Why Make an Audio Book?

audio books listener
Audio Books Are In.

I’m pleased to announce that during the few extra minutes I’ve gained by cutting back a bit on writing, I’ve been considering producing audio versions of my books, and my first novel, REICHOLD STREET, is my logical first choice.

What’s taken me so long? Good question.

Well, it all began more than 50 years ago…

When I was a junior in high school back in the halcyon days of 1965, I was flush with cash from my summer job of pumping gas, washing windshields, stocking racks and fixing flats at the Jefferson-Lakewood Sunoco (check your oil today, sir?).

Once you get over your surprise at a gas station that actually provided service, I can tell you I was eager to spend my whole $1.40-an-hour paycheck (15 whole cents over minimum wage) on two things … my girlfriend (now my wife) and music.

45-rpm vinyl records were still my preference, followed by 8-track tapes and then cassettes. I never thought about CD’s, because CD’s wouldn’t be invented for another 17 years, and streaming was still somewhere you caught fish.

While I admit I did own a pair of bell-bottom pants and one tie-dyed shirt bright enough to be seen from space, my style at the time (much like today) tended more toward Polo shirts and jeans.

What can I say? It’s comfortable.

And my musical affectation in ’65 was definitely early rock and blues, with a little Motown thrown in (also much like today).

Classic stuff, like Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (Wooly Bully), The McCoys (Hang on Sloopy), the Supremes (Back in My Arms Again), the Four Tops (I Can’t Help Myself), Lovin’ Spoonful (Do You Believe in Magic), the Beach Boys (California Girls), and the little-known at that time Detroit rocker Bob Seger (Heavy Music).

There was also the newer stuff coming out of the UK, like the Beatles (Ticket to Ride), the Animals (We Gotta Get Out of This Place), the Kinks (Tired of Waiting for You), the Yardbirds (Heart Full of Soul), the Dave Clark Five (I Like It Like That), and my personal favorite, the Rolling Stones (Satisfaction).

If you were a young man with gas-pumping money burning a hole in your bell-bottoms (after you transferred it from the crummy blue uniform you wore at work) you eventually bought these records.

They had powerful lyrics. Songs to play in your car, if you were lucky enough to have a car radio that played tapes; songs to dance to or sing along with. Great rock and roll.

Unfortunately, the only one I ever got to see perform live was Bob Seger* … only because he hadn’t made it big anywhere yet, and was struggling through the local rock scene.

Years passed. I made my way through college, grateful for a draft deferment while Vietnam was getting hot, and then spent years working in advertising agencies, writing things once in a while, telling myself I was going to hit it big in some creative endeavor someday.

More years passed. I got married, had three sons, sold a short story or two, and worked every day. Gained weight. My eldest son got married and I discovered Seger has a home down the street from his in-laws (but I’ve never met him again).

Fast forward to 2008.

I retired (early). That was a good thing, actually. I left GM in April and by the end of the year the company that was once the largest corporation in the world went bankrupt (although I don’t think my leaving had anything to do with it).

With nothing else to do, I thought I’d try my hand again at writing fiction. Why not? It was something I’d always wanted to try. I’d sold a few stories in those 30 years, after all. After a rocky start looking for an agent and publisher, I discovered indie-publishing … but I’ve already told you about that.

Then it occurred to me (I don’t know why it took so long) … many people don’t actually read anymore … they prefer to listen. So, I thought I should check out Amazon’s audio platform, ACX, because it makes sense. It certainly seemed likely I could make extra money selling audio versions of my books, too.

I looked up ACX once … then promptly forgot about it. Not sure why. Getting old, I guess.

Now, after some prompting from my wife and son (the youngest one with the recording studio), I’ve decided to go ahead and record the stories myself. When that’s done, I’ll probably go back to ACX to upload them to Amazon.

So, what was the music stuff above all about?

Life is funny, isn’t it? Actually, everything I just told you was true, and the music I listed was the music of the time in which REICHOLD STREET was set … but it had little to do with my decision to make audio books.

You took the time to read it though … which means you might be interested in an audio book version … for which I thank you.

Unless, of course, you were just here listening to the music links like I did … which is a very real possibility.

———-
*That isn’t entirely true. I almost forgot taking my soon-to-be wife and sister-in-law in 1969 to see Herman’s Hermits at the Elmwood Casino in Windsor.

**********

My books have all garnered some terrific reviews, and you can see the ones I have available by using the Amazon link below. My latest, BLOOD LAKE, was just published. Look for it. You might like it.

buy now amazon

You’re invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or
like my Book of Face page. You can find me on Goodreads, or follow
some of my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.

**********

Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

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6 Responses to “Why Make an Audio Book?”

  1. T. W. Dittmer Says:

    That music list takes me back. Crazy times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John Wickett Says:

    Well it is about time! I am one of those who prefers to listen rather than read! A big part of the reason is I spend a lot of blank time in the car…living up north gives me lots of car time driving downstate for doctor’s appointments, visits etc. I did break down and bought REICHOLD STREET to read on the drive to and from Florida this past spring. The book is still sitting in the bag that I carry my audio books in – unfortunately – still unread! Please let me know when the audio book is available as I will buy that so I can finally “read” your first novel and I can donate the book to our local library which they will appreciate it!
    I enjoy reading your posts and am glad to see that like many other great authors, you are moving into the digital age
    Hope to see you soon….John Wickett…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Herron Says:

      Slow to come around…what can I say? 😉 Especially with a son with recording equipment. My bad. He’s going to help me get the ball…or should I say book…rolling.

      Thanks, John

      Like

  3. Mary Hackstock Says:

    Another very nice post Ron. I enjoyed comparing your likes in music to Dave’s and mine. A little different…but, a couple years sometimes makes a difference.😂 Love

    Sent from my iSlate

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Herron Says:

      Differences of opinion. Makes the world go around. Besides, this is just a list of songs that were popular in 1965. I like some of them more than others, too. Which songs weren’t some of your favorites?

      Like

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