Thank You

To those that helped me, either through answering my own postings or just having asked or answered questions in general that helped me out somewhere along, thanks.

I set out to make an audiobook. When I started, my audio was completely unacceptable. Through trial and error, and an isolation cube based off the kitchen table studio design, and some more trial and error, I got my audio sounding decent. Decent enough to get someone to accept an audition. Now, some time later, the audio has been pushed through to the various stores ACX sells through and I am a published audiobook narrator. I don’t know if it’s against the rules or not, but since I’ve never seen anyone else do it before in my time here, I am also not going to advertise whatsoever. It’s there though. My process went pretty well all things considered.

Once I had my audition submitted, right away I went to the link above, and I actually submitted the same file to Audible for review. It took me a very short period of time, four days if I remember right, to get a reply, though many others have had to wait up to two weeks. They told me it sounded acceptable to them, gave me a small bit of advice since I asked for it on the form, and I was on my way.

I learned many things while I was narrating the book.

  1. You will save yourself heaps and heaps of time if you read slowly and carefully. I really, really had to focus on slowing myself down. My natural way of speaking is probably 30% faster than what people really expect in an audiobook. Your slow speed also helps you be understood easier.

  2. Clean room noise is invaluable. I kept a file that was just a few seconds of absolutely clean room noise and kept it on hand in the editing process at all times. I can’t repeat how much this helped me, and how much I used it. Breath sound, mouth sound, cat meowing, whatever. You can cover your not so silent silence up with a bit of room noise. With proper editing, you can make your pauses in speaking longer. You can add nice little gaps between paragraphs or book silences. Whatever the case, this room noise covers anything you need up and lets you adjust your pacing. Do not settle for anything less than as perfect as you can get it!

  3. If you can handle it, long recording sessions are vastly better than shorter recording sessions. If you record for 2 hours in a day, then edit that 2 hours for the rest of the day, and repeat until you are done, you’ll notice something truly annoying. Your voice is not the same every single day. This annoyed me so, so, so much.

  4. On the same flip of the coin, if you edit on a different day, you might notice when you have to rerecord a line that you cant quite make it work for you. It just doesn’t sound the same and you can’t miss it. Agh, so bad! In these cases, I learned that it was often easier to either redo the entire paragraph, or in some cases that worked alright, I’d read off the lines that came before what I need to replace, and that’ll help fix the tone up a little. But by doing it time and time again, I did learn a little more about how to match my own voice with my own voice. Weird stuff.

  5. Contracts. You can make counter offers! When I did my audition and got offered the part, I had a deadline for the first fifteen minutes of audio that would have been easy for anyone with experience to make, but I was unsure of myself. By talking with the author, I learned I can decline the offer with reasoning, and have another one turned in right after. We adjusted the date it was due and I was so much more comfortable with things. In the end, I still got it done earlier than the initial contract date, but I also didn’t stress about it at all. That’s a great win in my book.

  6. The author might not like what you had to say. This is fine. The author gets to request you to make up to 2 sets of revisions once everything is turned in. My author was really easy and pretty much just wanted things word for word, and in a couple spots I made mistakes. They may want you say a line differently though. It’s nothing to get too stressed out though because it’s just two sets, and it’s literally all the same work you’ve been doing before hand anyway, just with someone else’s input for, possibly, the first time.

  7. When the revisions are all done, there is a weird process afterwards by ACX. They have to review it. I did not have any issues at this point, but if I had, they would have emailed the author and I and told us what was up. However, there is still something to note. You don’t get told when it’s approved, or when it’s being processed for retail. The only notification you get when things go right is when it’s finally available for sale. You can, however, check its status in the same place you’d upload files or view the book on ACX, so if you’re curious and anxious, you can still see the changes there.

Those were just a few things that stand out to me right now that I’d thought I’d share. Some of them I really wish I had known before I started or while I was doing it. Number 7 especially got me since I was checking my emails literally multiple times an hour, worried. For days. Don’t be like that.

Thank you all again for the help, direct or otherwise!

Thank you for posting this feedback, I’m sure that it will be helpful for other aspiring audiobook producers. Very pleased to hear that your audiobook has been published, congratulations, hopefully the first of many. :smiley: