I’m Geeking Out Because You Can Listen to a Bit of My Audiobook Now!
In May, I went to New York City and spent 3 whole working days in a booth reading the words I wrote that make up my debut book I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual, which drops on September 13. 24 hours of listening to my voice repeat the 75,000 words that make up my book and I came out on the other side triumphant. Thanks to lots of lemon tea, I didn’t even lose my voice as I expected.
On the right is my “I DID IT!” face.
The cool thing is that when you have to listen to yourself for so long, you get used to hearing your own voice. I typically don’t love listening to recordings of my voice but this was an exercise in being gentle with myself. I HAD to be the person to narrate my own audiobook because I write with a distinct voice and folks needed to hear ME behind the mic. Besides, I feel like y’all might mutiny if someone else had done it for me.
You learn a lot about who you are as a writer when you record your own audiobook.
1. You don’t know how long the sentences you write are until you have to read them out loud. There were many times when I had to take a deep breath in the middle of a sentence. Also, these are the times you wish you wrote words that are easier to pronounce. It took me 4 attempts to get “inferiority” right. I haven’t even gotten to the passages that are alliteration-heavy.
b. I truly hate em dashes. That punctuation is mostly useless for me, and I hated seeing them in my book. Em dashes that are in there are the work of a copy editor, because I don’t use them much in my regular writing. I don’t know what to do with them. I did, however, fall in love all over again with commas. I NEED COMMAS. Commas are my favorite. Periods are fine too for emphasis and hard stops. I just CANNOT deal with em dashes. Commas are the chance to take that deep breath.
iii. Clever in writing can be hard in speaking. When you write an entire sentence that is an alliteration, trying to be cute, and you have to later read it, you will be giving yourself an extra challenge. There was one particular sentence I really enjoyed writing, where most of the words started with P. When it was time for me to read it, I was kicking myself. THAT’S WHAT YOU GET.
4d. You will find way more edits than you think as you read your words out loud, because there is clarity from HEARING them. Seriously. The best way to edit yourself is to read what you write out loud. I made a few changes to my final manuscript based on my recording of the audiobook. Nothing major. Just adding a “that” here and taking words away and finding some few things that slipped through the attention of the copy editor. It’s good practice in general to do that.
Sooo the good folks at Macmillan Audio produced my audiobook, and they sent me some of the assets, including a short video they recorded of me while I was recording the book. HELLA META. Watch:
YESSSS. That’s the intro to my feminism chapter, titled “Nobody Wins the Feminism Olympics.” It’s in my culture section (there’s 4 sections: life, culture, social media, fame).
Either way, I walked away feeling really proud to have done it. This entire book process has been a series of fist pumps. It’s been climbing multiple hills. It’s been a birthing process and the product is something I am incredibly proud of.
And I AM GEEKED because YOU get to listen to an excerpt of my audiobook. Chapter 1 (in full) is available on soundcloud. Today, I listened to it and had a moment, because it feels surreal. This must be what it feels like when you complete a marathon.
Listening to myself read the book I wrote. It’s a dream come true and I’m kinda taken aback that I did this. I DID THIS.
Whew. I hope you enjoy what you hear, and that you order my book. It’s available in all forms: print, eBook and audiobook.
And for those who have already ordered I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual, thank you! The next 4 weeks will come quick. Y’all keep asking why you’ve had to wait so long. It because writing the book itself is MAYBE 10% of the process of publishing. The rest is edits, edits, edits, printing, more edits, recording and then final version.
OH and if you’re one of the lucky notable people, media or folks who won giveaways of it and you’ve read my book in full, PLEASE leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon and B&N. That is really helpful to let others know that it’s not a steaming pile of hot garbage. Be my receipts so folks know that this book is worth buying.
Wonderbar!! I can’t wait to read it.
I agree speaking your thoughts when they sound one way in your head and another out loud is difficult. My voice sounds like butta (!!) in my head and Fran Drescheresque and nasally in real life…
I am so pumped to read this! Love the audio clips. Reading work out loud is kind of a hassle, but every time I did it in college for papers it refined my writing and helped me catch typos and awkward sentences. Of course, your book is far more interesting and fun to hear out loud than my boring research papers.
I have already pre-ordered my copy of the book and I can’t WAIT to get it!!! I am also trying to scope out when Luvvie will be in the DC area so that I can get my hands on a Judgypop!! Don’t judge me if I pop up out of the bushes Luvvie!!!
DC stop: http://bit.ly/imjudgingyouDC
Thank you for sharing this with us, you are very generous! <3 I have trouble with punctuation, like where does the comma go? Should I use a colon or semi-colon? These days most people are texting so much they skip punctuation and don't correctly use words like their, they're, and there (one of my pet peeves) . A while ago someone told me to read my writing out loud before sending email or posting comments etc. Works great, doesn't it? Now I always do it. Totally off topic, another tip I was told, is to smile when you are recording your greeting on your phone, it makes it sound better, it really works. Again thank you, I've ordered your book and can't wait to read it!
I ordered my copy awhile ago, it arrives just before I board a plane to Lagos. So I will have something to keep me busy for that long flight. I felt the same way about letting go of my maiden name, because I’ve used it for so long enough. Thankfully, my husband didn’t mind either way.
As an aspiring writer, I love your advice. I absolutely dread hearing things I’ve written spoken out loud, especially my poetry. But I have to agree, reading it out loud makes a difference. I am super excited for you and I will be purchasing your book!
I listened to the sample and it sounds great. I will definitely be ordering the audiobook. OAN, if you can’t read, please don’t try to record your own audiobook! #imlookingatyouBobbyBrown
To do list:
GET THE BOOK WOMAN!!
Will be waiting, ever so anxious, for this.
Congrats dear! Will you be reading from the book at the BK opening?! I’ll be there (even though I feel some sorta way about having downloaded the book and not purchasing it at the BK event. argh! Is that listed in the Do-Better Manual???!)
Waiting….waiting….waiting for September 13. I usually get electronic books, and insist on getting the paper back version of I’m Judging You. And I want a Judgey Pop. No, I need one.
Your book is a must have!!!
ok so how about I’m hesitant to listen to the audio because I don’t want luvvie’s real voice to mess up the luvvie voice in my head? cuz we’re like besties and have conversations and such in my head…
…..just read that out loud and am having single black female/padded room feelings about myself…
ennehweighs bestie-in-my head luvvie said I should give no dambs therefore I don’t *humph*
I got an email this from audible that my pre-order. I could not wait to get to work to download my copy and am listening right now. Well done love. I’m am sitting her “Amen and girl you got that right and my co-worker are cracking up! Thanks for being you..
My good friend suggested the audio book this week. I have been listening everyday at work and the gym. I am work doing the silent cry laugh. I had to stop listening at the gym because I thought I was going to fall off the machine. It great! Congratulations!
I need a snack to help with all the words I dropped out of that paragraph….lol.