If you’re thinking about creating an audiobook, I have one bit of advice for you: Go for it!
You’re in great company. According to wordsrated.com, audiobooks generated over $1.81 billion in the United States in 2022. And the popularity of audiobooks is expected to increase.
Within the next 7 years, the audiobook market is expected to grow by 26.4% every year. It’s evident that audiobooks are one of the most consumed pieces of content in the publishing world.
If you’re an author who wants to create an audiobook, congratulations! Here is a simple guide that you can use to make the process easier for you.
Start With Your Manuscript
The first step in creating your audiobook starts with your manuscript. You have to have something to record.
You may want to think about the format that you want to use for your manuscript. While there’s nothing wrong with writing on a piece of paper, the sound of the pages turning could be caught on your recording.
It may be in your best interest to write your manuscript on a computer and keep a copy on some type of device.
Find A Narrator
Next comes an important step: finding a narrator.
When it comes to finding a narrator, you have a couple of options. You can either work with a professional narrator or choose to narrate the audiobook yourself.
There are benefits to both decisions. Working with a professional narrator can give your audiobook the polished sound it deserves. However, if your audiobook is more personal like a memoir, it may make sense for you to narrate your own story.
Whatever route you take, you want a narrator who is able to breathe life into your audiobook.
Use High-Quality Equipment
Next, you want to make sure that you use the right equipment for recording. This action is also dependent on your narrator.
If you decide to hire a professional narrator, they may take the lead throughout the recording process and provide the equipment.
If you are narrating your audiobook, you want to make sure that you have the following equipment:
- A personal computer
- A digital audio workstation (software that helps record and edit audio content)
- Professional microphone
- Soundproofing equipment
- Noise-cancelling headphones
- Digital audio interface (helps connect your microphone to your computer).
In addition to these major pieces of equipment, you’ll want to find a quiet room to record. The less noise around you, the clearer the audio.
A good rule of thumb is to perform a practice run with your equipment. You may encounter acoustic issues or formatting problems when using your equipment.
Testing can help you become more accustomed to each piece of equipment and prevent many additional issues from happening.
Record Your Audiobook
Once your equipment has been tested, it’s time to record.
As you record your audiobook, keep the following suggestions in mind:
- Set aside time for recording. You don’t want to record your entire audiobook in one setting. Recording for long periods of time can increase the possibility of making mistakes.
- Consider timing in your manuscript. Review your manuscript to plan the pauses in your story or the distinct voices for your characters.
- Read your manuscript from a device. Using a device can help you avoid the sound of turning pages, which can be distracting.
- Prepare to make mistakes along the way. You’re guaranteed to make mistakes while recording. Don’t get frustrated; instead, expect it to happen and pick up where you left off.
Edit Your Audiobook
After your audiobook is recorded, it’s time to do some editing.
Just like working with a narrator, there are a couple of options you have for editing. You can either work with an audio engineer or edit the recording yourself.
If you choose to self-edit, there are several types of editing software that you can use, including:
- Adobe Audition
- Pro Tools
- Logic Pro
While editing, your main focus is to make your audiobook as clear and concise as possible. You want to make sure that all errors and background noise are removed from the recording.
Create Your Audiobook Cover
Just like a print book or an eBook, your audiobook needs a cover. The ideal cover for your audiobook should be one that automatically grabs a reader’s attention. One that is visually appealing.
If you want to work with someone, there are many graphic designers who can design custom art for you. If you want to design it yourself, there are several types of software available for you.
Some of these programs are:
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe Spark.
When designing your audiobook cover, keep in mind that your cover must meet certain formatting guidelines. A majority of covers, for example, cannot exceed 5 MB.
Publish Your Audiobook
Finally, you want to publish and distribute your audiobook on the right platform.
While you can publish your audiobook on separate platforms, partnering with a distributor could save you time and money. Distributors can market your audiobook across multiple platforms, from Amazon to public libraries.
If you decide to work with a distributor, make sure that your audiobook is in the right format. Each distribution platform is different and may have different requirements.
You also want to review the distributor’s contract before entering into a partnership. Some contracts may require you to forfeit a percentage of your royalties, while some contracts may allow you to keep 100% of your royalties.
After you’ve selected a distributor and followed all formatting guidelines, all you have to do is upload your audiobook to the platform.
Congratulations! You’ve published your first audiobook!
Have you ever created an audiobook before? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.