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About the Episode

Tune in for an absolute treat as we dive into the captivating world of self-publishing audiobooks. Our guest, the incredibly talented Kelda Poynot, is here to spill the beans on her revolutionary journey using ACX to bring her novels to life in a way that’ll leave you utterly inspired!

Topics covered in this episode:

  • Kelda’s self-publishing journey
  • Why self-publish Audiobooks & Is it worth it?
  • Using ACX to self publish Audiobooks
  • The process of self-publishing audiobooks

    GET KELDA’S BOOKS ✅CLICK HERE👉 https://amzn.to/3rYNNSW

    About My Guest

    Kelda Poynot is a multi-book author and homeschool consultant. She has raised four children alongside her husband of 30 years. Beyond her impressive writing skills, she lends her voice to audiobooks, imparts knowledge as a tutor, and indulges in creative hobbies like knitting, crochet, and quilting. A passionate traveler and dog lover, she finds joy in the company of her Labradors, Darcy and Mulligan.

    Grab Kelda’s books



    Click for Transcript

    Kelda Poynot: [00:00:00] For my books, I read, I record, I narrate and record. I do all of the audio editing behind the scenes. I get all the tracks uploaded onto ACX and then I hit publish. The majority of my audience, especially for my nonfiction, is busy moms, homeschooling moms. So if it’s not on Audible, there’s a really good chance that they’re not gonna have an opportunity to sit and read my book.

    [Title Slide]

    Rachel Fahrenbach: ​welcome back to the podcast. I am so excited to welcome my friend Kelda to the podcast.

    Kelda is a author of eight books. Some fiction, some non-fiction, and we’ll talk a little bit about that. Um, but she also has recorded her own audiobooks and I, when she first told me this, I was like, wait, wait, wait. You did what now? I didn’t even know that you could self-publish an audiobook until she told me.

    And I, um, and when she told me how, [00:01:00] not necessarily easy it is, but just how doable it is, I was like, we’ve gotta have you on the, the podcast and have you talk about this. So I’m excited to get into that conversation with her today and to learn just a little bit more about her journey and the wisdom she has to share with us.

    So, Kelda, thank you so much for joining us.

    Kelda Poynot: Yes, thank you. I’m excited to be here.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: So before I start peppering you with all the questions, do you, um, just wanna share a little bit with us about who you are and what you do.

    Kelda Poynot: Sure. Um, I’ve been married to my, to the same husband for, uh, for over 30 years, and we have four young adult children and we have our first grandbaby on the way, which is very exciting.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: So exciting.

    Kelda Poynot: Um, and we’re in a, a whole different season of our lives than we have been. We homeschooled our children. Our oldest did go to high school, but the rest, um, homeschooled through high school and now I help homeschool families and I consult with them and I do a lot of tutoring for homeschool students.


    . I [00:02:00] began writing, seriously, writing. I had, I had self-published my first two non-fiction books, I think in 2011, maybe 2013, somewhere in there. And then in 2016, I began writing fiction. I was facilitating a class of, uh, homeschoolers through this novel writing curriculum, and I started writing with them, and then ideas started flowing.

    And in 2019, I self-published my first novel.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: I love that origin story because I think there’s something about play that’s so key to creativity that we as adults forget to tap into. So the fact that you are like in the space with other, like, I know they’re probably teenagers, but you’re in the space with individuals who have not been inundated with life’s worries quite yet.

    You know, they have their struggles and their worries, but not to the think stream is when you get to adulthood and you start to lose that childlike wonder of the world. [00:03:00] And so the fact that you were like around teenagers and teaching about novel writing. That’s how you kind of like kindled that passion?

    Kelda Poynot: It did, and , the reason I started doing the exercises with them, this was my third time through the curriculum. It wasn’t like I’d done it with other ones of my, of my own children with groups of their ages. And so this was the first time that I was with a group that were really struggling with the concepts of the, of the writing process.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Mm-hmm.

    Kelda Poynot: And so I was like, okay, well maybe if I did it with them and I did not know it was gonna tap into something completely foreign for me, literally foreign for me, because I’d always just imagined myself being a non-fiction writer. Mm-hmm. Never a fiction writer.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: So you kind of stumbled into the world of fiction.

    Kelda Poynot: Fell into it. Yeah.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And fell in love with it.

    Kelda Poynot: I fell in Love with it, but I think it was cuz people started talking to me and then I had to tell their story.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Mm.

    Kelda Poynot: And unless you write fiction, [00:04:00] I don’t think you understand that statement. , And so when, um,

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Agreed

    Kelda Poynot: I have a very, uh, close acquaintance who is a psychiatrist and we were having dinner at her house. A group of ladies were at her house and somebody says, yeah, Kelda has voices talking in her head. And of course her radar goes a different direction professionally. And then we start talking and she reads some of what I’ve written and she says, oh, you’re not, you’re not crazy Kelda, you’re a writer. And I was, like I’m a writer.

    It was very validating so.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Oh, that’s so funny. I love that. I love that so much. So, how did you end up self-publishing? Did you try to go the traditional route or did you just decide off the bat that you were,

    Kelda Poynot: Well, okay. I read all the things. I watched, all the things that I could get my hands on at the time. Mm-hmm. And every website, every place that I went says, you write a cover letter, basically you send in pages, you try and find a literary agent. So that’s what I did.

    I, I thought I was a [00:05:00] romance writer, like in my mind because there was romance in my story and I really didn’t know what genre my stories fit into, because we’re ignorant when we first start, you know? Yeah. Into a process we don’t know. And so much of what we learn, we kind of learn through the back door anyway.

    Like we kind of stumble into it or we, or we hear something when we pursue that a little bit and then we pursue another idea, and you just kind of start snowballing until we get a little more confidence about what we’re doing.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Mm-hmm.

    Kelda Poynot: So, when I began that process, you know, it’s like, who are your favorite authors represented by, or what do you think your stories are most like, who are they represented by?

    So I started Googling those agencies. I started

    Rachel Fahrenbach: mm-hmm.

    Kelda Poynot: you know, looking through that whole process and I sent in things and I got a lot of rejection. And the first few things that I was sending out weren’t even things that I published. Like it was my very first raw stuff. It, it wasn’t good. I’m just gonna say that. Like, I’m a much better writer [00:06:00] just because I’ve been writing for this amount of time.


    Doesn’t mean that it can’t be good. It just wasn’t the quality that I am writing at now. Mm-hmm. Does, does that make sense?

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah, no, that makes sense. With practice, you improved your craft.

    Kelda Poynot: Exactly. I, you just, you, you improve over time. Like, you just mm-hmm. If you keep doing something over and over again and, and I do see an improvement

    um, but the rejection for probably about a year, you know, cuz it just takes months to hear back from anybody. I do not have the attention span. Maybe I am lazy, I don’t know.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: No.

    Kelda Poynot: Um, maybe I just don’t have the fortitude to be continuously rejected. So I really started praying about some discernment.

    Discernment is not my natural spiritual gift, so I find myself praying for discernment a lot. And all of a sudden I started getting these feeds on Facebook and different videos and different things on, [00:07:00] on social media, and it was all about self-publishing. Mm. And I was like, okay. Let’s pay attention to that.

    I started watching some people, paying attention to their information. Um, I never bought into anything because I couldn’t afford it at the time. Like I could never have afforded thousands of dollars for a mentor.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right.

    Kelda Poynot: Like I couldn’t have done that at the time.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right.

    Kelda Poynot: So my, um, sister-in-law has a friend, she’s now my friend also.

    And, uh, she’s a children’s book author. Okay. And she’s self-published through Amazon. And so we sat over coffee one day I made an appointment. We sat over coffee and I just took copious notes for about 45 minutes of time that I had with her. Mm, Left that meeting . Started just doing a lot of research and republished my first two books that I had done with a little private, uh, publisher, self-publisher. Republished them on Amazon through the [00:08:00] KDP. Actually that’s when I did my first audiobooks cuz I wanted to practice that as well because I already had material to publish. Mm-hmm. And I just needed to update a cover and I just needed a different ISBN number and, you know, different things that you learn along the way that I had gathered when I published in, you know, my non-fiction,

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right

    Kelda Poynot: Because I was preparing like, okay, I’ve already kind of done this baby step. Now I’ve got this material. Let’s see what it looks like on Amazon. And then that’s when it just like the snowball fell. Like it was just like, we’re rolling and rolling and rolling and then all of a sudden it’s like, oh my gosh, I’ve published this book on Amazon.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah.

    Kelda Poynot: And at the same time I was learning how to, uh, do the audiobooks because I knew that that was going to be also under KDP umbrella.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Mm-hmm.

    Kelda Poynot: And Kindle umbrella. So I, I’ve been learning, and I haven’t, I won’t say that I’ve mastered any of it, but I will say that I can self publish books now.

     Even after the book was published, even [00:09:00] after my first novel Impact was published, um, I still got a rejection letter from another literary agent. So it had been lingering out there for months, you know, and it’s like, oh, well, okay, thank you. You missed your opportunity.

    I’m gonna go this route. And I haven’t looked back. And I’ve been asked by a few people, you know, are you going to try and you know, traditionally publish? And I said, at this point, no. I mean, I’m gradually growing a following, an audience. Mm-hmm. I’m, I’m gradually growing my readership and I don’t know that they could offer me that much more and I’m gonna pay them royalties.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah.

    Kelda Poynot: That doesn’t make sense to me. You know, I’m not making a million dollars right now, so I’m still starting out. But it’s still kind of fun. YouTube has been my best friend. Geeky men are my best friends on YouTube.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: I love it. There are women too, but yeah.

    Kelda Poynot: Okay. Well, the majority of what I’ve learned has been from geeky men., I will tell you that they’ve been the ones, especially the ones when I was doing the [00:10:00] audiobooks.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Oh, I can imagine that. Yeah.

    Kelda Poynot: Because they’re the ones who do the sound. They’re the sound guys. Mm-hmm. And so they’ve been the ones that have really been the, the most influential in that side of learning.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah. I love just how honest you’re being with us. Like, you know, this is my journey and I just, I’m embracing it and I’m going with it and it is what I need to do. And, you know, it’s no small feat to write a book and put it out there into the world. And, I think sometimes people mistake, being traditionally published versus like going on the self-publishing route, they mistake it that, um, there’s something different that’s happening between the two.

    Kelda Poynot: Mm-hmm.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: The traditional publisher tends to have a, uh, maybe name recognition. They have distributors to bookstores and stuff like that, but you can do those things too. You can use distribution channels through Ingram Spark or for through Amazon. And, at the end of the day, what the [00:11:00] publisher does is they assume the responsibility of the printing and some of the marketing. You are just saying, I’m just gonna assume that responsibility and I’m just gonna use Amazon as my printer and I’m going to do the marketing myself. So you just kind of take out that middle person. Um, and it’s not for everybody. It’s not, not everybody wants to do it.

     Not everybody wants to take on that responsibility. But at the end of the day, there, there is wisdom and value to what the traditional publishing brings. But there’s also pros to going the indie route as well and doing that self-publishing side of things. And so, because things like you get the chance to record your own audiobook like you did.

    Why don’t we talk about that a little bit, about your experience of, um, self-publishing an audiobook.

    Kelda Poynot: Okay. Um, one more thing I would like to say about what we were just talking about.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Oh, sure.

    Kelda Poynot: Is that, um, taking the responsibility was more of a curiosity [00:12:00] driven thing, can I do it? Mm-hmm. And, and I don’t believe that we have to reinvent a wheel ever. So let’s investigate. Let’s see if this is a possibility. And again, I was more focused on getting a book published than I was about getting an agent and a publisher.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Mm-hmm.

    Kelda Poynot: And I know that for some writers, It’s, it’s more important for them to have an agent. It’s more important for them to have a publisher and to go that route, and they’re willing to wait years, maybe decades, until they’ve gotten to those points. And that is their choice. It just wasn’t my choice.

     And so I’m not saying that this is superior to anything else. I’m just saying that this has been my route and that I, you know, I would encourage anyone to follow what they have on their hearts desire um, regarding their own writing.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: So true. So true. And I want to point out too, that you said your, your goal was to get [00:13:00] books published and what you meant by that is get a book in print mm-hmm and distributed to a reader.

    Kelda Poynot: Yes. Yes.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And that’s what you truly, at the end of the day, that was your end goal and you didn’t necessarily need an established publishing house to do that for you.

    Kelda Poynot: In the, those, earlier times, the only place I could find a self-publish were the little vanity publishers. You know, you paid for the books. There was no place I, I bought a bunch of books. Mm-hmm. Or you could, they would print on demand. Mm-hmm. Um, if someone ordered one for through their website, but there was no other options. And really Amazon wasn’t that option then either.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Nope.

    Kelda Poynot: So I just sort of eased right into it at the, at the right time with them. Mm. As, as they began expanding. Mm-hmm. Um, their


    Rachel Fahrenbach: When they bought Create Space and brought it underneath their umbrella.

    Kelda Poynot: Exactly.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah. That, it made it a little easier of a platform to navigate.

    Kelda Poynot: And I will tell you that it is such an easy website to maneuver. Mm-hmm. And just if you’re kind of on the fence [00:14:00] about which way you should go, go put it up there and get a, get a test copy and do all the things and see if that’s really something that you’re curious about. Cuz you’re not gonna be out anything to create an account.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Exactly.

    Kelda Poynot: And to get your, you know, your author’s copy or your, your preview copy. Mm-hmm. It’s just gonna be the cost for them to print and ship that to you. So for less than 10 bucks. If you’ve got the cover and you’ve got the content and you’ve got, and they give you a template like, come on y’all.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah.

    Kelda Poynot: It’s not that hard. And so, um, just try it and see if it’s something that you would…they’ve made it very user friendly is my point.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yes they have. Um, just be careful not to hit publish.

    Kelda Poynot: Exactly. Don’t hit publish. Don’t hit publish.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Don’t hit publish. It’s so funny. So I had put an ebook up a long time ago, like when it was Create Space and, um, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know I could Google stuff, had no clue. And so when I went to [00:15:00] release my guided journal in ’21, um, I was setting up my Good Reads account and it was automatically pulling my stuff from Amazon and I had unpublished that ebook cuz I was like, oh that’s, you know, I didn’t know what I was doing and so I unpublished it, but it still was pulling it from Amazon because it had been published.

    Kelda Poynot: Right.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And so I had to like contact customer service and be like, Hey, can you take this off? Because this was a mistake from like way back in ’20.

    Kelda Poynot: Way back when.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Like we’re talking like 2010, like we’re talking like way back when. All that to say that’s a cautionary tale. Don’t hit publish until you’re absolutely ready.

    Kelda Poynot: Right. Don’t, don’t hit publish until you’re absolutely ready. Yes.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: But you can go through the whole process. Mm-hmm. And even request a proof copy before you hit publish. And that might show you what you need to know to make the educated decision.

    Kelda Poynot: Right. To see if this is something you can really do independently. Yeah. Just, you know, I’m curious. I wanted to know if I could do it.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah. I [00:16:00] love that. I love that you approached it that way. Because I think you went into it with not an attitude of scarcity. Mm-hmm. Which sometimes we authors can find ourselves in because like, oh my gosh, there’s only so many um, agents in, there’s only so many publishers, only publishing so many books, so many slots. Especially with the fiction world, like there’s It just keeps shrinking and shrinking. And so there is this like scarcity, like, oh my gosh, I’m not gonna be able to get in front of somebody. My book’s never gonna get published. Um, and you were like, not coming from that place of scarcity.

    You’re coming from a place of, can I do this and is this the right way for me to do it? And being in that curious space, I think allowed for you to make some courageous decisions.

    Kelda Poynot: And I think because I didn’t have a writing background and I didn’t have any, ANY experience in publishing or in that world at all, um, I didn’t know there was scarcity. I didn’t know the numbers. Mm-hmm. I didn’t, didn’t know any statistics. And so I don’t think that, that, I think that that ignorance, that, that [00:17:00] innocence of, uh, that world mm-hmm. Um, helped me just to be curious and just be open-minded to what were the possibilities.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And you carried that into the audiobook.

    Kelda Poynot: Ah, the audiobooks. Those are my babies. I love them all. They’re so wonderful.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: I love it. I love how you talk about them. You get so excited when you talk about them.

    Kelda Poynot: I do, I do. I do do. And if anybody feels that excitement, I just wanna like, ah, yes. I just wanna share that with y’all because it’s very contagious.

    Um, okay. So I love to be read to, I love audio books. Gosh, I don’t even know if there’s a word for how many audiobook hours I have listened to and re-listened to. And like every night I go to bed with something playing in my head. Um, fiction, non-fiction. Uh, not really podcasts as much, but definitely stories.

    Mm-hmm. You know, definitely. Uh, the, those kinds of things. And I set the timer and I fall asleep [00:18:00] to someone reading to me. And it may be a book that I’ve read 15 times. It doesn’t matter. I might just go, oh, I like chapter 15, and I’ll fall asleep to that section of that book for a season. You know, just because I know it’s gonna, that’s what it does for me.

    But the audiobook part, I listened to a lady be interviewed, an author, be interviewed, and I can’t remember even when or where, and she made the comment that she didn’t want to exclude that audience. Mm. She didn’t want to exclude the listeners. Mm. Because she was asked, why did you publish the Kindle version, you know, the ebook version and the audiobook version first. And she said, well, it was taking a long time for the paperback and or the hard cover, whatever she was publishing at the time. And she is an agent. She has real publishers, those kind of things. She says, no, I pushed for these to come first because I knew that digital [00:19:00] reading was such in high demand, and I also knew that my audience, for the most part, it was a business book, were commuters.

    Mm. And I went, yes. The majority of my audience, especially for my nonfiction, is busy moms, homeschooling moms. So if it’s not on Audible, there’s a really good chance that they’re not gonna have an opportunity to sit and read my book. Mm. Even if it’s, even if it’s this thick, it doesn’t matter.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right

    Kelda Poynot: They’re not gonna have an opportunity. So if they have an opportunity to hear it and listen to it and multitask, and fold the laundry or rock the baby or whatever they’re doing, mm-hmm. It’s just gonna be, a service to my reader Hmm. Is that they have the option for that. I also learned with my early books that a couple of the people that I asked to beta read for me, family members, people, and they’re like, you know, I’m not gonna read that book, but if you read it to me. So we would get on a group call or we would get on the phone call and I would [00:20:00] just read to them a chapter or a couple of chapters a night.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Oh, wow.

    Kelda Poynot: And so I realized I loved to read to my children. I, I loved to read to my classroom when I was a classroom teacher. You know, I think that, um, bibliotherapy is a real thing. When I was a school counselor, especially with little kids, you know, you can tell a story and it, it makes a different impact than you saying, these are the rules.

    Mm-hmm. Or this is the way life is, or, you know, mm-hmm. Whatever they’re going through, dealing with their emotions, it’s sometimes a lot easier when it’s, with a character than it is with a little person. And uh, even for adults, it’s easier to deal with a character than it is to deal with these really big feelings.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: I was just talking to somebody about this cause um, she writes books to help start conversations and I said it’s sometimes easier to have conversations about the tough, awkward subjects when it’s about a fictional character and it’s not the real world.

    Kelda Poynot: Exactly. And it’s when, you know, it’s when our heroes are, are suffering that we can like go, oh, [00:21:00] you know, we can have empathy and we can, you know, lots of things happening.

    So, um, with the audiobooks, a a few things were very important to me is that they be connecting either with my voice, reading them as, because I, I believe, It’s very powerful, especially with non-fiction, when the author reads their words. Mm-hmm. Because I think you get the inflection, you get the important feelings.

    Mm-hmm. You know, and sometimes a little emotion and sometimes you know, it, it’s bigger. It’s bigger if, if it comes from their own words. When I recorded my first two non-fiction, I read so fast and when I read my first fiction, I read so fast. My last one that I just recorded was Phina and it’s so much like, it’s just better. It’s just better all the way around. Let’s just say that. You practice, you, you know, the sound quality. Yep. Um, I watched so many hours of how to [00:22:00] videos.

    Mm-hmm. I use a program called Audacity, which is free. I know if you have a, Mac or you know, an Apple, whatever, they have GarageBand, which I think is similar. I’ve never used that.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Mm-hmm. I’ve heard it’s similar.

    Kelda Poynot: But I, I know Audacity now pretty well. Even the upgraded version’s. Really simple to use again. Mm-hmm.. Basic, basic knowledge. Um, I can edit, I can make it meet the standards now. Um, I did have to call one of my, initially I had to call one of my son’s friends over who was doing an internship at a recording studio. And I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing.

    And he goes, okay, well let me show you. And he’s, you know, this poor little guy, like he’s this, you know, he’s barely 19 and he’s sitting in my little bitty office with me and I’m like, “Give me all of your knowledge”, like, and I said, and now I want you to put it on your resume that you have done some of the audio editing for this audiobook on your resume.

    Mm-hmm. Because you have helped me exponentially. And um, so anyway, it [00:23:00] just was really little baby steps again. Um, I need to know how to do this. I need to know how to meet these standards, for, for audible. Well, it’s ACX is who filters it for, I guess Spotify and Amazon and you know, all the people.

    They have a little, like, here, click here and it says you need to go here if you wanna have your own audiobook. So , they’re all related. Mm-hmm. They’re all really close cousins, brother, sister, something, I don’t know. But they are, they’re all family and they play very nicely together.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Oh, that’s good to know.

    Kelda Poynot: So that’s one of the other parts that I like on behind the scenes. Um, I ordered a microphone. I have a, a Rode. R-o-d-e Podcaster. I see the box up there. I know there are so many mics. You can just go to any, you know, Electronic store. Buy a mic. Um, the last one I actually did on my gamer headphones in my closet because my house was [00:24:00] so noisy at the time. It was kind of a crazy season. So I just went in with my gamer headphones on and my gamer mic. And yes, I had to filter it a little differently because it was on that frequency, but it still did just fine.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah. And if you, and for the person who’s listening who’s like, okay, that feels a little overwhelming to figure out mics and everything, there is a, um, a YouTube channel called Think Media, and they have a lot of, um, tutorials or videos where they break down the different microphones and, and what they do, and, price points and, and how techy they are and how easier they are to use and things like that. So if you’re like, I need to look into some of this equipment, and you’re like, I just need somebody to explain it very simply to me, that might be a place where you can check out that information.

    Kelda Poynot: And I really did like the videos along those lines that would say, okay, here’s this one and here’s this one.

    You know, I’m good with choice A, choice B. This is your price range. Okay. Um, You know, I didn’t go in the thousands of dollars investment. In fact, now you can see the sound tiles in my office back [00:25:00] here. But, um, before I made a, uh, like a big Rubbermaid container mm-hmm. And I lined it with egg foam, like that mattress foam stuff. Mm-hmm. And I stuck my mic in there and I just spoke in there and it recorded beautifully. And so it’s, it’s little things like that that I just couldn’t get away from sound in, in the room that I had chosen to record in.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: So it sounds like to me that when it comes to recording that audiobook and self-publishing that audiobook, it’s an easy platform to use but you do have to pay attention to that audio. And so what you’re saying to us is, if this is a route you wanna go, which it’s a good one to do because you’re, you’re getting a whole nother segment of people engaging with your story. But if that’s something you wanna do, you’d need to do a little bit of research.

    Kelda Poynot: Yes.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: But there’s a lot out there that can help you on YouTube.

    Kelda Poynot: Yes. There is so much out there, . And the resources on ACX are also very informative. They have how to videos, they tell you step by step in, in different, um, [00:26:00] You know, different blog posts, different vlogs that they tell you exactly what you’re doing and what you need to do and how to do it. And for one of my, two of my books, um, they’re in the same universe. Um, I actually hired out.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: When you say hire out, you mean hired out the recording of the book?

    Kelda Poynot: The entire process of the book.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Okay. And why did you do that?

    Kelda Poynot: For my books, I read, I record, I narrate and record. I do all of the audio editing behind the scenes. I get all the tracks uploaded onto ACX and then I hit publish. Mm-hmm. You know, it goes through their, their analytics to make sure it meets all the standards.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right.

    Kelda Poynot: Make sure nothing’s like, you didn’t go like track two, track two, even though it’s supposed to be track two, track three, you know what I’m saying? Like, you didn’t have those errors.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Quality control.

    Kelda Poynot: Quality control. They take care of all of that for you. Um, and you know, when you, upload an [00:27:00] audio file, if it meets their standards or not mm-hmm. Instantly. And so you can just keep editing until you get it right. Um, but what I was gonna say is that I did hire narrators and I hired a company. I held auditions basically for different voices that I liked. And then I paid money and they did the, all of the audio files.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Okay.

    Kelda Poynot: They took care of everything from start to finish.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Is there reason, reason why you chose to do that with that book?

    Kelda Poynot: Because several of the characters have accents. Mm. And it was told in dual perspective, or it was told from a man’s perspective. I can’t pull that off. The book’s entitled Sweet Caroline, and it goes back between Sweet Caroline and the, and the male, uh, Hashim and it goes back and forth between those two.

    And so I could have done her voice probably, but his voice… I wanted it a certain way. I wanted it a certain quality. And as a [00:28:00] result of him reading that book, I hired him to read the next in the section because he did that character’s voice so well. Mm-hmm. And not that you have to do voices, but just the quality of the storytelling and the dialogue.


    Um, he did very, very well. And he is an actor, like he’s a real person.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right..

    Kelda Poynot: He’s in high demand for audiobooks. He does things professionally.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Like this is what he does. It’s just what he does.

    Kelda Poynot: This is what he does. And this is what this lady does, you know they’re, they’re all like, if you click on my books and you go, oh, okay. I recognize, I recognize their names. And, um, I wanted it so badly that I’m just like, please, please, please can I have that? No. Because it’s a financial investment.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right.

    Kelda Poynot: That that was an investment and I, and I have yet to recoup all of that investment in royalties yet. Mm-hmm. But but it’s there, it’s there forever.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And you still have I was gonna say,

    Kelda Poynot: And it’s an investment.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: You still have some time

    Kelda Poynot: They’re babies, they’re still little baby book babies. They’ve only been published two years. Mm-hmm. [00:29:00] Really solidly for two years. The audio book. And, and so it’s just now beginning to, to gain some momentum.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And from what I understand, you released your books and now you’re kind of, um, you focused on learning how to release them, how to get them into print. Yes. And now you’re learning how to market them really well.

    Kelda Poynot: Yes, yes.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And then that’s two different skillsets.

    Kelda Poynot: Yeah. You just said it all, that is two different skill sets.

     That is different parts of your brain.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: It really is.

    Kelda Poynot: And, , my background is in education. Mm-hmm. My background is not in business. Mm-hmm. And, and so even though we own our own business, what we’ve learned through that has been by trial and error, much like marketing.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And when you say you own your own business, like you and your husband own your own business?

    Kelda Poynot: My husband and I own our own business. Mm-hmm. And, um, and so , we didn’t come from a business background. This is all things that we’ve, you know, we are, we still, we read a lot of business books because we don’t what we’re doing.

    Right. Like, we still [00:30:00] will need to know more.

     And I think that that’s what we have to do. We, we do need to balance a little bit. Like we can’t, I can’t, I cannot do it all. I don’t think we are designed to do everything ourselves.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: We just don’t even have enough hours in the day ,

    Kelda Poynot: There’s not enough hours in the day and I am pretty, I’m pretty efficient with my time.

    Mm-hmm. And there’s still not enough hours in the day. There’s always a list of things to do. So before the great 2020, I was running ads and, and having good sales from those ads.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: When you say ads, you mean like, like Amazon?

    Kelda Poynot: Amazon ads? Facebook ads. Like I was running ads, um, now that you can do ads on a lot of different social media.

    Mm-hmm. But at the time it was Amazon ads was where I started and um, feeling really confident in that and gaining a little momentum. And then in 2020 everybody’s just home and clicking and I am because it’s a paper click ad and I was… my, my ads [00:31:00] versus sales were, uh, no, not a good, what is it? ROI? Not a good return on investment at all.

    So I stopped the ads and then when I thought about going back and doing ’em again, it was right during the holidays. Mm-hmm. And that’s when the ad prices boost a lot. So I was like, okay, I’ll just wait. And so I’ve been in the process of, really figuring out where my investment dollars need to be. Mm-hmm. My advertising dollars where I need to really put my attention and focus mm-hmm. Um, in those areas.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right.

    Kelda Poynot: And so, um, it’s not my strength, the business part, but I won’t say that, that I’m horrible at it. Right. Because the little bit that I have done with ads or the little bit that I have done with, um, you know, getting, getting the word out there that I’m an author, it’s working.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right.

    Kelda Poynot: But again, we’ve only been doing this a few years.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: I was just gonna say, I think in our world of writing, [00:32:00] we kind of, uh, put a lot of emphasis on launch week. And we kind of like base the success of a book on that launch week and it mm-hmm. Like, that’s actually not for the majority of books, that’s not how it works. For the majority of the books it’s just like so, and slow and steady winning the race. Right,

    Kelda Poynot: Right.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And if we are gonna think about this as a business, we have to think about this like, if you’re gonna have a store mm-hmm. And you’re gonna have items in it, you’re not gonna be like, okay, I’m gonna sell these items for one week, and if they sell or not, that determines our success.

    Like, no, you’re gonna keep those stores open, and some days you’re gonna have lots of sales. Some seasons you’ll have more sales than others, but you keep pushing those products and you keep you know, providing them to your customer. You don’t stop just because your opening week has finished.

    Kelda Poynot: Exactly.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: I think authors forget that. They forget that this is a long-term investment into putting this product into hands of a reader.

    Kelda Poynot: And I also think that we are impatient and [00:33:00] we have put, you know, our blood, sweat, and tears into this, into this project, whatever it is. Mm-hmm. Whether it’s a book, an audio book, a, a, whatever.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right.

    Kelda Poynot: And we expect instant gratification. Mm. We expect to submit it and for it to come back and we’re accolades. Mm-hmm. And we’re wonderful and we earned the Gold Star and we put the A plus on the top of our papers and oh, you know, everything was wonderful. And, oh look, we have all these really great reviews and you know, when we push and push and push and push mm-hmm.

    I don’t believe that this is, is a thing that we can just instantly click and, and it’s magically done.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right.

    Kelda Poynot: And that we see these authors that we admire, that seem to have had overnight success. Mm-hmm. That’s a load of bologna right there. Yeah. That is not a real thing. And how many hours and years and, and hardships have they [00:34:00] encountered that we don’t see, because now you know, their book was made into a movie, or they now have interviews. Mm-hmm. Or they now have all of these things and so I will tell you that my first and second books are still the ones that are selling the most on Amazon.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Mm-hmm. They’ve been there longer.

    Kelda Poynot: They’ve been there longer.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right.

    Kelda Poynot: And how many times do we have to see something come up on our feed before we make the decision to purchase it?

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right.

    Kelda Poynot: And people say, oh, I need to get your book. Yeah. And it may be three years. So I, so just recently, it’s really funny, one lady at church and then another, uh, young friend, she grew up with my children. Um, she, the out of the blue contact me and say, oh my gosh, I just finished reading whatever book. And I loved it and it was my first book or my second book.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And you’re like, oh, okay.

    Kelda Poynot: Thank you. Like, oh my God. Like, I was thrilled. I was thrilled. Yeah. So [00:35:00] I don’t do this to be a one hit wonder.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yes. Exactly.

    Kelda Poynot: Okay. Now, if you have, if you are a writer and you have one book in you, and it is the end all, be all life goal, you run with that. Mm-hmm. Because there’s a reason that you are feeling compelled and, and called to write this book.


    Whatever it is. But if you are a writer, like I have now, seemed to become, it was not my intention.

    I had three titles, for three books and they were all non-fiction. I had no fiction in me. Kelda’s viewpoint. Okay. Yeah, Apparently, yeah, there’s a lot of other books inside of me. But I think that if you’re in this to be a writer, we have to say, wrap that up. Send it out into the universe. Mm. Wrap that up. Send it out into the universe. Oh wait, I have these projects and they’re both like kind of competing for my time and [00:36:00] attention. Okay. Which one needs to be written first? Mm-hmm. Okay. Let them in the fast track lane. Then the other one comes when it’s ready.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: But it’s a long term game of providing something to your reader.

    Kelda Poynot: Yes. It is not a short-term game at this point. Yeah, yeah. And just because I wrote one book and I got it out there and I was pleased as punch and I had the audio and all the things, it doesn’t mean that that was the end all be all.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Your job is just starting really.

    Kelda Poynot: It’s just starting. Now we have to market this baby. Mm-hmm. Oh, but wait, I have this other story I wanna be writing at the same time. Oh. You know, so we, there’s a, there’s a give and take and there’s a balance to all the things that, that we feel mm-hmm. That are necessary, you know?

    Rachel Fahrenbach: True.

    Kelda Poynot: That’s the, the part that is hardest for me, not just the business side of it. It’s just a balance. Am I a writer today or do I need to be a business person today? Because I can’t always do ’em on the same day.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yes.

    Kelda Poynot: Where am I gonna put my identity today? Where am I gonna put my [00:37:00] efforts and my heart today and pour it in a hun I’m not a, I’m not just a skimmer kind of person, as if you can’t tell. I’m, my friend told me one time I was an extremist, and I’m like, I am not an extremist. And then she labels all the things about my life and I went, oh yeah. Kind of an extremist, you know, it’s, I’m a hundred percent in

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yes.

    Kelda Poynot: You know what I mean? Mm-hmm. And so if, if I’m gonna adopt this part of my personality and, and put it into my life, and nurture it as a writer, then I really do need to say, that’s gonna be my focus that I’m gonna write and just keep on that and let it grow organically, I guess.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Mm-hmm.

    Kelda Poynot: Boost it on occasion, but I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna fight the, the, the waves and the trends and the analytics, and I can’t, I don’t, I do not have the capacity for that.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Right, right, right I think what you just shared right there is really gold and really just very valuable and like wisdom that, that give and take. That having to put on one hat and the other, because yes, we are creators, [00:38:00] we’re creating product, we’re in product development, but then we’re in business and we have to make the business run.

    And that requires, you know, production and marketing. And so it’s really like three different areas, three different skillsets. And, um, and we have to take the hat off at some times and say, I’m not a writer right now. I’m a business owner and what do I need to do to get the thing done and to get it out there into the world?

    And um, and that can be really hard Yes. For our creative souls mm-hmm. To be okay with that. And so I appreciate you sharing that and appreciate you putting words to that for us. as we begin to wrap up this conversation that we are having, um, which I don’t want to end it cause I’m having such a fun time, but as we begin to wrap it up, is there anything else that you would tell somebody who’s at the beginning stages of this writing journey um, beginning stages of the publishing and the business and the marketing and all the things they’re trying to navigate it all, do you have any wisdom or advice or tips or anything that you want to [00:39:00] share with them?

    Kelda Poynot: Absolutely. Um, ,I really wanna say this is that, um, you know, we can’t do everything at once. So even if they say you have to have this done, or you have to have that done, or oh, you, you have to do it this route. Mm-hmm. Whoa, let’s just take a minute and assess that. If that’s really where you’re supposed to be, again, discernment. Mm. Um, be patient with yourself. Mm-hmm. That’s something that I’ve really had to learn is that I can’t write for hours and hours and hours.

    Mm-hmm. I can’t get all the business stuff done every single day. Um, you know, just to be patient and it’s okay to have a list that never ends. Yep. You know, it’s okay to have that and, um, Because, because my point was is that I don’t have the capacity to do everything every day. Right. I just, I just don’t.

    And, um, because I do have a day job, like I do other real [00:40:00] things, right? I have a family, I, I have things that I like to do that are not anywhere related to writing. Um, and the two things that I think for somebody to, who’s just beginning in this, that has really helped me, and that is to limit distractions, and to stay focused because you only have a limited amount of time for your, for the craft of writing. Mm-hmm. Or for the craft of publishing or the, if you wanted to just do audiobooks or if you just wanted to do Ebix, or whatever your format is for the information that you wanna share with people, the stories you wanna share with people.

    And, and so I’m like, I have learned that I write really well in 25 to 45 minute chunks of time. Get up, go rotate laundry, eat something, you know, go to the restroom, let the dogs out, whatever’s happening, and then I can come back and focus, even if I have a whole six or seven hours of a day to [00:41:00] write, that’s how I break it up in time.

    At the time my children were mostly in high school, you know, middle school and high school when I started writing, and so mom sometimes needed to unplug a little bit.

    I wouldn’t take a whole day away from them when they were younger. Mm-hmm. But when with the, now that they’re older and mostly outta the house, I, I have a little bit more flexibility to my time. But at the moment when I started writing, I did have to limit those distractions and say it’s a writing day for mom and call it, you know, I call it.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And you protected it.

    Kelda Poynot: And I protected it and I had children and my husband and I had resources that helped me protect even, or I got up before everybody else in the house. Mm-hmm. And I, and I did it for an hour before I had to be on, you know, for my day. And so I think that you do have to, to make your priorities and make your time and limit those distractions as much as possible.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Well, I think that right there is the worth of, like, the worthful thing to this [00:42:00] episode was just to get that encouragement right there. The permission to, to protect the time, the permission to, um, to say, yes, this is important to do. And, um, just the reminder that it needs to be done too, if we’re gonna be doing this work as a writer.

    Kelda Poynot: Mm-hmm.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Kelda. I have enjoyed this conversation so much. I think it has been full of good information for our listeners, and I think they’re gonna learn a lot from it. Um, before we go though, would you just share with us how can people find you? Okay. Where can they hang out with you on the internet? Where can they find your books, all those lovely things.

    Kelda Poynot: Well, I’ve said a lot of things about Amazon and Kindle and Audible, so that’s where my, that’s where my, uh, book babies are. They all live there. And I also am, uh, I have a website, kelda laing poynot.com, and I’m mostly on Facebook and LinkedIn. I do have an author page on Facebook, uh, Kelda Poynot author, and I, uh, post there periodically.

    [00:43:00] I, but I am, uh, I’m learning how to navigate Pinterest other than just being a user of Pinterest. So that’s, I’m out there too. I have an author page on Pinterest now and again, uh, just. If, you know, if they’re in need of some encouragement, uh, my books are there for them for encouragement and just maybe a good little escape. Some of my fiction is out there.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: Yeah. Very much so. Well, Kelda, thank you so much for joining us today. I appreciate it. And I value you as a writer and as a friend too cuz we are friends. I just appreciate you so much and you, I always enjoy talking to you. Always. Thank you.

    Kelda Poynot: Thank you Rachel. The feeling is mutual.

    Rachel Fahrenbach: And thank you for tuning in to today’s episode. Join us here next week as we continue this conversation of the business of Christian Fiction.

    ​ [00:44:00]

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    Hey! I'm Rachel and I'm so glad you're here today!

    I help Christian fiction writers figure out how they can make an impact and an income from their storytelling while keeping rest a priority. 

    You can learn more about how I’m in your corner here.

    And you can learn more about my personal journey here.

    One last thing, if you’re looking for a bit more rest in your life, be sure to check out the Rest & Reflect guided journal.

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