Combine in one good quality studio
– A ton of patience
– 1 computer with lots of room
– 1 Good editing program
– Extremely good organization skills
– 1 night of thorough research and proof reading
– A full book to read through
This is one recipe you want to have a tester on before dabbling into the full recipe. It’s very important you know what you are doing when you enter this craft. This can be a great area for the newbie as long as you prepare extremely well and are consistent. So many things to consider and too many to mention in a brief article, so make sure and read my full recipe before you begin – Audiobook Stew – here.
I challenge you to first read chapter one and the final chapter of any book of your choice for practice. Ideally read a dialogue book with many characters. You will want to create a voice that is unique to each character. The listener knows that the narrator is not really the characters, so you don’t have to have each voice completely different, but the better you are at keeping them unique, the more sought after you will be. Consistency in the characters is one of the most important qualities you can possess. You might be good at narrating a story with no characters, but can you pull off 20-70 characters in one book? Keeping track of each and every one of them and making sure they are the same from beginning to end (including your narrator)?
I highly recommend writing and voicing a signature line for each character and narrator and listening to them prior to your session. Ideally you want to cover 1 – 3 chapters in a day reading – if your voice and energy can handle it. Make sure and listen to the previous chapter voiced so you can match the pacing, tone and voice of the narrator/characters. The nature of the industry wants 10 chapters voiced and edited within 1 – 2 weeks, which is not fair, but people do it, so that is now the norm.
You can edit while you voice, but I prefer to voice and then edit after (however that is much more time consuming…but I find editing while I’m voicing removes me from my acting. Consider that one chapter will take up to 1 hour to voice and one hour of voicing will take a min of 2 hours to edit, and then you need to make sure and listen over one last time to make sure you didn’t mis-edit anything. This is a very important final step. Make sure to listen to your final passing with good quality headphones as most books are listened to through headphones so make sure you know exactly what they are hearing.
You need to stay well organized and really need to be a good editor to truly succeed audiobooks by yourself. You can always hire out an editor (something I do for myself) and split commissions, saving you tons of time and headaches. I love reading books, just don’t like editing them. Contact us for names to some good and cost effective editors. This is a great arena to retire in as well. The work is low pay, but steady.
There is so much more I’d like to share with you, but you will have to read my first hand experiences in my highly recommended article – AUDIOBOOK STEW.
Until next time everyone
All my best
VO Chef Deb