Writing and Sounds

By Luis Lima89989 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Luis Lima89989 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to writing, people don’t always think about the sounds that are involved. But sound is one of the senses you can write about and explore, in both fiction and non-fiction.

Live Write Thrive has a great post on sounds in novels, called “The Sound of … Sound in Novels.” It describes different types of sounds, such as natural sounds, which are part of the environment, expressive sounds, which may be amplified to help show a situation, surreal sounds, which are imagined, and emblematic sounds, which can draw focus to a particular moment. These types of sounds can be found in films, but writers can also make use of sounds, as symbols, as characterization, or even to show movement.

Writers can now add actual sounds to their work, or at least to ebooks. Using the platform Booktrack, authors can add soundtracks to their ebooks.

According to Booktrack’s website, Booktrack synchronizes music, effects, and ambient sounds to text to make reading a more immersive experience.

Mashable wrote that Booktrack “debuted as an iOS app focused on professional authors like Salman Rushdie; a total of 40 titles sold more than 250,000 downloads,” but then pivoted in 2013 to become a platform where “writers can embed songs from a catalogue of 20,000 licensed audio files, adding mood music, ambient audio and sound effects to play in tune with story lines, paced to a user’s reading speed.”

The Booktrack website has a special section for authors, which explains what Booktrack can do for them:

Authors and publishers can easily create their own Booktrack by choreographing their stories to Booktrack’s extensive library of over 20,000 free-to-use music and ambient audio tracks. The Booktrack library is rapidly expanding with our users who have already created more than 12,000 short stories and novels in 30 different languages. Booktrack has nearly 2.5 million readers in 150 different countries looking for stories like yours.

As long as you own the rights to the text, or the story is public domain, you can create a soundtrack for the book and publish it.

Booktrack has also expanded to offer services to classrooms, to help boost creativity and retention.

To learn more about the process of creating a soundtrack for your ebook on Booktrack, read “How to Create Your First Booktrack (and Get 2,000 New Readers)” on Jane Friedman’s site. It’s a guest post by Laurence MacNaughton, detailing the process. Basically, you upload your text and choose sounds. See also “Create a Booktrack (Soundtrack for Books)” on Worderella.

Have you ever used sounds to enhance your story? Please share in the comments!

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