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.
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.