Audio Book 101

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If you are contemplating becoming an audio book narrator be aware that you will be joining thousands of others. A good audio book narrator is not someone who just reads well but someone who can tell an interesting story. This is a form of acting. There is much research and prep work to be done before stepping up to the microphone and recording. The job takes time and energy to do it well. You don't just decide you want to be an audiobook reader one day and become successful over night.

There are a lot of technical aspects that you must master or have someone else assist you with. There is equipment to buy and set up, room sound proofing and acoustic treatment to deal with not to mention ventilation. Then there is the software and microphone technique to master.

Unless you plan to do this for free, there is a business side that must be dealt with. Scheduling, billing, promotion, marketing.

Before you spend lots of time and money to get into the business, take this very important free test.

The internet, Youtube and Facebook all have lots of information. Before you ask your first question, read all of the content in this FAQ by Karen Commins. The questions answered here are ask daily in the Facebook groups and may get you some snarky answers for not doing your homework. Do your homework first and then ask for clarification if you don't understand.

Another source you should completely review is Don Baarns podcast on audiobooks.

There are a number of facebook groups that are more focused on selling you information and training. There is nothing wrong with them, just be aware of the motivation behind each group you consider.

As you begin your journey be aware that everyone you encounter will have opinions. Not all opinions are worth the same. Take into consideration who is offering the info/advice, what is their experience, how focused are they on just the audiobook industry vs this is just one of many fields they have worked in. The audiobook industry is like the wild west.

There is a big difference in producing audiobooks vs radio-tv, music recording and so on. We may use the same tools, but what is standard for the audiobook business may be different from these other fields.

Facebook groups and useful links.
Readings and Resources

A brief history
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Every one has an opinion. Not everyone knows all the facts.
Many pros are willing to give you short bits of information or support. Extended training and help should be paid for.
As a voice talent, you can never have too much coaching and training.

Facts of Life

Around 50 to 100 people a month join facebook groups about becoming audiobook / voice over talent.
It's a lot harder than it looks
Be aware of shady offers
Soundproofing and Acoustic Treatment are NOT the same     Blankets and Quilts do NOT soundproof a room
Fix acoustic or voice problems before resorting to software band aids.
Noise gates are not good - fix the real problem
Audio book production is different from the general voice over business
"A new microphone will not change how you deliver copy." (VOBS)
Breathing is Good - Patrick Fraley
Room tone is not the same a silence
For 99 cents and 63 pages it's a quick overview of the process. Don't expect to feel like you now much.
Price Quality Speed You can only pick two
You can do it cheap and dirty, but then don't complain about heat, your noisey neighbors and kids, trash trucks and fly overs.
Just because it's published doesn't been in correct or accurate.