Today, I'm talking about getting ready to do audio books. Now if you're a podcaster, you've got all the things necessary to do this yourself. If you're not a podcaster, all you really need is a decent microphone and a quiet place to record. And if you're going to do the audio books, the next step might be once you get this stuff together. Go ahead and do a podcast as one of your promotional vehicles, and I'll be discussing microphone and recording equipment along with a bunch of other stuff today.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 535
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See Tom's Stuff – https://linktr.ee/antionandassociates[03:47] Tom's introduction to Audio Books [04:22] Narrating your audio book yourself [06:29] Your recording environment [13:03] Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and microphones
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Episode 535 – Audio Books
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode five hundred and thirty five of Screw the Commute podcast today I'm going to talk about getting ready to do audio books yourself. Yeah, you can hire a narrator or even get one for no money up front. But I'm going to concentrate on you narrating it yourself. Frequently, these podcasts are things that I'm working on currently, and I mentioned in episode five thirty two. About improving over the holidays, improving your business and your personal stuff over the holidays. I said I was going to complete an audio book and get it published to Ake's, which is part of Audible. So that's what I'm working on. So that's what I thought I talked to you about today. Now I have a great webinar on this from Derek Pepkor. People just went crazy over this webinar that tells you all the stuff about how much money it can make, how to sign up and comply with the very stringent rules that Audible requires before they will accept your book. Hiring or getting narrators to do it for no upfront money and and you split the royalties and all those kinds of details are in the webinar, so we're going to have the link to that in the show notes. And I got to tell you that it will get you fired up about doing this.
[00:01:44] It got me fired up. I'm also going to give you a sample on this episode of where I got my entire sample to comply with Audible's and also asks Is the one that helps you get on to Audible? That's there. I don't know the liaison or the farm team. I don't know what you call it, but that's that's what where you go to get your book into Audible and then it ends up on Audible if it passes all their requirements. All right, hope you didn't miss episode 534. I had the most laughter in the shortest amount of time on that episode. It was about Christmas jokes and trivia, and I also sang to you on that episode, so check it out. I just was cracking up the whole time. It's a bunch of Christmas jokes you can give your kids, and I already got some feedback that they were listening on Christmas Eve and giving the jokes to all the kids to go tell their friends and cousins and neighbors. So it was a lot of fun. That was episode five. Thirty four. And of course, when you want to get to a back episode, you go to screwthecommute.com slash and then the episode number 534. Let's see what I want to tell you about. Oh, we're still going strong on and you still have some time left to get in on the triple whammy deal where you can purchase training from me, get good training, get a tax deduction for it. I can't guarantee that, but 99 percent of the time you can and you will help persons with disabilities because all the money is going to the scholarship program for persons with disabilities. So you still got time a couple of days left till the end of the year to get a big, nice big tax deduction training and help out persons with disabilities get scholarships. And so that's why I call it the triple whammy. So go to screwthecommute.com/triplewhammy.
[00:03:49] Let's get to the main event. Today, I'm talking about getting ready to do audio books. Now if you're a podcaster, you've got all the things necessary to do this yourself. If you're not a podcaster, all you really need is a decent microphone and a quiet place to record. And if you're going to do the audio books, the next step might be once you get this stuff together. Go ahead and do a podcast as one of your promotional vehicles, and I'll be discussing microphone and recording equipment along with a bunch of other stuff today. So why do I suggest, if at all possible, you narrate your audio, book yourself. It's the same reason I want your printed and ebooks to lead to larger coaching, consulting and speaking engagements and sales of your other stuff. Of course, I promote affiliate products, too in my books, but that's another story. Now, when people hire a coach, a consultant or speaker, they want you.
[00:04:54] Some narrator is not going to make a connection with people that could hire you. In fact, in my not so humble opinion, it may be counterproductive to getting hired. See, people won't make a connection with you personally and and they may wonder, why aren't you talking to them? Do you not think they're worth the effort? Do you have an abrasive or rude personality? I mean, who knows what they might be wondering? I don't want to give them a chance to wonder if I'm a good guy or not. I want them to hear directly from me. My personality, my sense of humor, my clarity and depth of knowledge if they were going to hire me. Also, let me just say a little about using a narrator, although I highly suggest you watch Derek Deepika's webinar, the link will be in the show notes. So you could pay a narrator and it could be thousands of dollars, or you could have a royalty split agreement where you get the narrator for a reduced rate or free, which reduces your upfront cost, but you must split your sales and royalties with them, usually for a long time, like four, five, six, seven, eight years I've even seen. In essence, you are paying them either up front or over time to not make a connection with the listener compared to what you would, so please record it yourself. That's what we're talking about today. Now, let's talk about the recording environment. The requirements to have an audio book accepted by ACX.
[00:06:39] Like I said, ACX is the way you get into Audible. They are much more stringent than your run of the Mill podcast. I mean, you can put out some crappy audio and still have a podcast. You can put out crappy audio and have an audio book to. It just won't get accepted by the big players like Audible. You can sell it yourself without meeting AXS standards now. I'm never a proponent of putting out crap because it goes directly to your credibility and your reputation. I'm just saying that there is no real set of specs. I mean, even Apple's podcast that that, you know, screw the commute on along with a bunch of other places. The graphics have more specifications than the audio has. All right. They want it to look good, even if it sounds like terrible. So try to put your best foot forward here. But don't be discouraged if you think you can't meet the standards right away, I assure you. You can. With just a little extra effort, and this effort is worth it to be on the top audio platforms because it will enhance your credibility and cash flow and introduce you to tons of new people that wouldn't have heard of you in any other fashion. Even if you can get close to the standards and audio professional can make the tweaks necessary to get your book in compliance. You can't give the audio professional a piece of garbage, though, and expect them to make you sound great.
[00:08:23] Ok, back to the recording environment. All rooms have sound associated with them. You might not notice it because you live or work there and have become accustomed to the sound of the room. I mean, two rooms away. I can actually hear a tiny noise coming from my refrigerator. Common sounds in homes and offices or air conditioning and heating systems, fans, clocks, fish tanks, wind, rain, road noise, lawnmowers, dogs and all kinds of stuff. You know, birds, chipmunks, I mean. I mean, even the squirrels make noise in my neighborhood. You can. When I let the dogs out, you can hear this scrambling and it's them climbing up the bark of the tree and it makes a lot of noise. All right, that's like probably going to bother your, your production. But these are noises that are in the environment all the time. Now some of these are totally in your control, and some are only partially in your control. For instance. If you have a loud refrigerator, you could turn it off for an hour and not lose any food. Just remember to turn it back on when you're done recording. The same with your air conditioning and heat. You could get the place really cold or really hot and then turn it off for a while while you record. We do that in the summer. In my TV studio, we get, I mean, real TV studios have these silent air conditioning systems, but you know, my studio doesn't that that costs tens of thousands of dollars just for that or more, probably $100000 for that kind of system.
[00:10:05] So we get the place really cold with two air conditioning units and then turn them off for about an hour while we shoot. Also, we know when the Sun is hitting the studio, the side of the building, even though we have the curtains blacked out, it's still building up heat from the sun. So we try to shoot when that's not happening. Pretty simple. A wind and rain is somewhat out of your control, just like dogs and lawnmowers. You just have to be flexible in when you have your recording sessions. If you get really good at editing, you may be able to remove these noises. Or, let's say, if a dog is being walked and barks a little bit, just stop. Take a break and pick things back up. After the barking stops, you want to back up to what you said previously to before the barking and record that over again. It's the same with lawnmowers. Wait till they're done cutting the grass and then record with traffic. There are bound to be times when traffic is at a minimum. Record then, and be ready to repeat some of your sentences if allowed car or truck happens to go by. Just don't use these things as an excuse for not doing your audio book. Now, if your situation is just impossible because you have a small place and your own kids, little kids are making noise like crazy or you got loud street noises and dogs and well, maybe a friend will let you record in their basement.
[00:11:39] It only takes minimal equipment to get the actual recording done. A simple microphone and a handheld digital recorder is all I use. Now you could take your laptop with you and a microphone. No big deal, and it's all very portable. Other things you can do to muffle outside sounds and improve the sound you get is to talk into a closet full of clothes or if you happen to have a walking closet set up there. This keeps the sound from bouncing around and cuts out lots of outside sounds. I've taught people for years to get a cardboard box, maybe about the size of a microwave oven and line it with foam or even stuff it full of old clothes or rags, and you put your microphone in the box and you cut a hole in the side of the box to talk into. Beautiful sound bookcases surrounding you and wall hangings are great and anything that keeps your sound from hitting stark flat hard walls will keep the echoes down. You could do a few minute recording and have an audio person. I found I find people at music stores and get them to listen to it. What I've recorded and and give me a critique, and many of these people working there would be glad to come and help you set up a good place to record for very little money.
[00:13:05] They'd freelance on the side. The next thing you need is a door. You'll hear this term, which is a fancy way to say, recording and editing software. It stands for digital audio workstation D A W. You have lots of choices here, I use Adobe Audition cost me $20 a month. Audacity is free for both Macs and PCs. Loads of people use that, remember it's all digital folks. It's just the extra bells and whistles and editing capabilities that some of these fancier programs have. If you have a Mac, it already has GarageBand on it. There's others called Pro Tools. And What I learned on years ago with Mike Stewart, the internet audio guy taught me on was Sound Forge. It's called and there are others. If you find an audio person to help you, though, it's best to use what they use, so it's cheaper for them to help you because they don't have to learn your door. Digital audio workstation. So with a bare minimum USB microphone and free or cheap recording software, you can be recording your audio books. Ok, now on to microphones, there are two types of microphones. One is called a condenser microphone. By the way, these are all large diaphragm microphones. This isn't don't do this with the little clip on thing that you might use in a speech. Don't do it. You're not going to get the sound quality. But anyway, one is called a condenser microphone, the other is called a dynamic microphone.
[00:14:46] For years, I use the wrong one. Ok. I got great sound, but by choosing the wrong type of microphone, I caused myself enormous amounts of time and extra work. So here's what I mean. I use the condenser microphone for many audio products and several hundred episodes of this podcast. I was getting super great sound, but I was also spending hours editing out breaths and all kinds of sounds I didn't even know existed while I was recording. Also, when doing podcast, the quality of the guests sound system and internet connection could cause me nightmares. Now, the reason I had all these problems is because I didn't realize that it condenser microphone was super sensitive and was more appropriate for a studio situation where sound is extremely controlled. Even like in soundproof booths, my notes say Boots. Soundproof boots. Now, your home or office situation isn't like this, it's not soundproof, and it has all these noises like refrigerators and stuff. That's why a dynamic microphone is better suited for doing your podcast and audio books at home. It's still high quality, but it's not as sensitive, it sounds counterproductive, you think, Oh, I want a good, sensitive microphone? No, you don't. It's too sensitive for most of our environments, so dynamic microphone is not going to pick up all those tiny, troublesome things that the condenser microphone would have picked up. This saved me many, many, many hours of editing once I switched. Now, you've probably heard of the Blue Yeti microphones.
[00:16:46] I actually recommended them to my students and mentees for years because one, they were inexpensive too. They were very versatile. You could do all kinds of things with them, and the sound quality was great. Unfortunately, they are condenser microphones, and now that I know better. Ok. I don't recommend them anymore for either podcasts or audiobooks. Now, if you have one, it works fine. Don't throw it away. Just know you have to be more skillful and willing to remove all the things it picks up that you don't want in your final production right now if you're just starting and cash is tight. I recommend a very inexpensive microphone called the eighty or twenty one hundred or ten thousand one hundred x. Either one is fine. You're going to need a Mike Stand or a scissors boom to hold it, though. Now, if you're more flush with cash, I use a Shure SM7b, which is about $400, but it really raised my game in the podcast world. You know, this podcast is rated in the top one percent out of two point something million podcast, so I've got to compete at the highest levels. I can't have crappy audio, so this really raised my game and. Since it's dynamic, it saves me tons of editing time now, right now, I want to give you a little sample of part of the introduction to an audiobook I'm doing that has passed the ACX standards. I'm really interested myself tell you the truth to to see if it sounds much different than this podcast I've been doing for what is this episode five hundred and thirty five episodes? So this is going to be about a minute, and I think in 15 seconds of the beginning of one of the or the audio book I'm starting with with Audible.
[00:18:56] So here we go. Online joint ventures, how to get in front of a million warm prospects in the next 90 days. Written by Tom Antion. Narrated by Tom Antion. Hey, that's me. Introduction. If you know what to say and do. You can get other people to promote you in a big way. Unless you're a supermodel, male or female, you just can't walk up to them and say, promote my product. There are rules to the game and not knowing them can get you disqualified in a hurry. Hello, everybody. It's Tom Antion here to tell you a little bit about why joint venturing can be so lucrative for you. It's a perfect promotional vehicle if you're just starting out and you don't have a big mailing list. When you're on all these internet forums and when you're trying to get into internet and digital marketing, you always hear about the value of the list. When you're first starting out, you don't have a list. I'm going to give you the method of approaching joint venture partners so you can overcome this problem. Now, I don't know if you could hear the difference or not, since I've gotten the podcast to a pretty high quality.
[00:20:17] But if you don't get your recording in specs, in the specs for basics, hey, that rhymes. So your book directly, but don't bother uploading to axe until you get it in in their specifications. And I'll put the link to the specifications in the show notes, but you have to consider things like you need point five to one second of silence on the head that's called the head, which is the beginning of your file before you start talking. You need one to five seconds at the tail, which is the end of each file. Each part of the book is a separate file when you go to upload it, they put it all together up an audible or a like. The introduction would be a separate file from the opening credits, and the chapters would all be their own separate files. No one file can be more than 120 minutes long. Well, that's not the whole book. That's just one of the chapters or something. Well, none. None of my books are going to be 100 two hours long, I don't think. Now, some techie stuff you have to normalize to minus three db, your noise floor must be minus 60 db or lower and stuff like that. You got to learn how to fix it, but I understand that audacity has a plug in that will check those things for you and tell you what's wrong. Now, ACX actually now has a new thing to where you can upload a file and it'll tell you if it passed their requirements or not, which.
[00:21:59] And they also tell you what's wrong with it so you can fix it. And this is really great because in the past, you, you, you would submit the book, and sometimes it took a couple of weeks to see if it was accepted or not. So now you get an instant answer before you send the entire book off to them. So get yourself a quiet place to record, get a decent microphone, sign up for free at ACX, maybe find a local audio person to help you get started and and someone to call if you get stuck and and start preparing audio books. To be heard by the world. And if you want help with all of this stuff, like you said, that's what we do here. Greatinternetmarketingtraining.com, we figure it all out. We do it to a high level and teach it to you with knocks your learning curve down like crazy. And remember, if you get on this right now before the first, you got the triple whammy deal where you can get the training. Most likely, I'd say ninety nine percent of the time you're going to get a tax deduction out of it and you're going to help those people get scholarships and work through their digital and internet marketing program, those persons with disabilities, so. So there we go. Get making those audio books and I'll catch you on the next episode. See you later.
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