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Artwork for a book about a bunny who teaches confidence. (art by Toby Mikle)


How to Create Amazing Animatics and Audio Books for Your Children’s Book

When I was about five years old, I started listening to audiobooks while taking long car rides with my dad. When I came home, I would watch animated books like Winnie the Pooh series by A.A. Milne or Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss. The animations didn’t move much; they were simply illustrations that moved, otherwise known as animatics. While the animatics weren’t fast-paced, they were incredibly entertaining and enriching to my young mind.

Today’s article will show you how to bring the excitement and inspiration of audiobooks and animatics to your children’s book. With a little bit of planning and a small investment, you can take your book from average to extraordinary and hopefully inspire kids in the process.

One of the easiest ways to create another way for kids and parents to enjoy your book is through the creation of an audiobook, and one of the biggest websites for audiobook creation is the Audiobook Creation Exchange, otherwise known as ACX.

On ACX, voiceover professionals connect with authors or audiobook producers who want to make a book into an audiobook. You can listen to various vocal talents to hear their demo reels (samples of their voice,) ask them to do a short audition for your book, and negotiate potential prices for a recording.

Another way to located amazing voiceover talent is through Fiverr. Simply sign up for the website, search for voiceover gigs, and message artists whom you think would be a good fit for your audiobook.

Creating an Animatic: Fiverr, Upwork, People Per Hour, and More

If you’re planning to create an animatic for your children’s book, you either need to make sure that it’s already illustrated, or find an illustrator for the book. Illustrators and artists, much like voiceover talents, can be easily located on the internet on freelance work websites like Fiverr, Upwork, or People Per Hour. Of course, you can also search through websites like Instagram or DeviantArt to find illustrators that you like and contact them with an offer. Or, better yet, use me to illustrate your children’s book. (That’s what this website is here for, after all.)

Once you have the book illustrated, you will then need to search for an animator or video editor who can take the animations and make them into an animatic. If you’re lucky, the illustrator may also have animation skills, but it’s more likely that you’ll want to find someone experienced in the use of 2D animation software such as Adobe Animate. You can use the same online freelance websites and social media networks to locate an animator as well.

Keep in mind that if you’re planning to create an animatic with voiceover, you’ll probably want to have the animation work done before you have the voice over talent record the version of the book you want to use for the animatic. If you do it the opposite way, the images may go too fast or too slow and may not properly align with the audio recording.

It will often be easiest to have your voiceover talent create two versions of the audiobook. One for pure audiobook purposes, which will most likely be a faster read, and one to add to the animatic, which will often be slower to accommodate the pace of the animated images.

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The first illustration for a new book about Alzheimer’s (art by Toby Mikle)

Doing It All Yourself

If you’re committed to learning new skills, you’re willing to work hard, and you don’t have a strict deadline for your audiobook or animatic, you may want to consider creating everything yourself. However, keep in mind that this method may take a larger upfront investment than contracting the work out, and may be of a lesser quality, depending on your skills in voiceover and animation (we’ll touch more on this in the next article.)

No matter how you create an audiobook or narrated animatic based on your children’s book, if you create a quality product, kids are sure to love it! If you have any questions about publishing or illustrating your children’s book, don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

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