Audiobooks are gaining in popularity, which for those of us with a radio background, is something rather special. Recording an audiobook is a skill in itself, but some authors are contemplating recording their own. Using my own experience over many years, I have put together a series of FAQs as a quick reference for those looking for tips rather than long tutorials.
There is one question that does not fit into any of my articles: should I record my own audiobook?
The answer is difficult. Basically, it boils down to whether you can act your socks off and have a nice voice to listen to. I don't mean whether you sound like some beautiful, trained actor (too many books are recorded with voices that all sound the same!), but whether your voice is pleasing, understandable, interesting and clear. If it is and you can put together the equipment to do the job, then why not? But if your voice or your confidence is not up to the task, then don't go there. Pay me instead!
What this won't cover
I am not going to go into abridging or recording multi-voice productions or the requirements needed by distributors. That is beyond the scope of this and the best advice can be found on the distributor's websites. This is purely about you sitting in front of a microphone and recording your wonderful story!
There are five FAQs plus some specific articles which you can find on the menu at the head of this article:
This FAQ focuses on questions on performance and presentation. This covers presentation styles, when to breath, pauses and other useful bits and pieces.
This is more about the techniques you need to use. How to avoid popping, where to place the microphone and so on.
This FAQ looks at editing. How you should edit, what you do about breaths and pauses and so on.
Covering topics such as compression, voice booths and other technical subjects, without going too techy!
Any oddities that relate to poetry in particular.
Send me a Question
If you would like to suggest a question that should be in one of the main articles, please send it to me using the form below. I can't guarantee I will use it - I might not know the answer - but it may also help me to think of other useful tips. Please keep them to recording editing and technical bits and pieces, and not the requirements of the distributors or how to sell your book. Note: All fields are required.
So, why am I doing this and who am I anyway?
Although for the last few years I have been concentrating on writing and am also a professional composer working in the advertising world, before that I was a sound engineer, sound designer and voice producer working in central London.
I worked on audiobooks, radio dramas, film sound, dialogue replacement, corporate recordings, multi-lingual versions and a huge number of adverts.
That is twenty-five years of my working life in studios and locations working with some of the best actors and voice overs around. And I even did some of the voice work myself.
Now I have come to record my own audiobook, I am in the unique position for an author, of actually knowing what I am doing, so it is only right that I pass some of that on to you!
Employ me as a narrator
Find out more about me as a narrator here.
Excerpt from Dirt demonstrating a couple of accents