First off, I made this post to celebrate my audiobook for Remedy for Memory, coming soon to ACX, Audible, and iTunes!
The general things we’re going to go over here: how I record and edit, with a few helpful tips thrown in.
First step: PLANNING
You want to make two different types of schedules before you start your audiobook. The first is more like an agenda for each chapter you record. For example, my agenda looks like this: record, adjust spacings and repeated phrases, convert, remove noise, sound effects, convert, finalize. By doing this, you create a checklist for yourself so each chapter comes out the same.
The second is probably the most important, which is a recording schedule. You have to figure out how many pages you have to get through each day to finish it on time. Don’t stress if you’re falling behind, though, because that can backfire!
- Tip: If this is your book and you just finished it, leave it alone for a bit before recording. You know how some people say, “Before editing, give your book some space?” The same goes for recording.
If your average per day is supposed to be 34 pages, but the chapters don’t fit exactly, choose one less or one more chapter to be as close as possible. You want to record full chapters at a time. Stop in the middle of a line and continuing the next day is counterproductive.
- Tip: I’d record more than one chapter a day because 1. the audiobook gets done faster, and 2. your voice is not the same each day. It’d be ideal to record the whole audiobook in one day, but no one has time for that nonsense.
Second step: RECORDING
You can use whatever you want to record. Typically people use mics to create the most professional sound. I personally use my camera because I think it has a pretty good microphone installed in it. Of course, I might be doing more converting than the alternative.
- Tip: Make sure the card you’re recording on is big enough to hold hours of footage. I use 4 gigabytes.
- Tip: Make sure your camera or mic has enough power to run for a long period of time.
- Tip: Place camera or microphone in the same location each time you record. Also, make sure you are in the same place every time.
- Tip: Turn off fans, speakers that hum, close windows, put animals out, etc. Minimize extra noise in the room as much as possible. Maybe even sound proof the room, if you can.
- Tip: Stop the recording after every chapter so that each chapter is its own file. Don’t record multiple chapters in one giant recording because that can be dislocating and strenuous during editing.
- Tip: Repeat sentences. Say them in different ways so that you can choose your favorite during editing.
- Tip: Use hand motions while recording to add umph to you acting abilities. (I know they won’t see it, but it helps, I swear!)
Third step: EDITING
Use as many programs to edit your sound files that you want. I personally use Adobe Premiere for the first edit, because I’m familiar with it. I eventually take it over to Audacity for sound removal. Audacity in general is a great editing tool and could possibly be the only thing you need.
Editing is essentially adjusting pauses between phrases and deleting repeated phrases or mistakes. Noise removal is also important (YouTube search “noise removal” if you’re not sure how), because it gets rid of any white noise that doesn’t need to be in the file. That doesn’t mean it will get rid of all clicks. Remove those manually!
- Tip: Some companies, like ACX (the distributer that I’m going to use), have certain file requirements. For example: at the end and start of each chapter, there needs to be a two to five second pause. Check the requirements before uploading!
In some cases, you might have to rerecord phrases because you missed a word or you said it in an awkward way. These rerecordings are sometimes very hard to match up to the original recordings, so do your best to set yourself and the mic/camera up the same way you did the first time!
I love having creative freedom with my audiobook. As a personal touch, I put royalty free music and sound effects into my chapters. I make sure at least two are in each. It’s so fun to listen to, so I don’t know why it’s not common among audiobooks!
Fourth step: FINALIZE
Only after I’m completely satisfied with the sound file will I finalize/export it. Again, make sure you’re converting the file to the correct format that the distributer requires.
- Tip: Listen to the file with headphones and on a computer speaker before uploading. Readers use both to listen to an audiobook.
A solid ten page chapter could take 20 minutes to an hour to record. I recorded an eleven page chapter in an hour and 20 minutes the other day!
Editing usually takes three times as long, so a ten page chapter could take three hours to edit, bringing your total to about four hours. If you’re recording more than one chapter a day, be prepared to do nothing else that day.
Update your progress! Find a social media site, like Goodreads or Twitter, to update your followers on how far you are! They’ll really appreciate it if you do.
Thanks so much for reading, guys. Hope it helped.
Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime
Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/