How to Translate and Record an Audiobook Professionally

How to Translate and Record an Audiobook Professionally

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Picture of a Book with headphones by silk-life at Pixabay. Pixabay License.

With the increasing popularity of online portals like Kobo, Scribd, Google Audiobooks, and Audible, more authors and producers want to record an audiobook. In the multimedia localisation and voice-over industry, audiobook translation and recording is a quickly growing segment.

Translating an Audio Book initially written in another language -especially if it is one of the most challenging languages– helps authors reach audiences in different parts of the world.

This detailed guide provides you with the information you need on how to hire voice Over actors / artists and get an audiobook professionally recorded.

How to Record an Audiobook

When you record your own audiobook, one of the most essential considerations is file quality. Audible and other publishing platforms have strict file quality standards. Every chapter must fall within the set parameters. Background noise must stay below the strict minimum. It is also important to ensure that the noise floor, tone, and quality are consistent throughout the file.

Here are the steps involved in the process.

Create your Manuscript

If you already have a published book, preparing a manuscript is relatively simple. If you plan on recording the audiobook in a different language than the one it was originally published in, you’ll first have to get it professionally translated.

Ensure that the manuscript is edited and proofed and that it matches the paperback version of the book to avoid any inconsistencies.

Pick a Narrator

The next step in the process is to choose a narrator or voice actor. Whether you choose to narrate the audiobook yourself or hire a professional narrator, it is important to take a few things into consideration.  

Narrating yourself is suitable if you are confident and comfortable in your ability to narrate. If you do not have enough time and don’t want to deal with tech and editing, hiring a professional narrator is a better option.

Hire an Audio Editor

You’ll also need an experienced audio editor for the project. The recordings need to meet the strict standards of the distribution platform, and an audio editor will have the experience needed to achieve this.    

It is recommended that you hire an audio editor even before the recording begins to handle any technical questions you may have.


The best way to record an audiobook is at a professional recording studio. While many people choose to set up a home studio to maintain consistency throughout the audiobook, you’ll need high-quality equipment, a quiet soundproof space for recording, recording software, and a good microphone.  

A recording studio will have all the equipment you need to ensure top-notch quality recordings, whether you hire a narrator or choose to narrate yourself.

Editing and Mastering

Once the recording is complete, the last step in the process is editing. During editing, it is important to listen for mouth clicks, pauses between words, background noises, and mispronunciations.

Once these are edited out, the last step in the process is mastering or adjusting the audio before the final files are complete.

Tips for Translating an Audiobook

Accurate localisation, a full workflow, and a thorough setup are important for a high-quality translation. While this is true for all audiovisual translation, voice-over, and localisation projects, this is even more important for audiobooks because it can impact sales rankings and audience engagement.

Provide detailed pronunciation guidelines to ensure consistency. Many non-fiction books contain complex terminology, place, person, and brand names. Translated audiobooks are usually complex. When translating a book written in English to German, for example, your German voice actor may not know how to pronounce English proper nouns or names correctly.

Provide guidelines for every audiobook session to avoid major delays and editing. If you already have an English audiobook recorded, you can flip out reference audio to ensure consistent and accurate pronunciations for foreign language versions. It is also important to localise the manuscript to ensure cultural accuracy and improve comprehension.  

If your book content includes technical terminology or deals with a difficult subject matter, you may want to hire a narrator that is familiar with your subject matter.

Hire the Right Audiobook Narrator

When you record an audiobook, you’ll need to find a foreign language voice-over actor who has the ability to maintain an even tone while recording long-form content. Maintaining a consistent tone throughout the book is challenging and requires years of practice.

The nature and subject matter of your book will also impact your voice actor choice. If your book has a lot of technical terminologies, you’ll want to hire a narrator who is familiar with the subject matter of the book.

Professional voice actors have years of experience and can mimic the voice and tone of the characters in your book perfectly. They can set the tone for the book and have a major impact on the success of your project. GoLocalise has a vast pool of talented, experienced voice actors specializing in audiobook narrations in over 100 languages.

How Much Does it Cost to Record an Audiobook?

The overall cost of recording an audiobook can vary depending on a lot of factors, such as whether you choose to hire a voice actor or narrate yourself, the length of the book, the complexity of the project, and more.

Use a free voice-over recording calculator to get a general idea of the amount of recording time you’ll need at a studio. You can also get in touch with GoLocalise with your exact project requirements to get an accurate quotation.

Audiobook Recording in Over 100 Languages

Improve audience engagement and sales rankings with GoLocalise’s integrated audiobook solutions that will take care of the entire recording process.

Whether you want to record an audiobook or need a comprehensive solution that includes finding the right voice talent and editing, GoLocalise has the resources and ability to record audiobooks in over 100 languages.

Do you know how to become a translator?

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