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Audio Book Production has really taken off in recent years as writers, looking for another revenue stream and avenue to push their artistic work, are combining both the text reader apps like the Kindle and others, and are creating their printed book in numerous forms, including audio books.  As the industry continues to expand, and more writers, voice over talent, and audio production companies hit the streets, what really are the crucial criteria that make, for not only a great sounding audio book, but one that sells.

1)  Have an understanding of your overall goals with the production of your audio book.  If you are looking to compete and are looking to garner attention from other various players in the market that might help boost, distribute, or turn your book into a feature film, then know the costs involved and expect to pay more than the guy who says he can record your book with a usb microphone while hearing dogs, over head planes and computer fan noise – that’s not an opinion, that’s just how it goes. Voice over talent, by far, is the biggest cost issue when recording an audio book.  For that reason, it is tempting to visit online sites that have voice over talent representation and look for better rates.  While the rates may be more competitive, you will want to be careful of audio quality that is either noisy, has a grisly high end, or has lots of plosives – plosives can virtually ruin a great book.  Plosives are those low end “thumps” that are generated usually with words starting with a P or a B.  Cheaper mics used by those who do this as a second job, usually are shallow sounding with a harsh edge and because they aren’t doing this as a regular job, are not as adapt at finding the right micing position, to minimize.  This point is not meant to pick apart any voice over talent or their gear, but just to inform you of what’s out there, and to keep you from avoiding what appears to be a “great’ deal, only to be very disappointed.  And this is especially important, because your listeners will most likely be listening for a number of hours.

2) Be reasonable with creative elements.  It never ceases to amaze, how many expect long time frames of music and sound effects all in a 6 hour book with “Hollywood” production, and then wonder why the cost is so much.  With an audio book, quality is king over “hyped” productions.  In other words, it’s far better to have an excellent voice over talent reading your book, with great sonic audio quality, then to either save money, have the guy on the usb mic record it, or include poorly designed sound effects that take away from the original goal and feel of the book, because they don’t sound realistic and pro, but just plain amateurish.  We do lots of great sounding sound effects and scoring, but the amount and length of those are understood up front and it does cost more.

3) Duplication is changing.  With the onset of most newer cars being able to read an mp3 file as well as a CD wav files, duplicating costs have gone down significantly.  Being that numerous hours of mp3 files can be put on a CD, rather than the traditional 80 minutes of wav 44/16 data, the cost savings are dramatic.  If you add up all of the discs, printing, bigger cases and shipping costs, you can save thousands of dollars in duplication costs.  The only downside and reason that some, still duplicate the traditional style, is that older cars, may not read mp3 files.  That is something to consider.  If nothing else, you might just have mp3 downloads available on a website or Audioble, as instant downloads without the fuss and cost of traditional CD duplication.

4) Marketing your audio book is king.  It’s not good enough to have a great sounding audio book, you want to sell it, or have it picked up as a possible movie, or TV mini series or as most want, just to move books.  One of the absolute best ways to market your book is with a great sounding audio book trailer.  Well thought out trailers, much like a film coming out on the big screen, have great looking and sounding trailers, obviously designed to entice you to buy a ticket and see the movie.  You need to do the same thing with your book.  YouTube and audio book trailers are very compelling and while it’s nice to have some sample text from the book to read, it’s another to actually hear the book with great voice over talent reading it and making it come alive in the listener’s mind!

5) Be cautious with online publishers and what they promise.  Usually when online pubs include a number of elements like the audio book recording, the inclusion of “we’ll produce the trailers” you won’t get near the quality as if you handled it apart from the print aspect to your book.  When at all possible, negotiate out the audio book part of the deal and do that on your own.  Cost more – perhaps, but sell more – likely.

Contact ReelMusicianPro at http://www.ReelMusicianPro.com

tgauger@reelmusicianpro.com or 615-300-5030

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