Chances are your immediate thoughts tended along the same line as mine toward Mrs. Bennet, the excitable matriarch in Pride and Prejudice, when imagining intelligence of such sort at Longbourn. As Caroline Bingley reminded Mr. Darcy of his own assertion when speaking of Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s reported beauty:
“She a beauty! I should as soon call her mother a wit.”
What does any of that have to do with artificial intelligence (AI)? Keep reading. There’s a newly announced podcasting for authors opportunity on the market that has me thoroughly fascinated and seriously contemplating whether to incorporate the service into my long-term business plans. As this is not meant to be a product endorsement, I will not go into details except to say it revolves around creating a series of podcasts episodes from book chapters using a form of AI known as text-to-speech technology (TTS).
I suppose the reason I am so fascinated by all this is that years ago when I started publishing, I created book excerpts using TTS and posted them on my website. Here’s an early audio excerpt created in 2010 from my first story: To Have His Cake.
Another reason is that I always create audio files of all my books as part of my editing process. Here’s a snippet from Chapter 1 of my newest release: Irrevocably Gone.
Mind you, I used a very rudimentary TTS app to create this content. The To Have His Cake excerpt took more time to create because of the use of multiple ‘narrators’. The Irrevocably Gone MP3 file was simply a copy, paste, and record effort. I can only imagine how such content might sound if created using a professional proprietary software.
I’ve read that TTS narrations are the future of audio content. Who is to say if that’s true? I suppose it makes sense for non-fiction works. I have used my Kindle Fire’s TTS function in the absence of a companion audiobook narration quite often. It’s ideal for multitasking. I can have no reason to suppose I’d be averse to listening to TTS narrated non-fiction podcasts.
But fiction? Specifically, romance? I don’t know. I won’t rule out the possibility altogether. As stated before, I have MP3 versions created using TTS of all my books. Plus, podcasts of this nature most likely would be free to download and who doesn’t like free books?
Here’s the thing. I believe audio content produced by human narrators ought to be the order of the day, especially for fiction. In this era of rapid technological advances and the inherent disruptions, the ability to adapt quickly is paramount. Then too there are unforeseen changes having little to do with technology that may prove equally disruptive. For instance, what if a major player in the audiobook world introduced a service with a payout to authors and narrations of pennies per audiobook consumed? Talk about a potential disruption. Indeed, who knows what the future of audio content holds?
I’m just saying.
I’d love to incorporate your viewpoint while forming my future podcasting plan. Listening to audio content is not for everyone, but I’m asking all the same. Whether human or TTS narrated, would you download and listen to a free podcast series featuring a favorite romance story? Comment below for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card.
One winner will be chosen. The gift card will be awarded via Amazon.com. If the lucky winner is ineligible to receive a gift card from the Amazon.com online store, a digital edition of a P. O. Dixon story (winner’s choice) will be awarded instead.
The giveaway contest ends on Tuesday, March 13, 2018.
A thousand thanks to everyone who grabbed a copy of Irrevocably Gone. I truly hope you enjoyed the story. If so, will you consider leaving a few words by way of a comment or review at your favorite online store?
Just in case you’re still on the fence about my new release, I invite you to grab a complimentary ebook edition of A Tender Moment, the bestselling short story which formed the foundation of Irrevocably Gone. This is a limited time only offer.
One More Thing …
It’s Read an Ebook Week at Smashwords. All of my Smashwords titles are available for 50% off the regular price using coupon code RAE50. What a great time to stock up and save.