Guide to Audiobooks

What is an Audiobook?

An Audiobook, also called "spoken book", is a recording of a book being read by one or more professionals narrators, actors, fans of reading or a speech synthesis engine.
The Audiobook usually involves only the voice of a speaker that reads the text, but may also contain music, sound design or other sound effects to accompany the reading, or it can be built in the form of radio-drama, with each actor that reads its part. The audio files can be read and played with different modes, (audio CDs, MP3 players, etc..), or can be downloaded from the internet (often referred to as podcast), but there are also more specific formats, such as the DTB (Digital Talking Book), which allows you to synchronize the text on the screen with the audio.
In general the readings are recorded in professional studios where is also carried out the post-production, but there may be some audiobooks containing reading performance or “live” acting. The procedures for making an Audiobook require experience, professional skills and aesthetic taste.
In most cases an Audiobook is born from a text previously published in paper form, but sometimes it may arise from a reduction or a screenplay (original or not) written specifically for the audio recording, or is born exclusively to become an Audiobook.
At first you choose the book to read and it is studied from different points of view: literary, historical, biographical, lexical, philological etc., therefore is chosen a speaker "fit" to read and to interpret the book, which may also be the author. The book, so adapted, is read and recorded in the studio. The subsequent steps are the editing of the entire reading (elimination of mistakes, noises, wrong readings, etc.), post-production with the addition of any sound effects and music, sound optimization, and so on until the final burning. The production process of an Audiobook is therefore a teamwork that involves several professionals: the literary consultant, the producer, the director, the writers, the sound engineer, etc.
Audiobooks in addition to allowing the reading of books while you are busy with other activities, may also be a great help to many people affected by specific visual handicap or motor disabilities.