This is a self-published author’s take on creating audiobooks. Thanks to platforms like ACX, turning your book into an audiobook has never been easier. So, let's embark on this exciting journey together and explore the steps to transform your literary masterpiece into a captivating audio adventure!
Audiobooks have skyrocketed in popularity, opening up an entirely new world of storytelling possibilities. Listeners like me can enjoy books while commuting, working out, or simply relaxing. By converting your book into an audiobook, you tap into a growing market and reach a wider audience hungry for captivating narratives.
The first thing you should know is that creating an audiobook can cost next to nothing, or it can break the bank. If you have a rich voice and can do accents, then recording your own narration might be for you. If you're like me, you have two options. 1) Tap a friend that is generous enough to give 10-30 hours of their time to you (not quite free). 2) Find a producer on ACX or similar websites (expensive). Whatever route you choose, regardless of the size of your bankroll, a poor-quality recording will cost you too much.
Nobody knows your book like you do. You know the intonations, the accents, the pacing, and where to be goofy or serious. So, if you have the skill set to do so, it's the best route. If you don't plan to record yourself, skip over this next bit.
But, before you start...Is your voice audiobook worthy? If you're not sure, then you need to find out. Record a several-minute excerpt from your book, ideally one with the various accents and genders you'll use in other parts. Share that recording with a few strangers. It's easy to find critics with the following links: FB, and Reddit. You certainly don't need to pay a beta listener. Be direct and tell the listener that you want honest feedback even if it's harsh. If you don't get glowing reviews, please find someone else to do the recording.
If you're going the DIY route, you'll want to create a recording studio. First, find a place that is quiet. Air conditioning, street noise, and family life will ruin your narration. Next, borrow or buy a recording kit. You can find ones that range from free (your Phone) to astronomical. There are a ton of knowledgeable sites that recommend the best podcasting equipment. Unlike a blog, you'll want a teleprompter app so you don't have to flip pages, whether digital or physical, which is distracting and may add noise to the background. Perhaps the most important step is to create an ergonomic setup so you won't be tempted to shift around, which can cause noise and may change the volume and tone of your recording.
Lastly, get to know your software, including tools to remove residual background noise and to splice different takes together and adjust them so they sound continuous.
ACX.com, an Amazon-owned platform, provides a seamless and user-friendly way to turn your book into an audiobook. It connects authors with talented narrators and producers, making the process more accessible and efficient than ever before. There are other sites, but I am not familiar with those, so I'll stick with what I know here.
PREPARE THE JOURNEY
Before diving into the creation process, take some time to prepare. Ensure your book is professionally edited, polished, and ready to captivate listeners. One of the most important steps that people won't tell you is to listen Additionally, consider your target audience and the genre of your book, as these factors will guide your choices during the audiobook production process.
ACX.com allows you to audition and select narrators who will bring your story to life. Browse through a diverse pool of voice actors, listen to their samples, and select someone whose tone, style, and interpretation align with your vision. Collaboration is key to ensuring the perfect match between your story and the narrator's voice.
NAIL THE PERFORMANCE
Once you've chosen your narrator, it's time to embark on the exciting production phase. Collaborate closely with your chosen voice actor, providing guidance and feedback to ensure the performance captures the essence of your book. Communication is vital to bringing your characters, dialogue, and emotions to life in the audio format.
To create a professional and captivating audiobook, focus on sound quality. ACX.com provides guidelines and technical requirements to help you deliver a polished product. Pay attention to sound editing, audio levels, and overall production quality to ensure an enjoyable listening experience for your audience.
ACX.com offers various distribution options to help you get your audiobook out into the world. Choose between exclusive distribution on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes or opt for non-exclusive distribution, allowing you to sell your audiobook on other platforms as well. The choice is yours, tailored to your publishing goals.
CELEBRATE THE LAUNCH
Finally, when your audiobook is ready, it's time to celebrate! Announce your new creation through social media, your author's website, and any other marketing channels you utilize. Engage with your audience, host giveaways, and encourage listeners to leave reviews, building buzz around your audiobook.
Personally, hearing my book in narrated form is an exhilarating experience that I value beyond measure. It immerses readers, including me, in a whole new dimension of storytelling. ACX can serve you well, whether by pairing you with a narrator or by helping you navigate the production process. So, embrace the power of voice and embark on this exciting journey. Captivate your listeners!
Next week, I'll post part two: Audiobooks: A Personal Perspective.