Today, I’m thrilled to take you behind the curtain and share some exciting developments in my creative journey. As many of you know, my passion for historical romance, particularly set in the Regency era, has led me to become an international best-selling author.
While ink and parchment (or, in today’s terms, the keyboard and screen) have been my primary mediums, a new venture has me equally thrilled—my burgeoning YouTube channel.
The success of my YouTube channel to date has been the cherry on top of what has been a rewarding writing career—a delightful extension that allows me to connect with historical romance lovers around the world in a new and meaningful way.
Celebrating Unforeseen Milestones: The Power of YouTube
I began my YouTube channel as an extension of what I love—historical romance. Yet, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see that just a month into monetization, my channel’s monthly revenues have already exceeded those from Audible. This has been a truly uplifting experience and really points to the power of diversification in the digital age, especially as eBooks become increasingly commoditized and devalued.
Taking the Reins: Recording My Own Stories
To date, I have twenty-three professionally narrated audiobooks in my catalog—brilliantly produced by my favorite narrator in the world. This catalog has been more than a decade in the making. These works are available wherever audiobooks are sold and are available to listen to for free on my YouTube channel.
As much as I love sharing my works through audiobooks, the financial aspects can’t be ignored, especially with so many stories waiting in the wings—over one hundred hours, at least, and growing. Professional narrations cost hundreds of dollars per finished hour, and trust me, they are worth every cent of it.
Professional narrators’ skill in bringing stories to life is awe-inspiring—the nuances they bring to each character, the emotion they infuse into every sentence, and their remarkable ability to make each character leap off the page. It’s an art form that I admire immensely.
But I’ve done the math.
And I need content for my YouTube channel.
So what’s an aspiring content creator to do? I’ve decided to tackle my growing backlog of books by recording some of them myself and sharing them on my YouTube channel. Unlike traditional audiobooks, these video recordings will provide an alternative immersive experience and will not be available for sale.
What an ambitious task, to be sure! Again, there’s a reason professional narrators charge what they do—the effort and skill involved are considerable. However, I am determined to give this mode of storytelling a try. And when and if I can afford professional narration for a particular story, I will pursue that route.
It is a Truth Universally Acknowledged…
Drawing inspiration from Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that mastery in any field requires significant practice, often summed up as the “10,000-hour rule” for achieving proficiency. Professional narrators have spent years honing their craft, and it would be presumptuous to assume that I could match their expertise overnight or even in a few months.
Baby Steps for Now
This is no small endeavor; it is time-consuming, intricate, and mentally draining. But it’s also exciting and invigorating.
For now, my approach is modest. I’m recording bite-sized pieces from my desktop and using WavePad for editing. But this simple setup has its own set of challenges—ensuring the right tone, correct enunciation, and seamless flow from one sentence to the next, from one chapter to the next—it’s a whole new form of storytelling that I’m just beginning to navigate.
I’ve quickly discovered the mountain of effort that goes into even these initial attempts. But I’m committed to climbing that mountain, step by step, to bring you the most engaging author-recorded stories I can.
What the Future Holds
In conclusion, your support has been the bedrock of my creative endeavors. If you, my fellow historical romance lover, find as much joy in my author-recorded stories as I hope, then I plan to invest further. This would mean voice training, a professional microphone, and a dedicated recording space. I have my sights set high, but I am also aware that mastering this craft will be a marathon, not a sprint.
Here’s my initial YouTube offering—the first two chapters of Estranged: A Novel. I hope you will check it out.
My current work-in-progress is Abounds with Gaieties. All the chapters have been recorded; however, the editing process is a learning exercise indeed.
Stay tuned for more!