I Listened So You Can Too

earbudThere are three “modes” of learning:  visual, kinesthetic, and auditory.

According to The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias (a book I highly recommend for parents, especially homeschoolers), the three modes are defined this way:

  • Visual—learning by seeing and watching.
  • Kinesthetic—learning by becoming physically involved and actually doing something with what’s being learned.
  • Auditory—learning by listening to verbal instructions; remembering by forming the sounds of words.

I, personally, fall strongly into the visual category. I have to read something myself to understand it. I was the kind of student who learned better from the text than the teacher, unless the teacher used the chalkboard a lot. My secondary mode of learning is kinesthetic. I’m almost entirely not auditory.

But a lot of people are. Auditory, that is. Which is what led me to give serious thought to audiobooks when some writer friends (namely Keven Newsome, author of supernatural thriller Winter) began prodding me to consider making an audiobook version of Finding Angel.

Sure, the learning style was the springboard for me, but what I realized is that there are gobs of reasons people choose audiobooks.

A busy schedule—audiobooks allow for multitasking. You can do housework or jog or scrapbook while listening to a book.

A long car commute—much better than driving and texting!

Family time—letting the whole fam participate in a story at the same time. You can even pause the audiobook and discuss things…hint, hint, homeschoolers J.

There are plenty of other reasons as well, many of which I’m probably not aware. But the point isn’t why audiobooks are good things, simply that they are.

So, then, what to do about it?

*Quick aside—this is not a how-to article. Just sayin’.

I needed a narrator, and Keven recommended using ACX.com, as he’d had a good experience there. I’ll be honest, I was a bit skeptical. I wasn’t sure I’d find the right voice as Angel is a teenager and I wanted  a voice that fit that age. And I figured if I did find the right one, I wouldn’t be able to afford her.

Still, I followed all the steps and got Finding Angel in their system and started listening to sample narrators. In the very first batch was a narrator named Jeanne Whitehouse.

She sounded exactly the way I imagined Angel to sound. Exactly.

In case you didn’t catch that: Exactly. Like. Angel. And it was the very first day.

This was too good to be true, right?

Oh, it gets better. I hadn’t even thought about the fact that many of my characters have Irish-like accents. (Not exactly Irish, but darn close.) But one of Jeanne’s samples included a piece that involved…you guessed it…Irish accents.

Angel Cover audioCan you say serendipity?

But what if she didn’t like my story? Or we couldn’t agree on the payment option (technical stuff—go to ACX.com for more info)?

Oh, worry not. She got back to me right away, with the first chapter of Finding Angel…and I knew. I knew immediately she was the one! And yes, she was a doll to work with the whole time.

Chapter by chapter she recorded and I listened. I was blown away by how few times I needed to ask for adjustments. And when I did need to, she got the changes right in one try. A few months later, we had the whole thing finished. And Keven (he keeps sneaking in here, doesn’t he?) made the necessary adjustments to my book cover so it would fit that square shape of an audiobook cover.

The final result can now be found on Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes.

About Kat Heckenbach

Kat grew up in the small town of Riverview, Florida, where she spent most of her time either drawing or sitting in her "reading tree" with her nose buried in a fantasy novel...except for the hours pretending her back yard was an enchanted forest that could only be reached through the secret passage in her closet... She never could give up on the idea that maybe she really was magic, mistakenly placed in a world not her own...but as the years passed, and no elves or fairies carted her away...she realized she was just going to have to create the life of her fantasies. She shares that life with her husband and two homeschooling kids. Kat is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom--everything from Art to Algebra II. Her writing spans the gamut from inspirational personal essays to dark and disturbing fantasy and horror, with over forty short fiction and nonfiction credits to her name.

5 comments on “I Listened So You Can Too

  1. Wow!!! I’m impressed that it’s so straightforward of a process! Although I’m sure not everyone has as smooth a time as you had, it sounds really good. I know a bunch of people who listen to audiobooks, because of commutes or trouble concentrating on a book due to dyslexia, or a number of other reasons. I’m glad to know how doable it is.

    Side note, I LOVE LOVE LOVE “The Way They Learn.” I highly recommend it for everyone. I learned so much about myself and my kids. It even helped me relate to friends and coworkers because I could see why they do things the way they do them based on their learning style, so it helped me understand them better. Moreover I didn’t feel bad anymore that I have a hard time sitting still and listening to a sermon without doodling, because I’m more of a kinesthetic learner.

    • Yeah, not everyone is going to find the perfect voice on day one, but the process IS very straightforward. I mean, I was able to figure it out (with minimal help), so anyone should be able to do it ;).

  2. My brother in law has made me promise to get my books onto audio when I start publishing, as he is dyslexic but always loves the snippets of stories I talk about. Glad to hear its much easier than I’d thought! 🙂

  3. […] I Listened So You Can Too (newauthors.wordpress.com) […]

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