Corporate non-fiction books are recognised as one of the most effective ways to position yourself as an expert in your field, ensuring you attract higher conversion prospects and allowing you to charge at a premium fee. But with so many people struggling to find the time to read, turning your non-fiction book into audio just makes financial sense. Now that you’ve done the hard work of writing your content, at Magic Studios we make the next step easy for you as we break down the processes taken to record a non-fiction audio book…
All the way from meeting the author to delivering a complete and edited audiobook that’s ready for distribution, we will touch on the differences that a non-fiction corporate-style audiobook has to a fictional audiobook, including voice over read styles and the decision between multiple voices or singular narration. This is vital when discussing non-fiction literature as the genre covers a wide range of categories, and it is important to select the best plan of attack before commencing the recording process. Such categories can include: Self-help and Instructional, Scholarly Research Journals and Academic texts, History, Biographies and Memoirs, Journalism, and How-To guide manuals.
So, let’s now dive deeper into the world of corporate non-fiction audio books!
As mentioned in our Character Voices for Audio Books article, there is a vast difference between these two audiobook categories. Unlike the fictional side of storytelling, which usually involves a more dynamic and playful read, non-fiction tends to take a more factual stance on matters demanding a more firm read style that, in turn, can facilitate consumer learning. Thus, the author will most commonly select the singular narrator path, and although it isn’t always the case, one could see how a variety of voice characters can potentially dilute your message. That message must come across clearly to the consumer (listener).
As aforementioned, a singular voice over can be most effective for delivering precise information throughout a non-fictional audiobook. However, it is crucial that the voice over talent be the correct fit for the read. The author knows what they want and, as such, often decide to record the narration themselves to ensure accurate delivery. While consistency throughout the read is key, it isn’t uncommon to still require diversity in the read style. Diversity in tone and intensity can really sell the author’s talking points. Don’t forget…passion is paramount in these informative reads to really inspire your listeners and drive your ideas home! It is worth noting that a singular narration can also be far more cost effective.
When budget permits, authors may select at least one other person to emphasise any excerpts throughout the audiobook. For example, a direct quote or interview from said person. Best practice is to create vocal diversity within the book so as to keep the listener engaged. There’s nothing worse than trying to listen to a monotone drone for 6 to 20 hours straight. This is where our expert advice can really help guide the author to achieve a fully engaging audiobook. Take it from us, we have produced a plethora of successful non-fiction audiobooks!
So, let’s break down the steps with an overview of the Magic Studios’ audiobook production process.
Go through your book’s script and highlight sections you may want read by another voice over. Try to keep these to one colour per voice. Assess if you “need” to have them voiced by multiple people, or perhaps a change in accent/tone would suffice. Please note, in an interview-style conversational piece of text, it can be very difficult for the voice over to alternate accents and maintain consistency.
Magic Studios has a large range of professional voice over artists, so we are able to provide quality recommendations for the voice talent that will best suit each read style. If the author would like to source their own voice over or narrate the book themselves, we can accommodate and guide you in the booth. We also have a handy online selection page where you can choose from our impressive talent range. Please visit Magic Studios Voice Talent page on our website for more information and to sample or select voice talent.
Once the client has made their decision on who, what, and how the book will be narrated, we then move into the recording phase. This will consist of the voice over coming into the studio for one-on-one recording sessions with our Audio Engineer. The engineer will follow closely along with the script, reading each spoken word to ensure consistency is maintained and author/client notes are applied. Employing the ‘Punch and Roll’ recording technique, the engineer will stop the recording at any section where they detect an error including background noise, voice cracks and mispronunciations. On the editing software (Pro Tools), they revert back to the last suitable script point and continue the recording over the top. The engineer maintains adequate spacing and timing at all times to ensure correct delivery.
Once all the recording is completed, the engineer begins a basic arrangement edit, tightening up spacing, removing large gaps of silence and any unwanted extra audio. They will then go through and level match the audio manually within the optimal decibel range.
The arrangement is exported into separate chapters as unprocessed (Raw) audio and sent via an online delivery system (Dropbox) to the client for first draft review and proofing. The client will listen back to the entire book and note timestamps of every edit or change they wish to make. Most of these changes are quite minimal. Of course, we do also offer this service, but we like to inform clients of ways in which they can keep production costs down; Most authors opt to do this themselves.
After receiving the proofing notes from the client, the voice over artist/s will return to the studio to re-record corrections. Any additions or changes to the script must be finalised in writing prior to the last recording session. Once again, the raw audio is sent back to the client with changes to await final approval.
Once approved, the Audio Engineer will complete post processing of the entire audiobook. This involves the use of audio software tools such as iZotope RX and Pro Tools native plugins. Essentially, this is the final tidy up of the audio, softening particular sounds such as mouth clicks and pops, plosive consonants, and unwanted noise floor. Our engineers are experienced in determining which sounds can be included in the recording for a natural “feel” as opposed to those that are simply distracting. Audible has strict specifications for uploading to their platform, and we ensure that compliance is met. The final audio is delivered to either the author or publishers via our online delivery system.
Magic Studios understand how important your book is to you, and how having a diverse but consistent read can keep listeners engaged.
All of these steps and tips are essential for recording and editing your audiobook ready for distribution success. Why not contact us today for an obligation free quote?
Meet the team behind Magic Studios… we recommend a studio tour or a zoom chat to get to know you and understand your project. Simply contact us on (08) 9278 8888 or email email@example.com for further information. Magic Studios is here for you every step of the way!