How to Record an Author Reading

In the interest of constantly exploring new avenues of “getting out there”, I have ventured into the realm of two things with which I have very little experience: audio recording/editing and book reading (as in, out loud). There are potentially significant benefits to this endeavor:

  1. It exposes my books to a new audience in a new way
  2. It helps me hone my audio editing skills
  3. It forces me to confront my own speaking voice and all that I hate about it
  4. It provides practical training for a day when I might choose to do this live

It’s also surprisingly easy to do with the help of modern technology and costs nothing, except my time and effort. So, since I have now recorded my own voice a couple of times already and plan on doing it some more, I thought it was time to share my how-to with fellow writers who might find it useful.

DisclaimerThis method is reserved strictly for casual recording. Any professional-level work (like narrating your own audiobook) involves a much more sophisticated studio setup to meet distribution requirements.

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August #AuthorTip: Make Friends with Multimedia

Continuing this post series with a tip on how to grab attention and hold it:

A picture says a thousand words. Videos speak volumes. Both of these mediums can be highly effective means of grabbing someone’s attention, and you should utilize them whenever possible when promoting yourself and your books.

Things to keep in mind:

  1. Let the images speak for themselves. Don’t overwhelm them with text, unless that text is the point (i.e. as quote graphics).
  2. Put your best foot forward. Lead with the most impressive image/video to make sure it gets seen. Keep in mind that your video will only have a few seconds to grab a viewer’s attention, so make them count, and try to keep it under 60 seconds. 30, if you can.
  3. Quality matters. Invest in quality content and always go for the highest resolution available–it gives you more room to play and makes a more powerful impact.
  4. If you don’t own the license, don’t use the image/video! Always read the license agreements. They vary. If you’re just grabbing images from Google, Pinterest, or other such sources, you are breaking the law, and you can and likely will get sued for massive damages.
  5. Consolidate your message and stick to a theme. This is brand development. It’s why companies use logos and slap them on everything. When you present yourself and your books in a uniform way, it becomes recognizable and instantly identifiable. That’s what you want.

For a list of free and low-cost resources and tools, check out my Resources page. Keep in mind, this page is only meant to provide a starting point and in no way absolves you from doing your own research into licenses and permissions of those resources.

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