This Week in Links: October 5 – 9

For Producers:

Vocal Exercises To Expand Emotional Range – via Dr. Ann S. Utterback – “One aspect of reading copy that must be correct is the em0tion. Even though most of us would agree this is true, I know plenty of professionals who have a tough time getting emotion across with their voices.”

Why Confidence Means a Lot to Your Voiceover Business’ Success – via Victoria DeAnda – “Confidence is everything to your business. Without it, the chances of your business succeeding are slim.”

Be Phenomenal – via Rob Marley – “From the cold call to the thank you note, do as much as you possibly can to make the client feel that they are getting an incredible value for the amount of service you provide.”

Why Good is Never Good Enough in Voiceovers – via Gary Terzza – “How good are you at voice overs? Can you get away with being ‘ok’, ‘not bad at all’ or ‘above average’?”

For Rights Holders:

7 Tips for Making Search Engines Work for Marketing Your Book – via MediaShift – “After all, what’s the point of having a webpage if potential readers can’t find it in search?”

Growing and Cultivating Your Online Community – via CreateSpace – “Essentially, your goal is to grow your community to the point that it’s so large it can’t be handled by one person. That’s when you’ll have one of those problems that’s nice to have.”

7 Habits of Highly Effective Voice Seekers – via Mike Cooper – “Using the Seven Habits outlined below will show your Voiceover Artist you know what you’re talking about, and help you to avoid some of the common pitfalls.”

Book Logline: What It Is & How To Write It – via Book Marketing Tools – “Some authors use the term logline, a story summary, interchangeably with tagline, a marketing term, but the two concepts really are different.”

Now On ACX: “Offer Pending” Banner

Have you searched for an audition-ready project on ACX recently? You may have noticed a new banner labeled “Offer Pending” in your results. And if you’ve seen this new feature, you might have a few questions about it. Lucky for you, we’ve got all the answers.

Offer Pending_01

Q: What does “Offer Pending” mean?

A: “Offer Pending” means the rights holder of that title has made an offer to produce it to another ACX producer.

Q: What if the offer was made to me? Will I still see the flag?

A: Nope, but others will.

Q: I’d really like to produce this book. How long does the other producer have to accept the offer?

A: Depending on the offer, the producer who received it has from 24 – 72 hours to accept or decline the offer.

Q: So can I still submit an audition even if a title has the “Offer Pending” banner?

A: Yep, you can.

Q: Is that a good idea?

A: That depends. Preparing, producing, and uploading an audition takes time. If the rights holder is negotiating with another producer, you might do that work only to find the book has gone into production. We suggest you message the rights holder to introduce yourself and request more information if you’re dead set on auditioning.

Offer Pending_02Want to stay up to date on new ACX features? Subscribe to The ACX Blog!

This Week in Links: September 28 – October 2

For Rights Holders:

To Promote, Or Not Promote: The Hamlet Complex – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – Should you hire someone to promote your book? Here are 8 questions to ask yourself to find out.

2015 October Platform Challenge – via Writer’s Digest – “This challenge will help writers through the process of improving their writing platforms by providing one task to complete for each day of the month in October.”

How to Be Interesting Enough to Be a Brand – via CreateSpace – Author Richard Ridley looks at brand building through the lens of dating.

Book Marketing 201 – via Publishers Weekly – “Marketing self-published books requires leveraging both new tools and tried-and-true strategies.”

For Producers:

You Landed Your First VO Gig – Now Nail It! – via Mike Lenz – Good advice for VO’s just beginning to work with pro studios.

Voice Over Mistakes – via Abbe Holmes – Abbe shares five common mistakes VO’s make and how to avoid them.

Sick Happens – via Rob Marley – Five ways to avoid putting VO work on hold because of a cold.

Why Some Voiceover Artists Never Make It – via Victoria DeAnda – Learn how not to sabotage your chances for success as a VO.

This Week in Links: September 21 – 25

For Rights Holders:

Speaking To Promote Your Book – via Book Marketing Tools – “One great way to promote your book, especially for authors of nonfiction books, is to do speaking gigs. Not only can this be another income source, but it will also help to drive book sales and grow your reading audience and mailing list.”

How to Edit Fiction: Watch Me Correct My Own Story in Real Time – via Helping Writers Become Authors – If you’re going to self-edit, you’d better do it right. Learn from the real life edits of author K. M. Weiland.

Learning From Others & Building Buzz – via Author Marketing 101 – Take a trip to your local bookstore to learn how successful authors are marketing their books.

Five Self-publishing Lessons Learned Between Debut and Second Book – via ALLi – “Lorna Sixsmith reflects on some mistakes she made first time around – so she won’t make them again!”

For Producers:

“USB” is NOT a Type of Microphone: A Guide for Podcasting and Home Recording – via Some Audio Guy – “If you’re looking at podcasting, spoken word, interviews, or voice over recording, here’s a quick primer on some of the microphones you might want to consider!”

Regarding Room Tone with Alex the Audio Scientist – via The ACX Blog – Alex is back, with a new lesson to help you save valuable time in the editing stage of post-production.

10 Tips For Social Networking in Person – via Rob Marley – In-person networking is an important skill for actors, even in the digital age. Learn the do’s and don’ts here.

The Best Way to Grow Your Voiceover Business – via Victoria De Anda – Victoria offers five ways to expand your client base and land more VO work.

Vicious Cycle of Vocal Abuse – via Dr. Ann Utterback – Learn how to recognize vocal fatigue and what to do about it.

Regarding Room Tone with Alex the Audio Scientist

Class is back in session! I hope you learned a lot from my previous video, All About Noise Floor. Today, I’ve got a lesson on Room Tone, including a neat trick to save you some valuable time in the editing stage. Watch the video below closely; there will be a quiz afterward, and the first person to get all four questions correct will get an honorable mention (including a link to their ACX profile) in my next post.

Did you get all that? I hope so, because it’s time for that quiz I mentioned. Leave your answers in the comments to show how much you learned.

  1. Audiobook room tone is defined as the _____ sound in your studio, and should be as close to perfect _____ as possible.
  2. Room tone has three uses in your audiobook production:
    1. __________
    2. __________
    3. __________
  3. The most effective way to utilize room tone in an efficient manner is to use your DAW’s _____ or _____ feature.
  4. When using Pro Tools, the paste special feature is _____ on a Mac and _____ on a PC.

Want audiobook production tips in your inbox? Subscribe to The ACX Blog for the latest from Alex the Audio Scientist.

This Week in Links: September 14 – 18

For Producers:

How To Direct Your Inner Director: A Narrator’s Guide in Five Easy Directions – via Paul Allen Ruben – A worthwhile longread filled with the award-winning audiobook directors knowledge.

Run Your Own Race – via Marc Scott – A controversial few weeks in the VO community has lead one actor to reflect on the attitude required for success.

Voiceover Insider Podcast #22 with Scott Brick – via The Voiceover Insider – Take 15 minutes to listen to some advice from one of the top audiobook narrators in the business.

Branding for Voiceover Artists – via Debbie Irwin – “How do you encapsulate what you’re all about in as few words as possible, with as simple an image as possible, and yet communicate a message that has both depth and breadth?”

For Rights Holders:

Social Media Marketing Is Backwards: Strategy Vs. Tactics – via Digital Book World – “The truth is, success is not about finding the right channel; it’s about defining strategy first, and then plugging in the right channels to reach your goals.”

The Math and Music of Multiple Characters – via Writer Unboxed – Writing, developing, and managing multiple characters is especially important when it comes to your audiobook.

A Long Term Branding Strategy – via CreateSpace – When are you finally done building your author brand? Never.

How To Use 100 Print Books To Promote Your Self-published Book – via BookBub – A comprehensive infographic to help authors promote their work.

Want the best audiobook information and education in your inbox? Subscribe to the ACX blog to get updates every time we post!

Editing and Spacing with Alex the Audio Scientist

ADBLCRE-ACX_Character_IconHi, folks! I hope you’re ready to learn, because today, I’d like to kick off fall audiobook production lessons with three facets of your post-recording process:

Editing, QC, and Spacing

Audiobook editing is both an art and a skill. The aim is to achieve a clean, professional-sounding audiobook that elevates the source material. It consists of a two-step process commonly referred to as “Editing and QC.”

Step 1: Editing:

  • Remove extraneous sounds from your recording (mouth noises, pops, keyboard clicks, etc.).
  • Modify the pace of narration, if necessary.
  • When appropriate, portions of the recording that are edited out are replaced with clean room tone.

Step 2: QC (Quality Control):

  • Listen to the audio while reading the manuscript to ensure they match exactly.
  • Mark down any errors (misreads, mispronunciations, or noises you can’t edit out) to a QC sheet, which will be used when you rerecord. You can find the QC sheet Audible Studios editors use here.

Once you’ve completed the QC step, you’ll rerecord the errors you’ve marked and re-insert them into your original audio files. These rerecorded sections of audio are sometimes called “pickups.”

Editing Ratios

Audible Studios’ editors aim for a specific ratio of time spent on the edit or QC to the audiobook’s overall running time to ensure that these steps fall within the schedule and budget of the full production.

  • When editing, the ratio should be 3:1, or three hours spent editing for every one hour of recorded time.
  • For the QC process, the ratio should be 1.2:1, or 72 minutes of QC for every 60 minutes of recording.

If you find yourself working faster than this, I recommend a second edit and QC pass to make sure you haven’t missed an error. If you’re consistently taking longer than recommended, you may be focusing too much on certain aspects of the edit. Try listening to some samples and reading reviews on Audible to learn what really bothers listeners.

One way to stay within these guidelines is to speed up the playback in your DAW, so that you cover more ground than at the normal speed. While this may take some practice, it can help ensure that your editing is done quickly and correctly. If you go this route, I recommend you start at 1.2x speed, working your way up to 1.5x speed, as you get more comfortable.

To learn even more about the editing process, watch this video from the experts at Audible Studios.


When it comes to spacing, ACX’s requirements help ensure that your audiobook productions stand shoulder to shoulder with all the titles on sale at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Our requirements state:

Each uploaded file must have between 0.5 and 1 second of room tone at the head, and between 1 and 5 seconds of room tone at the tail.

Why is this so important? Think of the spacing within your audiobook as the layout of words on pages and of pages within chapters of a print or eBook. Without proper spacing denoting the end of a scene or beginning of a new chapter, your listener could feel lost within the book, and the impact of your narration may be lessened. The easiest way to follow this requirement is to paste in the appropriate amount of clean room tone at the head and tail of each file.

I hope this gives you a good understanding of one of the most important aspects of audiobook production. Check out my other posts for more audiobook production education, and come back soon for more tips straight from The Audio Scientist.

Quick Tips for Editing and Spacing:

Make sure you have clean room tone. If you don’t, you could be creating more problems than you’re solving.

Record new room tone any time you change your microphone or studio settings. The old room tone may not match the sound of the new recording you are applying it to.

Always wear headphones. You need to be in an isolated environment to ensure the narration stays natural and any cut is seamless.

Get into the habit of marking everything. If you find a click, pop, noise, or QC error, make sure you mark the instance within your DAW! That way, when you go back to make the edits, you won’t have missed anything.

Like what you read? Subscribe to the ACX blog to get updates every time we post!

ACX University Presents: Finding Your Voice: Part 2

Last week, we shared part 1 of ACX University’s performance intensive, Finding Your Voice, featuring advice from Audible Studios’ Senior Director Mike Charzuk and Production Manager Kat Lambrix, as well as Audie-winning narrator Ellen Archer. Today we’re back with Part 2, which covers navigating the ins and outs of the source material. Watch the video below, then scroll down for the high-level takeaways.

Top Tips From Part 2

  • Staying True to the Material
    • Collaborating with your rights holder.
    • Handling material you don’t agree with.
    • Acting out uncomfortable scenes delicately.
  • Challenges in Narration
    • Pronunciations.
    • Dialogue.
    • Difficult accents.
    • Getting the giggles.
  • Key Takeaways
    • Take a hard look at your demographics, accents, and preferences to find your vocal strength.
    • Seek professional training when possible.
    • Honor the material despite personal challenges.
    • Have fun!

Thanks for watching! Check back next week for more audiobook production advice for actors. In the meantime, learn from ACX University’s other video lessons on our YouTube channel.

Like what you watched? Subscribe to the ACX blog to get updates every time we post!

ACX University Presents: Finding Your Voice: Part 1

In May, we invited 70 ACX producers to our offices in Newark, NJ for ACX University, a day of audiobook production and performance education and networking. Among the highlights, the day featured outstanding presentations from Audible Studio’s pros and Audie-Award winning actors.

Today, we’re featuring part one of the performance intensive Finding Your Voice, featuring Mike Charzuk and Kat Lambrix of Audible Studios, as well as Audie-winning narrator Ellen Archer. Watch the video below, then scroll down for our top takeaways.

Tops Tips From Part One

  • Know Your Voice. Learn:
    • The demographic you fall into.
    • The genres that are right for you.
    • The content that’s right for you.
    • The accents you’ve mastered.
  • Seek Professional Training.
    • Professional training can help you refine your demo and ACX samples.
    • The two main types of professional training:
      • Group classes.
      • Private lessons/coaching.
  • Learn about top-selling audiobook categories.
    • Mysteries and thrillers.
    • Business and self-help.
    • Romance and erotica.
      • Learn the differences between romance, erotica, and new adult.

Join us next week for the second part of this session. You can check out other informative sessions from ACX University on our YouTube channel.

Like what you watched? Subscribe to the ACX blog to get updates every time we post!

This Week in Links: August 24 – 28

For RIghts HOlders:

Six Magic Phrases You Can Use to Sell More Books – via Where Writers Win – Learn key words to use in your “Amazon sales page, your website, your book announcement press release, your e-mail announcement, and other promotional materials that will help you sell more books, too!”

What are the Most Popular Title Trends in Your Genre? – via BookBub – You can lean into the trends or swim against the stream. How will you use the information in this article?

Market Smarter, Not Harder: The Personal Touch – via The ACX Blog – NYT bestselling author Ryan Winfield on the marketing power of a human connection.

Social Media Marketing Must Be Manageable – via Digital Book World – “Social media marketing can be a big time suck for many authors. Making it manageable, though, is about learning how to take inventory of your time, resources and skill and then planning accordingly.”

Social Media Marketing Must Be Sustainable – via Digital Book World – Get a twofer on marketing advice from DBW and knock your audiobook promotion out of the park!

For Producers:

Potato Chips Required – Who Would Have Thought? – via Mike Lenz – Want a career where eating potato chips is a necessity? Try being an audiobook narrator.

The World Needs Voiceover & So Do I – via Dane Reid – Learn how voiceover can help people feel a part of the world at home or in foreign lands.

Five Lessons Learned From Two Customer Service Fails – via Marc Scott – If you have to deal with long hold times and uninformed customer service agents, you may as well come away with something you can apply to your voiceover business, right?

[VIDEO] Americans Try To Pronounce Massachusetts Towns – via Buzzfeed – The struggle is wicked real.