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Recording Audio Books or Book Promos


We all know that to successfully market any book today we need to employ multimedia techniques. For some, getting a professional book promotion video or audio is a viable option, but for many new authors it's pretty much DIY.

Here are 5 top tips for making your audio more professional.

  1. Get a good quality unidirectional microphone - it doesn't have to be expensive, but it will be better than the one in your computer or laptop. Position the microphone slightly to the side at 6-9 inches away. Look for a USB mic rather than one that plugs directly into the mic input at the front of your computer - in most cases this picks up internal noise from the machine.
  2. Perpare you copy - use a font large enough for the distance your script is away from you and space 1.5-2 lines to give plenty of white space. Place the copy to the side and behind the microphone. Use a music stand, not the fold-up kind, but the type you see at a symphony concert. They only cost about $40. Pause during page turning.
  3. Reduce ambient noise to a minimum:
    1. Turn off all unessential programs on your computer, keep the microphone away from the computer fan, and turn off all other office equipment.
    2. Build a sound box using a 14x14 collapsable bin and 3 panels of Auralex Studiofoam 2 [two 12x12 panels for the sides and one 23x14 for the top and back] . Place the microphone about a third the way back from the outer edge. You can also simply open one or two cardboard A4 files behind the PC. Keep your microphone cord away from your power cord. If you’re using a unidirectional condenser mic, it’s the ambient noise coming from BEHIND your head that’s more important to diffuse, rather than the sound behind the mic.
    3. If you have a walk in closet full of clothes this acts as a perfect baffled environment - and it's a great excuse girls to do a bit more shopping.
    4. Record a few seconds of ambient noise at the beginning of each session to be used by the noise reduction feature.
  4. Use a microphone screen to reduce sibilant sounds [words with 's' and 'ch'] and plosive sounds [words with hard 'p' and 'b' sounds]. You can make one yourself for less than $10. These sounds can also be reduced by SMILING to stretch the mouth while speaking and using a boom stand with the mic facing downward. You can test the effectiveness by recording the following two statements:
    1. "A steel seal searches childish snakes for chewy chocolates"
    2. "Boldly balancing pickles on punks in poodleskirts"
  5. Prepare the body:
    1. Hydrate - drink some water to hydrate the mouth
    2. Reduce mouth stickiness with the bite of a green apple.
    3. Set your posture - this makes a big difference! Do short sessions standing, and long session on nothing lower than a bar stool so the hips are not fully folded. Keep the diaphragm ‘open’
    4. Position yourself to speak across (or under) the microphone - you won’t even need the pop filter.
    5. Speak slower than normal, with a smile.

Next: Selecting a Microphone


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