MF 299 : Preparing your audiobook files for Audible
Updated: Jun 16, 2022
Today, we take a look at some final preparation steps to get your audiobook files ready for Audible. More at www.bemovingforward.com.
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Sound and quality check
As you finish your audiobook files, it’s best to do regular checks, making sure the pacing is consistent, the vocals match the text and that the files are clean with no sound artifacts (breathing, sound chips, white noise or background noise). If you’re recording in a professional sound studio under the direction of an engineer or director, they will guide you as you record and take care of post-production processing.
However, if you’re doing this freelance on your own, it’s incumbent upon you to check the files as you record them and if at all possible, to work with the author or publisher to make sure what you produce matches what they have in mind.
Once the files are all complete, you’ll also want to do a complete listen through, starting from beginning to end. It’s best if the author or publisher does this as well. The average audiobook ranges from 6 to 8+ hours in length so if you have a long road trip coming up, that would be the perfect time to do the final review.
Audible is extremely picky about the format and quality of the sound files. So make sure you go over Audible’s checklist as you do the final preparation.
I also recommend you use RMS Normalization and ACX Check plugins if you’re recording your audiobook on Audacity to make sure the files are leveled correctly and that it meets Audible’s requirements. More on this on episode 297.
That said, it’s easy to overlook a setting or requirement. Below are some of the ones we ran into for I Am a Professional Metalhead that you may want to pay attention to as you prepare your files for publication:
As you export your files, make sure:
Bit rate = constant
Quality = 192 kbps (or higher)
Channel mode = Force export to mono
Audio files (gap)
Audible requires a silent gap of consistent length (0.5 to 1 second) at the beginning and end of each sound file. You can create one with the mic off and splice into your files.
Once you have prepped your files, you (if you’re the publisher and author) or the author / publisher you’ve been hired by will submit the files to Audible.
Currently, Audible takes up to 30 days to review your files. If the files are accepted, the book will be published and available on Amazon, Apple (and elsewhere depending on your preferences). If the files fail to meet Audible’s standards, they will bounce them back with corrective notes. The clock will reset to another “up to 30 days” once you resubmit.
For Angelo’s book, we did get a bounce back within a week or so based on the minor technical issues listed above. In addition, I neglected to give myself credit as narrator on the title. Once Angelo resubmitted, the book went live within about 3 days.
Again, make sure to go over Audible’s checklist if you are submitting to Audible.
One more thing, Audible will set the price based on the length of the book.
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Doubt by John Patrick Shanley (****)
Love, Inc.: Dating Apps, the Big White Wedding, and Chasin the Happily Neverafter by Laurie Essig (**)
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