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How to Record Author Events

Hosting an author event? Libro.fm can easily turn your in-person events into audiobooks for free.

Producing exclusive content draws in new audiobook listeners and provides current Libro.fm members with content they won’t be able to get anywhere else.

Listen to one of the free author events on our site and imagine what’s possible for your store.

Pre-production

Choose an author event that will be worth the effort to record. Not every event is a good fit for recording, so consider aiming for 2-4 recordings per year to keep the content bar high.

Get permission from the author and/or publisher. While an email agreement is sufficient for Libro.fm, you are welcome to use this release form.

Start with a “sound” plan… 

Turning a live author event into a quality recorded podcast requires planning before the event starts. Things to consider include the recording engineer, the equipment you’ll be using, and the event room environment. 

Questions to consider

  • How many speakers need to be miked (author, interviewer, etc.)?
  • How will questions from the audience be miked?
  • Placement and types of mikes needed (Lavs wired or wireless, handheld)?
  • How many audio tracks needed?
  • Will the recorded audio be sent to a PA system, or will the PA system feed the “mix” to a recorder?
  • Will the recording be made with a separate stand-alone system?

A freelance recording engineer may be able to provide these services for you. Another alternative would be to hire a local student or musician who has their own recording gear and is eager to get experience at bookstore-friendly rates. Or, if these events are a regular part of your bookstore schedule, it might be worth investing in a simple recording setup and training your staff to record the events.

Need help?

Contact Carl Pearson at Creative Productions. Carl is available to walk you through the process by phone, get you a discount on equipment, and possibly turnkey the post production. Email Carl at herogroup@gmail.com or call 206-730-2464.

Here are a few good options for recording equipment:

The Tascam DR-10L
(with a lavalier mike)

Small enough to clip on the author with a lav mike.

MSRP $249 / Street Price $199.99    

The Tascam DR-05X

A stereo recorder with built-in mikes—or add a mike to the ⅛” Stereo Mini Jack. 

MSRP $199 / Street Price $119.99    

The Tascam DR-05X

This four-track audio recorder is a great solution for recording an interviewer, author with lavs, audience questions, and audience reactions with built-in mikes all at the same time. Features two professional XLR mike inputs for your lav or handheld mikes.

MSRP $299 / Street Price $199.99    

The live event…

Set up, test all the equipment, and check recording levels well in advance of the start time. Monitor the recording with headphones during the event. Listen carefully for hums, busses, and static if using a feed from the PA system, as well as mike handling noise. Breath blasts on “P’s” and “B’s” mean the mike is too close or needs a windscreen. If using wireless mikes, use fresh batteries and make sure the signals are good. Record in a high quality WAV format.

Post production

Now is the time to “fix it in post” which will allow you to edit out unneeded comments and get a consistent audio level throughout the podcast. Edit out comments like “here is the signing table, and there are cookies in the back,” and so on. Delete any lengthy pauses and gaps to keep it moving at a good pace. If an audience member asking a question did not  speak into the mike, the question will likely need to be deleted. Consider adding standard “opening” and “closing” credits to your podcast that can be recorded after the event.

After the editing of the WAV format is completed, the project can be exported to an MP3 format at 192 kbps at a Constant Bit Rate for distribution.

If you don’t have a way to edit your own recording, contact Carl at Creative Productions. For a limited time, Libro.fm is willing to pay for the post production work to help get you started.

Final steps

  1. Upload the files to Google Drive or DropBox and share with Carl Pearson at herogroup@gmail.com
  2. Email the following to herogroup@gmail.com and bookstores@libro.fm:
  3. Allow a 1-2 week turnaround time on our end.
  4. Promote! Once the event is live, share it with the author, publisher, and your customers.

We look forward to working with you on your next author event.