A few years back, I bought Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll and Hyde on cassette. This gave me the idea of perhaps publishing some of my own stories as an Audiobook. I would put them on CDs and try to persuade our local bookshops to stock them. I even discussed it with my good friend, Chacko, the famous actor. His deep voice would bring the stories to life. We even talked money. But nothing much came out of it.
Fortunately, technology has since moved on. Instead of publishing the books on CD, I could just put them on the web. So the bookshop as middle man is removed. Listeners can then buy any stories they wanted, instead of having to buy it all. They’d get it straight away and be able to transfer it to their MP3 players of iPods. This would also be a way of reaching out to those who don’t read.
My computer comes with Garageband. So instead of getting an actor to read the stories, I’d could do them myself, right here, right now. I’m no great reader, but reading them myself would keep costs down. In that way I’d be able to charge perhaps only a couple of Ringgit per story. With the idea in mind, I experimented and although I did cringe a bit at the sound of my voice, it didn’t sound too awful.
The most difficult part, I reckon, would be setting up the delivery and payment mechanism on the web. Perhaps Paypal can help out here but they charge at least RM1 per transaction. If I persist and have a bit of luck, I might be able to set it up myself. I can at least give it a go.
Yet I do have some doubts. Would anyone out there be interested? A lot of people on the web are looking for freebies and having to whip out their credit card is another story. Then, this morning, just as I was about to write this post, I read Yang-May Ooi’s blog and found her posts on Audiobooks … now that’s synchronicity! So perhaps I should cast away my doubts. Yang-May discusses all the benefits of Audiobooks. Listening to them whilst gardening though is something I’ve yet to try.
If I’m lucky, it might become a small business for me. It would be an experiment, to see if it works. It’d be fun too, I think. But I’m still not a hundred percent sure …
What do you good folk think?