Grow Your Audience with These 8 Steps to Record Your Audio Book

Grow Your Audience with These 8 Steps to Record Your Audio Book

By Phil Giangrande

It’s time to record your audio book!  I’ve said that many times at speaking engagements and conferences only to be met by mostly blank stares.  Why?  Because authors love the written word and are therefore much more interested in seeing their paperback hit Amazon than listening to their audio book on Audible.  To these authors I always say the same thing, you must present your book in platforms tailored to how people like to consume.  Think about it.  How many people do you know that sit in traffic listening to either podcasts or their favorite book?  Don’t cut your audience in half by being shortsighted.  Today, let’s discuss the 6 steps you need to take to record a professional audiobook.


Don’t Miss a Step: 8 Steps to Record Your Audio Book

  • Decide Who Should Narrate Your Audio Book – This is the toughest decision. Sometimes it’s great for an author to read his own book.  Sometimes it’s more prudent to have a voice over professional take the reigns.  There’s no right answer, but here are the arguments for each option.


  • Record it Yourself – First, if you decide to narrate your book you will need to find a good studio engineer.  Recording at home with a USB microphone just won’t cut it. Next, you have to think about the style of your book.  If it’s fiction and there are many characters with varying accents, you might want to consider hiring a professional.  (Of course, it’s always an option to not do the accents.  Some people find them distracting). It also takes quite a bit of time to record a book properly and you have to be sure that you will be available.  Finally, you need patience and stamina to get through the project.  The upside is you create a more intimate experience with your readers.


  • Hire a Professional – If you go this route you must audition the voice over artists.  Have them read an excerpt or at least send you some samples.  Once you find someone you like, you will be freed up until the audio book is delivered in the proper format.  The downside is that this option is considerably more expensive.


  • Find a Good Sound Engineer – This is particularly important if you are narrating the book yourself. First, you’ll want someone you enjoy spending time with, because you will… a lot.  A good sound engineer will have a professional studio with great microphones and pre-amps as well as software that will make you sound as professional as possible.  He or she should also have a critical ear and be able to coach you as well as correct small errors on the spot.  If you want to save a little more money, do the Quality Control yourself and make notes.  That way, your studio time is cut down to when you come in and knock out the retakes.  A good engineer will edit them into the audio files seamlessly.


  • Prepare Before You Hit the Studio – You can save yourself a ton of wasted time and money by printing out a version of the book with larger than typical type and practicing the chapters you will be recording in your next session. Trust me on this one.


  • Warm up Your Voice – A first read is very different than a read an hour later. Not only is it good to re-familiarize yourself with the material, but the quality and tone of your voice changes as it warms up.  Now, don’t over due it.  You still need the stamina to get through the session, but 30 minutes of reading prior to a session should be enough to dust out the cobwebs.


  • Be a Perfectionist – Don’t allow things to slide. If you don’t like the way something sounds, fix it.  After all, you’re putting a lot of work in.  Also, you’ll have to live with this audio book for a very long time so you might as well be proud of the end result.  In some instances, you’ll even have to accept that some edits may not be possible and you’ll have to re-record the entire segment.


  • Be Ready for Poor Reviews – You read that right. Not everyone is going to like your book or your audio interpretation of its contents.  It’s a bummer trust me I know.  Unfortunately, you’re just going to have to develop a thick skin. Focus on the people who love what you do and ignore the haters.


If you follow these steps you will have an audio book that will make you proud and hopefully some new fans and money as well.  Just don’t forget to enjoy the process.  This is your creation just as much as the book is so have fun and let me know how it goes. If you have any questions or need any help with your audio book, please contact us at


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