by Helen Lloyd
When an audiobook is recorded in a mainstream audiobook production facility, the studio time allocated is normally two hours for each hour of clean finished audio recording – this is when the narrator is working with a producer (either remotely or on the other side of the glass) who is live-proofing and using ‘punch-in’ recording. Thus, a ten-hour audiobook will take approximately twenty hours of studio time, usually split over three seven-hour working days.
When a narrator is working solo without a producer (which happens more often than you might think especially in indie collaborations!) then generally the time required to record each hour of audio is significantly more – even when the narrator is adept at punch recording. Working with an inexperienced narrator is likely to be even more time consuming. It can take a new narrator as long as six hours to produce one hour of clean audio, especially if their working environment is not isolated from external noise.
There are other things to bear in mind. In addition to recording time, audio proofing is usually done separately: a professional proofer taken on average one and a half hours to proof and create the documentation for each hour of raw audio. Pickups and corrections are then done separately before the audio goes for editing and mastering.
Popular narrators are often booked up for months in advance – as are engineers and editors, so forward planning is essential. But … with a little foresight and patience, if you own the audio rights to your own work – then creating an audiobook is actually very straightforward … and can be incredibly rewarding. After all, having your words and the characters you have created brought to life by a wonderful narrator (or even multiple narrators) has to be one of the most rewarding ways of making your work more widely available.
If you’d like to find out more about working with Raconteurs to bring a book to audio, please do get in touch with us. We have a large database of professional narrators that we work with, all of whom are happy to record custom samples for you to review before making any firm commitment.
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About Helen Lloyd
Helen has been blogging for many years – about acting, audiobooks and other related stuff. She is a founder member of Raconteurs Audio, and as well as being an award winning audiobook narrator and producer, she is a narrator coach and mentor helping numerous narrators to hone their skills and advance their narration journey.