Hi everyone! The audio book industry is booming and one of the loyal tribe members wanted to know how my experience was creating an audio book. Here’s a little of the backstory… I narrated and produced my first book, Exclusive in May 2016. Even though I worked with a vocal coach to train my voice, I found recording the book very challenging, but rewarding at the same time. Here are my thoughts on the entire process…
Can anybody record an audio book?
If you’re an author and plan to narrate your book, your voice can and will get tired after reading for hours at a time. I limited my reading to two hours per day, this helped me to rest my voice. I’ve also been podcasting, and narrating radio segments and documentaries for a couple of years, so I had practice in using my voice. If anyone wants to narrate a project and doesn’t have any narration experience, I would recommend them listening to other audio books and working with a vocal coach. Also, drink lots of water while you are recording. It keeps the vocal chords moist.
What kind of microphone should a person use?
I chose a high quality mic that I use for doing my podcasts. I purchased my microphone on Amazon. Here’s the link to the one I use.
How long does it take to record an audio book?
It took me about 20 hours to record what was edited down to about 6 hours of actual book. There were re-takes and words that I mispronounced. Sometimes I coughed and needed to clear my throat. It took longer than I thought, but then again, I’ve never written a book in 20 hours so it was lightning fast speed to me.
How can people learn about recording audio books?
There are articles online about recording audio books and anyone who wants to record an audio book should read an article, a book or two. I also think books and articles on podcasting will help as well. It gives a great sense of the recording field.
How do you distribute an audio book?
ACX is the biggest game in town as far as independent publishers distributing their audio books. If your book passes ACX standards, they will distribute your book to iTunes and Amazon. Amazon actually owns ACX so… They have quality standards but I was able to get into ACX on the first pass with Exclusive. I was nervous but I had a professional sound engineer who worked with me and I was thrilled with the result. If you wanna learn more about this process, here’s a great resource.
Would you go through the process again?
Yes, absolutely. Not even two months after I recorded my first audio book did I receive my first check. It didn’t cover all the production costs, but book royalties take much longer.
Would I narrate projects for other people?
Yes. I narrate documentaries already, so I’d love to help other authors who are interested in creating audio books. Please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are an author and are considering producing an audio book, I wish you the best of luck. And, if you found this article helpful, please share it.