Audio books

There is much and more I will say about audio books, but the TL;DR summary is: I love them.

So much, in fact, that I really don't read any more at all. I listen instead to about a book a fortnight, and they make my commute to work and my sporadic bouts of exercise almost pleasurable.

From the very beginning of this journey into publication I have been thinking about making an audio book. I had hoped that I would get this done by professionals, but the cost to hire a voice actor and studio is prohibitive to say the least. So I made a decision......

After a bit of advice from G+ user Kenn Crawford I went to Amazon and purchased a Blue Snowball usb microphone and a pop shield. I've just installed GarageBand and so I think i'm ready.

This is what my setup looks like. (I stole the mic stand from the music room at school)

So now I just need to surgically transplant Patrick Stewart's voice box and i'm good to go.

Wish me luck.


Ok -- I now have an initial test recording that I'd love some feedback on.



  1. The reading is good. The technical recording could use some depth. You can try adding it in Garage Band. You could use a sound booth to cut down on background noise and echo (not that there is a lot but there is some). I know a full booth would be cost prohibitive since that's your main reason for doing it yourself. Found this online something like this would improve the sound tremendously. And I'm no Patrick Stewart but if you are ever looking for an American version I've always wanted to get into book reading.

  2. Sounds pretty good. As Tom mentioned there is some background noise but not a lot. The portable booth-in-a-bag idea sounds cool but if you go that route, please ignore the first pic from the link - putting the laptop in the booth with the mic is kinda silly :)

    Looking at your pic I see your mic is fairly close to the wall. Start by hanging a blanket or heavy towel directly behind the snowball and the majority of your problems will go away. Quilted baby blankets are great for this - they are small, thick and absorb a lot of reflections - all you need to do is find one with Star Wars on it and you're good to go :)

    Above your computer is a nice shelf that you could hang another blanket from to cover your laptop while recording and that will help kill any sounds coming from the computer.

    Great job!


  3. Thanks for those suggestions Kenn. I am pressing the pause button on the audio book for a month or so as I finish up the final draft of my next book. Luckily I have many baby blankets lying around for when I get back to it. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  4. I don't know about all the tech stuff, (sounds pretty good to me) You also have a pleasant and clear speaking voice. But... Your reading your story instead of telling your story. Just my opinion I could be wrong. I listen to ALOT of audiobooks. I drive about 9 hours a day and listen all day everyday. I will only stick with a book if it is entertaining and the best are done by good story tellers. I would use John Lenahan or Nathan Lowell as examples. A story can go from just so so to excellent if told by a good story teller. Don't know if that is the kind of feedback you were looking for but there it is. If not just ignore my ramblings.

    1. That is great feedback Jeff! I get what you mean exactly. I love Roy Dotrice's work on GOT for that very reason. I think I am perhaps too close to the story -- I almost know it too intimately to tell it in a spontaneous way. I'll try again.

      Thanks for stopping by.


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