensible, financially to try my best selling book, Touching the Wire – a fictional tale about life for the women of Auschwitz and the post-war ramifications for one of the inhabitants. It’s not an easy book to read, for obvious reasons, and the narrator had to be right. This was the hard part, finding someone who matched the voice in my head. That was impossible, of course, but I did find a voice that spoke with quiet authority and contained emotion – the voice of Howard J Davey.
There followed several months of listening, correcting, collaborating, and finally, the book was finished – Howard told me the story made him cry. This being my first foray into the audio medium, I was anxious. I’d listened until my head ached, but I had nothing with which to compare my book. Was the finished work good enough? I sent voucher codes to a few people who’d already read and loved the book and asked them. They came back with a resounding ‘Yes’.
So, encouraged, I offer you my tale. It’s available at Audible and will entertain you for around twelve hours. https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Touching-the-Wire-Audiobook/B07V9P2NV9