At ACX, we understand that auditioning is an investment of your time and, potentially, money. We want to help you audition effectively while keeping your costs to a bare minimum–and we want to give you the best chance of landing lots of projects.
We’d like to point ACX users – especially producer and narrators – to a valuable blog post by Jeffrey Kafer. Kafer works with CrossRoad Press, one of the most active users on ACX, in casting and production of its ACX audiobooks. He also is a successful audiobook narrator. Titled “8 Reasons Why You’re Not Landing ACX Audiobook Gigs,” the post is an entertaining, insightful and, we think, useful insider’s look at the ACX process for narrators and producers. His comments are not unique – we hear similar feedback about auditions from a number of rights holders.
In his blog post, Kafer does a good job of pointing out the absolute importance of recording QUALITY for narrators and producers. Recording your audition in a suitable environment is essential. An inexpensive mic used properly in a good quiet environment is better than a stellar mic used incorrectly or in a loud space. The former generally eliminates the need to master your audio before submitting it as an audition. Our website has some great tutorials in the Video Lessons and Resources section that can help you set up your recording room.
Another crucial thing to keep in mind is that many rights holders are busy and may not have all day to cast a project. They may only listen to a minute of your audition, so make it sound good and get right to the sample script – avoid any preamble beyond just perhaps stating your name. Save notes for the comments field; if a rights holder likes your read, s/he will want to see your comments or visit your ACX profile. But if it takes 30 seconds to get to the script, your chances of really being heard have just diminished.
Even though your audition may only be 5 minutes, be sure to correct any mistakes. A short audition with mis-reads isn’t convincing anyone you’ll devote the proper care to a full production.
And if you’re submitting the same audio file for multiple titles, we almost always hear about it. Don’t submit generic audio samples. Perform the book’s script that the rights holder has taken the time to select and post.
One last piece of advice: if you’re new to audiobook performance, consider targeting non-fiction titles, or those that contain more narrative than dialogue—these books are a great way to gain experience, and you may stand a better chance of landing the gig.
So enjoy Kafer’s blog post, keep auditioning, and please keep the feedback coming. We really appreciate it!