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How to self-publish a work of non-fiction; pitfalls and handy tips Part 2

In Part 1 of this blog I talked about the trials of putting together a manuscript for print publication, and how using Word and kdp (an amazon self-publishing imprint) I put the first book together. Well, that was in 2015 and a lot has happened since then so I thought I’d put together an update on all the events since then.

Adding Refinements - Index in Back Matter

That first book The Scar that won’t Heal, was in 2015, then I wrote another ‘The World Within’ in 2017 and I then updated that first book to improve the formatting (I was still learning how to use Word properly for long manuscripts having only ever used it for general documents before), and, then to add an index. Now, this is no easy task!

As I hinted in the first blog, if you add a Reference list to your work (which most non-fiction books have, and is probably necessary if you want to be taken seriously), you will have used the Word function (in References tab) called Endnotes. Now, this is a great tool but it does what it says on the tin, It puts them at the end. Absolutely. So nothing can come after. You can’t add a page break, a full stop. Nothing. But as you all probably know an index should come at the end of the book. So, how do you get round this?

Well I tried and tried to no avail, but eventually turned to Dr Google to find the answer and came up with this page by Chris Page (how apt!) which was the first one I found which made it comprehensible. I tried it and I worked! So finally it came together..

Audiobook recording

Creating an audiobook is no easy task. Firstly you need to decide whether you’re going to do the narration yourself or you will hire someone to do it for you. Luckily both options are available at ACX which is Amazon’s digital audiobook imprint company.

I chose to do it myself as I’ve done some radio work and have been told I have a pleasing voice and intonation. Then you have to find someone to help you record it. with great fortune, I bumped into a local composer, musician and sound recordist, Dale Sumner, who goes under the name of Opus Melodica. He and I worked to record the book together, but hit some real snags due to some technical issues with his microphone and then his software which it turned out was more suitable for music editing than voice.. I have been vlogging about this on my Alchemy Therapies Facebook page. The main thing I found was how hard it is to read aloud consistently getting the right intonation for every sentence and yet still sounding natural. It’s really hard! And then that I should have found someone who used a 'punch and roll' system.

But, with the help of another sound recordist who took over (and who did have the right software) I managed to get it finished but it took 2 years!!

Success is not guaranteed as even when recorded and mastered the sound submisssion requirements at ACX are very stringent because it’s the main supplier to Audible – the biggest audiobook company in the world and they have to maintain consistency. So, if you read that it’s possible to do this yourself in a home studio, read with caution. My experience is that noise creeps in, and will cause rejection which is very hard to get rid of post-recording (some noise can be edited out) but you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear as they say!

Anyhow I hope you like the results – It's on both amazon and audible and I've been told it really enhances the listening to know it's my voice.


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