Audiobook in Production

Here’s the news that I know many of you have been waiting for. Yes, Burdens of Chaos is now officially in production. What does that mean exactly? Well, that’s the purpose of this post.

There are several stages of Audiobook production and I’ve learned the hard way over the years that some stages can be completed concurrently while others have to be done in sequence.

First comes the Prep. This is where the voice actor, in my case Nick, reads through the entire manuscript and does whatever magic alchemy he does to block out characters in preparation for recording. He also identifies typos and inconsistencies, in my case lots of typos and few inconsistencies. I’d rather it be few of both, but if I had to choose, Typos < Inconsistencies :-)

After prep, I generally have a lengthy spreadsheet of typos and word pronunciations to fix and clarify respectively. I think Nick hopes I’ll know how to pronounce some of the ancient words I use, but I never do. My job is to use the words properly. His job is to pronounce them properly. Sometimes when I find a particularly difficult word, I just smile thinking about him figuring out how to pronounce it. Hey, he’s a friend and a business collaborator. Torturing each other is part of the male bonding experience.

Concurrent to the typo work, I create a “new voices” folder where I list the new characters introduced in each book and provide short clips, usually from youtube, of voices that I think would work for that character. Based on that, Nick pulls some of that character’s text from the manuscript and we tweak it from there.

Once all the characters are locked down, draft chapters get laid down. I listen to every draft chapter at least twice and also have beta-listeners listen to each chapter once. Some of my pop-culture references or local destinations get mispronounced and need to be recorded again. Occasionally, there is just a flubbed line that he didn’t catch while recording. These corrections get put into the same spreadsheet as do my typos and the v2 of each chapter gets submitted back to me. I always confirm the fixes but don’t have the beta-listeners do so.

Finally there is the release candidate of all the chapters together and I listen to the entire book again. I’m listening for levels, special effects, and am basically putting myself in the place of someone who just plunked down $25 for the Audiobook. We all want it to be a great experience, so that’s what I’m confirming at this stage.

Once that’s done, the final files are uploaded to Audible and they go through their own Quality Control check which takes between five and ten days, after which it’s available for everyone to download.

So, we’re at the very early stages, but still, it’s exciting. Burden of Chaos should be available in April. I hope you guys love it!

Robert RossComment