You’ve set up your space, you’ve recorded yourself reading your chapters aloud — now all that’s left to edit. Easier said then done, right? Not necessarily: while it’s still a time consuming process, it’s simpler than ever to edit audio on your computer. Here are some tips to make the editing process much smoother:
Save your audiobook as the proper file format. ACX states that “Audiobooks should be recorded in 16 bit / 44.1 kHz wav file format, which is considered CD quality and is best for archiving. Once you have fully produced your audio file it should be saved as a 192kbps mp3.” If you used a program other than the one you’re editing with to record your book, you can upload the MP3s into most editing software, such as Garageband or Audacity.
Save each chapter as an independent file. Not only does this make it easy to index your book into a format like AAC (Advanced Audio Coding, which podcasters often use to place markers within the timelines of their episodes so that you can locate certain segments more easily), but breaking the book up into chunks makes it simpler to edit. Also, if you accidentally delete, corrupt, or ruin a chapter, it won’t destroy the whole audiobook! Once you’re done, you can combine all the chapters back together.
When you remove sounds, make sure you remove the ENTIRE sound. As we mentioned in the recording article, you need to give yourself plenty of space before beginning to speak again when you make a mistake. When you cut those mistakes out, make sure you aren’t cutting into a breath or a sound you intend to keep, like the beginning of a sentence.
Ask someone else to listen to the finished product. Just as it’s important to have a second opinion when writing your book, you’ll want one when reading your book as well. Ask a friend to sit in and listen to a sample chapter to offer suggestions. They may think you’re reading a section too fast, or that there’s a kind of room tone that you haven’t noticed. You may have to re-record to fix your errors, but they’re certainly worth fixing in the long run.
This concludes our run of articles about recording an audiobook. Hopefully you should have all the tools you need to begin recording your own, but if you have any questions you can always feel free to leave us a comment or drop us a line. Happy recording!