Podcast: Writing for audio first on The Creative Penn

Audio first and voice-first are growing superfast, with audiobook sales seeing a 30% rise this year and Google now indexing podcasts in search. Audio production is becoming more and more accessible for publishers and writers, too.

Listen to Writing for Audio First on The Creative Penn podcast

This is great news for authors who want to get into voicefirst and audiobooks. As a writer with a radio and spoken word background, I’m so excited! So I was delighted to have the chance to discuss voice-first writing on the The Creative Penn Podcast. It’s a must-hear podcast for indie authors and digital publishers, and the amazing Joanna Penn is always ahead of the curve with publishing trends.

Audiofirst writing and audio platforms call for a different set of writing and editing skills. With audio narration, a book essentially becomes a script for performance. This is sometimes overlooked by authors who don’t appreciate how different the two media really are.

Radio writers use lots of voice-friendly techniques which aren’t that well known in the world of fiction. Concepts such as attunement, landing and flow are vital to how spoken word comes across in performance. These concepts apply to non-fiction as well as fiction.

Radio writers and performers use these techniques all the time. Their performance instincts and feel for the music and rhythm of language have a big influence on how texts are written and edited. For most writers, this calls for a rethink of not just obvious elements such as dialogue and characterisation, but also economy, clarity, order of information and story structure.

“Audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing, but writing for audio first is a skill that few writers have needed to learn. Until now. If you want to make sure your writing resonates for this growing audience, Jules’s book will give you useful tips for adjusting your words and reaching listeners. Highly recommended!”

Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn

Novelists can gain a tremendous amount by learning voice-first techniques. Simple audio-first editing tweaks can make all the difference between a story that is muddy and overwritten on air, and one that your actor or voiceover narrator can deliver with joy and dramatic punch. Listeners will certainly feel the difference!

So it was great to speak to Joanna and discuss audio and voicefirst writing strategies. Exciting times ahead!

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