For many authors the current pandemic does nothing to help with creativity, when faced with a stressful situation the mind tends to concentrate on the more pressing issue, so for those who write as well as hold down a full or part time job, it’s understandable that your attention is preoccupied.
So many in our communities have been affected by social distancing and restrictions designed to keep us all safe , we stay within our house, for some of us we work from home, many are waiting for their employers to open back up again, and for some, the frustration of claiming benefit and trying to focus on an uncertain future is all that can be thought of.
However, we still need to give our minds the breaks they deserve, focusing 100% of your time on events that are far from your control will not help your mental health, investing time into something creative is not only a way to use the additional hours you may have, it is a break, a chance to become absorbed in something other than fear and the unknown.
When you apply yourself into something creative, when you truly focus on something which requires the beauty and might of your imagination, you open a door into world where you can focus on something else (even if for a short time).
And we need this relief, a distraction to create and for the briefest of moments let go of the continued news updates, social media rumors and misinformation.
Now is the time to be creative, to start that book you always knew you had inside or finish the one that’s remained saved on your PC for the past two years, it’s time to start painting, to draw, to sculpt, to sing and even dance, whatever your creative preference is, now is the time to embrace it.
For the majority of us the new ‘norm’ is one very different from a month or two ago, most towns, cities and countries are on lock down, those of us who can work from home are doing so, many brave essential workers are risking their health to keep us going and for others, their jobs are either gone or on hold.
This can be considered a scary time, and rightly so.
But whether we like it or not, this is the state of things and we have to adapt under the stressful circumstances. There is help out there and for many people assistance from government is on the way, systems are certainly feeling the pressure (and moving slower than ever before), but our support systems do (and are trying) to help us all.
The main message that we hear time and time again is to stay home and stay safe, quarantining can lose its charm quickly, but it is essential and most of us understand this. However, as hard as it might seem, we have to look for the opportunity for us all in these circumstances, and the one thing that being in quarantine does afford us is time.
Time, whether we are spending it actually talking to the loved ones we’re living with, or using Skype to talk to those who are geographically distant. We have time to read, to listen, to learn something new and to create, we can write, paint, draw, sing, dance and put all of our passions into something which becomes the focus of our fears, frustrations, hopes and dreams.
We now have time to reflect on who we are as individuals, who we are as creatives and who we are to those around us.
This current situation will pass, but we should also use it as an opportunity to come out the other side as better people.
What will you do with the time that you now have?
Now that you have published your book, you may be looking for other ways to market it to a larger audience, this is where many authors have turned to publishing in audio as well as print (and eBook), and the majority of these authors didn’t read/record it either.
It’s worth considering an audio version of your book, more people are subscribing to the likes of Amazon’s Audible and the process itself is a great deal easier than you may have imagined. If you decide to release an audio version, there are two main options you will consider in preparing your book for its audio release.
One – Doing it yourself
Ensure you have a quiet and sound adequate space to record in, you may need to choose your room carefully and set up so that you don’t get poor audio and background noise. You’ll also need a good quality microphone along with the software to be able to record and also edit your sound files.
Other elements you’ll need to keep in mind will be:
Recording your own book by yourself can be done, but, there is a lot to take on board, in many cases (unless you have some sort of experience in recording) it can be a great deal easier to get others involved, it will lead to an easier process and a professional finish.
Two – Getting help from professionals
If you have used KDP to publish your book (and so many authors already have) then using Amazon’s ACX program is the logical step in converting your book into audio.
Here you can get everything you’ll need to have a professional audio book created and then distributed through Audible, Amazon and even iTunes.
The process is broken down into eight steps:
Once your audio book is live and ready to be purchased, you’ll then start with the more familiar role of self-promotion and advertising.
There are of course option services out there who can record your book and distribute it, but ACX is a good option to consider and they really do try to make the process as user friendly as possible.
Book cover designers.