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Posted April 3, 2014
I was in the market for an audiobook version of my short story collection recently, and I wanted to find a resource that would help me understand exactly what I was getting into.
This book is highly technical, and it is geared toward professional narrators in training, or for authors who want to record their own audiobooks. It covers everything you need to know: the state of the audiobook market, barriers to entry, proper recording technique (even hygiene), selecting the right equipment, editing, mastering, and all other aspects of the business side of audiobooks. It's a must-have for anyone looking to do their own audio.
If there's one thing I took away from the book, it's that I don't have the time, resources, or patience to do an audiobook myself. I'm glad I spent the money on this book to learn that rather than jumping into it and finding out first-hand. Let that be a warning to anyone else considering doing their own audio.
But for an author like me looking to outsource my audio, there wasn't much for me here. But I have a bit of an audio background, and I can definitely say that Sawyer's advice is sound, especially with recording, production, and post-production. This is why I gave it five stars, because it's perfect for its intended audience.
What would have made this book a six star book though, would have been a section on marketing your audiobooks and getting them out there. With the rise of ACX, most people are outsourcing their audio these days, and the key issue for them is how to get the book in front of prospective readers, especially if they're under a royalty-share agreement, where the responsibility falls on both the author and narrator to promote the book. I haven't seen a (good) book on this topic yet, if there's anyone who could do it right, it's probably J. Daniel Sawyer. And it fits in with the book's target audience, too. That's a minor suggestion for an otherwise great book.
This was a good read, and if I ever decide to do my own audio, this is the book I'd reread.