Behind the Scenes: The Recording of an Audiobook | Heidi Wessman Kneale

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Audiobooks are the fastest growing format for literature. More readers than ever are turning to this oh-so-convenient format as a way of indulging in their favourite works, especially as our lives are too busy to sit down and read a good book.

But busy doesn’t mean we must sacrifice the books we love. Audiobooks lend themselves well to the commute, while cooking dinner, gardening/cleaning/choretime, pretty much any activity where it’s not possible to have a book in one’s hand.

Audiobooks offer the benefit of another level of comfort and intimacy. It’s so nice to indulge in the luxury of a velvety voice reading a book to you. Maybe it’s even the author themselves, putting the perfect inflection into their words. Ah, lovely!

So, what’s stopping you from putting all your published works into audiobook format?


Money? Time? Perfectionism?

Not sure how the whole process works?

In June, I show all you potential audiobook authors how I record and produce an audiobook.

Come see what my current setup looks like. I’ll show you my equipment, my recording room, my comfy perform-for-hours position, and more.

Check out the software I currently use, hear about software I’ve used in the past, and I’ll demonstrate a few nifty tricks that makes my work pass even Audible’s strict Quality Assurance guidelines. I’ll give you my voice training tips for a pleasant-sounding voice, and a few actor’s tips to ensure an audiobook doesn’t sound flat and boring. (Your book is interesting. Here’s how to make it sound that way.)

I’ll even let you see the warts-and-all first draft of my work, with all the hums and ums and throat-clearing junk noise. Learn the difference between poor-quality track and a good-quality track that simply needs cleaning up. Oh, yes. I’ll show you how to edit and clean up a track so it sounds like bliss.

Why would I show you all this? Because you want to see hear your work as an audiobook. A few pathways exist that can bring this to fruition. By showing you how an audiobook is produced, you will gain a better understanding of the work that’s involved, its possibilities and limitations. This will allow you to choose the production path that will suit you best.

Maybe you’ll choose the path of auditioning voice actors through Audible or Findaway Voices, who will take your written words and turn them into a pretty good audiobook. When you understand the work that goes into production, and that it can take many hours to produce a single Finished Hour of high-quality audio track, you’ll feel better about paying hundreds of dollars for a satisfying product.

Or maybe you’ll consider producing your own audiobooks. You’ve learned the value of a good microphone. You’ve seen how easy it is to edit sound files. Goodness, you’ve even given it a go yourself in the OWL! (I am all about hands on.) Maybe you could try recording a short story or two and distributing it to the world. Have some fun!

Regardless of the path you choose, at the end of June, you’ll have a greater understanding and appreciation of how an audiobook is produced. May this OWL help you take your beautiful novels to the next stage.

Head over to TryBooking and book your spot in “Behind the Scenes: The Recording of an Audiobook“.

Behind the Scenes: The Recording of an Audiobook with Heidi Wessman Kneale
RWA OWL Course Dates: 3 to 30 June, 2019
Cost: RWA Member—$55. Non-RWA Member—$88.
Venue: Online – RWA Moodle Platform
For more information and bookings:

Heidi Wessman Kneale – June OWL presenter

Heidi Wessman Kneale has a BA in Film and Music from the University of Utah, where she studied electronic acoustic and recording techniques, acting and voice. She has done narration work for indie and student films, professional radio and, naturally, an audiobook or two.


  1. I’d love to do this but I’m travelling in June. Please run it again sometime.

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