A.I. Audiobooks as Accessibility Tools

It has always been my intention to start releasing my stories in audiobook format but I didn’t think I would get around to it as soon as I have done. Originally, I was thinking it would be when I started releasing the new books that I am working from, and that the older titles would not be converted over.

As you might know I am currently doing re-releases of all my back catalog titles. I publish direct to Kindle, but use Draft2Digital to get my titles on the other stores. I like D2D because I can upload everything once and they handle all the distribution and that makes it a lot easier. They are also really good at trialling new services.

When I was loading up the new version of Unhallowed Ground I got a pop-up suggesting I start an audiobook version. As well as the Findaway Voices option, there was a new option to create an audiobook on Apple Books using A.I. voice generation.

The process couldn’t have been more straightforward and I set everything up. But I did feel conflicted about it.

As a writer, I am keeping an eye on the A.I. business, because one of the things it does is write. There have been whole books created using ChatGPT. So I was worried that I was contributing to the problem by using A.I. rather than a human narrator.

A few months ago, I remember reading about a guy who used A.I. to create the images for a children’s book and there was a lot of backlash about that because he was taking work away from an actual artist. Which I can sympathise with. I didn’t want to go down that route, not only because I didn’t want to deal with the hate, but because I respect the art of audiobook narration.

I was close to pulling the title from audio, but then I had a conversation with Tamzin and she helped me realise that I’m not taking work away from a human narrator by doing this. First of all, I had no intention of creating audiobooks for these stories. So this wasn’t a case of choosing an A.I. narrator over a human one, it was choosing an A.I. narrator over no narrator at all.

Secondly, and this is something that rarely gets spoken about, there is a whole group of people who enjoy reading, but because of vision problems, can’t. When you think about it like that, creating audiobooks is creating an accessibility tool.

Thinking about it that way helped and I have created a couple more audiobooks the same way.

Once I start releasing new stories, I fully intend to use human narrators. However, having done a couple of audiobooks this way now, I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed by the quality of them. There are some rough edges that you wouldn’t get with a person, but for what they are, they’re really good. Certainly something you could comfortably listen to.

If you’re interested in checking them out you can find my current releases here:

Weekly Update: Friday 13th

This week has been a bit of a struggle with some changes to my routine. But these things are going to happen and the most important thing is that I am still here and work is still getting done. This blog is one of the things that has suffered a bit, but planning to get back on it next week. Anyway, on with the updates.

The Ladies Adventure Society: Book One

Progress is continuing. It currently stands at 54,055 words. That is 10,823 words written this week. At the moment, I am thinking this will be released in June 2024.

Horror Shorts Remastered

Two more short stories to go and the remastering edit will be finished. Not sure what I am going to do with these stories, other than update the files for download in the EBook stores. A horror short story collection seems like the logical thing to do.

Unhallowed Ground

The promotion for this remaster is winding down now, and I have been pleased with the response it has received. Hopefully it will continue to sell once the price goes back up and the reviews will start coming in.

Visible Monsters

This is the new title for the remaster of The Ghouls. I have the cover back now and am very pleased with that. It’s quite different to the Unhallowed Ground cover, but I think they will look good next to each other on the shelf. My current plan for this is to upload the new files next week, and start promoting it in November.

On Hold

  • City in the Fire: Remastered
  • The Vampire Next Door: Remastered
  • The Shadow Walker
  • Discordia

That’s all from me this week. I will check in on social media this evening, so if you’ve got anything you want me to know about send a message. Enjoy your weekend.

Weekly Update: Moving Right Along

Making steady progress on everything. There are a ton of plates spinning at the moment, but I think it’s all under control. Time will tell, I guess.

The Ladies Adventure Society Book 1

Status: First Draft WIP

The first draft is going well. Current draft stands at 43,000 words and not quite half-way through.

Unhallowed Ground: Remastered

Status: On Sale

The remastered edition is now on sale. At the time of writing, it is on sale for $0.99

It’s available as an EBook, a paperback and as of yesterday, it’s a an audiobook on Apple Books.

Horror Shorts: Remastered

Status: Editing

This week I started work on the remastered editions. They were some of the first things I wrote for publication, so there is a lot of work to do on them.

On Hold

  • The Ghouls: Remastered
  • City in the Fire: Remastered
  • The Vampire Next Door: Remastered
  • The Shadow Walker

Scary Season

Last night, while I was cooking dinner, Tamzin and Oscar put up our Halloween decorations. I know it’s only the start of the month, but we do this most years. Usually while listening to the soundtrack from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

It seems that every year Christmas decorations go up sooner, and stay up longer, and as much as I enjoy Christmas, I find this annoying. Not so much with Halloween. I think, if I had it my way, we would leave the Halloween decorations up all year around.

I have always enjoyed Halloween, and am looking forward to a season of watching seasonal specials and films. One that has quickly become a family tradition is Muppets Haunted Mansion. Obviously we will also watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Corpse Bride. Then on Halloween itself, after Oscar is in bed, Tamzin and I will watch a proper scary movie.

Eventually, of course, the decorations will have to come down to make way for Christmas things.

If you are looking for a scary read this Halloween season, why not check out Unhallowed Ground, the newly remastered edition is currently on sale for $0.99 for a limited time only:

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