Wednesday, October 5, 2011 Should I Produce Audio Books?
In the last year or so (and again in the last couple of days) the idea of audio book production has been swimming around in my head, partly because of some opportunities that have come my way to produce audio books.
It's something I'm still just toying with, and may be taking on one or more short audio book projects in the coming months to "test the waters" and carefully log my hours so I can better estimate the work involved in doing more audio books in the future.
I don't want to become distracted from projects I already have cooking. But I also want to always be thinking about the company's future, and doing the right audio book projects creates potential income in a much shorter time than producing an audio drama, and it's another way to get the company name out there.
Do you guys have any thoughts about me giving some of my time to audio books? Should I stick to audio drama 100%? Should I ditch audio drama and go with audio books?
I'd be very interested to get some opinions on this. Thanks!
In any good business model it is generally advised to stick with your product until you become a master at what you produce before expanding into other areas. Right now I think you've mastered the audio that you do (podcast and audio dramas). Expanding into audio books makes logical sense. And while technically different than the dramas . . . it reflects the ethos of SBP, and has the potential of generating revenue more quickly than audio dramas(Have you seen what audio books go for today?!!!!!) if you're able to produce them faster. From a calendar perspective it will help fill in the gaps of your release schedule so that fans of SBP will have more opportunities to buy your products. Audio books (depending how you go about it) will also diversify the company's selection of speculative fiction, which can draw in more people. Finally, assuming that you'll be producing dramas for other authors, SBP will draw in some (not all) of the author's fans when they go to check out what other projects are available through SBP.
The only major down-side that I'm seeing from your post here is the time factor. If audio books are going to make it difficult to get the podcast out, or push back SB3 by more than three (maybe four months), they might very well have a negative impact on SBP. If their addition, however, has you shorten the length of the podcast (maybe missing a few more than usual) and pushes back the release of SB3 by only a couple of months . . . then I think the benefits will greatly outweigh the consequences. It really sounds like it's a time factor here.
Thanks, Nathan. I think your words are well thought out. The time factor is the key thing. The project I'm considering now will take an estimated 15 days of my schedule, without impacting regular activities like the blogs, podcast or answering e-mails. I think it will be a good chance to get better at estimating work hours on audio book projects. And your points about pulling in new fans and having more material released between audio dramas have both been part of the appeal for me.
Thanks again for the input!
I would say NEVER stop doing audio dramas, because you're too good at it. But I think an audio book here or there would be incredible, if produced by you.
Thanks, Greg! I went ahead with the contract for the audio book I was considering and I'm very excited about it! And I don't see ANY chance of me ditching audio drama. I enjoy it too much and it seems to me the best way for me to tell the stories I want with the quality and style in which I want them to be told. I'm excited for what the future may hold!