Fixed-Layout eBooks with Read Aloud Narration
We can produce stunning fixed-layout ePUB 3 versions of illustrated and children’s books featuring a ‘read aloud’ (sometimes called read along) option. This gives readers the ability to listen to a narration of the book with each word highlighted as it is read out. Music or sound-effects can also be included to play while the book is being read and can be triggered by a page-turn or when the reader taps a specific element on the page.
Read-aloud eBooks can also include an ambient soundtrack (background music) that will play on a loop whilst the book is being read. It is possible to use different soundtracks for separate spreads, although there will be delay between the end of one track and the start of the next.
Devices which support read aloud ebooks include Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and Kobo tablets, however please note that not all devices which support fixed-layout ePUB 3 files will support the read-aloud feature. We can distribute your read-aloud eBook to Apple’s iBooks and iTunes, Google Play, and Kobo. For more details visit our fixed-layout eBook distribution page.
Unfortunately, we cannot produce either KF8 (Amazon Kindle) files or PagePerfect (Barnes & Noble Nook) files with read-aloud or other audio features.
Examples of Read Aloud eBooks
Below are videos of two read aloud titles we have produced.
The first clip shows some samples pages from Hababy’s Christmas Eve – a charming, illustrated children’s book written by Joy and Jamie Farr, aka Maxwell Klinger in the iconic TV series M*A*S*H.
The bottom clip, is taken from Mummy’s Lump, a book we converted for Breast Cancer Care. This title is narrated by double Olivier Award-winning actress, Zoë Wanamaker.
Supplying a Narration
To add the read-aloud feature you will need to provide a single sound file containing a complete narration of your book. Usually we receive files in MP3 or M4A formats, although we can work from most other audio formats too. A few guidelines on providing your audio file:
- The narration must be an accurate reading of the text contained within your book, as every single word of the narration needs to be mapped to the relevant word within the book (to make word highlighting possible).
- It is not compulsory to include the front matter or end matter in narration.
- Some devices/software will pause the narration between page turns, so we recommend that you include a short pause 1 to 2 seconds whilst recording the reading.
- For the same reason we recommend that you do not include a continuous musical soundtrack behind the narration, as this will also be paused between pages.
To receive a quote for the production of a ‘Read Aloud’ eBook please use our Request A Quote form or send a sample (ideally as a PDF) along with an explanation of your requirement to firstname.lastname@example.org