My Audiobook Experiment

Both my in-print novels, “A Trace of Gold” and “The Blue Silence,” are now available as audiobooks. I’m participating in Apple’s AI audiobook experiment. Yeah, I know. Believe me; if I could afford to hire a narrator, I would. FYI—I can’t. I’ve listened to the first few chapters of both books, and here’s what I can say: 1. The timbre of the digital voice is nice and fits with the tone of the novels. 2. There’s not a lot of inflection, and what there is sometimes misses the mark. For example, a question mark at the end of a sentence always elicits a rising tone that occasionally sounds silly. 3. The cadence is too even. Pause for effect is often missing. 4. Similarly, volume is too even. The reading lacks dynamics. In other words, I’d never be fooled into believing it was a human narrator. However, I don’t hate it. That doesn’t mean a whole lot considering I’ve read the novels many times in the course of writing them, and (don’t hate me for saying this) I like my own writing. It still excites me to see it in print or hear it being read. Since it’s Apple, the novels can only be listened to on an Apple device—iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc. I’ve priced them reasonably, so if you don’t mind a robot telling you how forensic scientist Sean McKinney solves a crime and rescues the people he loves from various malefactors, get the Applebooks app and give them a listen.