sign up for our

Home Shop Subscribe Advertise Articles Directories Classifieds Calendar FAQs Contact Us Login

Audiobook Production Checklist
Smooths Process For You And Client

March 13, 2012

By Tom Dheere
Voice Actor

I’m fortunate enough to have already narrated five audiobooks this year, with at least one more in the pipeline.

Each has been a challenging and fulfilling experience in their own right. As a result, I have compiled a checklist to make sure the experience goes smoothly for both myself and the client.

Perhaps it will help you, too ...


1. Establish a deadline

2. Get the finalized script at least one week in advance of the first recording session.

3. Only accept the manuscript as a PDF file or other Read-Me only file.

4.For non-fiction, read at least a few chapters ahead before the first recording session. For fiction, it's best practice to read the entire book before recording.

5. If fiction; establish characterizations, genders, and accents.

6. If non-fiction, determine if the client wants footnotes to be read.

7. Get a pronunciation guide.

8. Get the audio settings and file format.

9. Get the method of delivery information.

10. Get the Intro and Outro.

11. Make sure the script has page numbers.

12. Find out the page range to begin and end narration.
  • If you’re making copies, ask for the following:
  • Double-sided (to save trees and cut down on page turning)
  • Hole-punched
  • Enlarge the type to fill the page, if need be
13. Retakes:
  • make sure the client does Quality Control AFTER the files have been edited AND mastered
  • Make sure the QC sheet page and line numbers match your audiobook script
  • Find out if the client wants the retakes as separate files
  • Find out if the client will edit in the retakes, or if they want you to do it

Tom Dheere is a 15-year veteran of the voice over industry. He has narrated almost one thousand projects spanning every area of the industry, including commercials, audiobooks, and video games. His Good Karma Network (GKN) has an international following and has been the subject of numerous articles and features.

Good Karma Network:

Your Daily Resource For Voice-Over Success
Tell Us What YOU Think!
Please Note: Since we check for spam, there will be a slight delay in the actual posting of your comment.
Your Name:
Your Email Address (will not be published):
Your Comment:
Your Comment:
Security code:     
Comments (6)
Tom Dheere
3/17/2012 at 11:01 AM
I've added another one to the checklist!

If possible, have the client put the line number directly on the page. It makes the retake process much easier.

Thanks for the kinds words, guys!
Lynn Benson
3/15/2012 at 11:29 AM
It is good to see what we should be thinking. Sometimes the simple things make life easier.
Jim Conlan
3/14/2012 at 12:05 PM
Good advice, Tom. I have a couple of suggestions to add: first, regarding character voices: the author may have good suggestions on how they hear the voices. Second, regarding printing out pages, I always download the Kindle version of the text so I can read it right off the screen... no trees are harmed!
Roy Wells
3/14/2012 at 8:27 AM
Really good tips, Tom. Your list will help a lot.
Matt Cowlrick
3/13/2012 at 2:14 PM
Golden stuff, thanks Tom!
Pearl Hewitt
3/13/2012 at 1:47 PM
This is great! Thank you so much! I have a similar list but you have a few extra things on yours that I can add to mine. AWESOME!

Thanks :)
Back to Articles
Get your bi-weekly dose here ... all things VO!
Inspiring interviews help your VO career
With Sean Daeley and Paul Stefano - check it out!
On Michael Langsner's Voice-Over Roadmap Podcast