As an Author I am very well aware that Audio books represent an opportunity for my books to reach a larger audience, and evidently an audience that prefers to have someone read aloud to them while they are driving or engaged in some other activity.
So I checked out the possibilities of converting ‘The Women in Ernie’s Life’ into an audio book.
Audio books retail for about $25 and the Author can make a much higher royalty than with a conventional book. He has the option of sharing this royalty 50/50 with the Audio book publisher. The author has the choice of narrators offered in many languages or many dialects and accents. ‘Ernie’ is a cockney, so a working-class cockney accent was my choice. I completed the necessary application and filed my data on a publisher’s website. I checked back after a few days only to discover that there were over 5000 other applicants ahead of me! Some had been waiting for months or even years.
My next choice was to use a service that uses Neospeech, a Natural Voice engine that is really very lifelike and quite suitable for any number of voice recordings. I was lucky enough to qualify for a free trial, so I submitted a chapter from my book.
As I mentioned previously, Ernie is a cockney and his vocabulary includes a variety of swear words, the most common of which is the word fuck. He uses it to describe almost everything and everybody he meets, and it is often used as a verb, a noun or an adjective.
The voice from the mp3 recording was that of a very polite middle-aged very proper English lady who struggled with the word fuck in all of its different forms.
Needless to say I didn’t proceed with the project, but I did consider making a YouTube video of it as it was one of the funniest episodes I have ever heard.