Ever thought of writing a book about your expertise or business journey as part of your marketing strategy to gain thought leadership, expand your network, and enhance your brand's perception?
Although a great idea, writing a book is hard and requires a huge time commitment. Today’s guest found that an easier and faster alternative is recording an audiobook – from a book that was already written!
Brian Boggess, Author of an online magazine Mountain Philosopher and narrator of a brand new Audible audiobook "The Story of The Other Wise Man," shares tips on how to create and distribute great audiobooks on a shoestring budget. Join us now to take your first dive in the world of audiobooks.
In today’s episode of the Harvest Growth Podcast, we’ll cover:
A step-by-step process to create, publish and distribute audiobooks on Audible.
How to set up an effective studio without spending a fortune.
How to create amazing audiobook content without coming up with original ideas.
And so much more!
You can listen to the full interview on your desktop or wherever you choose to listen to your podcasts.
Or, watch the full video interview here!
Visit Audible to search for "The Story of the Other Wise Man" as narrated by Brian Boggess, and start the Christmas festivities in a fun, unexpected way.
Do you have a brand that you’d like to launch or grow? Do you want help from a partner that has successfully launched hundreds of brands that now total over $2 billion in revenues? Set up a free consultation with us today!
Prefer reading instead of listening? Read the full transcript here!
Jon LaClare: This is the first Harvest Growth Podcast Christmas special. Today I interview the narrator of a new Christmas Audiobook. He shares snippets from this touching story, and we also discuss how to use Audible as a new way to market your business. It's a way many of you haven't thought of before, and it's a really fun interview. I know you're going to enjoy it.
Speaker 1: Are you looking for new ways to make your sales grow? You've tried other podcasts, but they don't seem to know. Harvest the growth potential of your product or service as we share stories and strategies that'll make your competitors nervous. Now, here's the host of The Harvest Growth podcast. Jon LeClare.
Jon LaClare: Welcome back to the show. Today, I'm really excited to be interviewing one of my favorite people. I have to say that in part because we're related, but also we've been friends for many years. He's my brother-in-law, Brian Boggess. He's also the author of Mountain Philosopher, an online magazine, which I encourage everyone to check out. Today's show, we're going to talk about something I think really unique, but also that I'm excited to share with our audience. It's about how to post a book onto Audible. If you're listening and think, "Hey, I don't have a book, there's nothing I want to share with my audience," or whatever, I would encourage you, if you're an inventor, an entrepreneur, a product marketer, any kind of business owner listening to this show, and you don't have a book, a podcast, or an online, an audiobook. The process can be pretty simple.
I want to talk about that today with Brian. We're going to share his specific story in a couple of minutes, but as he shares his story, think about how you might publish or promote an audiobook of your own. I talked to a lot of people like, "Hey, I'd love to write a book," which I did many years ago. It's a lot of work and I'm not a writer. It's so much easier to do audio in many ways because you could be conversational. It's something you can sit down and give an outline, record it, and you could sell or promote it on Audible or give it away for free depending on what your business model is, talking about the category that you are an expert in that fits with your business, for example. It's a great way to really promote your business.
That's the business side of it. We're going to jump in and talk about Brian's specific story and hear how he's promoting his new book that he's bringing out. I call it new. We'll get into the story a little later on. That's another interesting part of the story that we'll share as well. Let's jump in. Brian, again, welcome to the show. I'm so excited to have you on here with me.
Brian Boggess: Thank you, Jon. It's good to be with you. Again, I know they say you could choose your friends, but Jon, not your relatives, but I would've chosen you anyway.
Jon LaClare: [chuckles] Very kind.
Brian Boggess: I appreciate you having me on. Excited to talk to you about this.
Jon LaClare: I'm super excited. We're going to get into the actual story of the book that you've recorded and put onto Audible in more detail in a minute. I do want to give the audience a prep of what we're talking about. Then let's get into the audible process a little bit more. This is a book that's in the public domain, so it's old enough, it's over a hundred years old. Is that the limit? Is it a hundred years contract?
Brian Boggess: In countries it's either 70 years or 80 years after the death of the author, usually is how that works. In this case, this was published before 1927. The author died after that and it's within the public domain now. A hundred years is a safe way to look at it. A hundred years after death of the author or a hundred years after publication. You'll want to double-check with each work you're talking about with public domain.
Jon LaClare: What's the title of the book?
Brian Boggess: The title of the book is The Story of The Other Wise Man.
Jon LaClare: Again, we're going to get into the details of the story in a couple of minutes on the interview. This is a Christmas-based book, which I'm excited to say. This is our first Christmas special on The Harvest Growth Podcast.
Brian Boggess: Should I put on my Santa hat for you? Would that help?
Jon LaClare: What a great way to celebrate. It's a great story. Again, we're getting synopsis in a second. You've got this book, it's in the public domain, you've recorded it on your own, got it professionally mixed, et cetera. Obviously, it is a great experience for the listener as well, but also a great story. Tell us about the process. How easy it is, or was it? Once you had it recorded, what'd you do next to get it ready for Audible?
Brian Boggess: Well, first I had to find out for sure that it was in the public domain. We'll get into more of that later. I chose this story because I've had a lifelong love affair with this little book. It's been part of my Christmas celebration for my whole life. I got this idea a few months ago and decided, what would it take to record an audiobook of that? That was step one. I had to make sure it was public domain that I didn't need to deal with a copyright holder. Once I did that, then I started looking through, I actually went to the Audible site and it referred me to some places.
There's a website called acx.com and that is where Audible funnels all of its all of its information for those that want to participate in an audiobook. Acx.com has all sorts of resources, not only for writers that want to have their book recorded and released through Audible, but would-be narrators. People who want to be actors on an audiobook. I'm doing all of it with the exception of the mixing. Luckily, we've got a professional mixer making me sound better than I really am. The process is, first of all, you have to record the book. Record what you're doing. ACX gives you the highs and the lows of decibel levels you want to be. It gives you some suggestions.
I read a lot about the best way to put together a home studio. I don't have anything nearly as professional as Harvest Growth has. You look fantastic with all of that stuff in the background. Interestingly enough, I did my recording in a closet. A walk-in closet where I had enough room to set up a little desk, set up my microphone on a boom, and all the clothes in the closet acted as a muffler for both outside sound and echoes. It was fun putting that together as well.
Jon LaClare: I'll just jump in really quick. That's actually a great technique that's used by a lot of professional voiceover artists too. In our video business, we hire a lot of voiceover artists. To be honest, most of them, not most of them maybe, I don't know, but a lot of them do that exact technique because soundproofing you can put on your walls, et cetera, but clothing works extremely well. The audio quality could be great. I get an easy way to do it if you're looking to figure out how to get my own recording done and make it sound professional.
Brian Boggess: I couldn't get my wife to devote any of the rooms in the house that we actually used to make soundproof. The closet worked well for domestic tranquility as well. Once I recorded the book and I went through a couple of takes and took the best of, if you will, then I sent that to a professional mixer and master person. She's fantastic. You could do that on your own, I suppose. The software, Audacity software is what I use, but there are lots of softwares, supposedly you could figure that out. In my mind that just seemed really tedious and more than I wanted to do. It made more sense, there's a professional who does this every day, I send it to them and they mastered it. Then it's a matter of uploading the mastered completed files through the ACX website to Audible. They make it really easy. That ACX website gives you so much information almost overkill of information, but it really gives you step-by-step directions, how to upload your files once they're ready. Then after about a week or so of review by Audible, well, that just happens to be up on Audible's catalog. It's much easier than I expected it would be.
Jon LaClare: That's great to hear.
Brian Boggess: I expected it would be tougher.
Jon LaClare: Yes. You could do this pretty inexpensively. You've got business owners that are on a budget, a little bit of equipment, a nice microphone like you said in a closet recording and even a master mixer, it's doesn't have to be that expensive. Finding a freelancer that can do some of that work for you, you can keep your budget fairly low for this process.
Brian Boggess: Absolutely. I think my whole home studio microphone, good headphones, a boom for the microphone because I tend to use my hands a lot, as you can already tell. I think I put the whole studio together for under 200 bucks. Using a laptop that I was already using for something else, really it's not much to get, to get really high-quality sound.
Jon LaClare: Perfect. Now it's on Audible and I want to send people to find that book. Again, the title of the book is The Story of The Other Wise Man, because it's in public domain, there are a couple others on there that are low quality, been on there for a little while, but obviously check out Brian's. When you search on Audible, Brian Boggess, and all this is in the show notes as well as a reminder. On Audible, look for The Story of The Other Wise Man and then find the book from Brian Boggess. If you've got an Audible subscription, it's part of the plan, just download it right away or you can obviously purchase it as well.
Let's jump into the story a little bit. Tell us for our audience's benefit if they haven't heard of it or if they haven't heard this story for a while, what's it about?
Brian Boggess: Well, it was, it was written by Henry Van Dyke who was a writer, a minister, a renaissance man in the late 1800s. It's the story of the fourth wise man. Everybody in the Christmas story talks about the three Wise Men that came and visited the baby Jesus, or the young child Jesus, and brought the gold and frankincense and myrrh. Well, this is the story of their friend who was supposed to meet them when they started their journey to follow the star. It's fictional. Actually, historically, we don't know how many wise men there actually were, and frankly, there were probably some wise women that brought more practical gifts than gold, frankincense and sense, and myrrh. The story, it talks about a man named Artaban who is this fourth wise man.
Artaban has been watching the stars with his three friends, and they're the Maji, they're followers of Zoroaster somewhere in Persia. He becomes convinced that the sign is being given that the King of the Jews is about to be born. He sells everything he has and buys three great gifts, a ruby, a sapphire, and a pearl. He intends to take those three gifts to the king, to this child when he gets there. Well, one thing after another happens, and he gets diverted from his quest. He has a 10-day ride from where his home is to where he is supposed to meet his companions, and he gets within three hours of that and comes upon a dying man in the road.
He's got three hours still to ride before midnight when they're going to leave. He knows if he leaves this man, the man's going to die. He wrestles with himself, finally he stops, and he nurses this man to health through the night. Well, he gets back on his horse the next morning and goes to the meeting place, and his companions are gone. They've left him a note saying, "Follow us. Come on." He's got a spent horse. He's got no food and water. Unfortunately, he has to sell one of his gifts to buy a pack of camels and to set out across. Well, he gets to Bethlehem, and he gets there too late. The child and his family have left. Well, I don't want to tell the whole story, but the point is it's his quest to find the king.
Everywhere he goes, he's always just a little bit behind until the very end. It's a very touching thing. He actually happens to be in Jerusalem when Jesus is about to be crucified. At that point, he still has one of his great jewels, one of his gifts. Again, he's presented with a choice. Does he use the gift to help somebody or does he save it and try and find the king? He makes the right choice. He never does find the king, but at the very end of his life the king finds him. It's really just one of the most touching stories. I grew up hearing my grandmother tell the story every Christmas, and she was a very talented performer. The voices and the cadences and just the focus on the beauty of the language just really touched me. Then my mother did the same thing when my grandma was taken too early. I guess this is my chance to pick up the baton and tell the story a little bit more technologically than my grandma or mom did and to share it with a wider audience. It's just a beautiful story.
Jon LaClare: It is. It's a great Christmas story that I think a lot of people haven't heard of or haven't listened to. Back in the day, as you mentioned, it's a very old story. I think it was very popular for a long period of time, but less so, just less known now. It's a great story that I encourage everyone to certainly check out an Audible, and again, a reminder, it's The Story of the Other Wiseman, and Brian Bogus is not the author but the reader of this.
Brian Boggess: Narrator or the performer.
Jon LaClare: There you go.
Brian Boggess: It's interesting, John. Part of the reason why I decided to do this is I listened to the other audiobooks and I just was saddened by how they were butchered by good voices, all of that sort of stuff, but just missed the soul of the book and that's what I tried to convey with my narration.
Jon LaClare: I just completed another podcast interview, which will be published later with an inventor who he talked about how he's like, "I wasn't really an inventor. I took an existing technology and I improved it and took it to a new market." Well, that is invention. We'll get to that story later on, but this is very similar. If anyone has the curiosity even to do this, if you always dreamt of doing an audiobook, find a book that's in public domain. Again, I can't encourage this audience anymore to create your own story about your expertise to drive business, to help that. Beyond that though too, if you've got a fun story that's pretty old and you'd love to share it, it's a pretty ways easy way to go, relatively speaking. Takes a lot of work to get it done, but it's something that anybody can do with the right coaching.
Brian Boggess: Absolutely. Here's something interesting. I'm sure you're on top of this, but I don't know if your audience knows this. In 2021, the audiobook market in the United States was $1.6 billion. That's a sizeable market. When you figure we're talking 10, $15 a pop, that's a lot of audiobooks. A lot of those are in the cheaper side of things. Mine is priced a lot cheaper than that, but that's a huge market, and it's growing dramatically every year. Maybe people aren't sitting down and reading books as much as they used to, but they always have their phones with them, and they're listening increasingly to audiobooks. It's an exciting growing market to be a part of.
Jon LaClare: Agreed. Absolutely. I think it's a phenomenal opportunity as well. This is certainly a fun story. Brian, is there anything I didn't ask you that you wanted to share with our audience?
Brian Boggess: Just I want to wish everybody a merry Christmas and wish John and the LeClare family and the Harvest Growth family all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Jon LaClare: Thank you. Same to you and yours. We certainly wish our audience very Merry Christmas as well this Christmas season. What a great way to celebrate. Check out Brian's book on Audible. Again, the details are all in the show notes. Please, if you have any questions, reach out to us in our show as at firstname.lastname@example.org, where you can find this and other podcasts as well. Brian, thanks again.
Brian Boggess: Hey, thank you, John.
[00:17:57] [END OF AUDIO]