You may find this guide with pictures helpful. - To learn how to use this, please read on!
May I record a whole book on my own?
Some volunteers have asked us if they can record a whole book for LibriVox and the answer is: yes please!
Note for first-time recorders:
Reading a whole book, as many of us have discovered, is often more time-consuming than one thinks. We therefore strongly encourage you to read a chapter for one of our collaborative projects before you start a solo project -- you'll get feedback from experienced volunteers and an idea of the work and time involved in recording an entire book. You'll also get used to the LibriVox system of naming files etc, and you can sort out glitches with your recording equipment, if necessary. Here's our Readers Wanted section, where you can find books in need of ... readers: Readers Wanted forum
If you've never done a LibriVox recording before, please also read through this Newbie Guide to Recording, in the LibriVox wiki.
Note re. short stories:
If you would like to record a single short work, for instance a short story, please post directly in the appropriate thread in the Short Works & Poetry forum. You will find threads for collections for short pieces there, you can submit whatever you wish to read, and will get help there if needed - just ask in the thread. "Short" usually means under 70 mins long when recorded.
If you plan to read a whole book:
- Verify that the book is in the public domain in the USA. Gutenberg.org is the most comprehensive site of works in the public domain. This LibriVox wiki page might help you. If you need some help with this, start a new topic in Book Suggestions.
LibriVox welcomes recordings in languages other than English. The same rules apply as in the section above - please make sure the text you want to read is in the public domain.
NOTE: As the LibriVox server is located in the USA, US laws apply. Under US copyright law, books published before 1925 are in the public domain. Other countries are governed by different laws - for example in Europe, copyright exists for 70 years after the author's death. - There are several Gutenberg Projects outside the US. You may only record works from them for LibriVox if they were published before 1925.
- Please start a new topic here in New Projects Launch Pad, and for a subject put "SOLO [Book title] by [Author]"
If the project is not in English, please add your language to the beginning of your subject when you post your project - for example, if you're reading Dangerous Liaisons in French, put in the subject of your post:
SOLO [FRENCH] Les liaisons dangereuses de P.C. de Laclos
or, if you're recording the Communist Manifesto in German, put in the subject of your post:
SOLO [GERMAN] Das kommunistische Manifest by Engels/Marx
- Go to the Project Template generator - complete this form and copy the resulting "code" into your post. For help see http://wiki.librivox.org/index.php/Project_Template_Generator
This info is needed by the MC to enter your project in the admin system. After you have posted your project in the Launch Pad, an MC will post in your thread to claim your project and set it up in the LibriVox database (it may be a few days before an MC sets up your project). Your MC will edit your first post to add the Magic Window for your project,where you will keep track of your progress, manage proof-listening of files, etc.
- One of the members of the cataloging team will post their initials in the subject of your thread to let you know they are your meta coordinator (MC). They will also move the thread to the Going Solo forum. Your MC will keep track of your progress, offer help and encouragement, and collect your sound files.
- For tips on reading and recording books, see: About Recording
- Try to record in sections of 10 to 40 minutes (if chapters are tiny, you can record two or three in one file. If very large, try to split them in some sensible way). Files may be no more than 72 minutes, in order to fit on an audio CD.
- At the beginning and end of each recorded section, read the intro (including the LibriVox disclaimer) and outro, as specified in the template. - Your MC will review your intro/outro in your first post and this will remain there so you both have a reference. Some translations of the disclaimer into other languages have been done already -- please see this post for more details. If the language for your solo does not appear there, please check with your MC when they sign up with your project.
- Leave 5 seconds of silence at the end of each recording.
- Encode your files to mono, 128kbps mp3, sample rate 44,100 (this is the ONLY format accepted by archive.org where our files are cataloged.)
- Listen through headphones to your finished file -- check for appropriate volume and peculiar/distracting background noise. Ask for help if you need it!
- Upload your files to the LibriVox Uploader (your MC will edit the info in your top post), unless your MC tells you differently.
- Whenever you post a link to an uploaded file in the thread, make sure you include the file duration (in the Notes field in the 'magic window'). If the file needs to be edited after proof-listening, please amend the time accordingly. Your MC will need the times for cataloging your project.
- We ask that soloists post an update in their project thread at least once a month, to let the MC know that the project is still going on. Post a message even if you haven't been able to do any work. A project that has received no updates from the reader for two months may be taken off the catalog and the thread off the visible forum (you can ask to have it reinstated). Files from discontinued projects are often used in collaborative projects, so there's a good chance your recording will be put to good use even if for some reason you are not able to finish the whole book.
- Have fun reading!
- And if you start to find it overwhelming, let us know and we'll try to get more volunteers to help you out.
Thanks for contributing!