9 Tips for a Successful Audiobook Production

A guest post by Jamie Davis

Will Dages
Jul 31, 2018 · 6 min read
Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

The following is a guest post by Jamie Davis: an author, podcaster, and health care journalist who has created three audiobooks through Findaway Voices (with two more in production now). Learn more about his work at jamiedavisbooks.com. Enjoy!


As more authors delve into the world of audiobooks with their collected works, many find the challenges of working with narrators or voice actors a challenge. It is difficult to translate your needs and desires regarding your project to the person who will be the voice of your book and characters. Here are some tips discovered along the way to help when working with an audiobook narrator.

Tip #1: Identify Your Project’s Voices

Tip #2: Think About the Ideal Narrator’s Voice

Tip #3: Think Like a Producer

Tip #4: Create a Story Bible

Tip #5: Proof-listening

Tip #6: Communicating Fixes to a Narrator

When proof-listening, pay attention to mispronounced words, as well as pacing and awkward pauses that interrupt the flow of the story. Mispronounced words are easy fixes. Note the time in the audio track and the sentence from the main project and leave a note for the author with a phonetic spelling of how you want the word pronounced.

Pacing and awkward pauses are less tangible and require you, as the producer/director, to communicate what you’re hearing that has interrupted the flow of the story. Often, this is a simple fix for the narrator but you must communicate to them how you want them to fix the problem. There may be too long a pause between two sentences or paragraphs. Communicate with the narrator whether you want the gap lengthened or shortened if it is creating an awkward break in the scene for the reader.

Tip #7: Open Lines of Communication

Tip #8: Narrators are Partners

“In the audiobook world, listeners follow their favorite narrators as often as they follow their favorite authors. Use this brand loyalty to your advantage...”

Tip #9: Review Codes

Work together to build the success of your joint project!


Overall, the creation of an audiobook can be a challenging project that, in some ways, rivals the process of creating the original text version of the book. Using some simple tips and techniques can make it a more positive experience for both the author and the narrator. This will create a better audiobook and generate a whole new audience of readers for your stories.


Thanks again to Jamie Davis for the guest post! You can learn more about his work at jamiedavisbooks.com.

Findaway Voices

Findaway Voices helps authors create & distribute audiobooks with more freedom and control than ever before. For the entire catalog of posts, visit blog.findawayvoices.com.

Will Dages

Written by

Head of Product for Findaway Voices

Findaway Voices

Findaway Voices helps authors create & distribute audiobooks with more freedom and control than ever before. For the entire catalog of posts, visit blog.findawayvoices.com.

More From Medium

Related reads

Also tagged Self Publishing

Also tagged Self Publishing

Adventures in Self-Publishing

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade