You're planning on adding an audiobook to your current novel or nonfiction book. Many people tell you that you have a nice voice, or maybe you're thinking you might save a little cash, and you're thinking about doing your own audio. Is this a good idea or not?
The Basic Set Up to Record Your Own Book
Before you get started recording your own audio, you should probably consider whether or not you have the equipment and the location for producing a sound recording. Nowadays, it's easy to set up a couple of mics and hook them into your computer, but the sound quality of a cheap setup is usually poor, at best. You will need the minimum of a good mic, sound recording and editing software on your computer, and a mixer. The mixer is optional, unless you're planning on have more than two voices, sound effects, and music.
What's more, you should have your own sound room that is quiet enough to produce clean recordings. That means not sharing it with anyone or anything. That means no pets, no children, and no interruptions. If you look at podcasters and how they set up their sound studios, it will give you an idea on how much you have to invest to ensure a quality product. Even with copious amounts of editing, you still can't have a quality product without quality equipment and a sound studio.
How Do You Sound?
This is an oddly strange question, but how do you sound while reading? Reading out loud is one thing; reading for production is another. Try recording yourself while you read and play it back for yourself as well as to unbiased listeners. (Or at least to people who will tell you what they honestly think.) Do you read too fast? Mumble? Stumble over words? Pause too often? Don't pause enough? And do you think you could read cleanly even for a half hour? Even if you have a pleasant voice to listen to, you still need to train yourself to read so others can enjoy what you're reading.
Can you make your voice sound feminine or masculine? Can you make your voice sound different for each character so the listeners will recognize characters? It's important to be able to distinguish between characters especially when there are no dialog tags to give a clue to the listener who is speaking.
Can You Finish the Job?
It usually takes about six and a half hours to create one hour of audio book, if you're a professional. If your book is around ten hours of finished work, you can assume it's going take about 65 hours to complete. If you have a day job, that can be pretty daunting. Even if you spend an hour a weeknight and ten hours on the weekend, that's more than a month of production. And those numbers are for professionals, not the first time reader.
In most cases, it's better to leave the audio recordings to the professionals. That way, you can pick the person's voice you want and also simply enjoy listening to a pro read your work. On the other hand you may have a voice that can work...click the link below if you would like some free advice on what might be best!
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!