Whether you’re an author or an audiobook narrator, it’s important to do your research before recording your book. Unlike an eBook or print book, making changes to an audiobook is FAR more difficult and expensive.
Preparing a script ahead of time will make the process of creating an audiobook go more smoothly. So, no matter what you narrate – the child book or the textbook that should help with economics, you should prepare first. Follow these tips to help you write an audiobook script:
Take Production Notes
Whether you’re hiring a narrator or doing it yourself, a well-written script will save time and money in the long run. It’s crucial for ensuring that your book sounds as good as possible. The last thing you want is to have your audience squint at the page or turn their attention elsewhere while they listen to your story.
A narrator will need a clear, concise script to guide them throughout the recording process. This means that you should remove all of the non-textual information that isn’t related to your audiobook. This includes visual data, captions on images, and any other information that would confuse your narrator.
It’s also important to read your manuscript out loud before you record it. This will help you spot many potential issues that are difficult to see when you read silently. Having a friend read it out loud to you will help even more, since their stumblings can quickly alert you to any trouble spots.
You should also pay special attention to the way you write your dialogue. It’s a good idea to write your lines as if they were spoken, which will captivate your reader and draw them into your world. For example, it’s often helpful to use “which” clauses, long subordinate clauses, and asides. While these may sound fine when written, they can confuse a listener and make it hard to follow your story as it’s recorded.
Finally, you’ll need to pay attention to your tone and the emotions you’re trying to evoke. For example, if your story is horror-based, it’s a good idea to match the tone of your voice with the overall feel of the content.
Now that you know how to write an audiobook script, it’s time to get started! Getting your book ready for audio production is easy with the right tools and support. At Invisible Ink, we specialize in proofreading and editing for audiobooks, so you can rest assured that your story will sound professional and exciting. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your next project!
Think about Pauses
The audiobook industry is rapidly expanding, and many authors are eager to jump in. But while audiobook sales are exciting, it’s a big investment of time and money to produce one, so authors need to take some extra steps to make their book ready for audio. Audio-first writing techniques will improve the quality of the recording and help listeners follow the story.
A talented narrator may be able to read your book without much preparation, but there are things you can do to help. Some narrators may want to emphasize certain words or pause for dramatic effect, so be sure to note that in your script. You can also add a few notes about the tone of voice (adding energy, subtlety or sarcasm) and pacing.
It’s important to think about pauses, especially if the text is heavily footnoted or contains in-text citations. Graphs, photos and charts, which work well in print and ebook versions, don’t translate to audio, so they should be removed or re-worded. The same goes for any call-to-actions or links to external content that you don’t need in the audiobook.
Your narrator will need a high-quality microphone and an audio interface to record the script. A pop filter is also required to soften or eliminate plosive sounds, which are caused by fast-moving air hitting the microphone. Once the microphone is set up, you should record a few seconds of room tone to reduce background noise and help your narrator get settled in before starting to narrate.
During the recording process, narrators are typically standing up and moving around a little bit, so it’s not unusual for their breathing to make its way into the final audio file. That’s why you should provide a few seconds of room tone at the beginning and end of your audiobook, as it will cover up any slight rustling of paper or a breath that might occur.
You should also consider using a teleprompter, which is used by many professional voice actors and can give your recording a more polished sound. If you choose to use a teleprompter, it’s essential to practice ahead of time to make sure you can read quickly and clearly while keeping up with the pace of the text.
If you’re a writer, you know that creating an audiobook is not only an opportunity to reach new readers, but also a fantastic way to make passive income. The audiobook market is growing rapidly and it’s becoming more and more common for authors to release their books in this format. But, if you’re not used to writing for audio, it can be difficult to adapt your writing style and turn out a top-notch script.
Fortunately, there are a few tricks of the trade that can help you write an audiobook script that will impress your narrator and listeners alike. Here are some of the most important things to consider.
Since audiobook listeners don’t have the advantage of seeing your words in front of them, you need to be sure your script contains plenty of clear and concise hints. Especially in nonfiction, it’s important to clearly outline your chapters and provide plenty of signposts for the listener. In addition, the linear nature of audio means that it’s essential to avoid referring back to previously recorded information, which can be confusing for listeners.
Another trick is to make your script more visual by adding lots of bold text and underlining key words and phrases. This will give the narrator a good sense of what’s being highlighted in the chapter and can help them remember what to emphasize as they record. It’s also a great idea to use iAnnotate to annotate your script, as it has a search feature that makes it easy to find every time a certain word or phrase appears in the book.
If you’re having trouble deciding whether your book will work well as an audiobook, ask yourself what your objectives are for creating the piece. If your goal is to appeal to a wide audience, an audiobook is the way to go, but if you’re trying to target a particular niche, it may be better to stick with a more traditional print or e-book format.
Add Narration Directions
Whether an author writes their book themselves or has a professional producer do it, there are some key things that all authors can do to make their audiobook script narration ready. A little bit of preparation now can save a lot of time and hassle (and money) later.
For instance, many narrators use the notes from an audiobook script to help them know what to do when recording. Adding notes like “speak like you are yelling” or “try to sound a little breathy and dramatic here” can help them deliver a more compelling performance for the listener. It also helps them to know the overall tone of the narration – is it happy, sad, authoritative or something else? This can have a big impact on how the listener enjoys the book.
If the book is nonfiction, it’s important to let the narrator know what kind of information they should deliver and how they should deliver it. This could include things such as the tone and wording of scientific terms or how a character is described – such as young energetic, old frail or tough. It can even be helpful to provide a list of relevant adjectives that can be used to describe the characters.
Another thing to do is to clearly mark the speaker for each dialogue line. This can help the narrator to understand which character should speak, especially if the book includes a lot of different voices. Finally, it’s important to note any words or phrases that may be difficult to pronounce for the narrator. You can do this by marking them with a’sound’ mark in iAnnotate or by typing the word or phrase in question in the comments section. The narrator will appreciate any notes that are specific to their pronunciation of certain words, and they can always ask you for the original publisher’s version of the manuscript to reference if needed.
Narrators often have a great deal of flexibility when recording, but the more they can do to prepare themselves, the easier it will be to deliver a top-quality performance and help their authors to achieve success with their audiobook sales. By following these tips, writers can create a script that will help the narrator bring their book to life and delight readers.