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5 Tips for Making an Audiobook



16 May 2022

5 Tips for Making an Audiobook - Voquent

From preparing the manuscript to selling the product, making an audiobook can be a complex but lucrative endeavour.

Modern problems require modern solutions. One of the most acute problems nowadays is lack of time, paired with constant distraction. Whether studying, working, or simply seeking entertainment, there is so much content out there but not enough time to enjoy it all.

Many people resort to mediums that allow multitasking, such as audiobooks – a tool that enables one to perform actions simultaneously with engaging in content through sound only. The passive nature of audiobooks allows for a more relaxed engagement which has helped increase the popularity of consuming information this way. As the demand for audiobook content grows, there is no better time than now to start making an audiobook.

Audiobooks are a practical tool that can help one avoid wasting time reading excessive materials. There are plentiful applications, from a modern way to consume stories, through to a fantastic college homework helper, especially when the task requires consuming large amounts of information.

Making an audiobook within your niche could prove fruitful if you have a talent for writing books or simply want to boost your capacity to reach new audiences. So, where should you start?

Can’t wait to get started? Find your perfect audiobook narrator today!


Approach the Choice of Material Thoroughly

It’s not impossible to put together an audiobook if you don’t have a written book ready to go. Obviously, replicating someone else’s copywritten work is not legal, so always check your sourced material.

However, there are plenty of public domain materials that you can experiment with. These are books whose authors have long passed away, and the copyrights to their works were not transferred to the heirs or repurchased by the publishing house.

Stories like this include Dracula, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, A Christmas Carol, and many more. These can be great ways to practice your narration abilities.

Although, it is worth keeping in mind that there are many audiobook examples of each. Writing your own fiction story or discussing a niche you have experience in will create a unique product with more demand and profit potential. Get creative!


Prepare Your Voice

If you’re an audiobook fan, you may have encountered some examples of bad narration. Sometimes, a poorly chosen narrator can impact any content – even the most exciting content can be made boring. If you plan on narrating an audiobook yourself, listen to a few examples and record your own voice reading an excerpt from the book. It is essential to determine whether your voice can hold the same clarity and performance that the market expects, with a high level of audio quality.

Clear pronunciation and distinct speech are critical if you seek to become an audiobook narrator. Choosing the right voice is vital, and many options are out there. If your story is personal or set within a niche or industry you have experience in, then narrating the audiobook yourself may well be the correct choice. Your voice, in this case, will be authoritative.

The most effective way to “warm-up” your voice and prepare for a long speech is tongue twisters and vocal warm-ups. Of course, you can also resort to processing voice in some audio editors. Still, such methods will not be able to hide all the flaws, and this process requires some knowledge in audio editing.

Alternatively, if you are not confident in your own narration or have written a fiction story, hiring a professional audiobook narrator is the option for you. Professionals such as the narrators we work with at Voquent understand how to deliver narration for this medium specifically.

The masterful delivery of an audiobook narrator can be a game-changer. Many top performers are capable of altering their voice to breathe life into different characters. Home studios have quickly become a norm, so there will be no need to worry about expensive studio equipment, and professional sound quality is guaranteed.


Make Sure You Know the Text

Narrating an audiobook is a performance. Actors don’t simply wander on stage and perform in a show. Any acting or performance can take years of training and experience before exceptional quality can be delivered. Audiobooks are no different, and professional narrators can easily record a readthrough with minimal mistakes.

For self-narration, familiarize yourself with the work in advance. It will help you avoid stumbling over words or incorrectly placing emphasis mid-read. A novice speaker should give extra attention to their tone and register – staying calm and giving careful consideration to your words is essential for quality.

Choosing to narrate yourself means you will likely need to hire audio editing services. This will often result in higher costs than using a full narration service which includes editing. So, the more mistakes you make, the higher the price tag. Practice makes perfect.


Find a Suitable Space for Recording

The key to excellent sound quality is the space in which you record. It is unlikely that you have access to professional recording studios. So, try to prepare your recording space as thoroughly as possible. Consider the following steps:

  1. Find an area with minimal background noise. The sounds of traffic and children making their way into the background noise of your recordings will kill your audiobook. Find a quiet space you can record in.
  2. Turn off noisy equipment. Fans, refrigerators, and other devices often produce a quiet but ongoing sound. Even the computer you use to record makes noise, so professionals keep their equipment as far from their microphone as possible.
  3. Treatment. Use audio treatment in the room to record high-quality audio. Professional narrators use foam panels to suppress reverberation. You can use any soft materials to create the same effect at home, such as duvets and pillows surrounding the area – build a fort! Seriously!

Recording Equipment

Technically, you might already have all the equipment you need to record an audiobook. The minimum requirements for recording are a computer and an inexpensive USB microphone with headphones. However, once your audiobook has been recorded, it will need to be sold on a specialist platform. These sites will put your recording through a quality assessment, so using the bare minimum might not be good enough for their standards. After recording an entire audiobook, this is the last thing you want to hear.

Here is the required equipment for professional audio quality:

  • A Computer. There are no special requirements for the PC or laptop because recording an audiobook does not need extreme computing power. However, the computer should be able to support programs for processing audio recordings. This is where you will access your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), which is essential software for audiobook recording.
  • A Microphone. Many microphones are on the market, but you will need to have access to an XLR condenser microphone rather than a USB microphone for excellent sound quality.
  • Headphones. There is a lot of information regarding which headphones are the best for narration, but to put it simply, open-backed headphones will provide the best sound quality. Some brands artificially boost the sound that headphones offer, which is not ideal for recording. You want a realistic representation of what you have captured, so try to avoid this if possible.

Final Words

Audiobooks will continue to penetrate deeper into the market as people demonstrate an increased demand for them. So, if don’t minimise your content and restrict it to a single medium. Make use of audiobooks to bring your story to a new, audible dimension. It does require some effort and a lot of learning, but the result can be enjoyable and profitable.

Making an audiobook is a great way to earn some money and is also an excellent investment in the evolution of literature.


Discover Professional Audiobook Narrators


By Paul

Paul is our technical director and oversees all things technical at Voquent - he mainly writes about the technical processes behind the Voquent platform to give an insight into our reach and scale.

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5 Tips for Making an Audiobook


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