I am delighted to announce that I have just completed my first audiobook for Audible.com
The book in question – What Ho! Automaton by Chris Dolley is a comedy science fiction novella set in the same period and writing style of the Jeeves and Wooster novels of PG Wodehouse.
Having never recorded an audiobook before, I didn’t know what to expect. I’m used to recording commercials and corporate videos and as such, the audio there runs at several minutes, but this book required a full six hours!
The publishers – obviously having a lot more experience in the area – advised me that the general ratio when recording an audiobook is 3 to 1. That is to say that for every hour of completed audio, the voice artist will have put in around three hours of work.
This sounded like a tall order already, but I was certainly up for the challenge. It also meant changing the set up of my studio, because a I generally record standing up, and 18 hours on my feet would certainly take it’s toll!
Generally, I’ll record the script, allowing for any errors, and once I’m finished at the microphone, I’ll go over to the desk and start tidying up all of the mistakes, meaning that my clients get a broadcast ready piece of audio.
When doing books, things are different. The voice over starts recording and reading and, when a mistake is made we stop, go back a little bit, and then start up again, dropping in at the point of the error and recording straight over it.
It’s a learning curve but I am pleased to say that I think I got it. The true challenge with this particular book was that there were a lot or characters, to whom I gave each one a different voice. On top of that, some of these characters had to disguise themselves, meaning yet another voice. At one point, I was an English gentleman pretending to be an American heiress having a conversation with a well spoken robot butler pretending to be a Duchess and a German prince! It all got pretty confusing but it was tremendous fun.
I really feel as though narrating a book with multiple characters got me to really work in the area in which I find the most fun, and I am looking forward to being asked to do it again soon.