Recording and Editing Audiobooks
There is nothing we like better than to listen to a really great audiobook recording. Whether it’s a fast-paced fiction or a factual business/education book; audiobooks are convenient and easy (especially when driving or on a long-haul flight to Europe). There are many things that differentiate a good audiobook from an amazing audiobook, and we’re here to let you in on a few tips that we’ve learned over the last 15-20 years of audiobook recording at our studios.
This is part one of a series that we’ll be publishing, along with some great video tutorials and visual explanations of the information we’ll provide here. So settle in, grab a coffee and let’s get started.
Hire Voice Over Talent
I realize this may not be practical for some people but it really does make a huge difference in your audiobook quality. Consider it as an investment in quality and performance, especially considering that your audio book will be around forever.
For example: you can see a play at your local community theater but there is no comparison when seeing the same play in London’s West End. This is especially important if your audio book is of a commercial value and you are planning to sell it worldwide. People want to feel they’ve made a smart purchasing decision. [pullquote]People want to feel they’ve made a smart purchasing decision.[/pullquote] True voice talent can enhance the subtlety of your text. Plus they have special training in pronunciation, reducing or minimizing mouth noises, and other techniques they developed throughout their career.
Hire a Professional Recording Studio
You knew we were going to say that, didn’t you? 😉 Of course we’re not just tooting our own horn but this falls directly in line with having professional voice talent read your audio book for you. Sure, you can use your iPhone in your bathroom or bedroom closet but it won’t match current professional audiobooks in the market and you will lose out on potential sales. Plus hiring a recording studio that has years of experience will only benefit in the long run. You can use them for their editing skills, their years of recording wisdom, along with an myriad of other techniques and tricks developed throughout their career to make you sound the best!
A professional recording studio will use the best quality microphone for your voice type. They will apply compression, equalization, shape and enhance the tone of the voice, and also have the ability to edit out lip smacks and mouth noises that can distract your listener. They can convert and export your audio book files into standard formats that will be used and distributed. They can also apply tags and copyright information into these files for you. If you don’t know which recording studio to use, I’m sure we can recommend a recording studio for you!
Create Your Audiobook Webpage First
A common element missing from many audio books doesn’t even have anything to do with audio! You need to create a specific website for your audio book. And to this website you will be directing your listeners for additional resources and information, creating extra value for their audio book purchase.
On this website include things such as PDF downloads for your graphs and charts that might be included in your original book but don’t translate well to spoken word. You can also includes extras which don’t appear in your printed books (additional PDFs, or Podcast episodes, video links etc). Redirect your audiobook listeners to your website to download these resources. You can also have a special blog which is committed to your audio book topic on this website. This site needs to be up and running, and looking professional before you start selling your audiobook.
Create a Few Excerpts and Samples
Many audio book publishing sites like to have samples and excerpts of your audio book. Sites such as audible.com, and iTunes prefer to have 1 minute to 5 minute samples for the customers to preview. This is another great reason why you should hire professional voice talent to do recording, since it can help sell your book to the potential customers (when they’re doing comparison shopping) by sounding completely professional.
That’s it for part one of this series. If you have questions we would definitely be happy to answer any of them. Keep checking back on our blog for more updates and information to help you. I hope that you had a chance to pick up some tips for your next (or very first!) audiobook production. Good Luck!