Adventures in audiobook narration…(Part 1 – Say what?)

Microphone on blackHave you ever listened to an audiobook? Have you ever thought about recording one? 

I personally really enjoy listening to audiobooks. The Chemical Engineer and I always listen to audiobooks when we go on road trips. I also like listening to audiobooks when I do things around the house. I get them from Audible or the library. I was so happy when I realized Overdrive/Libby carried audiobooks.

Some of my own books (you know, the ones I write :-)) are even available as audiobook. I have worked with amazingly talented narrators (like Jennifer Barragio, Kasi Hollowell and Tiana Hanson.) I mean, listen to this excerpt from LOVE IN B MINOR…Love it!

Why did I start narrating?

I did theater for a while when I was (much) younger and I always thought teaching was a bit like theater: modulating my voice, getting the audience as engaged as possible 🙂 Maybe that’s why I decided to dip my toes into the audiobook market as a narrator.

I mainly record in French. So, if you’re an author reading this and you’re thinking of expanding your work to the French audiobook market, I may be able to help 🙂 

It is something I can do from home and I can organize my own schedule. Since I’ve been on treatments on and off for the past two years and had to quit my job as Adjunct Faculty, I’ve tried many different jobs on top of writing. I did some transcription with Rev.com. It was interesting, even though my pay per hour was really minimal. I’ve listened to audiobooks for a while and had been thinking about trying my hand at recording. 

It hasn’t been smooth sailing. But, the main reason is that when I first tried, I did pretty much everything wrong. I had the wrong equipment. I didn’t have the right software. And I thought I could just master the files so didn’t work on setting up a proper studio.

Major fail.

And then fast-forward a year and I decided to really try. 

I wanted to test the French audiobook market with the French version of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT (LA PEUR DANS LE SANG). I decided to hire an audiobook narrator for the male POV and I decided to record the other parts myself.

So…what are the first steps in narrating?

The first step? Go back to the beginning. What do you know about narrating? What does it entail? 

What is audiobook narrating?

There are different ways and processes. Are you going to work from home? Are you going to rent a studio or work for a company?

I personally want to have the flexibility of working from home but I also find the process in an external studio pretty fascinating 🙂

Here are a few resources that you may find interesting and show different perspectives.

At the time of my research, the audiobook narrator Krystal Wascher was running a free class on audiobook narration which went over a lot of details. I found that extremely helpful.

I also went back to my theater classes and teaching techniques to see how I could modulate my voice. I read out loud. I listened to more audiobooks.

Do you want to know more?

In my next post, I’ll go over the equipment and software and how I set-up my studio and then I’ll go into where I got my first jobs (in addition to my own books).

If you have any questions for me, I’ll add the answers to those questions in another post on the topic. Don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments.

And I’ve created a website for my narration work: http://www.elodienarration.com


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