What I’ve learned & want to share about audiobook recording so far

Wow, that was a long title, sorry.

Now, I’m here to tell y’all a few little minor things about how my first audiobook recording has been going… also, surprise, I’m recording my first audiobook. 

So, I’ve been recording for about… well, it’s been about two or three months now. Minus the few weeks I’ve gotten sick and lost my voice so I couldn’t record. But, I mean, like, two or three months with that already calculated out… I think. I don’t really know, actually, but that’s a close enough estimate.

And what I’ve learned during this time has been… immense, yes. And the first thing I want to tell you guys about audiobook recording is that it can suck my big fat…

Just kidding. Well, kind of, not really. But now, if you’re looking to record your own audiobooks anytime… like, ever, pay attention to these next few paragraphs. I just, like… I just need to warn you, here…

Audiobooks take a lot of time. No, don’t even roll your eyes and say “clearly, Kari”. Yeah, you know how completed audiobooks are like an average run time of 11 hours? Now, take that times 7, and then add 34. Now that’s how much time you’re gonna need to spend on making the first chapter.

Seriously, audiobooks are insanely long and time-consuming things to work on. Before I started, I was like, “oh, to stick to my schedule of finishing in four months, I’ll just have to use my total seven hours of me-time each week to complete one chapter every three days and complete this project within the projected timeframe, no problem, homedog.” People, I was one clueless chick in that era.

I’m lucky now if I get one chapter done every other week, but of course, right now I’m actually a whole 4 weeks behind because of my second cold this season.

Also, there’s this problem of finding the quiet time to actually record. Otherwise, I could potentially get one chapter each week done, but that’s a little hard to do when my nephew is screaming from the bathroom down the hall and the dog which weighs 2/3 as much as I do is barking and attacking the screen door again. So, if you’re any luckier than I am to have a quiet household to work in for more than forty whole minutes a day, then hats off to you old chap.

So, what, you sit down and read twenty screens a day in front of that used mic with the broken tripod that you got off of Amazon, and… well, that’s not so bad.

But let’s not forget the absolute most frustrating part of all… the audio editing. 

Here’s the thing. You sit down, you read, you mess up. At least fifty times per page. And no, that’s actually not an exaggeration, I counted once. Well… no, I didn’t, but let’s just pretend I did. And, after all of those mess ups… your audio is gonna sound messed up with four takes in a row of you trying to say “that’s what he said.” So, what to do about it? Oh, yes… cut and paste and delete and amplify and equalize and noise reduce and autotune in Audacity!

Now, I’ve been using Audacity since I made mixtapes in high school (quit rolling your eyes, people), so I know it, like, inside and almost out at this point. And so, I can use it pretty effectively and pretty quickly because I know what I’m doing. But, um, if you don’t… well, remember that score of time you added up in the beginning? Take that times another 3.

Oh, but then after you record your lovely vocals and tune them up just right in that free audio software, you golden! Right?

Well, after chapter one, no. After chapter two, no. Chapter three, four, five, no. After the final chapter, maybe, I don’t know, I haven’t gotten there yet.

It just takes a lot of time!

And a decent microphone. Like, people, listen… please get something over 50 bucks online with good reviews. Four stars or better, at least. Although.. my last book only has two stars on Smashwords right now… 

But, really, that’s all I had to rant… I mean say about that today. Sorry if it did turn into a rant, though. I’m too sleep-deprived from staring at a black ball with tiny holes in it over 111 hours a week.

Please let me know if you’ve ever taken on the recording of an audiobook completely by yourself before… but only if you want to complain about it, too.



2 thoughts on “What I’ve learned & want to share about audiobook recording so far

  1. Good stuff, Kari. As a narrator, I certainly know the “actual hours” spent producing lengthy tracks! I also think more writers should at least attempt to record their own audiobooks, because it will save them $$$ and there’s nothing better (in my opinion) than hearing a written work read by its author.

    Liked by 1 person

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