What They Want To Hear On Audio Books

I've been very busy lately considering one important factor in my next audio book. What type of music I should add to enhance the project. By enhance, I mean set the mood. I've been listening to audio books for the past several months now to see what methods are used when putting an audio book project together. Samples range from no music at all, to music at the beginning and end only, to music and sound effects throughout the entire book.

A couple of factors come to mind when taking all these samples into consideration. The ones where music is not used at all seem to lack a polished stamp to me. It's true that consumers mostly want to hear the story read when buying an audio book, but the audios where a company has put a little more effort into adding music, have an extra special something to them when you listen to the overall piece.

Second, the books where music or sound effects are used throughout the book, tend to sound overdone to me. It's almost as if the reader is barred from using their imagination when listening to the story. I'd say you'd be better off making a film of your book then creating a whole soundtrack for it. Not to mention the cost is prohibitive unless you're a big name author.

That leaves me somewhere in the middle. I like the idea of adding some music, but not in the whole piece. Since my book is a breakdown of nine short stories, I think I could get away with adding music between them to denote the end and beginning of the stories to listeners.

It's been on my mind a lot since my last five audio books lack music. I always felt like they should have had some at least at the beginning and end. But the publisher I used didn't add it themselves so it was up to me to buy tracks somewhere so they could be embedded into the audio. At the time though I wasn't ready to spend the time or money.

I have since found a website that truly has royalty free music tracks which I can purchase for use in my audio project. The website is called microaudio.com. You can pay a one-time fee for mass duplication rights within your books. The question then becomes will the readers appreciate it.

The answer really depends on the listener. Some people will tell you just read the book while others say the more you put in, the better. Since my project is geared mostly toward young adults and above, I think using some music would be wise. They're so used to it in the media now that it almost seems like a must. But more importantly, it would sound more polished to me.

So to make a long story short I hope listeners will enjoy hearing small pieces of music weaved between The Lin Wu Chronicles: Senior Year. Things like this may not generally cross a person's mind when they buy something in a store or online for a listening experience. But it really is a lot of work and takes a lot of planning and research, not to mention money.

If you're an audio book listener, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

paclark paclark
Jun 5, 2012