Many people want to become audiobook narrators because they love books and audiobooks, and they like reading aloud. Others are inspired to follow this path because they’re told they have a unique talent and a great voice for narration. While those are both great starting points, it takes a lot more than a pleasant voice and a love of audiobooks to become a successful audiobook narrator.
You need to learn more skills. Are you ready to narrate an audiobook but need to ensure the quality of your content? Check out the 7 tips we’ve prepared for you!
1. Prepare a script
The script is crucial for a quality ebook. Without a script, your content may be hard to access, as it will not be that attractive for people looking for something in audio format.
At this point, you may be asking yourself: “but don’t I just need to narrate my written content?”. Each type of content requires a different structure to embrace different audiences, and ways of consumption… audiobooks are no different.
A text that is excellent for reading may not be as fluid when spoken. That’s why it’s necessary to develop a specific roadmap and adapt existing material.
Everything needs to sound clear. Eliminate images and captions that don’t make sense, rethink how to present graph data, and how to replace CTAs for smarter calls in this new digital product.
2. Practice, practice, practice
Audiobooks are usually very dense and need adequate preparation at the time of narration.You can do some voice acting exercises before you start to narrate. Fewer cuts and pauses ensure more linear intonation and more consistent content from start to finish.
Mistakes in diction and nervousness contribute to making you more uncomfortable when recording and not connecting as much with the audience.
There’s only one way to prevent this: a lot of practice! Read the entire script as if you were recording it, write down what needs improvement, and see if the text makes sense in your narration.
If possible, ask someone to listen while you practice, they’ll have a more critical ear and will be able to point out what’s good and what needs more attention.
3. Use audible punctuation.
Readers have punctuation to guide them. Audiobook listeners don’t.
That means you need to use your voice to communicate how to parse the words and sentences.
You’ll develop a standard-length pause at the end of a sentence, maybe half a second. Pause a little longer at the end of a paragraph. Pause longer at the end of a section or chapter. Pause for every comma, but a little less.
Make your questions sound like questions. لعبه بوكر حقيقيه
When narrating a series, use the tone of your voice to help the listener recognize that they’re hearing a list. نادي روما Up, up, up, and down. (Notice how important the Oxford comma is in communicating that list!)
You also need a way to indicate a chapter title or section heading. I usually use an even intonation, going down a bit, and a longer pause after that. The reader hears that sentence fragment and says, ah, that’s a heading.
4. Create workarounds for visual elements
If your texts has graphics or tables, you won’t read them. That creates gaps.
You’ll have to leave out portions of the text that say things like “See Figure 2.”
If you want, you could put those graphics online on your book site, and read a note that refers audiobook listeners to them.
5. Prepare for tricky parts
Your manuscript has land mines. You need to know where they are and deal with them.
Track down the pronunciation of names or places you may not be familiar with. In one book I narrated, there was a case study about an Italian executive named Guido. I contacted him and confirmed that his name was pronounced Ghee-dough, not Gwee-dough. And before I read a section that referred to Zappos founder’s Tony Hsieh’s, I asked my social media friends how to pronounce his last name (it’s “Shay”). These are problems you can ignore when writing, but not when reading aloud.
If your text includes a word that’s long or unfamiliar, say it a bunch of times until you’re comfortable with it. الهجن هي If you stumble on omnichannel or transubstantiation each time you mention them, it’s going to be a long day at the studio.
It’s not just words that will trip you up. There are parts of your text that are funny or sad or shocking. That’s great in writing. But you can’t be laughing or crying as you narrate. Read them aloud. Read them again. Read them again, until you can get through them without cracking. Emotion in your narration is fine, so long as it doesn’t interfere with your getting the words recorded.
Oddly, it may be helpful to the listener if you don’t read the sad parts with a sniffle. Let the words do the work. Read them in a slow, neutral tone and the listener’s mind will generate the images and emotions for you.
6. Take breaks when you are tired
When you are tired, you will make mistakes. You’ll skip words, or mispronounce them. Your producer will likely catch these errors, but it will take you longer to lay down the audio.
You’re better off taking 15 minutes off, or breaking for lunch, and coming back to it with a fresh head.
And don’t schedule an 8-hour reading session. You’re not impressing anyone; nobody cares that you did the reading in one sitting. Break it up across several days and the quality of the result will be better.
7. Take note of errors
The best time to do the audiobook is when the copy edits are done and the text is rock solid, but the page layout is not quite complete.
While you are reading, you’ll find errors. Reading aloud is a good way to catch little mistakes.
Take note when you do. And fix the errors before you finalize the pages. Thank you for your reading. Good Luck!