Record Your Own Audiobook - ONE-ON-ONE
Ever wanted to record your own audiobook? Author and narrator Heidi Wessman Kneale demonstrates what it takes to produce an audiobook, including recording and editing, Quality Assurance (QA) requirements, and more. This course includes a recording project of your short story or a chapter that you can use for promotional purposes. This course is also applicable to podcast recording.
Audiobooks are gaining in popularity. With distributors like Audible, Findaway Voices and more offering their services to authors, more and more books are being produced in audiobook format. Yours should be one of those books.
Author and narrator Heidi Wessman Kneale teaches you the elements of creating an audiobook. Learn about using your voice, the hardware and software used to produce quality recordings, achieving Quality Assurance requirements, the recording and editing process and more.
Also included in this course is a guided, hands-on production of an audio sample of the participant's short story or chapter (approx 6000 words). This sample may be suitable for use for personal promotional purposes.
This course would be suitable for any author who wants to know the nuts and bolts involved in creating an audiobook and who are interested in creating their own “Narrated by the Author” audiobooks.
Many of the sound engineering techniques I demonstrate are also applicable to podcasting.
- What to expect and not expect from yourself as a narrating author
- Narration techniques, including how to produce the best, cleanest sound
- Hardware, software, recording environment – narrators use the best microphone they can afford. Quality software can be free. A soundproof room is best, but a blanket fort may also work.
- Sound editing – tips and tricks for clean editing so your files don’t sound “overedited”.
- Quality Assurance – how to meet the quality requirements of Audible, Findaway, etc. Includes explanation of sound floors, hiss, dB (decibels), levels and more.
- Where to go to get peer support, including feedback on performance, editing, and advice on your choice of hardware/software.
Participants will require a computer or laptop capable of running the free software Audacity (https://www.audacityteam.org/) and recording sound (i.e. have a sound card, sound port, etc). They will also need a microphone they can connect to their computer or laptop, as good a quality as they can lay their hands on (or borrow). I do not require they purchase one for the purposes of this exercise, as long as they are aware that the quality of their final product will depend greatly on the quality of the raw sound track they lay down initially.
10-20 hours. Estimated about 4-6 weeks, depending on the time constraints of the participant.
The first two weeks are purely instructional and preparatory as the participant learns about the basics of narration and the tools involved. The middle weeks involve putting the tools to work: laying down preliminary audio track and starting to edit, plus further instruction and critique of work. Final few weeks are post-production of the product and finalising their sample. It takes about five work-hours for a professional to produce one finished hour of audio track. A finished hour of audio tends to be about 5000-8000 words, depending on several factors, such as narration speed. My recommended short story/chapter limit of approximately 6000 words should take a participant about 5-10 hours, depending on factors such as potential re-recordings, learning the tools, allowing wiggle-room for mistakes, etc. It is expected that the participant will come away with an audio sample piece of about an hour's length. This piece can be used for promotional purposes (e.g.: given away to entice newsletter subscribers, used as the audio track for a YouTube promotional video, etc).
Feedback provided at every step of the project's production. First, a ten-minute sample is recorded and feedback given to the participant regarding performance and recording quality. Next, the participant records their whole piece. Feedback offered, including info on fixing errors: re-record a section vs redo the whole piece, etc. Also: remember backups. Next, the editing passes. This may or may not include a sample run on the ten-minute sample before attempting to take on the full piece, if the participant wishes to have feedback on their preliminary technique. Next, once the participant is satisfied with their edit, I guide them through post-production and the creation of a final .mp3 audiofile.
Heidi Wessman Kneale has a BA in Film and Music from the University of Utah, where she studied electronic acoustic and recording techniques, acting and voice training (she’s a mezzo-soprano). She has done narration work for indie and student films, professional radio and, naturally, an audiobook or four.
- 1st February - 14th March 2021
- 1st April - 14th May 2021
- 1st June - 14th July 2021
- 1st September - 14th October 2021
- 1st November - 14th December 2021
Cost: RWA-Member – $165.00 Non RWA-Member – $198.00
* Please note, there is a $0.50 Trybooking fee at checkout.
Venue: Online - RWA Moodle Platform
Participants will receive a log in 2 days prior to course commencement
(Participants will be notified of access/login details via email from the RWA Academy Registrar 2 days prior to the commencement of the course)
RWA Academy Courses PO Box Q740 Queen Victoria Building NSW 1230
Contact Details: Claudine Tinellis RWA Academy Registrar email@example.com