June 28, 2021

Entrepreneurs Over 40 Episode 7 with Dave Stokes

Entrepreneurs Over 40  Episode 7 with Dave Stokes

Episode Seven features Dave Stokes, the founder of Author2Audio discussing how he helps authors turn their books into audio books that can be purchased on Audible, Apple Books, and other platforms!
My Key Takeaways:
Some of my key takeaways from my conve...

Episode Seven features Dave Stokes, the founder of Author2Audio discussing how he helps authors turn their books into audio books that can be purchased on Audible, Apple Books, and other platforms!

My Key Takeaways:

Some of my key takeaways from my conversation with Dave are:

  • When starting a business, try to have a couple of years of savings in your bank account.  It will take you more time than you think to be profitable.
  • If a book has too many tables or lists the corresponding audio likely won't be compelling.  To get around that he provides a companion doc or PDF to audio listeners as a free download.
  • The author's own voice provides a sense of authenticity and he very rarely needs to use a professional voice over.
  • Here's a bonus that I hadn't considered:  In editing the books, Dave is basically getting a free education on each of the topics covered as presented by an expert.
  • Audio books improve story telling as you get to hear the author's tone and inflection.
  • Dave's first question to a potential client is "Why do you want an audiobook?" Their explanations help him to understand the authors motivations and expectations.  He also said that in eight out of ten cases it is because the readers have demanded it.
  • A 40,000 word long book typically takes 5 and a half hours to listen to and 20 plus hours to edit.  Most authors make 100 mistakes per hour of reading that has to be cleaned up.
  • When Dave is done editing the book he gives it back to the author who then dispenses it to various friends and colleagues for their opinions and feedback.  After the final cleanup based on the feedback received Dave then uploads it to the various Audio Book services such as Audible, Apple Books, Spotify, etc.
  • The whole process takes around 2 and a half months from start to finish.
  • Dave suggests to authors that they break the recording up in to hour long sessions and that when they are done they re-record the Intro and first chapter as they are warmed up and better understand the process.

Join us next week as we talk to Bill Nowicki and discuss how his  podcast focused around his local community helps his business.


Be sure to hit Subscribe in your podcast app so that you don't miss it or any other episodes.


0:00:00.3 S1: I guess they started out in IT working as the system analyst for a company, it's like JB were and micro-response, he then ventured into the world of software development, working with a number of subject matter experts, deliver new applications revolving around the Microsoft Office Suite. He went on to found author to audio, a studio free audio book, recording editing, publishing and distribution platform, GARDEL authors and podcasters get their messages out into the world. And I mention he speaks English in German as well as playing the drums, introducing the one and only Dave Stokes. Dave, can you take a few moments and fill in the gaps that intro... Bring us up to speed with what's going on in your world.

0:00:45.9 S2: Thanks. Great, that's a wonderful introduction. I'm always amazed at how much better somebody else introduces you rather than you being able to introduce yourself, so... Thank you for that very kind. Very kind intro. Look, I think I'm working backwards. What motivated the move into helping authors with the audio books and podcasts recording was probably two things, there's the background in IT, in software development on the one side, so embracing the technology that everyone's so attached and fond of now, but also the music background, I think I've spent a lot of time recording bands that I've played with over the years, that was kind of like a dove-tailing of those two things, but like all of these elephants in the room in life, it actually took someone else to point it out to me, so a friend by the name of Kyle, but that said in hand, you've just finished a contract, and it was a software development contract with one of the major banks over here, and she said, Look, you've got the IT background, you've got the music background, people can't get an audio book produced for less than about 15000 on the professional studios are charging a bomb to get audio books produced, and she said, Look, why don't you think about it like a mobile service or perhaps a more do-it-yourself kind of service that people could do at home because we all have this beautiful cheap technology available to us now, which is studio quality, it's sort of henlein near group that was kind of the LEAP or the move or the fork in the road, I suppose it was where the too many analogies.

0:02:20.9 S2: All on a row here, but the two rivers came together, I guess there was a confluence into audio books, and it's been almost five years now with other two audio, so it can pay for itself now, which is a great relief for any entrepreneur.

0:02:36.5 S1: I know you came from an IT background, but did you have any entrepreneurial background before that it was anyone in your family, an entrepreneur, they have their own business, or is it just on you...

0:02:48.4 S2: Sure, that's a really, really interesting question. If I go way back to my fourth great grandfather, he partnered together during the 1800s in the early days of settlement in Australia, and he was an immigrant from the UK, his name was Frederick Stokes, and he partnered with a gentleman by the name of John Fairfax. Now, to Australians, the Fairfax are a major media family, so that those two partners actually got together to make up a major paper in New South Wales called The City Morning Herald. So I think we could probably put Frederick in the entrepreneur kind of area, he came out, he came out from Britain basically with printing skills, and in those days the colony was very, very skinny on skilled workers with any kind of technical knowledge, I suppose maybe some of that might have dribbled down the blue line, but from my own point of view, I think it's been working within large corporations for quite a bit of my career, some small ones as well, but it's been sort of businesses within businesses, and that's happened a lot. Throughout my career that once you start working for a department, you become a cog in the wheel, but it's a series of all Little engines that combine together to make the whole thing work, so I suppose to some degree this...

0:04:17.0 S2: That's called an O, that's called an interpreter. I think I've heard that. So working within an organization rather than like a self-trader or route.

0:04:28.7 S1: A lot of these organizations, I guess, a large... You're almost across purposes with them sometimes as an entrepreneur...

0:04:36.5 S2: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Great, and I imagine, I imagine you've found the same thing in your own IT career, you've worked for some of the larger organizations, but also some of the smaller, more agile ones, particularly back in the 80s, there was computer companies were popping up like days, just everywhere in those days.

0:04:57.2 S1: I wish I knew then what I know now, I could go back and I would have started on. I was always working for someone else in that regard.

0:05:05.8 S2: It's a big change of mindset that really... It really is, it's certainly very risky on an outside of anyone, anyone who is thinking about going out on their own, the first thing to do is to try, if you can have a couple of years worth of net income in your bank account, then in my experience, you're going to need every bit of that because it'll take you four years to be able to cross the line, so they're pretty slim in times in the early days.

0:05:34.2 S1: Yeah, I was laughing because in my earlier days, I would be lucky to have had two-month savings and that was probably pushing it now... The priorities change though. That's very true.

0:05:46.3 S2: Yeah, well, I started with, I started with a little bit of family help in about six months with the income behind me, and I thought within 12 months, this is gonna be the Michael break. It's either gonna work or not work at the end of that 12-month period, or of course, by the time you get to 12 months, you've really established... If you've been lucky and careful, you've already established quite a few client relationships by that state, so it's not that easy to just close up the shop and lock the door and walk away from it, you've started to build a reputation in your business, so it's not as easy as It's not as temporary or disposable as I think sometimes people attended in attempt to think.

0:06:25.9 S1: So how did you get started recording audio books for authors?

0:06:29.9 S2: Essentially, I got started by... I had a wonderful introduction to an independent publisher who mainly looked after authors who were creating or wanted to create business-related books, so this would be a story of someone who had been in an industry for than more than 20 years, generally had built an organization and wanted to share all of those lovely shortcuts and tips that as you were saying before, Greg, if you knew what you knew now, then then you'd probably say to yourself a whole bunch of time and headache, so I think there's... A lot of business orders are motivated to share that information, and it also gives them a lovely authority when they're sharing in a book format and become an author, and they were all becoming very curious through this, and the independent published, by the way, is now called published Central and the gentleman I poked to was and still have a relationship with his Michael Hand reheat and Michael was coaching and helping all of these authors planned to produce these business books, and he was helping them with the editing and the type setting layouts and publication and when we first met up together, when I approached him, he said, Look, I'm finding more and more often now that authors are quite happy with their printers on and they're happy with their e-book version, but there...

0:07:56.0 S2: A lot of them are starting to ask questions about, should I do an audio book? So that was the very beginning of that relationship I've got to look to thank Michael for in the early days, so we really got me started with my first sort of 10 to 20 clients.

0:08:10.5 S1: Is there ever an instance where an author should not have an audio book... That's

0:08:14.8 S2: A great question. There's only one, probably the most challenging author of head was a financial advisor, so a CFO, I think we normally referred to an archive financial officer, and she was talking about her experience throughout the course of her book, and in one particular chapter, when she's talking about just talking about forecasting, so things like business revenue forecasting and cash flow forecasting, and we got to a page in her book where there was a diagram which showed a three-year cash flow projection, so across the top, we had a month by month, and then we had maybe 15 revenue items and then another 20 expense islands, and if you can imagine the matrix that we're looking at there, it had to be turned vertically so that it would fit onto the page, and we got to that section of the book, and Amanda I... So Dave, what do I do with this? How is this gonna work? In audio, and I see the matter, it's not just whites, there are certain objects, certain particularly diagrams and large tables which, and long lists of things which really don't provide any kind of entertaining audio, but our way around that rig is to provide a companion...

0:09:34.5 S2: A companion document along with the audio book and will refer to it, you're in the audio book, say, so for the 36-month cash flow projection, go and have a look at Davos dot com, Franck, download the PDF, and then you can visually look at the cash flow for forecast, whilst you have the audio paused, so once you've digested that information, you can then unwashed audio and continue to hear the story, is a similar problem with a gin distiller who had lists of maybe 30 or 40 different botanicals that would be included in a gin recipe that is June babies and caramon, orange peel arrowroot. There's this great long list of Botanicals which now conspire together to make this beautiful gem, and again, I sent it the author Marcel, I think you're just gonna be listening here for a good minute, and I think you're really gonna lose the audience, so we use the same solution is to provide that information, individual document that you can use along with the audio, so they've been the really big challenges, but apart from that, I think the authenticity of the author's voice is usually the most brilliant thing to include, so very rarely will we use in a rate to completely replace the voice of the other...

0:10:45.3 S2: We may use a Horatio help support the story. So if it's third party people talking about the author or they're talking about someone else, we might use male and for voice actors to provide a bit of interest in the story, 'cause it doesn't always make sense for it to be... Tolentino the office for us. But essentially, a big part of your credibility is what you sound like, and people recognize you, people remember your voice, so I think that's one of the key strategies in those terms, so I haven't had to reject any author from doing the duration, at least at least a major part of it anyway.

0:11:19.2 S1: Now, there are clients... Are they mainly non-fiction or there are some fiction as well... Non-

0:11:24.4 S2: Fiction, non-fiction, Redgrave, been fortunate enough to do about four children's book authors lately, which is... They're really great books, they're often much, much shorter for stars, and they're often... They often come with beautiful illustration, so the product that we end up coming up with in the end is usually a combination of the audio and the visuals, and I'm not sure if you've had this experience on your iPad, but there are attached spring books which are available and so if you actually, if you actually interact with the book, a new tab on a certain part of the book, then we can actually ask in the book will actually read back what a sentence or it will make a special sand effect. So it's a fantastic tool for helping kids learn how to read because they can see the words and then tap the words and then actually hear how they said, and of course in that environment, they're getting all that lovely, rich illustration that's been... It's been done for the book, so that's becoming a very popular format, fees in schools and in a great educational to kids who have perhaps a little bit reluctant about reading, this makes it more fun and particularly for kids who have dyslexia, for example.

0:12:42.5 S2: For them, they can understand usually really well what's being said to them, but to make the translation between what they hear and what those symbols represent on the page, on the text itself, that can be a big challenge, challenge for them. So audio-books are increasingly being used in kids who are impacted by those sorts of learning difficult difficulties, so that's kind of the fiction... End of the business at this stage. I haven't done any large fiction works at the moment, it's kind of... It's a different scenario, morobe the business orders, because that they are more... They're on a track to use their information more often than that, they'll break it down into chapters, or they'll take out particularly list of tips and stuff like that that they actually produced during the book, so they're able to take their book and break it down into little pieces and use it for social media. So most of the works been around the business, which has been interesting, as you say, I've... I've learned about... I've learned about vaginal prolapse, I've learned about here and beauty salons, and how to... How to make a great hairdressing seller were also...

0:13:53.4 S2: There's financial, financial accounting, how to distill your own gym, and so of course, the beautiful benefit of being in this business is that I need to edit these books and listen to them from top to tail, and I have to pretend that I'm the client, I'm the customer actually consuming this content, so I have to not only listen to it, but also kind of write it in terms of its ability to be understood if you're not a mandate, feed that back to the author, and so I'm becoming qualified in all of these amazing industries and practices that people get up to. So it's an incredible... It's an incredible learning experience, which was completely unanticipated in the beginning, I hadn't thought of that, but it's made me something of an expert in all of these amazing disparate areas that I would have never had exposure to a...

0:14:44.3 S1: I don't even thought that from the standpoint of her getting a free education in those regards beautifully, but it is exactly that. Exactly that.

0:14:53.9 S2: And these are people who are at the top of their game in terms of their industries and markets, so... It's fantastic fellow. What percentage of authors do you think have an audio, but now, ironically, the audio book, the audible product isn't really all that new, given the amount of vintage blonde that both you and I have great... I'm sure we can go back to the 70s and occasionally remember, maybe even a family holiday in the car, we're dead dead jobs into the car, and he's got this... He's got this kind of book and it has 80, 44, 10 or 12 cassette tapes, and he would just pop them into the tape player in the car, and we would listen type of to tape, and we would listen to some fantastic children's story or a memoir or whatever it might be. So really the actual... The concept is the name has changed, they were referred to as Talking books in those days, and I think apart from entertainment for children and to make literature available to people who might be Vision Impaired, for example, I think that's as much as people kind of thought of it, that was pretty much what it was.

0:16:06.8 S2: All four. And then the big change, I think, occurred in the 90s, and especially in Australia, and I think maybe this happens in the US as well, is that there's quite a lot of long hole tracking that goes backwards and forwards across the country, and what the track drivers were finding was that an industry... We have like a national radio carrier, I'm not sure if there's an equivalent in the US, but the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, so you guys have got your own ABC over there, and the ABC has a thing called Radio National, so they broadcast the ADC and it's got reached across the entire country, but what was happening, of course, is that the truck drivers were tuned into the local radio stations, and then they would get sort of 20 colors or 10, 15, 20 miles out of that 10 Center, they would lose the signal from that radio station and the only thing they could listen to was the national broadcaster, which started to wear very thin after a while, and so what happened was that some very enterprising retailers thought of what we should do, you start putting these cassette tapes in the truck stops, and so they started putting these things up for sale, and they found that the track drivers were buying these things and they were doing everything from buying, buying tapes and CDs by the state as well, that were causes in learning how to speak Spanish, and so the tracks were actually using that time to listen to entertaining stuff, but also educating themselves on these logar and things like that.

0:17:42.9 S2: So the push in the marketplace actually came from the road, it came from the trucking industry, and then people started seeing in those road has these things developed, then it started to sort of spread out to the broader community where people would say, Hey, that's great. Look, we've got some Charles Dickens stories we can play for the kids because like in Australia, like the US, you can do some very long family... All that it drives, you can do a massive ones, they're three days where they're driving to get from one side of the one side of the country or from the top of the bottom or whatever, so I think that's where it's kind of three days of driving and you're missing a family member... Yeah, that's right, that's right. There's always one in the car who's just that bit not or more classic than others, are just gonna fast forward to day, Greg, so all of what we're talking about here, the cassette and the CD, it's all given way to the mobile mobile phone, and as you know from your IT background as well, we have more computing power available, more power than they had to send the Apollo 11 astronauts to the moon, so by a long stretch, by a factor of 50, and I wore a 100 or even a 1000.

0:18:54.6 S2: So we have all this incredible capacity on our phones, and of course, one of the things you can do with that is that you can use it to use it to play an audio book, and if you don't like what's being played through the family... The family car stereo, then you can just plug in your ear pods and listen to your own story, so there's been an incredible development in the product itself, so I've never really contemplated at producing any kind of physical products. Well, occasionally people will ask me whether I produce CDs, the most that I've done is to occasionally put an audio book on it onto a little themed USB stick. So for example, one of the jobs are quite for was a wonderful woman who had written a book about buying your first house, her book ended up being picked up by one of the major banks who were having a presentation to... I think it was approximately 10000 people over a five-day period, and each one of those individuals in the audience would receive this little USB stick with her book on us, and it was in the shape of a front front day.

0:19:55.1 S2: That's pretty clever. But apart from that, now, I think it's all... It's a 100% digital now is just so very easy to just click and play.

0:20:06.5 S1: I can see these books being, especially the non-fiction books being as a virtual business card or a lead magnet for giving a person authority in their space and business. Why do you think that storytelling has kind of emerged now, it's kind of a force in business and in online marketing.

0:20:24.6 S2: Fantastic question, Greg. I think in the same way that we've kind of done that full circle, really back to those... Back to those days in the 80s and the 70s, on those family holidays with the cassette tapes playing in the car, really, we are actually back to that stage with audiobooks now, just that we're delivering it in a totally different method, but it's really still the same idea. And if we talk about storytelling and story telling itself, it predates language, it certainly predates text, it produces written language, it predates printing technologies. It predates printing printing technologies, effectively, if we went back... If we went back a million a million years, then the two of us are together on a hunt and rig say something and just goes on and I say, and I see the same thing and just go, message conveyed, Greg's sensory over there, and he's just a load of Dave to a day sees it too, and we're off to pursue it, so without without language, with just a series of branes enough to generate the story, and I think to me, that's the really important thing about storytelling and particularly about article, the auditory format is that we can not only share the words, but we can also share the feeling behind those words, which if you're reading, it's not quite so easy, you've got your own interpretation of what you think the author Manes, but you're really creating the movie inside your head, whereas Renaud but you are actually hearing the absolute emotion, intention, and emphasis behind that story that's intended by the author in their own words, and that generally has helped, I think the second factor in business, I think, is that...

0:22:14.4 S2: And again, something perhaps we share in common, having worked for some large corporations over the years, we have seen lots and lots of corporate presentations by the leaders of leaders of industry, where we've sat down in a staff room in a group of 500 people listening to a town whole presentation, which describes the company's objectives for what we wanna do in the next 12 months, a 12-month plan, and we've sat through an hour's worth of PowerPoint presentations that go through very, very esoteric, hard to understand an abstract concepts, whereas now those same presentations as you shift towards starting the story with... Well, the other day, I Delaware store, a woman fell over and hit the floor, and one of our staff members went immediately over to help her, and she said, Look, the terrible problem is that I don't have my heart medication with me, but the summit... My purse, I don't have any. If you would be so kind as to fill that prescription, then that will sit me out and I feel better with an half an hour, so if goes, the store representative goes to the local drug store files, Crip ion comes back to the client who's been made comfortable and given a glass of water, gives her the heart medication, and then half an hour later she's back on the fit, she's feeling fine, as opposed to a PowerPoint slide that says, We take ultimate care of our customers, and nobody in the industry is going to take better care of our customers than we do.

0:23:37.8 S2: And everyone goes, Well, yeah. But the story about the fall and customer, this actually demonstrates exactly what was done, it's a more engaging way of getting the point across, people are gonna remember that one, as opposed to the just remember these 50 things and remember all of them and commit them to memory and no, broker them and be able to be able to drop them out at a more moments notice, I think there's been that subtle way in which storytelling is gonna be introduced into corporations, certainly certainly within the Australian context. You're finding the same thing over in the US.

0:24:12.4 S1: I think we engage more with stories, I was engaging with your story about the lady that fell and manage your went and got our prescription pill. Yeah, I think that's an awesome display of customer service and empathy, let's talk about your process, how do you start the process from somebody who comes to you and they want to have an audio book.

0:24:32.3 S2: My first question to the client, Greg, when somebody comes to me, an audio book is probably a little bit capturing juri because I normally... One of my first questions for them is like, What do you want an audio book for? Like, why do you want it? And it often, it often makes with the chin that it goes back into the chest and people going, Hang on me, you're supposed to be selling me something, and I say, Well, I know it's an unusual question, question to us, but I really... It's important for me to understand what the motivation is for the author, what really what it is that they feel they will go and what the benefit they will go and how they're going to use it. So it sort of opens up to a broader question around what are their expectations around around the process, and more so about the outcomes and the product, or they wanna use it for... Why would you use madan probably out of 10 times now, that question is met with the response, my readers have demanded it, my readers are asking me for an audio version of mobile, so that becomes a really useful or really interesting bit of...

0:25:38.5 S2: Bit of market research is it's not the author waking up on one and going, You know, I really need an audio version of my book, they're not just cooking up the idea out of their imagination or just the next thing to do, or whatever. There are actually people who are saying, I would much prefer to consume your information in audio, and it would say that a great percentage of that population are people who are very time for number one, and secondly, most of them are men, so as guys are not renowned as being great read is we will read technical information and things we need to learn to develop a skill, but that sort of stuff will eat that up, but very few guys read for pleasure, something like 75% to 80% of estimated consumption across Amazon is his bowmen are amazingly amazing, voracious consumers of literature, whereas for guys that just hasn't been the case, but now all of a sudden, this little game change comes in where I can be driving in the car, I can be more my lawn, I can be walking the dog, I can be doing something at the same time, which is kind of like a low intellectual requirement level thing, and of course, all of us guys, including you and may have been told to go out and get more exercise, and so this is something you can do on your walk or your run on your bakri, you can literally just pop in the ear pieces and you can consume half an hour of an audio book while you do your day, the exercise.

0:27:05.3 S2: So what we're finding is that audio books are growing it somewhere around the ride of about 20 to 30% across most of the first world countries, and something like 70% of that growth are male male customers, so it's the guys that are getting interested in interested in audio, and I think part of it is this kind of pragmatic kind of, I can't see myself sitting around curled up on the couch reading a paperback or a romance, but what I can say myself is doing is learning about... Learning about Amelia Earhart, for example, and I'm gonna pick off a few chapters in audio while I go around around the park with the dog, that's sort of what the market is saying about audio books, and guys are generally prefer to read non-fiction, so there's this huge increasingly non-fiction, which has been consumed in audio and guys are just lifting it up, it suits us better somehow, I think as a huge generalization, there are certainly plenty of women who love listening to all your books as well, particularly ones who get air sea friend of mindsets, as soon as I get into a plane or a car, I have to put the paper back down, that's the end of the story, but now if I'm flying for business, I can actually pick up the book where I left off and listen to it, what you on the plane, and I'm not looking down, I don't feel ill in the car or I can keep my horizon and all that sort of stuff.

0:28:29.4 S2: So that's probably the first big part of the process is talking to the author to understand what their motivations are, why they want the audio book, beyond that, Greg, essentially, it's a three-step process, so it's record in it and publish. So the recording phase though, generally set up, the author to record in their own home, some will have a facility like you have at home at the moment, they'll have a smallest room that's fairly... Will sound through, you've probably got some clothes hanging, ideally, you've got some soft furnishings around you, like so far, preferably ceilings are too high, carpeting on the floors, and there's a couple of tricky things we can do, like putting pillows behind your laptop screen that absorbs a little bit of that ring that you can get in the recording in the room, so once we've got them up and running, the author will go through the process and they'll say any today, so that's good. Some books, my book is 40000 words long, like how long is that gonna be as an audio book, and I say I'm probably gonna be five... Maybe five and a half hours, something like that, and then I go, That's fantastic.

0:29:34.7 S2: I'll get the whole thing done tomorrow morning, all I've sent you the recording by lunchtime tomorrow, and so I hang up the phone and I go, I don't think you will, but anyway, and then three days later, you get this car or this other going, Man, that was really hard, not difficult in terms of bending of emotional energy, but also just the amount of physical effort that's required to really put your... Into a reading from something that's very close to your heart, these are deeply or beliefs that people have about what they've written about, and so it's a much more energetic process than most workers think about... That's universally true. The outcome or King to get out of the state blocks and you don't get this done in a minute, and then a week later I hear back from going, that was it. That was quite hard, or the morning in experience and too great. What I tend to suggest is that once the author has finished recording their entire book, that they actually go back after they're finished, they go back and record a re-record the introduction in chapter one, purely because they're really on their game, their speaking muscle is turned and then much more relaxed at the microphone than they are in the first couple of chapters, so that's often what we go through, read the whole book and then just read the first two sections again, and then nine times out of 10, I'll actually take the second recording 'cause they just sound so much better.

0:30:54.1 S2: Relaxed, comfortable, and you've gotta remember that the person listening to your book, if you sound impatient or anxious or you're in a big hurry to get out of there and get this thing done, then that feeling is gonna be conveying to the person who's listening to a book and it will make them feel, what's wrong with this guy was in such a hurry? Like What's wrong? So that's just part of the coaching process, and then the rest of it's really technical, the editing time is to remove a lot of the breaths, most authors will make around about 100 mistakes, so speaking areas, misread that 100 per hour, that's a pretty good sort of average where they will stop, repeat the sentence. Generally speaking, it takes about four times the amount of audio to do the editing, so one hour of recorded time will generally take about four hours to complete for editing, so that's the rough ratio, so a five-hour audiobook, I wanna spend 20, 20 hours and up doing the editing. So that's one of those things, editing is very much that it's the back office kind of process, and it's never appreciated as much as the editors want it to be, but it's something people don't say that's a big strength in the product, and it's a major factor in the quality of what you got to produce in the end, and then beyond that, we put it all together and give it back to the other...

0:32:15.9 S2: Give them that. Listen, most authors will generally give it to their partner or friends or even an enemy to actually listen to it and get some feedback as to what they think, think about it, and then we'll go to the final step and we'll distribute it to audible, to Amazon, to Apple, Apple box, Spotify, Google Play, and there's around about another 10 sort of online retailers for audio books now, so we get the broad distribution out of those different areas, and more and more authors are actually putting the book up for sale on the audio book and the paperback and the April, they're putting it up to sale on their websites and selling direct to the community, so that's an increasing part of the game, and of course, instead of giving away 75 cents out of the dollar to Amazon, you're collecting the full dollar for that book that you saw. So it's kind of a mix of the local marketing for people that you know in your tribe and then going out to the entire world to get that on donat was an outrageously... Long answer to your question. I'm sorry about that.

0:33:19.5 S1: So that's a good answer, but are you going in... But the book recordings at their house. Are you going there? How does that work?

0:33:27.6 S2: Yeah, a really good question. Great, so this is where the business has started to divide into two, especially during 2020, during during covid, I started receiving more and more requests to see people set up and produce their podcast episodes and their podcast, their podcast series, so that in that case, Zen cast zoom has been very commonly, very commonly used, Riverside fame, as you mentioned, and people are using that as a remote interviewing, interviewing talk, usually like We're doing an or capturing and capturing audio and video, and then they've got a couple of different assets that they can choose to use they might use some of the video to capture some of the funny amusing or insightful part of, and then use that on social media to kind of person bread crumbs some interest in a fourth coming podcast episode as far as the audio books are concerned, and fortunately, all those in cast and Riverside FM are very, very close to an appropriate system for recording an audio at the end of the day, because it's a one-way channel, we basically musical terms, we have one instrument, which is the author's voice, one instrument recording into one microphone, recording into one device per a laptop, and I have a...

0:34:46.4 S2: Ooh, recorded direct to their mobile phones in mobile phone, audio quality recording quality is sufficient now that you can get studio quality recording on a mobile, so regardless of the device that they use, it's just a single input, so we don't actually necessarily need the communication between two individuals, and I suppose that's one of the things that we're alters have tried to self-publish their own audio books, they often tend to get into trouble with being able to jump the audio requirements for people like Amazon and the AC... The audiobook creation exchange, they have basically set the standards across all retailers for fraud books, and it's quite challenging, it... It took me probably my first five or six audio books before I really settled the process down and realize that we had to be careful of this and bats and the other thing, so there's quite a bit of technical tweaking and you have a few constraint problems and jumping the radio requirements, so you can fix one thing and it'll unfit another, it's that sort of constrained stuff, so they work within a very top requirements, so that's something that everyone... A big challenge with if they go...

0:35:55.9 S2: Yeah, yeah, Aragon produce it myself. Well, that's fine, that they'll often come to me and say, Hey Dave, I didn't pass the sardine past that, I couldn't jump this hurdle without falling over on the next one, so that's often... That's been a source of business, so... And it's a lawful to help people out to get them through to the finishing line, so I'd have to grade... I don't want people not to try themselves, but that's been something that's been able to be... Be helpful. Now, when they aren't able to pass those hurdles as a mover, they have to re-record under your guidance, or are you able to take what they've done and how to move past a really, really good question, Greg, if you can stand another analogy from a little story and this is a current story, this is a perspective client that I'm speaking to at the moment, this particular Australian gentleman works during the 1980s with an institution called the Hollywood Reporter to have a greater reputation now for the online interviews that they do, and now we know them as a round table discussions with directors like Quentin Tarantino and readily scotch, they'll actually get together in a panel discussion to talk about different elements of movie directing or experiences with different actors, and so they have these combination of people on the technical side of film-making as well as the actors themselves, anyway, so this guy, John, that I'm speaking to at the moment, he was a journalist with The Hollywood Reporter, and each year for 10 years, he went to the canned Film Festival, and while he was there, he interviewed celebrities, Peter Sellers, fade down away to Cruz, and there's this great long raft, he's got something like 80 interviews that as most journals do, they'll take on the micro-corset with them, and they'll actually record the interview so that they can then go back and really listen to it and make sure that I miss anything when they're actually writing the article, so the only reason they do the recording, I never needed to be of any kind of decent quality, because we just had to be good enough that the journalists could use it to review the information and not forget anything or any great gillnets within the interview.

0:38:13.0 S2: So this is what John has done, and he's got a... A collection of these interviews that run anywhere from five minutes to an hour... George Harrison was an hour-long interview. So Johnson, I said, Look, I'm thinking now the guard now do... That was back in the 80s on... I've been retired for eight months and I won a project, I'm wondering... All these recordings that I haven't Madras, this Robbie is this gold direct might be able to develop a project to put these all together into some sort of already able... So he's planning to introduce and position each of the interviews at the beginning, so explained that at the time, Tom Cruise was 21 years of age, he just... They just released Top Gun and Topanga getting its first airing and first showing at the ICAN film tested... Do I always get an acceptable level of quality from my authors? The answer is, If I haven't set them up in the environment, set them up on the equipment and test it, them, and then run those tests that I know need to be done to make sure that the audio is gonna be at Jupiter, then it becomes a longer conversation, we need to talk through, we need to examine your audio and work it out, so some of these recordings from John we're recording in a car in traffic, there's another one that's a terrible, terrible quality where it sounds like there's a like a garbage truck that comes in, in the middle of the interview, so we've got all this background noise that to a large extent, we're gonna have to try and try and remove to get these things at least to the standard where it can be published, but also to actually improve the quality.

0:39:50.2 S2: So that people can... So it's more legible to somebody who's trying to listen to it, so again, another really long answer to the question, but for someone like... For someone like Greg in your environment at home, break, you and I talk together through it, you set up in your environment, you've got your headphones, you've obviously got a good sounding microphone, there's not my echo in the room that I'd be 909% happy with the recording that had down of his podcast episodes or is the recording of his audio book because you're in the right environment, but the audio companies, they've got a low tolerance level to background noise, which means things like soundscapes that you would normally do in a score for a movie, where you have things like background noise, background music, and you have sound effects, like people's footsteps or conversation going on in the background, it could be actually quite difficult to get those kind of recordings produced as audio books because of these kind of now arbitrary rules as to how much background noise you can have, so the robots don't distinguish between someone talking in the background versus the sound of electronic rumble or whatever side.

0:41:01.6 S2: There's quite a balancing act to get these... To get these recordings through sometimes.

0:41:06.7 S1: How long does the priest... Usually both recording and then.

0:41:10.9 S2: Let's say Linares produced a 40000-word book, that's about the average length for a business is gonna be about five to five and a half hours worth of audio, and Greg would say, You know, days, only a short book, it's gonna take me six hours to record and I'll be finished, and as we mentioned before, green come back to me at the end of the week, and he will have finished the recording and I will have done it probably one hour... Like one hour sessions. Often an hour is enough, so in the... The house is quiet, the kids have all gone to bed, the birds have all gone to sleep, and now things are settled in in the house and the rest of the family quietly in another room watching today or something like that is a perfect time to record so between say, 8 PM in the evening through 11, 11 PM, that's the sweet spot, that's a great time to record it, everything's quiet, you might be going now or maybe an hour and a half, and then... Go on. Well, it was right, there's a fair bit of energy and then I think I've had enough, it's not...

0:42:09.0 S2: And then you might skip a couple of days so you can fit it in, what I'm saying is you can fit it in with your lifestyle, so you don't need to go from a flat out from the start line to finish all in one take. It's too exhausting. And we can hear it, we can hear the authoring, you can hear it in someone's voice, their tone becomes flatter, and also they instinctively start speaking faster, as you see the finishing line approaching, it starts galloping and people start skipping over their words, and then of course, you start making more mistakes, you start... And this really a lot more because you're tumbling over your words and you're missing syllables and stuff like that, so basically that's what's happened at the end of the week, it'll be... There'll be two or three sessions on three nights a great finish the recording sends that image. It sounds fantastic, you've been remembering to have the super bottle, like just have little drinks of water along the way, you get your mouth is... That's an important thing. Very important, otherwise, we get all the clicking sounds and we can hear you, you're not trying to work up saliva in your mouth and the microphone picks up all of that.

0:43:16.3 S2: And so at the end of that week, and then the week after that, that would usually be the time that I'll take to edit the book, I'll spend upwards of 20 hours in the next week doing the editing, so I'll listen to your book from top tale. And at the end of Steen of two weeks, I'll have some product that I'll be able to send back to Greg. I'll leave it With break for a few days just to maybe sample some of it, go through and do a little spot check through the audio or give it to a friend. A partner is often good, as we all know, our partners can be very, very frank and very honest in their criticism, so often they were really good, they're a really good audience, but be careful not to give it to you, we have a lot to give it to anyone who loves you too much because sometimes they might swing the other way and get great at... Fantastic, I loved all of it. It was fantastic. So they're coming through a space which is more about not wanting to hurt you about something, sometimes a really positive review or the things that you are the most suspicious of thing are going really...

0:44:19.9 S2: I thought it was that good, like really... So it's great to get an opinion, I pick some people who aren't particularly good friends with somebody, sometimes a harsh critic is a much better one, someone doesn't really know our particularly like you very much, and that stays... You will come back with an improved or or not approve and will make any changes that you need to make. Next stage is to upload it to the distributor that is done within the three or four hour space, then basically we wait, so after a week or two, you'll see your book released at the early audio book retailer, so audiobooks dot com book mate. They tend to release fairly early, within three to four weeks, usually Apple books have published a book and it's ready for purchase or subscription, and the other book retailers, and there's around about 15 of them all together, and use the last one to come through is Audible Amazon so Audible Amazon can take usually six weeks, sometimes up to eight or nine, so if we put too the math on that, Let's allow two months for your book to be completely published, plus a week for editing, editing and approving, and then the week before, so 10 weeks is the longest that the whole thing takes about two and half months from denuded stop to let...

0:45:37.4 S2: Post every win.

0:45:38.6 S1: Do you ever have authors that kind of augment their books with personal stories or examples to reading their chapters, or is it just straight from the published book? It's

0:45:50.7 S2: A trade off that we have to talk about actually, because Amazon, a facility that they provide for the books we were discussing earlier, about people who might be travel sick, for example, who might be up to a certain section in their evil and then they wanna get on the plane, but they wanna be able to go back to their ardent, their audible or Amazon account. And they wanna be able to pick up where they left off. But the book, Mark is now in the audio book, so they wanna listen to the audio version, so in order to be able to get people to merge seamlessly between one and the other, there's a process called Amazon and whisper sink now whispering in order for that to be workable for your customers, it needs to be the case that... It needs to be the case that the ebook version and the audio book version need to be in terms of content better than 96% for sins in order to jump that hurdle, we might be able to squeeze in a few little personalized sentences like, Welcome to the this version of the audio book, like I just wanted to add this extra bit to walking you to the audio version, this is why I decided to do the audio version in the first place because my customers were demanding it, blah, blah, blah.

0:47:07.2 S2: So you might get away with a few paragraphs, but if you start drifting too far away from the eBook version, then you will miss that opportunity for the Whispering, which from what I've heard anecdotally from people that they like that feature, they like to be able to flip from the ABL version to the audible version, that would be the compromise, and the other aspect is, it too, is that people think that ad living can come at a cost as well, that even though you're feeling is and relaxed at the market, you're feeling confident, you... Hey, I've got this dilated can just... Jerry Seinfeld, a few crops pay off and don't turn out that well, you are actually better reading from a script, so when you start a living, then there's much more... And false starts. It doesn't sound quite as professional, and I think from a consumer's listening point of view, it doesn't really do the thing that you're hoping at the will, because it may sound like you're trying to talk to them and engage them directly, but because the customer can't feed back it's a one-sided conversation. So bottom line, leave it out if

0:48:15.5 S1: I can understand that, listen to like a James alter shot before and he goes on to some personal stories, but I can also see where... And you might get a little too comfortable and you might have been somebody... No, that's true. I think you do have to be... You do have to be careful and without taking political correctness to it, it's ultimate state, but I think... Showing respect, I think is probably important. So let's go ahead and run to wrap this up, what's the one piece of advice you can give to our lifers or really to start something, but

0:48:48.1 S2: I think the most important element... And it probably makes sense that I would say this, I guess, because I am in the listing the listening game largely, this is about listening, and I think in terms of the broad success of the business, remember this one thing that you were born with two ears and one mouth. And there's a very good reason for that. So in the early days, just listening to what people's advice is what their experience was when they were starting their own business, what were the things that they really struggled with? Marketing, for example, like has absolutely no idea of what I was doing. So for me, that became a massive listening experience, and the best advice that I got from an expert market a friend of mine, so again, use your connections, use people, you know, the questions that you're asking yourself that you think you can do, ask them out to your potential market, would you like an audio book, if you were to have an audio book, what would it be like as an author, are you finding that there is an increased demand for audio books in your marketplace, so actually get the market research done first, so if I had had my time over again.

0:49:57.0 S2: I would spend much more time on that now because I spent a lot of time doing it now, so I've changed my practice where it's not about me saying I make great audio books, come and buy one from me. We're moving into micro micro learnings, for example, at the moment that you can play on your mobile phone device, what do you authors think about that? Would you like to include an education, an educational app as part of your portal learning experience for your listeners? Is that something that you think would be attractive? So you're getting all the feedback, so you're starting to understand what the demand will be if your services before you spend a dollar, you'll find plenty of things to spend your money on, there's no... You won't have to worry about that. Don't worry about that side, and that's fine, you can spend and spend and spend, but there needs to be something coming back during that spending period, which is re-filling the coffers, you need to really know where your demands go to be. So for me, that's the key bit of advice about working as an entrepreneur is talk to as many people as you possibly can in your industry, out of your industry, in your target market, and you'll find that people are very happy to talk to about what they want, people love for someone to come to them and say, Hey, tell me about a problem you've got with publishing, can you let me know how I might be able to help solve it? People really love that approach, and they will often be forth coming in and telling you everything you need to know, they'll build, telling you what service you can construct to, then you know you're gonna have satiated.

0:51:29.4 S1: I... Listen to what the market says. Well, Dave, thank you for being a guest. If anyone needs a book, narrated, be sure in the city, David, author to audio dot com.

0:51:38.6 S2: Thanks so much, Greg.