Ok, you want to make an audiobook… Now what?
You just pay someone to read your manuscript in front of a microphone, right? That shouldn’t take more than, what, ten or twelve hours? You should have it back tomorrow or the next day at the latest, then it’s on to making more money… right? Yeah, it doesn’t really work like that. We’ve found a very rough rule of thumb to be:
- 10,000 words = 1 finished hour of audio
- 1 finished hour of audio = 5 actual hours of work.
So, if you have a novel that is 80,000 words, it will take us approximately 40 hours of work, give or take about 10 hours. As well, there is the actors time spent on pre-reading the manuscript, the actor and producer setting up preproduction, etc… Once started, we generally require 30 days to complete a novel length audiobook. Please contact us to discuss pricing and availability!
Here is a general overview of our production process:
- Hiring: The rights holder (that’s probably you!) either decides on a narrator that they prefer from our Narrators, or they allow our experienced team of producers to choose for them. Once the pricing and scheduling is ironed out, we receive the finished manuscript.
- Pre-read: The narrator does a thorough pre-read of the manuscript, making observational notes for all of the characters that appear in the story (major and minor), as well as constructing a list of any words or names that may require clarification from the author. If necessary we will contact the author for clarification before moving on the step 3.
- Preproduction: The narrator and producer record a sample of each character’s “voice”. These samples are used later on in the production process to maintain consistency over the entire book (upon request you can review these samples to get an inside peek into what your production will sound like!).
- Proof of Concept: The narrator and producer record approximately 15 minutes of audio, generally the first chapter of the book.
- Quality Control: Our QC team reviews the first 15 minutes of recorded audio to not only ensure accuracy to the text, but also to correct any timing issues that may have arisen from the raw audio. If necessary, the narrator and producer will rerecord any errors and resubmit the audio back to QC.
- Mastering: The mastering team will bring the first 15 minutes of audio up to professional volume standards. They also “sweeten” the audio here, making sure that it sounds pleasing to the ear.
- Client approval: We digitally send our recorded “Proof of Concept” to the rights holder so that they can have a listen. This is the time where you can let us know of any changes you may desire (i.e., you don’t like the main characters accent, you feel the general tempo of the narrator is too fast, or you just want to tell us how amazing we are).
- Tracking: With the rights holder’s approval, we move forward with the tracking of the audio book. The narrator and producer generally spend about 2 – 4 hours per day recording.
- Quality Control & Editing: All of the raw recorded tracks are sent to our QC team. They spend hours upon hours pouring over the audio, noting any mistakes or retakes that need to be fixed as well as correcting any timing or “flow” issues so that the narration sounds natural.
- Retakes: These are sometimes called “pick up” lines. The narrator and producer recut any lines that QC has marked.
- Punch Out: Our engineers will go in and replace any recut lines, as well as fix any extraneous noises in the audio that QC has marked (i.e., mouth noises, breath noises, clothing rustles, etc…).
- Mastering: Once again, our engineers go in and bring the entire book up to professional levels that are consistent from chapter to chapter. They also sweeten the audio with our super secret recipe that we’ll never tell (hey, it worked for the Colonel)!
- Upload and review: Now’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! We upload the audio digitally so that you can review it. Sit back, eat some popcorn and let us tell you a story…