Want to publish your titles in audio but not sure how to get started?
Take advantage of my network and wealth of experience in the audiobook publishing industry. Drawing from a vast casting pool of lauded professional narrators with built-in fan bases, and the highest quality post-production teams, your audiobook will match the quality of those produced by the major publishers. Contact us for a quote and to learn more about how we can work with you in transforming your text into the audio realm.
It’s important to start with the understanding that this is, foremost, an acting job. Classical actor training and experience performing theater professionally is valued as much, if not more, as other forms of voiceover experience.
Here are a couple of places to get started:
It’s also a great idea to listen to accomplished and popular narrators. AudioFile Magazine is a good resource for finding such narrators and books. Your local library is a good spot to check out books to listen to, whether in CD or digital format.
Erin deWard’s website (includes studio setup)
Karen Commin’s exhaustive guide:
and her new website on the subject: Narrator Roadmap
If you’re interested in coaching, Contact us to find out more.
Karen presents workshops on publishing in audio and marketing your audiobook. To have her talk to your author group or class, contact us. Clink the links below to access practical handouts generated for such workshops.
For further information on the industry, check out the Audiobook Publisher’s Association Website.
And don’t forget to celebrate June is Audiobook Month, using #loveaudiobooks
Per Finished Hour (PFH) – The time length of the completed audiobook. Most narrators get paid a certain rate ($190 – 250 and above for experienced narrators) multiplied by the number of finished hours, no matter how many hours they spent in the studio to record it.
Preparation – Narrators must read the entire manuscript before starting to record (unless it is simply not possible). This is the only way to create consistent characters and to understand the tone and pacing of the entire book. Preparation is included in the PFH rate. If there is a great deal of pronunciation research to be done, narrators may be compensated for that additionally.
Punch record vs. straight record – When a narrator works solo, they generally do a punch record, a nifty innovation that allows the narrator to edit as they go, keeping only the desired takes and discarding the rest. In a straight record, a narrator just stops and does a new take, but the recording continues. This generally requires a director or engineer to keep track of the takes and then an editor must spend time to remove all the unwanted takes later.
Post Production – The process which takes the narrator’s initial recording and turns it into an audiobook ready to download and/or to be burned onto CDs.
QC or Proofing – A well-educated and trained person listens to the first pass recording and notates any errors, unwanted sounds (including distracting breaths) or other mistakes, which are then removed by an editor or re-recorded by the narrator. Some companies will put a book through two rounds of QC.
Pickups or Corrections – Re-recording the material to fix errors. One round of pickups is usually included in a narrator’s rate. Narrators should be paid extra for pickups needed due to last minute rewrites.
Room Tone – 20 – 30 seconds of what it sounds like in the narrator’s booth when he/she is just sitting there “silently” (it’s never really silent). This is used to fill in any spaces when editing, including replacing spots where there was a loud breath, noise or the space between chapters.
Editing – an art unto itself, the editor not only removes any distracting sounds but takes the rhythm the narrator has set and refines it, ensuring consistency.
Mastering – also requiring experience and the right equipment, mastering takes the “raw” recorded audio and processes the files to ensure clarity and stability. The final product should meet all distributor’s requirements as well as be smoothly pleasing to the ear whether the listener uses earbuds, headphones or speakers.
Digital Download Only – a book that is released only in Digital form.
CD printing – some publishers create CD copies of all their audiobooks; some only do a CD run for books that they expect to sell well, especially to libraries.
mp3 CD – a physical copy of the audiobook in CD form where mp3s for the entire book are provided on one CD.
Print on Demand (POD) – a newer technology just being implemented that allows individual or very small runs of CD copies to be printed on demand.