by Dave Giorgio
Listening to an audio book on headphones (which is how most people listen these days), one of the ways to tell a hack job from a professional, consumer ready, commercially sold-for-money audio book is the editing.
Many authors ask if this has something to do with the content or is related to copyediting. The answer to the latter is "no, nothing of the sort." Audio editing has nothing to do with the editing of the content.
So what is audio editing exactly? Audio book editing is the process that happens after a book has been recorded.
Audio book editing is a very time consuming process where each phrase, sentence, etc is listened to critically. Within each phrase there may be mouth clicks, stomach gurgles, and other kinds of noise. These are all edited out or noted to be re-recorded.
In between the phrases, words, sentences, etc, is the most important part. These are the sections where any noise, mouth, stomach, paper, or other sounds will be very obvious. These are removed and replaced with clean room sound.
To get an idea of the scope of this process, imagine how many commas and periods are in your book. Thousands upon thousands, right? Now consider that each time there is a comma or period, there will be bit of editing and smoothing out of the audio.
This is the reason it takes about 8-10 hours of editing time to create just 1 hour of finished audio in the editing process.
So the next time you listen to an audio book, listen with headphones. Listen for what’s in between the spoken words.
If you hear drop outs, coughs, mouth clicks, stomach gurgles, swirls, words cut off or starting or ending too abruptly, bad sounding breathing, or even dogs barking in the background, you might agree with me that what you're listening to is a mediocre book with very poor editing.
Then ask yourself if your audio book deserves better. I know that mine will...