Producing, editing and publishing an audio book in Australia

This article will be of interest to writers, editors and self-publishers seeking to create an audio book of their e-book or hardcopy book. Thank you, Gabi Plumm, for providing the information upon which this article is based.

Who can you use to create an audio book, in Australia?

The Australian e-book publisher offers a service whereby they record your book being read by a recording artist, at a price. Go to Australian e-book publisher – audio books.

Note: as far as we are aware, Amazon Audible or ACX cannot be used to record artists in Australia.

What does it cost to hire a recording artist?

Gabi Plumm charges around $150 per hour of recording just for producing the initial recording, and about $275 per hour of the finished recording which includes recording and editing. This is indicative of the usual fees in Australia.

What to do before hiring a recording artist

Producing an audio book is expensive so make sure you obtain quotes and are sure you want to get your book recorded, before proceeding.

Find the voice you are looking for to read your specific book. There are many narrators, or recording artists, listed on the ACX site. Many of those are American. Some Australians but because of the limitations the Audible puts on Australian-based voice artists, all the narrators listed on the ACX site are likely to live in countries other than Australia.

Many actors’ agents also work for voice artists so you can contact actors’ agents when looking for a recording artist for your audio book.

Ideally, get the recording artist to do a test run of half a chapter before hiring them, to make sure they are a good fit for your book.

Set up a contract for the recording artist to produce the recording in a studio. The recording will need to be carefully edited by the recording artist/editor to get rid of coughs, ums, etc. The contract should state that the artist/editor must give you the opportunity to listen to the recording during the process and when it is completed, so you can give them instructions to correct or finalise the recording, and advise which short section to use as a trailer.

What should you do while the audio book is being recorded

We recommend you sit in on the artist’s recording sessions to avoid any errors in relation to accents or mispronounced words, as you go. This is especially important if there are any foreign words in the text.

Once the recording is finished, it is essential that you listen to the whole audio book from start to finish, to give you the opportunity to pick up any errors remaining in the recording.

What to do once your book is recorded

Once the audio recording of your book has been recorded and edited to your satisfaction, it needs to be uploaded to one of the many publishers/distributors available, so it is accessible to the public.

In the past, Gabi Plumm has used Authors Republic to do this. They pay royalties quarterly, and distribute to Amazon and many others.

Another publisher/distributor is Amazon Audible. However, be aware that Audible reduces the quality of the audio substantially (down to 60% of the recorded volume/resolution). If you are going to use Audible, it’s essential that your audio book is well produced.

For more information about producing audio books

Image: by Benjamin Harwitch, Pixabay.

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