I made an audiobook! Here’s what I learned.

I am SUPER excited to announce that The Dancing Crow now has an audiobook! It was pretty expensive but incredibly worth it. I’m excited to see where it goes, because it allows so many other folks to actually experience my story. Plus, my narrator, Rein, for the book is badass! He sounds exactly like I imagined Ares to be. Which is super cool, because when that all comes together, it’s amazing.

Now, this audiobook is a bit different, because it’s got dual narrators, which really isn’t common. That means… well, I’m in it too. I have several talented people interested in voicing other characters of mine, including Same Viper, Darcia Deville, Goliath Elapid, and Robert Smoke. That means I got stuck with Cecelia. D’oh!

She’s not so bad, but she’s meant to be a somewhat disliked character until a very important story arc, which doesn’t happen until Book 2. The entirety of The Dancing Crow, therefore, she is a bit… angry and depressed. Given what she’s gone through, it’s understandable. I thought I’d end up voicing Sam someday. But alas, it is not meant to be.

That’s because, judging by how things are going, I will have multiple narrators for my stories including Red Viper and Huntsmaster City. I’m most excited for Huntsmaster City, though, as that’s where the richest story arcs come to fruition. That said, it’s going to take me a while, because it’s all out of pocket. I might try to crowdfund if people like the first book. We shall see.

Anyway, I’ve learned a ton while making this audiobook. Here’s a few short points:

  • Format of your sound is important. When you export a sound file, make sure to choose “constant” for audiobooks and that all the files are 192kbps. Also, joint stereo!
  • I used the free program Audacity to edit my sound files. Make sure everything is in the center rather than too far left or right.
  • When creating audiobooks, you want to find an area with little sound, like a large closet. If you are narrating yourself, that is. Also, you’d need to invest in some good equipment. I use the k3 soundblaster, but there’s other mics for not as much that can do the trick. Don’t forget the pop filter!
  • You want as little background noise as possible. Audacity does have noise reduction, though, so you can use that if there is a constant hum. Keep in mind the more you mess with something like that, the lower quality of the sound.
  • Rein & I went through Findaway voices, which is neat. There were some hiccups, but customer service was super kind. We got it resolved easily enough. I self-published through Draft2Digital so it was already suggested/linked I’d do an audiobook through there.
  • Voice acting–get into character! Be your character, and have confidence as you read. If you don’t feel confident, you might want to practice a month or more beforehand. Or take vocal lessons. Put your heart into it!
  • I usually remove ‘breaths’ (a sound which can annoy listeners) in everything but dialogue. It’s tedious but makes things go smoothly.
  • Listen to some audiobooks before you make one to get a feel on the flow.
  • Make sure not to talk too fast! Drink water between paragraphs, for example. Make sure to get rid of the sound of you doing that, of course. Allow your reader to follow your story.
  • If you are searching for a narrator, don’t just settle–pick who you feel is right for your story. It’s a huge investment for folks who don’t make a lot of money.

As I come up with more things, I’ll do a part 2 to this blog post! This is what I have so far, however. Cheers, and I hope this helps out some folks looking to make audiobooks!


Published by Des M. Astor

Heya, I'm an author. Typically I write Urban Fantasy, and I only usually read in that genre as well. My author's website is both a writing blog and a showcase for my work. Check it out if you'd like.

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