Thursday, May 25, 2017

How to record an audiobook

We started recording the audiobook of my new book "Uncommon People" on Monday morning. This is how it works. You go to a studio that specialises in voice recordings. They've printed out a script of the finished version of the book. It looks a bit intimidating when you start.

We were recording in Patch's studio. He was on the other side of the glass with another copy of the script. Whenever you fluff or misread (even so much as changing an indefinite article for a definite article) he stops you and you go back and drop in the correction. As you finish each page you try to drop it to the floor noiselessly. At the end of each session there's a ton of paper at your feet. Patch also warns you if the energy is dropping, as it tends to do in the late afternoon, and dispenses industrial strength lozenges when he hears your voice "getting tight".

The last book too almost four days to record. We must be getting better because we managed to do this in three by starting early on the last day and giving ourselves hardly any breaks. We reached this page at close of play yesterday.


  1. I love audiobooks but the fact is that some people write great books but can’t read them aloud very well.

    My favourites are Alan Bennett
    and Barack Obama.

    I think Christopher Hitchens did a terrible job of reading his own autobiography and Bill Nighy badly mangled Eric Clapton’s.

    And none of the the three who read Keith Richard’s Life did a good job IMHO. How hard is it to pick up the fact that the ‘w’ in Chiswick is silent?

  2. Please tell me that you called Patch "Clem Fandango" at least once.

  3. Halfway through the print version. Love the format and the content. Best read, so far, this year.

  4. Any idea when this will appear in iTunes?

  5. Must be any day now, Charlie.

  6. Just finished the audiobook. I didn't think I could be more enthralled about a topic more than the 1971 book, but I was wrong. The new book is amazing and definitely one for us to keep for the ages, to try to foist at some point on my teenage kids. I say try, because, like me at that age, they have no interest in 'old' music...but hopefully it will come. Well done Sir, what's next?!