Okay. Here we all are again, another week has passed, and though another hurricane has not struck Florida, it did strike elsewhere, causing tremendous devastation before it swept along out into the Atlantic Ocean. I’ve been a fairly busy boy, what with working six days a week, writing daily on my latest novel, putting up my first video (a rankly amateur production, but since I am a rank amateur, that’s no terrible sin), and posting a voice recording of an article I’d written quite a while ago, on my other blog. The recording is perhaps not quite so amateurish as the video, if only because I’ve been recording myself reading for many years. I recorded almost the entire book, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” onto cassette tape—or tapes, I should say…lots and lots of tapes—for my then-wife to listen to while she commuted. I have also spent long periods of my life reading aloud to people (not just children) and have received uniformly positive reviews. Of course, the people to whom I have read tended to fall asleep not long after I began reading, but I was assured that this was a good thing, and reflected well upon my skills. Perhaps they were simply sparing my feelings.
Assuming that my positive reviews were at least not flagrant lies, maliciously intended to make me embarrass myself, I’ve thought about doing some more voice recording as a way of promoting my books. Specifically, I’m considering recording portions of those books onto audio files, and posting them onto my blog for people to listen to, so that they can sample some of my writing in a form that can be enjoyed even while commuting, or exercising, or whatever.
Obviously—well, maybe it’s not so obvious—I have not done any audio versions of my books for purchase on such excellent venues as Audible (which I highly recommend). Often such audio books are recorded by someone other than the author (regrettably, to my mind), and they tend to be recorded in serious studios, comparable to those used for professional music, for radio, and for recording the audio of animated features. However, in the modern world, this is no longer an absolute requirement. Our smartphones can double as video and audio studios that probably surpass many of the capacities that the Beatles (for instance) used at the height of their fame, just as the computing power of our phones far exceeds that used by NASA for the 1969 moon landing.
This is a mixed blessing, of course; it’s simply a fact that most of the “Facebook Live,” videos, even those done by professional entertainers, are monstrously dull. But it does mean that even authors and publishers with limited production budgets (e.g. Chronic Publications and I) can produce reasonably high-quality audio and video.
There is one slight snag: in order to publish audio here on robertelessar.com, I would have to upgrade the web-site (something I already did for Iterations of Zero, as evidenced by the fact that I have uploaded an audio file to that blog). It’s not all that pricey to do, and in principle it’s an investment rather than merely a loss. However, I tend to be a cautious spender.
With that in mind, I hereby put out a question to my readers, and that question is probably obvious: Would you be interested in listening to audio of me reading portions of my books (most likely a chapter or less a file)? If you want to get a sample of what my voice sounds like, so you can decide if you could tolerate listening to me drone for any extended period, you can listen to the above-mentioned reading here, or even watch my video here (though the audio on the latter wasn’t very good…I need to try to sort that out).
It may occur to some to ask, “But if you already have the function to upload audio files onto Iterations of Zero, why not simply do any of your uploading onto that site, and direct your readers/listeners there?” That’s a perfectly reasonable question (one would hope that I would find it so, since I’m the one who imagined it being asked of me). I suppose I could do that if I were forced, but I’d really prefer not to mix the two venues overmuch. I want to keep this location, my original blog, reserved for creative writing-related posts, some personal matters, and my thoughts and musings on the creative writing of others. I may even sneak in an occasional book, movie, or show review. I want to reserve Iterations of Zero for more general philosophy, science, commentary, politics, and related rant-prone subject matter. To mix the two would mock the very point of having created the second blog, and though I may vigorously criticize that with which I disagree, mockery is not one of my preferred modes of discourse.
All that being said, as a verbose and indulgent preamble, I hereby solicit your responses. Please let me know your thoughts and reactions to the notion of uploaded audio files of me reading some of my stories. I am serious. Please do let me know, either in the comment section below, or through Facebook, or Twitter. Honest. I really want to know. Even if you leave a two or three-word response (e.g. “Do it,” or “Don’t do it.”), I would be immensely grateful. I relish feedback (and I occasionally give feedback on relish, but that’s a jar I’d rather not open here).
In the meantime, I will probably begin presumptively recording a bit of one of my stories (though I’m not sure with which one to begin…maybe I’ll even do a short teaser of the first draft of my current book, “Unanimity.” Hmm, there’s an interesting thought). Also, of course, I will continue to write every day, since that is my first and truest calling. I hope that by doing so, I give some of you out there at least a little bit of joy.