Authors aren’t like the rest of us. They are willing to drop the mask we hide behind to be transparent and vulnerable. An author tackles a blank page, working through any roadblocks in their way. They have a passion for their material and are willing to do what it takes to reach as many people as possible.
I love recording these authors’ audiobooks. There is something about working with an author who, though apprehensive about the audiobook process, is willing to take a risk to communicate their passion. To create something that will last for generations.
As a recording engineer, this excites me! Here are a few reasons why:
1. The Authors’ Authentic Excitement
Authors are generally excited about the opportunity to share their stories. Many have never been in a recording environment and find it either fascinating or intimidating–or both. One author on the way to the studio quipped, “Well, day one of the root canal!” Obviously, she was very nervous about the process, but after several days of recording (it was a long book), she was laughing and enjoying the recording process.
When we completed the manuscript, she said, “That was not at all what I thought it was going to be!” She had become a fan of the process, and, through some coaching, she had learned a new way to tell her story.
I just finished recording my audiobook with Dave at RecordYourAudiobook.com. I was so nervous…but Dave was so helpful. It was great! I would do it again! Soneakqua White, Before You Blow Up
2. Their Love Of Learning
This brings me to the second reason I love recording authors–they are eager to take instruction.
The goal of an audiobook IS to be conversational. Many times, the printed word does not translate well into a conversational style. Because of this, sometimes long sentences need to be split up into smaller ones, inflection needs to be added to communicate the proper idea, and breathing must be controlled to allow proper phrasing. All these things work together to convey the proper message and engage the listener.
As the Recording Engineer and the Producer, it is my job to “coach” the narrator by listening to the narration while following the script to ensure their ideas are delivered in the best fashion possible to the listening audience.
Many authors are surprised to learn that I do not read their manuscripts before we record.
It’s not because I don’t care about their books! I want them to tell it to me through their narration. If I read it before recording, I know the ideas, and I may not listen as intently as I need to. By going into the recording process cold, the material hits me fresh, and if I don’t understand the concept, chances are very good the audiobook listener will not understand it as well.
I coach or make suggestions on how to make their concept understood by the listener without the visual cues in a printed book. If I can’t understand the concept, we work together to rephrase the sentence in a way that will convey the meaning in a conversational way.
Examples of this are statements such as “the quote above”, “re-read that last sentence”, or “Yes, you read this correctly.” These statements do not pertain to the listener. All visual directions must be altered to engage the listener. Audiobook listeners should be catered to. They are the fastest growing segment in all of publishing. We must be diligent to adapt the wording for our listeners.
This rewording can challenge some authors because they want to read it exactly as they wrote it. Being open to instruction, however, allows them to tailor their material to an audience they will come to understand better and love. Through the collaboration process, the author’s message can have an exponential impact on this new audience.
3. The Authors’ Heartfelt Appreciation
The third reason I love recording authors is that they are genuinely appreciative of the help. Authors know how to write. They understand the literary world and are comfortable with it. Recording, however, not so much. They appreciate an expert who understands the nuances of this new audience. Authors genuinely appreciate those who help them navigate unfamiliar terrain.
In many cases, they are not afraid to ask for help. And while I do not rewrite their book ever, I can make suggestions on how to transition into stand-alone quotes or thought breaks in paragraphs, navigating around the visual cues that only work for readers. Helping the listener follow the progression of thought produces a successful audiobook.
I recently recorded my audiobook with David, and it was an absolutely amazing experience. The coaching I got beforehand. The guidance and support I got during the recording process. The follow-up. The communication. Everything about it made it so easy for me. I own a business and am extremely busy. He did everything for me. It is well worth it! I can’t say enough good things. Kristy LeRay, Messy Miracles
Most authors welcome this collaboration, understand my role in making their audiobook the best it can be, and are very thankful for the input. Authors tell me that though the process is physically demanding, but, once they get into the rhythm of reading, the process is very enjoyable. Some even call the process “cathartic” or “exciting”.
“It really was a bit of a cathartic experience to read my own book and have a coach help me with inflection and pull out the emphasis and the different areas to work on. All in all great experience.
I’m forever grateful.” Bob Shenefelt, Unscatter The Chatter
4. Watching Them Live Out Their Dream
The fourth reason why I love recording authors is the feeling of satisfaction when I help them complete their dream. Sharing their stories with the world! Whether this comes about through teaching them how to record their audiobook themselves through my DIY course, helping them with the technical aspects after they have recorded their own audiobook with my Hybrid offer, or in my Full Service option where I walk with them through the entire process. Knowing I have served them well and helped them tell their story is a wonderful feeling.
I’d love to help you tell your story. It is easier than you think. Take the first step. Let’s share your story, and your audiobook, with the world.