From my Padded Cell…

I built it with my own hands, and now I’m gonna sweat inside it – standing room only – for hours and hours at a time.

Was this really a good idea?

No swinging of cats or swinging of any kind.

Last autumn I decided to look into turning my novels and stories into audiobooks. I began the process of requesting auditions and received a couple of great audio samples for Seven Graves, One Winter. Three things made me rethink the whole project.

The first thing was Greenlandic, more specifically the Greenlandic words I have used in the book(s). While my own grasp of Greenlandic is limited, I do have some experience, and at least know how I want to try and say the words I have used. My concern, is, was and will be, whether a non-native speaker is going to get their tongues around Greenlandic words and place names like Ittoqqortoormiit.

This got me thinking.

The second factor was cost, closely followed by the third factor (below). I simply don’t have the funds available to invest in audiobook production. Without a publisher footing the bill, I need to find ways of getting my books out there in as many formats as possible within a tight budget. The projected budget for Seven Graves, One Winter was prohibitive – not impossible, but it left no wiggle room.

Added to concerns about wiggling… yes, I know… there is the simple fact that I have been quite productive. Meaning I have a lot of novels, novellas and short stories under the name of Christoffer Petersen, many of them in series. If the cost of one audiobook production was prohibitive… well, have a quick look at the photo below, and you’ll see what I mean.

Twenty works, and counting (not including omnibus editions).

These things got me thinking a little more.

What if?

What if I recorded the books? What would that take and what would I need? And, more importantly, how much would it cost?

Without giving anything away, and not thinking of my “time” used now or during recording and editing, I can say that buying the equipment to record, and the materials needed to build my padded cell, ahem… “sound booth”, I spent about a quarter of what I would have spent to have someone else record Seven Graves, One Winter.

This gets better when I consider the twenty written “works” I want to turn into audiobooks.

So, today I got as far as installing the USB audio interface, the mic, the shock mount for the mic, the arm for the shock mount… yeah, a few new things. Then there’s software, and, well, it’s a good thing the cell is padded.

The result is a quick test for audio clarity, and you can hear that here. (About a year ago I made this recording with no booth and a crappy mic. So, yes, I am pleased with the investment… that acting though!)

Now I just need to learn how to act inside my sound booth. Considering that it’s not possible to swing an ant let alone a cat, the acting is going to be interesting.

There’s still a few holes to block, and a learning curve like no other to master, but, until then, stay tuned, this might just become something…

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