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Publishing and Promoting > Amazon ACX- audio books

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Downing | 3 comments Has anyone on here tried Amazon's ACX audiobook publishing?


message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather Blanton (heatherfreyblanton) | 4 comments I'm in the process. Just chose a narrator. That's all I can tell you right now.


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Downing | 3 comments I'd love to hear how you get on with it :0)


message 4: by Heather (new)

Heather Blanton (heatherfreyblanton) | 4 comments Will do!


message 5: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 257 comments In the process as well have chosen my narrator and waiting for first 15 mins


message 6: by Lorna (new)

Lorna Collins (lorna_collins) | 93 comments We are currently working with the voice artist on the manuscript. We have some word pronunciation files going back and forth, so it is a bi more of a challenge. But we are excited about doing it.


message 7: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Hammerhead | 5 comments My book was just released a few weeks ago and I have already received my first check. It was a long process, but I enjoyed every step.


message 8: by Lori (new)

Lori Schafer (lorilschafer) | 41 comments I just submitted the files for review last week, so I'm still waiting to hear whether they will meet specifications. I wanted to coordinate the audiobook release to coincide with the paperback and eBook release as closely as possible, but since the review process takes 10-14 days, and my book came out on Friday, I won't quite make it - particularly if they request any additional editing. Since my book is a memoir, I (perhaps foolishly) decided to do the whole shebang myself - from buying the equipment to building the studio to doing the narration and editing. Definitely way more work than I expected. I would not recommend the do-it-yourself option to anyone who is only planning on narrating one book, because not only do you have to spend a fair amount of money on equipment and soundproofing, you also have to invest a ton of time in learning the process. However, I'm still hoping that it will turn out to have been worthwhile. I'm going to do a comprehensive write-up on the whole start-to-finish process for my blog when I have time; I'll post a link here when it's up.

Lori


message 9: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Lori wrote: "I just submitted the files for review last week, so I'm still waiting to hear whether they will meet specifications. I wanted to coordinate the audiobook release to coincide with the paperback and ..."

Were you able to check your sound specs with the software you used?

If you meet the requirements, you should be okay, as long as you don't have unusual noises in the recordings, which it sounds like you shouldn't since you built a studio.

I look forward to the blog post and hope you'll let us know the results from the audio engineer who reviews your book.


message 10: by Lori (new)

Lori Schafer (lorilschafer) | 41 comments Edward wrote: "Lori wrote: "I just submitted the files for review last week, so I'm still waiting to hear whether they will meet specifications. I wanted to coordinate the audiobook release to coincide with the p..."

Yes, I did check the specs, but I'm not entirely confident that I read everything correctly, because when I posted a sample on my website, people said it was very quiet. (You can find it here if you're interested: http://lorilschafer.com/2014/11/04/im...) No biggie, because I can fix that - it's just one more thing where I'm not entirely sure I know what I'm doing ;) I've also got a bit of a concern because there are some inconsistencies in the sound. Many of the recordings came out great - you can tell that the microphone was in just the right position, and my voice sounds resonant and smooth. But I pushed myself too hard trying to get the recording done before I went out of town for several weeks, and in a few of them I sound hoarse - it's quite a different tone. So although I assume that they're not judging me based on the quality of my voice, I do wonder whether those inconsistencies might be an issue. Or what if I missed a sniffle or cough, or the sound of a truck climbing the hill, and so on?

Anyway, I won't be too fussed if I have to make some adjustments or even do a bit of re-recording, which I wouldn't mind doing anyway except that I'm so unbelievably busy right now. Thanks for your comments, though, Edward - very reassuring! :)

Lori


message 11: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Lori,

I listened to most of the sample, and I hate to say it, but I think you have some issues. The volume is definitely too low.

Can you get a reading of the RMS with your software? If you can, I'm sure it will be much lower than the required 18 to 23db.

I'm also surprised that there's so much sound in a studio. It sounds like you had to use noise removal because most of the space between voice is quiet, but there are places where it's not, like a 45 to 49 seconds, for one example.

In other places, it's like there's a sound of what it would be like if someone rapidly moved there hand back and forth across a fabric - at about the speed that you would erase pencil writing with an eraser. I've heard this same sound in the book of mine that someone is recording. I wish I could say what it is, but I don't know.

I'm recording someone else's book, and I haven't noticed that sound in my recordings. Mostly I'm catching chair creaks or walls settling that I didn't hear during the recording.

For examples of this sound, listen to the silence right after you say "Farewell" between 0:02 and 0:04 seconds, and later at 1:03 to 1:13.

From at least 3:45 onward, the sound can be heard while you're talking and between words.

Narration-wise, it's all good.

Did you save your original files before editing and mastering? I'm wondering if that ffffft-fffffft noise is in the original when you're speaking.

It would suck to have to re-record everything. You know when you bring the volume up, you're going to bring up the sounds that are included with the dialogue too.

When you're editing, you want to use a good pair of headphones with the volume turned up much higher than you would if you were just listening to something for pleasure. I'm assuming that you bought a decent pair since you invested in a studio. If you didn't think about buying headphones, you definitely want to do that. Cheap headphones won't play all of the audio that a good pair will.

My guess is that the engineer is going to say RMS too low, and extraneous sounds throughout.

Sorry to be the bearer of possibly bad news, and not as reassuring as my comments before listening. :(


message 12: by Lori (new)

Lori Schafer (lorilschafer) | 41 comments Edward wrote: "Lori,

I listened to most of the sample, and I hate to say it, but I think you have some issues. The volume is definitely too low.

Can you get a reading of the RMS with your software? If you can, ..."


So my concerns are justified! Yes, I did use noise removal - though I tried to keep it to a minimum, as it seems to affect the sound quality. Still not sure where the baseline noise is coming from, though - is it possible that it's from the mic itself?

Thanks again, Edward - I appreciate you taking the time to listen and make a response.

Lori


message 13: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) That steady noise sounds like a processing artifact.

Does your mic have any switches on it? If so, you should do some test recordings with whatever options you have.

Do your original, unprocessed recordings have that noise?

I would think that with a studio, you'd have have a good room sound and not have to process much. Also check your mic input level to see if you record at a higher volume without having to amplify or compress too much.

If you can put a raw wave file somewhere like Dropbox, I can check it out for you and try to see what's going on.


message 14: by Lori (new)

Lori Schafer (lorilschafer) | 41 comments Edward wrote: "That steady noise sounds like a processing artifact.

Does your mic have any switches on it? If so, you should do some test recordings with whatever options you have.

Do your original, unprocessed..."


Thanks again, Edward - you are most helpful. Much more helpful than the so-called "sound guy" who checked things out for me.

Very little background noise was audible at the recorded volume, but it did become apparent once I amplified, which I had to do at various levels for different recordings in order to make them quasi-consistent. As I mentioned before, I definitely had some issues with inconsistency in mic placement, which led to some wide variations in both tone and volume - with me not recognizing, of course, that this was the issue until much later, figuring it was simply overuse of my voice. I set the mic at about 80%.

If you wouldn't mind, Edward - since you obviously really, really know what you're talking about! - I'd like to record a new sample (incorporating your suggestions) sometime in the next few weeks when I have time and ask you to listen to it. Fortunately I decided to attempt this experiment with a short book - only 27,000 words - so it isn't the end of the world if I have to re-do it. I do, however, want to be sure I don't have continuing problems going forward, so the help of an expert would be truly appreciated!

Thanks again,
Lori


message 15: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Lori wrote: "the help of an expert would be truly appreciated!"

I'm still learning this myself, but I'll be happy to help and listen to a new recording and give you feedback on it.

When you're placing the mic, I recommend having it at least a foot in front of you, and at about eye level. If your stand allows you to have it upside-down, try that and see how it sounds. That makes it close enough to pick up your voice, but you're not talking directly into it. If you can't put it that way, then have it just to the left or the right of you.

When you do a new sample, let me hear it before any processing - especially before noise reduction. I'm pretty sure that's where the weird sound is coming from. It's an incomplete filtering of the room noise.


message 16: by Melinda (new)

Melinda Field | 1 comments Hello..I am wanting to record my own audiobook..any suggestions or info?


message 17: by Edward (new)

Edward Wolfe (edwardmwolfe) Melinda wrote: "Hello..I am wanting to record my own audiobook..any suggestions or info?"

I would suggest researching what is involved, in terms of equipment, talent, and technical audio requirements if you'll be wanting to publish through ACX (Amazon.)

There's plenty of good info on ACX's website, and of course you can search the web and find tutorials and info for beginners, etc.

Here's an ACX link that will give you a glimpse into getting started with producing an audiobook:

http://blog.acx.com/2014/06/26/how-to...


message 18: by Lori (new)

Lori Schafer (lorilschafer) | 41 comments Edward wrote: "Lori wrote: "the help of an expert would be truly appreciated!"

I'm still learning this myself, but I'll be happy to help and listen to a new recording and give you feedback on it.

When you're pl..."


Thank you, Edward - I'll try your suggestions. :)


message 19: by Philip (last edited Nov 20, 2014 11:32AM) (new)

Philip (phenweb) | 257 comments Philip wrote: "In the process as well have chosen my narrator and waiting for first 15 mins"

First 15 mins are in and very happy. Couple of minor tweaks agree with the narrator and now I can look forward to the next few chapters


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