VoiceMap has helped to publish over 1,000 audio tours, in collaboration with all sorts of producers, from octogenarian tour guides to audio artists, podcasters, busy tour operators and city governments. We learn from every tour, and we improve our tools and processes continuously, with two goals:
- Delighting listeners with tours of the highest quality possible
- Making it easy to publish them, whatever your skillset, by ensuring that quality is a predictable outcome of our process – and not the end result of how much time you have for trial and error along the way
Most of our producers haven’t worked with audio before. Only a handful have already made an audio tour – and even fewer have made one that plays automatically using GPS. But that’s okay! Each of the six steps in our process makes the next one easier. All you really need to do is start, and you do that with the map.
The six steps #
Draw a line representing the route listeners follow, then add voice locations to speak about points of interest and give directions along that line. This gives you a script outline with talk times and word counts that match the travel times between locations. (The exceptions to this are indoor tours and tours without a set route.)
Use the structure provided by your outline to write a script for every location, staying under the word count or stopping listeners when you go over it, then submit locations to your editor as you go. You can get feedback before you complete the script this way, and incorporate it into how you write the rest of your script.
Receive email notifications when your editor accepts or returns a location’s script. Their feedback is always about how the final product is going to work for listeners, as an audio tour, and focuses on things like clear directions. You can more about the the role of your editor here.
Save your script with text to speech at any point and the audio is immediately available for download in the VoiceMap app, if you sign into it using the same account. But the most important time for this is before you record final audio because re-recording and re-editing is much more time consuming than identifying problems now – and some problems are only obvious when you actually go out and do your tour.
Set things up to get the best possible audio quality with our help and whatever equipment you have available. We ask you for a sample recording, suggest improvements before you record the whole thing, and we edit your audio for you, if you need us to, which helps you make sure your final product is polished and professional.
Complete your final touches, adding a cover photo, description, directions to the first location and a few other details that make your tour easier to use and sell. We review these too, with a focus on boosting sales. When that final review is done, click on the publish button. Your tour is available on voicemap.me and in the VoiceMap apps almost immediately. (You can read more about how customers access your tour here.)
Our support doesn’t end there, of course. We encourage you to work with us to reach the widest audience possible, and our bestselling publishers have almost always matched remarkable tours with impressive distribution.
Exceptions and workarounds #
Our process doesn’t make sense for every tour, and we do allow exceptions. Three of the most common are:
- Tours that are going to be distributed privately using voucher codes
- Tours that include interview recordings, which can make text to speech and word count estimates less useful
- Tours that are professionally produced, on behalf of a third party
We’re often happy to let you work around our process. Just let us know what you have in mind.
How can we make this more useful?
Was this part of the tutorial not detailed or clear enough? What questions do you still have that could have been answered here?