Audiocraft 101:  How We Produce Our Audiobooks

We research every book to create a unique, full-immersion

experience for audiobook lovers.

What makes Narration Station unique? 

     Unlike most audiobook narrators who have limited audio engineering training, we are a mother/son team with professional-grade recording equipment, years of combined experience in the entertainment industry, and multiple audiobooks under our belts.  We do more than just read a book out loud.  Lorri is a seasoned actor, vocalist, and narrator.  Matt is also an experienced actor, audio engineer, and composer. 

 

12 Steps in the Audiobook Production Process

  1. Pre-production, Phase 1:  Author and narrator discuss terms and sign the contract.

  2. Pre-production, Phase 2:  Author uploads or sends complete manuscript to narrator.

  3. Pre-production, Phase 3:  Author and narrator discuss production schedule, deadlines, plot, character traits, pronunciation of proper names, etc. 

  4. Pre-production, Phase 4:  Narrator reads entire manuscript from beginning to end, to get a feel for the story's flow, tone, major events, setting, and characters. 

  5. Pre-production, Phase 5:  Narrator makes a digital copy of the manuscript and uploads it to her iPad.  Using the Apple Pages app, she inserts performance notes, character names, accents, etc. into the script. 

  6. Production:  Narrator records each section or chapter separately in the recording booth, using a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).  Our DAW is a MacBook Pro laptop, running the Logic Pro X software suite, a pre-amplifier., and a microphone.  Narrator also uses an acoustic shield to dampen ambient noise in the studio.  Narrator then submits each chapter to engineer for editing.

  7.  Post-Production, Phase 1:  Engineer takes the raw recorded audio tracks, balances the sound levels, and applies sound effects and filters to specific words and phrases, as needed.  

  8. Post-Production, Phase 2:  Engineer and narrator review the edited tracks (one chapter at a time), to check for errors.  Step 6-8 are repeated until narrator and engineer are both happy with the track.

  9. Post-Production, Phase 3:  Narrator submits the edited mp3 file to ACX for Quality Control checks.

  10. Post-Production, Phase 4:  ACX reviews the audio tracks for technical errors.  If corrections are needed, engineer repeats Step 7.  Steps 7-9 are repeated until the tracks meet ACX technical standards.

  11. Pre-Distribution:  ACX technicians blend all audio sections and chapters into a final, retail-ready audiobook.

  12. Distribution:  ACX uploads final audiobook to various retail formats, based on author's publishing agreement.

My Narration Station partners with Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) and Findaway Voices.  Our audiobooks are distributed to a variety of publishing platforms, such as Amazon Audible, Apple iTunes, and Kindle WhisperSync.

AUDIOBOOK FACTS & LINGO

  • In the audiobook industry, a short story is 20,000 words or less / 1-2 hours of edited audio.

 

  • A novella is between 20,000 and 40,000 words / 1-4 hours of edited audio.

 

  • A novel is any work over 40,000 words / 4 hours or more of edited audio.

  • To date, our shortest audiobook project was 30 minutes long, with a single primary character.

 

  • Our longest audiobook was 14+ hours long, with over 60 characters.

 

  • The average length of our audiobooks is 6 hours. 

 

  • Stories with multiple character voices, special accents, or dialects require additional time.

 

  • It takes approximately 1 hour in the recording booth to record 5,000 words.

 

  • Each hour (5,000 words) of raw recorded audio requires 3 hours of editing work. Manuscripts with multiple characters, accents, dialects, or special effects require 1-2 hours of additional processing time.

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