When working with authors about nonfiction books that have any kind of exercises or lists of questions for reflection, it’s important to consider very carefully the listener experience. Imagine this: you’re driving your car while listening to an audiobook. In what would be the text edition, print or ebook, the author has a list of questions you’re supposed to consider or write responses to. Now what? You are driving. You obviously are not going to pull over and grab a pen and paper. Maybe you could do that when you arrive at your destination. What time is it? Might be time. Or should you pause it until later…?
While your thoughts are working on deciding how to handle this situation, the audiobook has continued on. You’re distracted, even if you were very engaged just a moment ago. The reason for your distraction is that the narrator and author have not considered your possible inability to follow the directions immediately. They are the ones that set you up for distraction. At this point, you might just put the audio on hold and plan to come back to it later.
Now imagine this same situation, but as the narrator is about to get to this list of questions, they precede them with instructions on what to do if you are not in a convenient situation to write or close your eyes or whatever is being asked of them. For example, “If you’re driving or not in a situation where you can write a response to these questions, just reflect on the answers for now. We’ve provided a free download of this list on our website at mywebsite.com so you can easily come back to this at a more appropriate time.”
In this scenario, the author and narrator are clear about what to do. Your mind stays engaged.
Approaching your audiobook pre-production with mindful preparation not only helps create a more positive listening experience. It also takes advantage of marketing opportunities that are so often overlooked. By providing free downloads of reflection questions or exercises, you’ve now enhanced the listener experience in the moment. At the same time, you’ve helped them by providing a way for them to continue engaging with you.
Your Overall Goals for your Audiobook
This circles back to the question we usually start with: What is your biggest goal for your audiobook? When you are clear about how you want your audiobook, print book, ebook, services products you offer, etc. to link to and support each other, then we can develop a strategy to help those goals come to fruition.
If you have a book with questions or exercises or other elements that you are not certain how to handle in an audiobook, schedule a call or email us for assistance.