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“It’s hard, but make yourself step back, take a breath and do this as if you were having a conversation with a friend. The minute that someone starts thinking that they’re performing to an audience and not sitting across the table from a friend, they start making mistakes.” – Gabe Wicks
Whether you’re already a published author, or you’re thinking of writing your first book, you are probably aware of the growing popularity of audiobooks. Maybe you’ve already decided to record your own audiobook, but you’re not sure where to begin with the process. Today’s Finding Brave guest reveals how audiobooks are rewarding to publish but hard work for both the narrator and studio, and there are numerous pitfalls and nuances that I wish I knew about before I recorded the audiobook for my new book The Most Powerful You (which I’m thrilled to share is in the Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon’s Women In Business audiobooks!). It’s about so much more than just showing up and getting behind the microphone.
Gabe Wicks is a Nashville-based producer for over twenty years, most of that within the book industry. He is the VP of Creative Services for HarperCollins Christian Publishing, which currently produces over 500 audiobooks annually. Gabe produced my audiobook and was a joy to work with!
In this episode, Gabe reveals why an author should or should not read his or her own audiobook, the elements that make up a compelling audiobook, where he sees the audiobook world going in the near future, and perhaps most importantly, why you need to not be so hard on yourself during this experience.
Highlights from this Episode:
- Who Gabe typically works with, and a big misconception he sees people holding about audiobooks [5:16]
- Some common mistakes authors make while recording their audiobooks, and a real-life example of how these struggles can appear for someone in the studio [9:17]
- What you should know in terms of recording at home versus recording in a studio – plus Gabe’s equipment and set up recommendations [12:05]
- Why you’ll need to be aware of the fatigue level of your voice – along with other helpful recording tips [16:20]
- What to look for in a good studio, and the financial investment one should expect [21:02]
- The one question to ask yourself if trying to decide whether you should read your audiobook yourself, or have someone else do it for you [25:40]
- What Gabe can and can’t tell when assessing someone’s audition reading an audiobook [32:02]
- The trends he is seeing in the industry that will most likely continue post-pandemic [33:42]
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“I think that’s the thing a lot of folks don’t quite understand upfront. There’s a whole industry out there of professional readers who might do a better job than you would on that book. [5:38]
“Don’t ever buy the cheapest equipment you see on Amazon. There are a lot of brands that are making good gear right now. You don’t need anything more than a good laptop and a good microphone, and the rest of it is where you put it.” [14:16]
“You need to be aware of where your fatigue level is with your voice, and it’s different for everybody.” [16:21]
“Even if you don’t read the book yourself, you should be involved in the casting of it.” [27:06]
“Because there is such an explosion of content right now, there’s plenty of work out there for voice actors and there are plenty of works that should be read by the author.” [34:00]
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