Creating an Audiobook as an Author

Creating an audiobook might sound daunting, but it’s actually relatively simply (and rewarding!) process.

I teamed up with the extremely talented Brian Wiggins to bring to you the multi-step process of audiobook production. Here he is, introducing how someone might get involved with Voice Acting in the first place.

I’ve worked with Brian on three novels now—Knightmare Arcanist, Dread Pirate Arcanist, and Coliseum Arcanist—the three books currently in the Frith Chronicles, my adventure fantasy series. The entire experience has been a pleasure, but it wouldn’t have happened had we not gone through an audition period.

For an author, there are several ways you get an audiobook produced. Either your publisher has voice actors on staff, or they have an audition for the novel. If you’re an indie author, you can set up auditions yourself through a website called acx.com (which stands for Audiobook Creation Exchange).

Once an audition is scheduled, voice actors will read the script you provide as a sample of their work. The author (or publisher’s) job is to determine who is the best fit for the role, either through quality or likeness of voice to the main character. In the case of some publishers who have voice actors on staff, it might just come down to “male narrator” and “female narrator” as options.

Once a narrator is chosen, then the audiobook is produced. The narrator reads the entire thing from start to finish, and in some cases, a director or editor will work with the actor to create the final product. For most indie authors using acx.com, the narrator will also be the video editor, and the author themselves function as the director.

The fun part of the process happens during the actual production. The narrator creates voice for the characters, and the author works with them to fulfill their creative vision. I loved this part, because it’s basically like creating a movie or cartoon (albeit without visuals) for your novel.

Finally, once the entire thing is completed, the audiobook can be put up for sale through various places, usually iTunes and Audible. If an indie author is using acx.com, the distribution is handled for them.

Wow! That’s a lot of steps, but it’s definitely fun and rewarding. What did you all think? Great, right?

Make sure to check out the Frith Chronicles (and definitely check out Brian Wiggins for all your audio needs!)

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