This is my audio book update. So I recorded and edited my entire audio book. And boy, did I learn a lot in the process. I got to tell you, though, if you don't want to get your fingers dirty learning all this stuff, you can always go to a studio, pay a lot of money to have them produce the audio for you. You can even get a narrator to record it for you. I guess you could get someone to write the script, and in my opinion, before too long, why do we even need you? I'm more of a do it yourself guy.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 537
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[03:00] Tom's introduction to Audio Book Update [05:24] Prepare your script carefully [08:47] Start with the Opening Credits [10:38] Practice sessions are very important for links and other things [12:24] Be careful with “plosives” and breaths [15:37] Room tone aka noise floor [20:36] Other miscellaneous things to consider
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
Screw The Commute – https://screwthecommute.com/
Screw The Commute Podcast App – https://screwthecommute.com/app/
College Ripoff Quiz – https://imtcva.org/quiz
Know a young person for our Youth Episode Series? Send an email to Tom! – email@example.com
Have a Roku box? Find Tom's Public Speaking Channel there! – https://channelstore.roku.com/details/267358/the-public-speaking-channel
How To Automate Your Business – https://screwthecommute.com/automatefree/
Internet Marketing Retreat and Joint Venture Program – https://greatinternetmarketingtraining.com/
KickStartCart – http://www.kickstartcart.com/
Copywriting901 – https://copywriting901.com/
IMTCVA Disabilities Page – https://imtcva.org/disabilities/
Ebook Creation Mastermind – https://screwthecommute.com/ebookmastermind/
ACX Submission Guidelines – https://www.acx.com/help/acx-audio-submission-requirements/201456300
Derek Doepker's Audio webinar – https://joinnow.live/a/CuLUaD
Email Tom: Tom@ScrewTheCommute.com
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Audio Books – https://screwthecommute.com/535/
Audio Book Sample – https://screwthecommute.com/536/
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Episode 537 – Audio Book Update
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode five hundred and thirty seven of Screw the Commute podcast. Today, we're going to talk about the progress I made over the holidays on my audio book and what I learned from it. Now I took a break on New Year's Eve and I didn't do a podcast, so shame on me. So sue me. Well, one thing you can take to the bank about me, though, is that if I say I'm going to do something, I do it. In episode 532, I told you my method and suggestion to you that you make a major improvement in your personal and or business skills over the holidays. So did I do it? Yes, I did. I spent most of the day New Year's Eve recording an audio book and editing it. I'm going to give you some of the things I learned and accomplished over the past week and a half, and it's related to the past two episodes. Episode 535, I mean, if you're really serious about audio books. Episode 535 was about audio books, episode 536. I gave you a freebie of a practice session I did on my latest book, my latest audio book, where I gave you a chapter one. I gave you the intro Chapter one and Chapter two, and it was from my practice session which I highly suggest you practice before you do the whole book.
[00:01:51] I got to tell you that because I learned a lot during the practice sessions and this is five thirty seven, I'm going to go into all the stuff I learned this past week, and then I still highly suggest you listen to the webinar that I have will have the link in the show notes from Derek Doepker, who kind of got me really interested in this, and the people just went crazy over the webinar. So make sure you listen to the replay. All right, we're still going strong with our program to do scholarships for persons with disabilities. We'd love to have your help in the new year. You really give these people a boost. They're doing well in the school. We're going to get them a great skill to get them hired, either to work from home or have their own business or get hired by a big company or whatever. So that's what we're working on. If you'd like to help out with that. It's let's see where should I send you? I send you my school website IMTCVA.org/disabilities. And then you can click on the Go Fund Me campaign and see the updates and see how things are going. It'll be something you can really be proud of.
[00:03:02] Let's get to the main event. This is my audio book update. So I recorded and edited my entire audio book. And boy, did I learn a lot in the process. I got to tell you, though, if you don't want to get your fingers dirty learning all this stuff, you can always go to a studio, pay a lot of money to have them produce the audio for you. You can even get a narrator to record it for you. I guess you could get someone to write the script, and in my opinion, before too long, why do we even need you? I'm more of a do it yourself guy. And part of my financial success is that I don't overpay for things that I could learn to do myself. Now, when you pay retail for everything and I tease about this all the time, you have to sell so much more just to get back to being broke. So, no, you don't have to learn all this, but in my method, I believe it reduces your risk and infinitely increases your chances of being profitable. Many of you have heard me rag on the people who tell you to delegate everything, and and that's so against the way I've been successful. Now, if you're flush with cash and don't care if you overpay for things and be my guest. Have somebody else do the whole thing? I just don't do it that way. Now, let's talk about what I've learned just in the last week about audio book production.
[00:04:38] I'm basing this on preparing for acceptance by ACX, which is the entry company to Audible, which is the gold standard in audio books, and it's owned by Amazon. Now, that doesn't mean I won't be selling my audio, book other places, and I'll update you when I get to that point. And I must insist that you really if you're really interested in this, that you watch the webinar with Derek Doepker, where he outlines the entire process, talks about the money and if you want to hiring narrators and making deals with them. And if if you if you want to know about the whole financial deal and what to do, you've got to watch that webinar and the link will be in the show notes. Ok, here we go. First of all, you really have to prepare your script carefully and you don't want to be winging it when you record. That's if you want to get in the Amazon Whispersync program where you're written. Kindle e-book pretty much exactly matches your audio file. In other words, whatever you say in the recording is exactly what your book said or read. At least according to the health files at Amazon, it has to be about 97 percent exact to to qualify for Whispersync. Now, wait a minute, Tom, I thought you were talking about audio books here. What's that got to do with Kindle eBooks? Well, unless I'm mistaken to get into Audible, you have to have the same book already in Amazon, at least when I started going through the upload process, that's what it said.
[00:06:26] Now, remember, ACX is the production part of Audible, and that's where you upload your book and you put in your financial information so you can get paid. You can also hire narrators there and you must sign their distribution agreement. Now you can be either exclusive with them and get a 40 percent commission or non-exclusive and get a twenty five percent commission. I chose to be non-exclusive in this case so far and that might change as I go further into this to to learn more about Whispersync and KDP, select where they'll give your book away. I don't know how the audio book figures into that yet. On playing e-books, I always tell you, just stick with Amazon Kindle or an PDF, but don't go with Barnes and Noble Nook or all the other ones. But when you throw the audio into it now, I've got some more learning curve to do. Ok, back to your script. You must practice reading and adjusting it long before you start recording. You have to balance the fact that some people will be reading the print or Kindle version. But sometimes reading a perfectly edited book can sound very stilted. As you practice, you must stop and adjust the script to be more like you talk while still keeping it readable in print or e-book form.
[00:07:57] Then you must upload the book version to KDP. That's Kindle direct publishing. And when I say book version, the book version will have front matter like title page, book cover. Table of contents and stuff like that. Your audio script will not have a book cover, although you will have to provide promotional graphics, which I'll cover shortly. Your book version will need a promotional description. By the way, I have a complete email master class for both PDF and eBooks and Kindle at Screwthecommute.com/ebookmastermind. We run a 12 week program, but you can buy all the recordings and go as fast as you want. So that said, Screwthecommute.com/ebookmastermind. Ok, let's say you took my e-book mastermind, and now you have your Kindle e-book accepted and on Amazon. Now back to the audio book version. You strip away the title page and the table of contents and just start with what is called the opening credits. And they go something like this. Online joint venturing how to get in front of a million warm prospects in the next 90 days. Written by Tom Antion, narrated by Tom Antion. About me section narrated by Andrew Polito. That's an example of opening credits and each thing you do like opening credits and chapters and all that is a separate audio file. In other words, you are recording the book in chunks, then start in, in my case, the introduction and you leave one second after the introduction and then you start talking the introduction when you finish the introduction.
[00:09:54] You stop recording. You start a new recording and then I say chapter one, finding joint venture partners. And then you leave one second and then you start talking about chapter one. You could record all this stuff in the same file and then cut it apart in editing later. I'm just a worry wart that if the computer or digital recorder locked up, I would lose all that recording. That's really disheartening to have to record something over again. Anyway, it has to be cut apart later. So I just choose to do each chapter and then back it up to the cloud, so I'm always safe. Anyway, you might think, well, then it's easy, I just read my book. Yes, that's true. But there are things that come up that you should have adjusted for in your practice sessions. For instance, if you have a link in the print, book or e-book version, it might say https colon www dot. In my case, screwthecommute.com. But that would sound stupid and repetitive to say, https colon www for every link you refer to in the audio. I just say screw the commuter car. In audiobooks, because people are frequently listening while doing something else, like exercising or driving. They can't easily get to links in e-books. They can just click on them and in printed books, they can just type them into a browser in an audio book.
[00:11:39] Here's what I did in the Kindle version to promote the audio book while letting people know all the links are easily accessible. Here's what I said. These links and all the other links I mentioned will be in your reference section at the end of this book. If you are listening to the audio version, you'll get a separate PDF file with all the links so you can easily click on them. So this was a way to let people know an audio was available so they would buy it to and if they were reading the written version and also informed the audio listeners that they could easily get to the links later, so it made a better experience for them. They didn't have to worry about copying down the links while they're doing something. Ok, so now let's say you have all the kinks out of your script and and written versions so that they read and listen nicely in both versions. Now it's time to record. Well, wait a minute. Let me change that. Now it's time to do a short practice recording. All right. When I did my practice recording, I used my best microphone with a foam windscreen on it, thinking that it was too much trouble to hook up a pop screen over where I'm doing the book recording. It's a darn good thing I did a small sample, my file was full of plosives.
[00:13:08] These are puffs that typically happen when you say the letter P, I think I'm going to try to put one in here so you can actually hear it. I'm going to move my pop screen and go. Pepper. So there's probably a nasty plosives right there when I said pepper probably blew your ears out. Now these are really hard and sometimes impossible to edit out of your recording. You will not get accepted by Audible if your file is full of these. So I got my pop screen out and clamped it onto the mic stand and that problem was fixed. I would have wasted an enormous amount of time had I not done this small test. Probably the entire book would have been ruined, and I would have had to do it all over again. Oh my God. Another thing I noticed during the practice session was that my breaths were coming through. This is something you have to decide upon. There are several schools of thought on this. Some voiceover people say they just leave them in unless the client demands they are removed. Some people say only the really loud breaths should be removed, and some people say they all should be removed. Well, I wanted a really clean file, and I wanted to make sure I got accepted by act on the first try. So I added virtually all of them out and this is a tedious process where I covered the breadth with what is called room tone, which I will cover shortly.
[00:14:47] This took a long time and forces you to improve your speaking with inaudible breaths as much as possible. I've been practicing this for a long time, and I'm still not perfect at it. It would be worthwhile for you to Google breathing without sound or inaudible breathing something like that and start practicing it will save you lots of editing time and money, especially if the breaths are really bad and you have an audio editor removing them for you, it'll cost a fortune. Now there are software programs that will what they call deep breath your file. But I didn't have much luck with them. Because all the breaths aren't exactly the same, which if they were, it would make it easy for the deep breath or to fix them. But since they're all over the place, I had to fix them manually. Ok, I mentioned room tone. You'll also hear it called noise floor. Every room has a basic amount of noise in it. It could be your refrigerator motor. It could be your air conditioning or heater noise or fans or fish tanks or grandfather clocks, whatever. Since you live and work there, your mind tends to ignore these sounds, but your microphone doesn't. I covered this more in depth in episode 535. But anyway, to find your noise floor, you would turn on your recorder and leave the room for, say, 30 seconds or so and be as quiet as possible.
[00:16:26] Come back, put your headphones on, turn up the volume and listen to what you've recorded. You'll probably be shocked at the amount of noise in your room. You want to reduce this to a bare minimum? Audible requires a noise floor of no more than minus 60 decibels db, the lowest I could get. My room was minus fifty seven db. And you might say, well, Tom, you got it nailed. Fifty seven db is lower than 60 DB. Well, wait a minute, folks, you miss something I said minus 60 db minus fifty seven db is actually louder than minus 60 db with the minus sign there. The larger number, the quieter the sound. So in the editing process, I had to use noise reduction in my editing system to get below minus 60 db. If you use too much noise reduction, you won't get accepted by Audible. So it's to your advantage to get the room as quiet as possible before you start recording. And again, I explain how to do that more in episode 535. Now this room tone noise floor will become a critical part of your final production. After I got the room tone within limits, I copied a half a second of it and this is what I used to paste over the breaths in the recording. And I could paste it twice if I needed a second, or I could paste three times for a second and a half and then erase part of it to get that noise floor covering the breaths.
[00:18:16] Now, I could have just run the volume down to zero to get rid of the breast. But Audible considers that a jarring experience to the listener to go to zero sound in between sentences and words. The audio is reduced to room tone and that sounds more natural. Audible once a great listening experience for people that buy the recordings, bad sounds get bad reviews and kill sales. And by the way, you also use room tone in the beginning and ending of each file. They're also a stickler about loudness. They want your book to be a similar volume to all the other books they put out. They have exacting standards you can read about at the EC's submission guidelines page on their website. I didn't understand much of it two weeks ago, and now I've got a good handle on it enough to get my audio files approved. Yay. You may need to get someone to help you with this to start. But who cares? Once you get it down, you can crank out great quality recordings that get accepted all day long, and the support at Ake's is crazy good. They must have nothing to do because they have a support feature where they'll call you back immediately to answer questions. And I mean, immediately I'm putting in my phone number and the second that I get done putting it in.
[00:19:51] It's ringing. They called me back. All right. It's unbelievable. They also have a self-test where you can test your audio to make sure it's acceptable. Because in the old days, you had to wait a couple of weeks to see if your book passed. And this is great, especially when I was learning because I could just go up there all day long on New Year's Day with nobody around and New Year's Eve and test my files as I was practicing learning how to get them into compliance. It would be a shame to wait two or three weeks for them to review and then get turned down and then fix something and then send it back for another two weeks so it could take months to get going. So this is really great. I got instant feedback on whether what I was doing was good enough or not. Now, next thing you have to consider is cover and promotional graphics. ACX just requires one to be able to submit your audio book again on the site. They have graphics requirements. If you're no good at graphics, you can easily get someone on Fiverr or Upwork to do it for you. Ok. As I mentioned above, you also need to put in your financial info into A6 to get paid. You'll have to pick from a C Corp or an S Corp or an LLC or sole proprietor. Whenever you happen to be and you'll need your employee ID number, if you're a corporation or your Social Security number if you're not.
[00:21:26] You also need your bank routing number and account number for direct deposit. So it will probably be another month before the audio book comes out. It's at least two weeks from the time you submit, but you know, with the craziness and pandemic and all the things are always a lot slower. So I'm figuring about a month, it'll be out. And that's pretty much out of my control. But they start reviewing it once you submit it and checking it, and if there's any trouble, they contact you to fix it. There's no trouble. It's just a waiting game until it goes live. And in the meantime, you can be planning your marketing campaign, which I'll cover for audio books, which I'll cover in another episode. So I did my duty over the holidays, I. Really improved my skills in one specific area, and it's going to mean a lot of money to me because I've got twenty five ebooks to do and anything else I think of. In the meantime, I'll put it as an audio book in addition to a Kindle eBook, and if anything goes big, I might actually do the print version print on demand. So, yes, I did my duty. I over the holidays, I improved my skills and that's what I want you to do all year long, but especially on holidays when it's more quiet and you can. The phone's not ringing off the hook, so watch for future updates on the the way this book thing is going on.
[00:22:57] Be learning more this week as I go through the submission process and I'll make sure I do another update. But in the meantime, hey, if you need help on all this or you know your overall internet and online marketing business, I mean, this is the time, folks. If I've been preaching this for twenty three, twenty four, twenty five years, how you should be doing this? Well, there's nothing. There's nothing like a pandemic to bring it to the forefront that you can work from home. I don't have any mandates I've got to deal with. They can't force me to do anything. I can still make all kinds of money with the digital products and selling stuff online, and I don't have to worry as much about being exposed to the virus because I'm at home doing my own thing. And yeah, I go places still. Virginia is not been locked down like the rest of the country, but but I go to the grocery store or go to the gas station, you know, I do the regular stuff, but I am not forced to do anything anywhere because I could just stay at home and have everything delivered and have no mandates other than to make a lot of money. And that's what I want to teach you to do so. So that's my story. I'm sticking to it. We'll get you on the next episode. See you later.
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