Audio Book Resources For Writers

I can’t wait to get started recording an audio book. I’ve created an account with ACX. But before I add any recordings I have to do a lot of practicing first. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to keep a steady even toned voice when reading aloud. And on top of that, I have to stay close to the microphone. I’ve recently discovered a post at the AM Institute on other audio resources. It is an awesome and informative post. I plan to really dive into each and every suggested site. Actually, I already have. I hope you find this information helpful.

An audiocassette recording

An audiocassette recording (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to Distribute Non-ACX Audiobooks

How to Narrate Your Audio Book With Expression

my headphones

my headphones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to Narrate Your Audio Book With Expression

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Are you speaking your audio book as if you were reading it? Reading your book and narrating your book have completely different approaches. The process focuses on your different skills of communication. The most common mistake made when you read a passage out loud is to let your voice drone on through every word in a steady stream with little expression. For your audio version of your book you must use your voice as a tool of interpretation for the meaning behind the words that are written.

Here are three essentials to keep in mind when attempting to record your book or to narrate segments orally to an audience.

#1 is Organization: The first element you must ask yourself is: what am I thinking about in this section of the book? When reading a book you follow the words as your eyes cross each line on the page. You hold in your mind what the images are as the information evolves. It is a passive form of interaction because your eyes run ahead of your mind: you read then think. So, the key here is that you must avoid speaking your words in this pattern and not utter them on one pitch level, or cram too many words in at one time.

Compare this to speaking in conversation with someone. You automatically think first about something that you want to say, and then you speak it. You naturally group your words together according to the thought first. If you wish to tell your friends about something interesting, you allow your voice to get excited about it, and you chunk your thoughts randomly in conversation. Therefore, when narrating your audio text you need to group only one idea and the words belonging to that idea, then speak it. Take time to embrace each new idea. Speak as if you want your listener to feel the moment with you. If you do this, you will be reading more naturally and easily.

#2 is Expression: The second element is to take your thought segments and show surprise, excitement, curiosity, fear, joy, wonder, sadness, enjoyment, or any other emotions to give certain words the force that is needed. Your expression should be natural as if discovering the text for the first time. Think of the image that you may have seen before and reproduce it through your voice. You are using your thinking processes actively when narrating audio books and awakening the pictures in your mind to pass onto the listener through your tone.

To practise this skill of sensory expression, observe and imagine, and then describe any object of nature that you might encounter on a short walk outside your home; such as, a leaf, a flower, a bird, or a blade of grass. Speak expressively about the details of these items. Remember your listeners do not have the text of the book to check out the details. This is a great exercise to tune your voice inflection and observation skills. You use your breathing skills and tone of voice to create the pictures and feelings in the words of your book.

#3 is Pace: The third element to be aware of is the pace that you speak and the clarity of your words. Not all audio books contain descriptive environments or characters and dialogue which require extreme expressive tones. To narrate a documentary, an educational textbook, how-to manuals, or staff training materials, you still need to group the ideas or steps accordingly, and give expression throughout. However, you must be clear on the pronunciations of your words, or specialized industry terms and understand what the concept is. For example, any audio book of medical, scientific, engineering, or some other unique genre needs to be correctly and clearly spoken.

In addition, you will find that a slower pace works best so the endings of words are not dropped or rushed together. Your pace will only enhance your tone and your expression ranging from a serious tone of importance, to a neutral tone as a bridge, to an example, story, or data of information. Pace for speaking all types of audio materials whether fiction or non-fiction is important to the image, feelings, and facts that need to resonate with the listener.

The professional audio voice-over talent must use all the mental, physical, and vocal skills to get the right balance for the listeners. They are experienced oral readers trained in the skills of how to expand the capacity of breath control, how to group phrases to make it the ideas connect, how to find the key words to give expression with matching the pace, to give an overall tone that works.

If you have written your book and want to do the narration yourself, then be sure to get some professional coaching; or better still, hire a professional narrator. You want to match the high quality of your content to the high quality of your audio version. Your listeners will vary from people who listen while they drive, to busy people who can listen and multi-task, and to the blind who are studying school texts or listening to fictional literature. Voice-over skills for narrating your audio book can be learned but it’s not something that you can wing it and get it right!

Did you find this article helpful? If want a professional audio narrator, training, or personal coaching for vocal expression then check us out at http://www.VoicePowerTraining.com

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Have You Considered Creating An Audio Book?

Playaway Audiobooks

Playaway Audiobooks (Photo credit: San Mateo County Library)

Physical books and ebooks are just a few ways to get your project to a target audience. But have you considered putting your book to sound? If you haven’t you should. Creating an audio book will help you reach a larger audience. It’s important to cover every angle when it comes to getting your project out to the masses. If you aren’t sure how to get started Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn can help you get started.

10 Top Tips On How To Create An Audio Book

I heard Don Katz, the CEO of Audible.com speak at the London Book Fair back in April. He explained the huge growth in audiobook consumption and said that there are simply not enough audiobooks to satisfy the demand.

But how do you actually get your book into audio format? Author and guest blogger Brendan Foley explains his journey and I’ve added a couple more options at the bottom of the article as this is a topic I am fascinated with and will soon be exploring further.

An audio book by accident

My latest exploration into publishing comes in the form of audio. It all happened from a chance encounter with a good friend who confessed that he hadn’t read my book (an all too familiar situation for an author!). When I pressed him he had a great excuse; “it’s my eyes you see, I find reading tiring, but I have to say that instead, I now listen to audio books. Have you ever considered doing one?”

In truth I hadn’t and until recently I didn’t listen to audio books either. WOW I didn’t realize what I was missing! With my hectic schedule I suddenly found that while driving or doing the washing up I could listen to an audio book. I feel like I’ve cheated time and stolen a few minutes each time I do. If you are not listening to audiobooks I urge you to give them a try. Read more here.

You Have A Book Idea. Now What?

O'Fallon Public Library

Image via Wikipedia

When I’m writing I often wonder if the book idea I have in my head has been done already. Well, we all know that everything has been done. What we have to do as writer’s is put our own individual spin on it. Easier said than done. Or is it?

A few ways to ease your mind is to do some research for your book idea. Perhaps some reading would be good. So where to start? One place I start is with the library. The library website in your area will have a catalog method in which you can search by title and subject. This is a quick and easy way to see what has already been done.

If you are interested in checking to see what’s happening around the world then you could search the World Catalog site. This site lists all of the library catalogs and you can find so much interesting information here that could help enhance your book idea. If you haven’t checked it out you really should.

The old faithfuls will be Amazon, Google, Good Reads and Shelfari to name a few. Get online. Do some searching and researching. Have fun and you will learn a lot. Good luck!