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  • Writer's pictureTai Manivong

What I learned Recording my first audiobook

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

I am so glad I started my journey as an audiobook narrator. Who knew one could have so much fun sitting in a booth creating character voices and telling a story. I am learning so much each time I go in to record. I thought i'd start sharing on my journey. Why not a video blog you ask? Not ready for that step yet. Anyway, here are some of the things I learned when I recorded my first audiobook.

  1. Give yourself more than a month.

My first accepted audition was on Findaway voices. I was super excited and thought, I have some time on my hands, I could do this in a month. So that is how long I put on the contact. I scheduled the first 15 min check a week later. About a week in, lots of personal and job stuff began popping up. I finished recording everything in the month, but had a lot of editing to do. I missed my own deadline. I did write to the rights holder and let them know it would be late. They were fine with the extension, but I really feel like I should not have put them or myself in that situation. Also feeling rushed during editing made it that much more stressful. So lesson learned, even if I get really efficient at editing and recording, I am still going to give myself at least 2 months for each audiobook. If I finish early, everyone wins!

2. When mastering render a copy.

So when I had to deliver my 15 min sample chapter, I edited, mastered and uploaded. It was approves so I went to record the rest of the chapter. I couldn't because the mastered audio portion could not be changed. I had to record everything over again losing lots of valuable time. I leaned to render, and using Reaper, open a new project tab for mastering. This has helped me and I do all my auditions this way as well. Maybe in a few months i will find a better way to do this. (I did end up paying for stacks (Fx Chain) and mastering setup for Reaper because I wanted my book to sound the best it could be at my current level.

3. Slow down and edit while recording

I read the book chapters, uploaded to Pozotron (a proofing software) and then went back in the booth to edit. That took a very long time. I think on some chapters had over 60 mistakes. Now, I listen to each paragraph or group of paragraphs back and correct as I am recording. It doesn't eliminate all the errors, but it helps a lot. I also edit out gaps and spaces so pozotron doesn't add those in. So far it's been working.

Update: I ended up going through each chapter self proofing while listening back. It took a lot of time, but I learned a lot.

I think those are my big takeaways. If I think of more I will add them to this blog later.

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