Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My First Audio Book Production - The Mea Culpa Document of London

A few weeks back I got into doing audio books. I heard good things about them and I've used them before when I was commuting four hours a day. I found them, incredibly enjoyable. Especially, James Marsters reading Jim Butcher's excellent "Dresden Files" series of books. So not expecting the quality of my readings to reach that of the incredible skills of James Marsters, I thought I could do something reasonable and worthy of a listen. I also found that the more I did it, and when doing an audio book you redo and redo to get it right (or at least to eliminate gross errors), that I did get better as time went on.

So, my first audio book is now up on and iTunes. I chose for my first attempt, "The Mea Culpa Document of London". As for iTunes, I'm easily found there by a quick search. I just tried searching under "Books" for, "JZ Murdock Mea" and it popped right up. It's priced at $6.95 which I had nothing to do with setting the price. But I have to tell you, after having written the story, making the audio book is a lot of work.

"Mea Culpa" is a story about an apprentice Witch Hunter in the Middle Ages who takes over for his well respected Master and one day, finds himself in the same sorry situation that he once observed his Master painfully have to go through.

This, took a lot of research, following the directions on Amazon's site, learning to use Audacity software and just doing it properly, using the right filters, and so on. It was at first quite intimidating. You not only have to know what to do technically, but then you have to be not only a writer, but a voice actor.

You can alternately offer on ACX to make a deal with a producer and actor but I decided to try and do it myself. In that way you also don't have to split the profits. That was a positive reason but I just didn't want to have to deal with others on this project. Full control is always best if you can swing it.

They say on the ACX site that if you take say eight hours to read a work, you will probably spend double that in the technical side of processing the file. You need to boost this, filter that and make it sound professional. Which I'm all for but figuing that out by yourself was a nightmare (for me anyway).

Still, with the help of my cover artist, Marvin Hayes, an artistic and technical genius himself, I finally figured out what I thought needed to be done, did the work, which took a while, uploaded it and waited. And waited. A few weeks later (today) I got notified that it was accepted and now up for sale on and on iTunes.

 If you check it out, I hope you will appreciate all the work that went into producing this work and find it pleasant and worth it. I had thoughts of sound effects, music and all that, but as it was, this was a lot of work. However, I am the type that falls easily into "mission creep" and one of these days I'll probably get around to special effects.

But for now, I'm just pleased to have finally seen this on the "shelves" and avaialble to the public.

As always....


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