E-audiobooks are becoming popular!
Previously, e-audiobooks were meant for, and sought by, students with disabilities and readers struggling to read. Today, the growing demand for e-audiobooks has increased revenues for such publishers. With an e-audiobook, you can save time and read fast, and it is a much more convenient format, too.
The first step in e-audiobook production is preparing your manuscript.
Make sure you do not include images or captions in your script. If you have any calls to action or hyperlinks, convert them into meaningful words because your e-audiobook is meant for listening. Now your manuscript is ready.
Read through the script again. Did you get the feel of the script you wrote? No? Make necessary corrections to the script and read it again. Are you satisfied? Yes?
Then begin your recording. Start with the title of the e-audiobook. If your book has a subtitle, include it in your narration. Say the name of the author and the narrator of the e-audiobook.
As you are the author, you are the expert in the subject. You can also articulate the content better—where to pause or where to speed up—because you are the one who created the characters.
You can also provide a cue while you navigate from one section to the next by setting up a room tone of up to 5 seconds. Conclude by saying, “The end,” or “Conclusion,” to let listeners know that they have reached the completion of the e-audiobook.
If you are looking for audiobook-distribution companies, here are some of them: ACX, Authors Republic, Big Happy Family Audio, Bookwire, Findaway Voices, ListenUp Audio, and Zebralution.
Next, editing matters. Proofing and editing are crucial in e-audiobooks. It is therefore necessary to listen to the audio recording against the prepared script. If your manuscript has section headings, ensure that they are also narrated. There are chances that some section headers can be missed during narration. Ensure consistency throughout the audio.
While it is true that you can save some money if the author is also the narrator, you can also hire a professional voice actor or reach out to an audiobook producer for voice narration. When you use professional voice artists, their experience can add value to the audio. As an author, you know what to say. But a trained professional narrator knows how to say it!
So how does it sound to you?
The quality of an e-audiobook depends on many factors. For example, there can be extraneous sounds. If you are recording in an office with coworkers around, you might even record mouse clicks or laughs. You, or the narrator, may have exerted unwanted mouth noises. Listeners will consider noisy files as unprofessional and give poor ratings to your e-audiobooks. If reviews are not good, it can affect the sales of the e-audiobooks. So be careful to ensure that the pronunciation is clear, noise levels are consistent, spacing is appropriate, the tone reflects the script, and the audio level is perfect.
It is recommended to produce the files in the range of -23 dB and -18 dB RMS for volume consistency and to maintain head room of no more than -3 dB. Be aware that the noise-floor recommendations are for -60 dB RMS at the maximum!
In all, the listener should get that “aha feeling” and not a jarring experience.
The cost comes up next.
There are plenty of individuals and studios who offer narration, editing, or both services. So how do you arrive at an optimal cost in developing an e-audiobook?
Well, the answer depends upon your choice in choosing the narrator, audiobook producer, and professional studios.
Being an author, you might not have a full studio setup. However, if you wish to narrate, you can record the audio and get an editor or studio to produce the final e-audiobook.
You may want to use top voice talent, but that can be expensive. Go for it, but ensure you also have an experienced editor at a medium budget to balance production costs.
Look for outsourcing companies or professional studios that do just editing. Some companies do offer just editing as a service with affordable rates. And most of these companies work round the clock, which is perfect if you are looking for quicker turnaround!
Or you can turn to Lapiz Digital for assistance. We are a 20-year-old company that offers audiobook services. With 1,000 employees working 24/7 across four production units, we can supply the voice talent that you need. Lapiz Digital is a proud member of Audio Publishers Association (APA), American Association for Talent Development (ATD), and National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS).
So why wait? Produce a book format that sells today!
Jeyashree Sundaram is the sales and business development manager at Lapiz Digital