My very first endeavor into recording an audiobook is live. I learned a few things along the way that I thought people might want to know. Frankly, with a little persistence and open-mindedness, it was easier than I expected to get started.
Getting Started Recording an Audiobook
1. Setting up a home studio is less expensive than I thought it would be.
I spent $65 on a high quality USB microphone and cheap pop filter. That’s it. Granted, I already had the PC that I plugged the microphone into and a nice small office that was very quiet, but you do not need to spend the roughly $1500 that ACX recommends to get started. You also do not need the software they recommend either. It’s very good, but the open source and free Audacity works very, very well for mastering audio. That said, I still recommend watching the ACX videos on setting up a home studio for great tips.
2. Know the few key quality assurance points for submitting audio files.
According to the ACX submission guidelines, there are specific parameters that you need to follow to be able to upload your audio files without them being rejected. Read those! To start though, remember to record your audio at a 192Kpbs rate into an MP3 file and at 44.1kHz. The good news is that Audacity does that pretty much by default. Also, do not forget to add between 0.5 to 1 second of room tone at the beginning of each chapter and 1 to 5 seconds of room tone at the end (room tone is basically silence, ACX gives you more information on that).
3. You do need to think ahead regarding taxes.
ACX needs to know tax information to be able to pay you. So, be prepared to give that information.
4. Finding the right type of book to record for your first time around is not too tough.
ACX has a wide variety of filters to be able to find the right book, particularly around payment types. Most are royalty based which means that you will be paid for each audiobook sold. Some have a payment per finished hour of audio ($50 PFH for example). To start, royalty based payment holds the least risk for the book publisher so audition for one of those. You are more likely to get the contract.
5. Do NOT expect to get rich…but do expect to feel really good when your first recording gets published.
Tell all your friends, feel good about it and have fun with it!