What Makes an Audiobook Good?

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    What makes an audiobook good? Let’s dig deeper into the characteristics of an excellent audiobook.

    What makes an audiobook good?

    Not every audiobook is the same. Some grab your attention from the get-go with mesmerizing stories and memorable characters. Others are bland, and you never want to listen to them again.

    Several factors determine the quality of your audiobook experience. This article will analyze those factors.

    The qualities of great audiobooks

    Great audiobooks need to go beyond the quality of the story and how well it’s written. Here is what you should look out for on audiobook platforms or if you want to create an audio version of your own book.

    A good audiobook narrator

    The narrator can make or break your chances of enjoying an audiobook on Speechify or Amazon’s Audible. Here are the most important qualities voice actors need to possess:

    • Clear enunciation – A narrator of a book or podcast must pronounce every word and phrase correctly and cleanly. Their voice shouldn’t feature under or over-articulation, lisping, and whistling.

    • Robust breath control – The narrator must control their breathing. Otherwise, they may struggle to breathe inside or between sentences and run out of air.

    • Compelling storytelling – Another important attribute of a good narrator is being compelling. They must immerse you in their delivery, which should follow the intent of the author and the tone of the content. Plus, they need to be consistent during the narration.

    High-quality content

    You may like certain voice actors, regardless of the content they’re narrating. While some narrators may only work on high-quality projects, you should also choose your audiobooks based on the content.

    For instance, listening to something you’re interested in makes more sense than listening to great voice actors who narrate bland content.

    You also need to consider the type of content you’d want to listen to in the audio format. Graphic novels relying on images and reference books with charts usually work better in the traditional format.

    The use of character voices

    The character voices a narrator creates for an audiobook can be a deal-breaker. Some people may prefer audiobooks read in a narrator’s voice with a matter-of-fact tone, but this content often isn’t as fun as more compelling novels.

    For example, you may want to stick to books whose narrators use distinctive voices or a full cast. It can transform the listening experience and breathe new life into classic titles.

    Keep in mind that the narrator shouldn’t go overboard with character voices. Too whiny or nasal or unique, and the voice quickly becomes annoying. Similarly, an exaggeration of protagonists of different genders can make you roll your eyes.

    Another detail you should look for in terms of character voices is pauses between individual speakers. It helps you connect with your fiction and non-fiction books better. More importantly, you can more easily keep up with conversations.

    If the narrator can strike a balance between natural tones and variations in their character voices, you’ll be in for a stunning experience. Whether you’re listening to a science fiction or comedy novel, such an audiobook performance by a professional narrator is a must-have.

    Implementation of sound effects

    A good audiobook has excellent sound effects. For example, you can hardly imagine a fantasy novel without battle sounds or noises that help describe the world. It would be an incomplete experience, and you wouldn’t want to revisit such titles.

    Proper pacing, enunciation, and inflections

    As previously discussed, pauses between different lines of dialogue and paragraphs are essential to your comprehension of a book. Proper pacing, enunciation, and inflection are just as important. If the narrator nails all three elements, you’re more likely to enjoy the title.

    Both female and male narrators should vary the pacing by speeding things up during high-intensity moments in thrillers. Conversely, they should slow down during romantic or other emotional moments to help you savor the scene.

    Regarding enunciation and inflections, clarity is the top feature you should look for in an audiobook. A poorly-trained narrator won’t be able to salvage even the best Harry Potter books.

    An edited voiceover that reduces mouth sounds

    Sometimes, a narrator can’t read the script adequately. They omit, change, or add certain phrases or words, which can ruin the overall experience. The best narrators anticipate problematic points and make sure to perform their best.

    But even the most skilled narrator might not be able to do anything about their mouth sounds. That’s where edited voiceovers come in. They enable producers to improve the original audio by removing excessive mouth noises, making the recording more enjoyable.

    The audio elevates the source material

    Adding unique audio to an audiobook can draw you in from the first page. Some producers add music to influence your mood and emotions, helping set up the tone, plot, and characters of the title.

    Background music and sound effects can turn an audiobook into an unforgettable movie that resonates with you. Here are the benefits of adding extra audio:

    • Improving the pace

    • Supporting cultural significance

    • Managing transitions better

    • Amplifying the mood and intensity

    • Enhancing feelings

    Speechify Audiobooks – Listen to great audiobooks from many genres

    Many factors come into play when determining the quality of your listening experience, including great narrators. Speechify Audiobooks is chock-full of titles narrated by talented voice actors.

    If you want to hear the best audiobooks, children’s books, cookbooks, or other works narrated by Jim Dale, Julia Whelan, Tom Hanks, Toni Morrison, or other famous people, you can’t go wrong with Speechify’s vast library. Check out Speechify Audiobooks and receive your first unforgettable listening session for free.

    FAQ

    How do you make a good audiobook?

    You can make a good audiobook by narrating it properly, making sure to capture the tone and intent of the author.

    What are the pros and cons of an audiobook?

    An audiobook promotes easier comprehension and higher immersion than traditional books. However, sometimes they cost more than printed versions. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Speechify Audiobooks where you can get great deals on audiobooks.

    How much does an audiobook narrator get paid?

    Novice audiobook narrators receive between $10 and $100 per project after the audiobook producer uploads the content to the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX).

    What skills do you need to be an audiobook narrator?

    A good audiobook narrator has clear enunciation, breath control, and compelling storytelling. Also, you’ll need to have good control over mouth noises if you want to narrate your own audiobooks.

    Are audiobooks just as effective as reading?

    Yes. First-time audiobook listeners can gain just as much from the audio format as from reading when it comes to memorizing content.

    Is listening to audiobooks healthy?

    Listening to audiobooks is healthy because it helps lower eye strain. That’s one of the reasons audiobook production is becoming more popular than the written word.

    What is the difference between an audiobook and an audio course?

    Audiobooks are audio versions of printed books, whereas audio courses are educational materials only filmed in an audio format.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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