Readers are turning to audio books in great numbers. The audio-book industry is estimated to be worth more than $1 billion. That means a lot of people are interested in listening to their books.
With this trend, your smartphone can be a basic means for offering audio to entice your readers.
I regularly read the Home Free Adventures blog. It chronicles the lives of a couple of seniors who gave up their house and now live from town to town, city to city. Lynne Martin, who owns the blog, wrote Home Sweet Anywhere, a book the adventures and lifestyle she and her husband live. As a means of promoting it among her readers, she posted on her website the first chapter of her book. But it wasn’t the text of the chapter. She gave her readers the first chapter of her audio book.
I’ve followed her blog since 2012 when I read about her in the Wall Street Journal. However, I only knew her words and her responses to my comments on her blog. The audio, however, gave me a chance to listen to her as if she and I were having a conversation over dinner.
Before rejecting the idea, don’t disregard your speaking voice so quickly. You’re giving something new to your followers. Your readers can take in a new dimension of you by listening. You can become a companion who is chatting over coffee.
I chatted with Troy Hartman, senior vice president at Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne, Ind., about these recordings. He offered some useful tips for at-home recordings. Here you go:
- Record in a small room in your house with the door closed. He recommended choosing a room with no ambient noise like a window air conditioner, air vents or ceiling fans.
- Set the phone in one place to remain the same distance from the phone.
- Opt for a room with carpet and no hardwood floors. Carpeting can help to avoid echoes off the walls and ceiling. “Reflections like these mix in with the original voice only slightly delayed, which makes the recording more unintelligible,” he said.
- Speak with clear diction. He said don’t over-enunciate, unless it fits the style. “The goal is to make the recording sound like you and not a robot,” he said.
- Don’t speak directly into the phone. Stay roughly a foot or two away from the phone.
- Try a few tests to find the optimal distance.
- Consider using an external microphone since it is much better quality than is usually found in smartphones. One example is the iK Multimedia iRig Mic HD, which can be used with iOS, Android, and computers.
- Avoid barking dogs in the background.
Have you ever tried recording yourself via your phone?
What advice do you have for someone who’s interested in recording their books as an audiobook?