Paranormal mystery author Mary Castillo wanted to get her books into audio, but the cost of hiring a narrator was prohibitive. So she did some research and decided to try it herself. She recorded one chapter a week of Lost in the Light and posted each chapter as a podcast episode. To her surprise and delight, listeners loved it!
Today, Mary shares with us the tools she uses and gives us tips for recording. She bought a Neewer microphone and lined a box with an old pillow and some acoustic foam. She records and edits on Audacity (it's free). Originally, she purchased hosting on SoundCloud, but now she knows she can put the files on her WordPress site.
The most important thing, she says, is to read ahead in the book so you're once again intimately familiar with the story and the characters. You also need to learn to do a proper warmup for your voice before each day's narration session. Mary found voice-over warmups on YouTube specifically for narrators as well as YouTube videos to help her use a British accent for her main character.
She also suggests not reading from paper. Use your ereader or tablet and make the font really large so it's easy to read. When you turn the page, it won't produce any sound that you need to try to edit out later.
Beta listeners are also one of Mary's biggest recommendations. They'll catch repeats, mistakes, and background noise that you didn't notice. Bonus – many of them will post reviews. You can also build an email list by starting with beta listeners.
Mary's latest recording adventure is to record each chapter of her new book, Lost in Whispers, live on Facebook Live. You can watch and listen every Tuesday at 11am Pacific, starting January 30, 2018, on her Facebook page.
NOTE: At one point, Mary and I laugh about making her Facebook Live look like story time, and how she'll come in and change her shoes and sweater. Then I say I have to go see if any of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is on YouTube. Then I found out – they announced this week that they're making a movie about him starring Tom Hanks! Read more about it here. I can't wait! 😀