This Week in Links: May 11 – 15

For Producers:

The Art, Commerce and Science of VO – via vo2gogo – “If you don’t master the skills in all three areas, your chances for success rapidly evaporate.”

Increase Your Voice-over Income Potential: One Simple Action – via J. Christopher Dunn – Learn the art of the followup, and how it can boost your VO business.

Sleep and Diet with Voice Over Work – via Victoria DeAnda – Two of your favorite pastimes are also two important aspects of in-booth success.

A Little Girl Asked For My Autograph, But I Learned: It’s Not About Us – via Voice-Over Xtra – Learn from one VO’s lesson in humility.

For Rights Holders:

Marketing Your Book – via Author Marketing 101 – Get six helpful questions to ask yourself for book marketing success.

How to Create Instantly (& Instinctively) Recognizable Characters – via Writer’s Digest – “Your job as a writer is to create that town and populate it with characters that live their lives before our eyes.”

Self-Publishing in Audio – via Kate Tilton – Last week, we joined Kate’s weekly #K8Chat to talk audiobooks with some fantastic authors. If you missed the fun, check out the transcript here.

Ten Authors Who Had Wildly Different Day Jobs – via Quirk Books – George Orwell was once a police officer?!?

This Week in Links: May 4 – 8

For Rights Holders:

Stage One of Marketing a Book: Journaling Your Journey – via CreateSpace – Jump on board at the start of this five part series from author Richard Ridley.

No, Crowdfunding Is Not Begging – via The Alliance of Independent Authors – Are you comfortable taking to Kickstarter or Indiegogo to fund your next writing or audiobook project?

Tips for Novelizing True Events – via Writer Unboxed – So crazy, you couldn’t write it if you tried? Not with these tips from Kathryn Craft.

How To Promote Your Self-Published Book On The Cheap – via Book Marketing Tools – This post contains a number of great ideas, most of which work for audiobooks too!

For Producers:

Is It a Smart Idea to Post Voice Over Rates on a Website? – via Voice Over Herald – “Publishing your rates on your website or not is a matter of perspective.”

Sit Up Straight! For Your Best Voice – via Online Voice Coaching – Note these proper posture techniques for times when standing while voicing isn’t possible.

Voice Over Marketing Is Like Gardening (Sort Of) – via Voice-Over Xtra – Learn how to plant and nurture your client relationships.

The Secret Weapon for Beating Allergies – via Jordan’s Chopped Thoughts – A helpful blast from the past during this particularly nasty allergy season.

This Week in Links: April 27 – May 1

For Producers:

The 7 Most Overlooked Daily Habits of Successful Voice Actors – via CourVo – Whether you’re a narration newbie or a voiceover veteran, make sure you can see the forest for the trees.

How To Keep Your Voice Over Clients – via Voice-Over Xtra – Guy Harris’ advice? Focus on long-term game, not short-term gain.

Your Voice Over Questions Answered– via VOMasterClass – Gary Terzza answers a variety of common voiceover questions in his latest mailbag.

The Emoji Translation Project on Kickstarter – via GalleyCat – In a future when all books are written with emoji’s, audiobook narrators will need this handy translation guide.

For Rights Holders:

Putting It All Together – via Author Marketing 101 – An illuminating case study on one author’s book marketing experience.

Follow Your Dreams, Get Writing and Turn Those Excuses Upside Down – via The Write Conversation – “The more we talk about why we can’t—the more we guarantee our own failure.”

[AUDIO QUIZ] Can You Finish These Famous Lines From Books? – via BuzzFeed Audio – How well do you know the line after the famous lines from your favorite books?

How to Overcome Social Anxiety When You Work From Home – via The Write Life – if you’re an author who writes from home, check out these tips for acclimating to the world at large.

Happy Birthday to ACX in the UK!

Hi all, this is Sophie, from the ACX UK team. It seems like just last week we were preparing to welcome the UK’s talented authors and actors to ACX—but here we are, celebrating our first birthday. And since ACX is all about authors and actors collaborating to produce great sounding audiobooks, we invited some of our most successful UK early adopters to help us celebrate by sharing what they learned in their first year.

First up, we’ve got Audible Approved producer Anna Parker-Naples, who we met at last year’s London Book Fair. Anna has gone on to produce 10 audiobooks through ACX, and joins us to share how she chooses which books to audition for.

Anna Parker-Naples—Narrator of Legacy Code:

APN Homepage_HR021. Have a look at the Amazon ranking. I’m not going to give you a hard-and-fast number by which to choose your titles from, but be aware of them. Low rankings on a book that has been released for a while may not be a good sign that the audio will sell well.

2. Research the author. If they are active and engaged on social media, then it will mean they already have a following who may be interested in the audiobook when it is released.

3. Consider the genre or content of the title. Make sure that you have an interest in the topic. You will be spending a long time with that subject matter if you land the job and are planning to narrate, edit, proof, and master it yourself. And if there is content that you are uncomfortable with, go with your gut instinct and steer clear.

4. Be honest about your abilities. How much do you know about the main characters and their accents and dialects? If something is required that isn’t in your toolbox, perhaps this isn’t the right one for you.

We first met Joanna Penn at the ACX launch party, hosted at the King’s Head pub in London, and has gone on to publish five titles via ACX with another on the way.

Joanna Penn—Author and Narrator of Business for Authors:

ACX Author and DIY Narrator Joanna PennI love working with ACX narrators for my books because together, we produce a new interpretation of the work. The listener has to enjoy the voice of the author and also the voice of the narrator, so it’s a completely separate kind of product from the ebook and print book. Narrators are creative professionals who know a lot more than authors about audio, so I tend to trust my narrators to produce the best product rather than being over-controlling. I QC listen and comment on specific pronunciation with place names, but I like to allow the narrator a lot of freedom of expression. This makes the whole experience more fun for us, and hopefully, for the listener!

At an author luncheon in the autumn, we heard firsthand how profoundly affected our UK writers were by hearing their work in audio, and how important it is to hire the right narrator for their book.

Keith Houghton—Author of the Gabe Quinn series:

When I write a novel, I assign my own made-up voices to the characters. They are my creation and I know how they should sound in any given situation. In the Keith Houghtoncase of audiobooks, the job is done for us, and that’s why it’s important to get the right producer the first time, someone who will bring your characters to life in the way you envisaged them. Audiobooks stimulate the imagination in a very different way than print books. Everything hinges on the narrator’s performance: the drama, the mood, the emotion. The right narrator will paint an audible rainbow, adding shade to context and definition to contrast.

In my experience, the best way to ensure a true reflection of the voices you have in mind is to provide your producer with key background information about each of your main characters–where they are from, their motivation, their idiosyncrasies–plus specific scene details such as fear, happiness, or stress. This will help them choose the right accents for your players and relay the right tone for each scene.

In addition to learning how to work hand in hand with their producers, as UK authors brought their book marketing expertise to a new medium, they found that hearing their work in audio would in turn improve their future writing.

Mark Dawson–Author of the Beatrix Rose series:

I’m convinced that audio is the next frontier in the indie revolution, and I wanted to be a part of it sooner rather than later; I was delighted when ACX finally came to the UKMark Dawson

And it was well worth the wait. I eventually settled on a couple of US based narrators for my two series and we got stuck in. The recording process was straightforward and the experience of listening to my words read by professional actors was amazing. 

The books went on sale and there was a new challenge to consider: what about promotion? The support industry that has grown up around Amazon’s self-publishing platform isn’t there yet, so you have to think laterally. I emailed my mailing list and asked for volunteers for an audiobook advance reader team, eventually closing the door when we had enough. ACX makes promo codes available to help with getting early interest in your titles. I received 25 codes and my narrators received another 25. I collected all of these and gave them out to the team with the request that they leave honest reviews in return. The response was excellent, with dozens of reviews placed and some very nice comments included. They helped stimulate sales, and I now have a nice secondary income stream every month. I expect that it will grow over the forthcoming months.

Steven A. McKay–Author of the Forest Lord series:

In the year since ACX first opened up to UK authors, I’ve had all three of my titles produced as audiobooks. ACX opened up a whole new market bringing me new ‘readers’ and a new revenue stream in the process (which is always Steven McKaynice)! But on top of those obvious rewards, hearing my work read by a professional narrator has been a learning experience, as things like word repetition and pacing of scenes show up in audio more obviously than they do on a laptop screen. I’d like to think my writing has improved as I now take this into account when working on anything new.

It’s been a heck of a year and I’ll raise a glass in your honour today–Happy birthday to ACX in the UK!

This Week in Links: April 20 – 24

For Rights Holders:

Book Marketing from Your Epicenter – via Book Marketing Tools – Tips on how to create waves beyond your circle of friends and associates.

How to Accomplish Twice the Writing in Half the Time – via The Write Practice – Can having less time to write actually make you more productive?

Get Your Blog Found with Proper Labels & Tags – via The Write Conversation – “Today, I’m going to give you the tools that make labeling/tagging a breeze and immediately help your blog come up in the search engine rankings.”

Get It Done or Get It Right?– via The Writer’s Alley – Learn how earning a degree in architecture taught this author a lesson in writing.

For Producers:

Voiceover Websites Part 1 of 2 – via Voiceover Mechanic – Your neighborhood mechanic covers the basics of setting up your VO homepage.

Do You Have Some Demolition To Do? – via Marc Scott Voice Over – “When you’re an entrepreneur, often, the only limits in place are the ones we put on ourselves.”

The Elements of a Well-Reviewed Audiobook – via The ACX Blog – Robin Whitten of AudioFIle Magazine joins us to share what her reviewers listen for in a great performance.

Will Computers Ever Replace Human Voice Actors? – via Voice Over Herald – Are the robots coming for your gigs?

This Week in Links: April 13 – 17

For Rights Holders:

The Sleazebag and the Magician: A Tale of Two Marketers – via Goins, Writer – Check out the comments section of this article for even more marketing tips from a variety of authors.

My Writing Process – via Helping Writers Become Authors – Learn how author K.M. Weiland goes from idea to manuscript and see how it stacks up against your process

Measuring Social Media ROI – via BadRedhead Media – “Marketing is one of the most difficult areas to measure ROI (return on investment), but don’t fret, it isn’t impossible. There are several tools authors can use to identify the impact of their posts or their visibility in the market.”

Quick Book Marketing Tips for Fiction and Nonfiction Authors – via The Book Designer – Get an easy to digest overview of the differences between marketing fiction and on fiction titles.

For Producers:

How to Deal with Spring Allergies as a Voice Over Artist – via Victoria DeAnda – “You can get through this allergy season, and continue to work as a voice over artist. All you need to do is try these tips.”

3 Things That Define A Successful Audiobook Narrator [VIDEO] – via Dane Reid Media – Veteran Nashville-based audiobook producer Joe Loesch shares the three pillars of his successful career.

Voiceover Scams – via Voiceover Mechanic – New actors can learn how to avoid the shadier aspects of the VO industry in this post from Anthony Gettig.

You Then Me: A Better Way To Introduce Yourself – via Marc Scott – Learn how an emergency responder’s approach can save lives and help you land audiobook gigs.

This Week in Links: April 6 – 10

For Producers:

For A Good First Impression With Audiobook Producers, Share Your Audible Customer Rating – via Voice-Over Xtra – Audible Approved ACX Producer Karen Commins has a great tip that you can apply to authors as well.

What’s Your Production Process? – via Wayne Farrell – Wayne lays out his audiobook recording from start to finish. How does it compare to yours?

How To Make Yourself Known and Available To The Work As A Voice-over – via Voice Over Herald – Learn the importance of committing to a promotional plan for your VO business.

Five Tips For A Quality Voiceover Demo – via Rob Marley Voiceover – “You want your demo to be remembered. If you send out a bad demo, IT WILL BE REMEMBERED.”

For Rights Holders:

Marketing Tip: Follow the 80/20 Rule in Social Media – via CreateSpace – Learn how to get the right mix of informative and promotional in your marketing efforts.

Finding Time to Write – via Writer’s Digest – Authors are busier than ever these days, so it’s important to remember the obvious: make time to write!

Grow Your Blog: Steal Tips From My Social Media Marketing Experiment – via Make A Living Writing – An in-depth look at one author’s findings.

Jack Kerouac’s 31 Beliefs about Writing – via The Write Practice – Find inspiration in the musing of one of America’s most revered novelists.