Tag Archives: audiobook casting

This Week In Links: December 9 – 13

We’re finishing the second-to-last week of “serious” work before Christmas, and we’ve got all info you need to keep the engine running and the creativity flowing. So, head into the weekend with our weekly links, and join us next week for the final stretch of 2014!

For Producers and Rights Holders:

The ACX Holiday Gift Guide – via The ACX Blog – Make your list and check it twice – once for authors and once for actors. We’ve got great suggestions for both camps within.

For Producers:

Multitasking in the Voice Over Studio – via Lance Blair – There can be so much to do at once as a VO, but multitasking may not be the best to get it all done.

7 Deadly Sins of Slating – via Marc Scott Voice Over – Slating your audition is a simple step that is nevertheless easy to get wrong. No need to worry though, Marc’s got you covered.

How Bilingual Voice Actor, Rosi Amador, Achieves the Ultimate Work-Life Balance – via VoiceOverTimes – This extended interview has lots of insight into an important aspect of every VO’s life.

For Rights Holders:

50 Ways Writers Can Prepare for the New Year – via The Huffington Post – Huff Post Books offers a comprehensive checklist for authors as they head into 2014. Print it out, mark them as you go, and see how many you can accomplish next year!

4 Easy Steps To An Irresistible Book Blurb – via Digital Book World – Whatever you call your book’s summary, it’s an important element of your marketing package. DBW’s got you covered in just 4 steps.

An Author by Any Other Name – via CreateSpace – Writing exercises under a pen name, in a different genre or style, can bring a fresh perspective on your day to day writing.

What were you favorite audiobook related links this week?

This Week In Links: December 2 – 6

Head into the weekend by looking back on the best audiobook related links from this past week. Use the links below to educate and inform yourself, and consider the advice in your next ACX Audiobook production.

For Rights Holders:

14 Simple Steps To Ensure Success With Your Writing for the Next 12 Months – via Nick Daws’ Writing Blog – Guest writer Ruth Barringham provides 14 pieces of advice to get authors off to a great start in 2014.

NaNoWriMo is Over, Now What? – via GalleyCat – Did you participate in National Novel Writing Month? Now that your book is done, GalleyCat has your next steps. Note the bonus links to their writing tips at the bottom of the article!

The Self-Publishing Debate: A Social Scientist Separates Fact from Fiction – via Digital Book World – Why do authors publish books? DBW shares in-depth results from their recent survey.

Audiobooks: A “How To” Guide, Featuring Interviews With Producers and Voice Artists – via Jade Kerrion’s Blog – Learn some ACX tips in this engrossing interview with author Jade and her producer.

For Producers:

4 Secrets to Voiceover Acting – via VoiceOverTimes – Jewel Elizabeth shares her takeaways from top casting and studio director Andy Roth’s video interview.

Dreaded Ambient Noise – via VoiceOverPlaza – 25-year broadcast pro dives into the causes of and cures for ambient noise in your recording space.
The Search Is On For Meaning-Laden Words – via Online Voice Coaching –

Meaning-laden words are the words that you must hear to get the gist of the story. Do you treat them appropriately in your narration?

Tell us your favorite link from this week in the comments!

This Week In Links: November 25 – 27

This week’s a short one due to Thanksgiving, but we’re still here to recap our favorite audiobook related links. Check out the info below and have a fun, safe holiday weekend. We’ll see you all right back here next week!

For Producers and Rights Holders:

You Asked, We Listened: Introducing Direct Deposit from ACX – via The ACX Blog – It’s now easier than ever to get paid for making audiobooks on ACX!

The Home Stretch: Get Ready For The 2013 Holidays – Via The ACX Blog – Submit your audiobook productions to ACX by 12/6 to have the best chance of your title going live in time for the holidays!

For Producers:

Acoustical Treatments for your Home Studio – via Edge Studio’s “Whittam’s World” – This informative video from home studio master George Whittam covers soundproofing for home studios.

The Current State of Social Media for Voice-Actors – via Voice Acting in Vegas – Dave Courvoisier shares his on navigating a complex social media landscape for VO’s.

For Rights Holders:

Seven Semi-Productive Ways to Procrastinate (With Bonus Motivational Posters!) – via Quirk Books – Everyone procrastinates while writing, so y0ou may as well tackle some writing related tasks while you do.

The Sound of Your Writing – via CreateSpace – “Turn on your computer microphone, read your story, and listen. It may be weird, perhaps even a little unsettling at first, but in the end, it will help you become a better writer.”

This Week In Links: November 18 – 22

Our links are all about turning negatives into positives this week. Authors can get a new perspective on rejection letters and learn why some books don’t get the reviews they deserve. Actors can learn to correct poor mic placement and find out which foods are voiceover no-no’s. Turn that frown upside down, and check out this week’s batch of links.

For Producers and Rights Holders:

The Home Stretch: Get Ready For The 2013 Holidays – via The ACX Blog – Catch up on our holiday deadlines, tips for ensuring your book passes our QA, and fun holiday marketing ideas.

For Rights Holders:

Why Your Last Book Didn’t Get Reviewed – via The BookBaby Blog – Did you put your heart and soul into writing and launching your last book project –  only to be ignored by the media, critics, and book bloggers? BookBaby tells you how to do it correctly the next time around.

Ask the Writing Teacher: Fifty Shades of Rejection – via The Millions – A no is a no is a no…or is it?

While you Wait: What Authors Can Do While Their Audiobook is Being Recorded – via The Voices In My Head – Actor and author Brian Rollins understands both sides of the audiobook equation, and offers his unique perspective on his blog.

For Producers:

Putting Your Mic Where Your Mouth Is – via Edge Studio’s “Whittam’s World” – Home and pro studio expert George Whittam covers mic placement and more in this informative video.

Speak the Truth: Harnessing Energy in Voiceover – via Bobbin’s Voiceover Sampler – “It’s all about truth and authenticity in voiceover. Of course, your vocal energy is essential to your personal presence on mic.”

Nutrition No-No’s for a Good Voice – via Online Voice Coaching – Dr. Ann Utterback looks at five food and drink landmines that can wreck your delivery.

We’ll see you next week as we round the corner of the final audiobook productions of 2013!

This Week In Links: November 11 – 15

There’s no better time than the present for self-improvement. We’ve collected advice from expert authors, actors and producers to start your weekend. Peruse the links below and improve your craft, whether its writing or acting. And make sure to check in next week for more audiobook info!

For Producers:

ACX Studio Gear Series: Home Studio Setup – Part 2 – via The ACX Blog – We gathered top ACX producers and Audible Studios staff to get their advice on setting up a home studio and running your VO business once you do.

The VOICE: When A Narrator’s Trusted Ally Becomes The Public’s Enemy Number One – via Audio Book Narrators – Grammy-winning audiobook producer shares deep thoughts on the actors instrument.

Building Your Own Voice-Over Studio – via Sessionville – Dave Courvoisier offers his take on the basics of setting up a home studio.

Evolution of The Home Studio – via Bobbin’s Voice-Over Sampler – Follow Bobbin as she ponders the best course of action for updating her home studio equipment.

For Rights Holders:

Eight Questions Writers Should Ask Themselves – via The BookBaby Blog – “To help you better understand yourself as a writer, Roxane Gay has come up with eight questions for you to answer.”

Writing Believable Dialogue – via Writers Get Together – A challenging topic for any writer, good dialog is especially important when it comes to your audio version.

Crowdfunding for Self-Publishing Authors – via BadRedHead Media – Justine Schofield of Pubslush covers a creative way to fund your next project.

‘4 Hour Workweek’ Author Tim Ferriss Is Becoming An Audiobook Publisher – via TechCrunch – Bestselling author Tim Ferris shares his thoughts on becoming an audiobook publisher.

What did you learn from this week’s links? Tell us in the comments!

This Week in Links: November 4 – 8

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? National Novel Writing Month is is a fun way to approach to creative writing. Participants begin writing every November 1st with the goal of finishing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. Whether you’re an author embarking on their NaNoWriMo novel or an actor hoping to produce one of the completed books, we’ve got tips and tricks to help guide you.

Check out the links below, and join us next week for more audiobook action.

For Rights Holders:

After the Audiobook is Done – An Author’s Guide to What’s Next – via The Voices In My Head – Author and voice actor Brian Rollins talks what to do after your audiobook is completed.

Website Tips For Authors – Via The BookBaby Blog – BookBaby’s sister site, HostBaby, is all about online resources for creatives, and they’ve rounded up their best tips of the month in this handy post.

Author Success – The Laws of Sowing and Reaping – via Kristen Lamb’s Blog – “We get out of life what we put into it. We will get out of our writing what we invest.”

Get More Twitter Followers in 6 Minutes a Day – via CreateSpace – Quick and easy tips for authors looking to build their Twitter fan base.

For Producers:

How Keeping a Diary Can Help You Book the Job – via Backstage – “So much effort goes into getting the job that keeping a diary or a journal of all your auditions will help you see your progress in black and white.”

Task Manage the Goldilocks Way – via J. Christopher Dunn’s Voiceover Blog – Juggling lots of VO tasks? J.Christopher will tell you how to get it “just right.”

Fascination: A Voice Talent Necessity – via Life on The Voiceover List – Randye Kaye explains why fascination is a key component in life and as an actor.

How to Sound Sexy, According to the Women Who Narrate Audiobook Erotica – via The Cut – New York Magazine’s “The Cut” blog interviews some of our favorite actors on the art of talking sexy.

Did we miss any of your favorite links from this past week?

ACX Success Story: Bella Andre

Here at ACX, we love stories from authors who have found both creative and financial success through audiobook creation. Inspired by a chat with fellow ACX author and New York Times bestseller Bob Mayer, Bella Andre has used ACX to achieve both.  Read on for Bella’s advice on building a strong rights portfolio and the importance of finding just the right narrator.

Tell us about your current audiobook project.

9y7f1xhxbc1pchrr1376171136776Kissing Under The Mistletoe is the 10th book in my New York Times bestselling series about The Sullivans. It is an emotional, fun and sexy contemporary romance and one Sullivan fans have been eagerly anticipating. I had a lot of fun going back in time to tell the love story of the parents of the first eight San Francisco Sullivan siblings.

How did you decide to produce an audiobook version of your title?

I was on a publishing conference panel with NYT bestseller Bob Mayer discussing our experiences with indie publishing when Bob leaned over the other people on the panel and asked me, “Have you started putting your ebooks out as audiobook with ACX yet?” My first thought was “Who listens to audiobooks?” I had a lack of awareness and education about the market. But later that day, Bob told me how great the market is; how you can take work you’ve already done and mine it for another revenue stream. As soon as I got home from the conference I started auditioning narrators for The Look of Love (The Sullivans #1).

What advice do you have for other authors who are considering having their titles produced as audiobooks?

It’s really a process. Step one is to take advantage of whatever audio rights you currently have, either from titles you’ve had traditionally published or that you’ve self-published. Once you’ve actually made a few audiobooks with the rights that you have, and you see how well they’ve done, step two is making sure that you keep those rights going forward if you sign a new deal.

For me, step three came after I had the first three books from my “Sullivan” series made into audio. At that point I realized that I needed to go back over my old publishing contracts. I wanted to see if any of my audio rights had reverted to me. Some had, and I immediately whipped out those letters and sent them, certified, to get those rights back. It was a great day when the letters came from the publisher back granting me the rights back! Then I looked into getting the rights back for my titles that didn’t have an automatic reversion clause in my contract. You won’t always get them back, but it’s definitely worth trying to get the rights back. Nobody ever died from writing a letter or an email or making a phone call and having someone say no to them.

Going forward, I don’t even want to sell audio rights in foreign languages. That’s step four. We recently did a German deal for the first three “Sullivan” books, and we only gave them print rights, and I’m going to make audiobooks out of the German language versions.

BellaAndre_2012What is the most interesting thing you learned about the audiobook production process?

I learned that the most important thing is to find a great narrator. I auditioned several excellent narrators, but once I heard Eva Kaminsky’s audition, I knew that she would be perfect for my Sullivans. She has been absolutely wonderful to work with. Not only does she sound amazing, but she also makes fixes fast and is incredibly responsive to my emails about scheduling future projects and coordinating our calendars.

Tell us about your marketing efforts for this book, and your titles in general.

I have a great group of fans on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads, and as soon as I have information on a new audiobook (release date, cover, order link, etc.) I immediately post it on my social media pages for them to get excited about. I also make sure the information and links are prominently displayed on my web site.

What industry figures or resources do you look to for marketing advice or success?

Every morning, I spend an hour or so staying abreast of the changes and innovations in publishing, ebooks and audiobooks. I’m really, really excited about the growth in the audiobook audience, not just in the U.S., but around the world! For example, right now more Germans listen to audiobooks than read ebooks. Learning something like that is so valuable!

What’s your next project, and when will we see it on ACX?

Love Me (Take Me series) and Game For Love (Bad Boys of Football series) will both be out on ACX by the end of the year.

Featured Finalist: Leslie Ellis

The end of the week bring us to the end of our Featured Finalist series. We’ve spent the past week highlighting the 5 finalists in the Audible Studios/ACX APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur open casting. The final ACX producer in our series is Leslie Ellis. Enjoy her interview below, and make sure to check out her samples on her ACX profile!

Name: Leslie Ellis

Number of titles currently on Audible: 4

Leslie_SMALL

What drew you to audition for APE?

When I saw that ACX was having open casting for “APE”, I thought it might be a good way to get heard by the folks at Audible, and that it might lead to more work even if I wasn’t right for “APE”. Then I read the audition piece and thought it was really fun and lighthearted. I loved how it encouraged writers instead of the all-too-often discouraging words artists are forced to hear/read throughout their careers. Being an artist myself, I could really relate.

At what genre’s or vocal styles do you excel?

I think I’m fairy versatile but  my voice is particularly compatible with strong female characters who have a sense of humor or a sense of irony and a strong sense of self. I think that can be anything from detective type genres to Romance. And I absolutely LOVE being able to be witty or funny, or tell people off the way I WISH I could in real life!

How do you produce audiobooks?

I have a home studio. I do all the recording/editing/mastering myself. I typically record then edit one chapter at a time. I do a thorough editing pass for noises/pacing and “mistakes editing” (punching in occasionally). I do a pass for QC after mastering, then sometimes I listen to a little on a CD in my car to make sure it’s good sonically. I use all the standard mastering settings for ACX.

Favorite title you’ve produced/voiced?

It would have to be “Here, Home, Hope” by Kaira Rouda. I loved all the characters and the variety of characters I was able to bring to life. The main character was a woman in somewhat of a mid-life crisis whose sense of humor carried her through most of her difficult times. I also got to play a driven real estate success and a teen age girl who goes from completely rude and angry to vulnerable and emotional. The book was really well written and I was able to explore a lot of emotion and real life scenarios, which is very satisfying as an actor.

 

Featured Finalist: Derek W. Shetterly

Today we’re back with part 4 of our Featured Finalist series, in which actor Derek W. Shetterly stops by to talk about his audition for the Audible Studios/ACX production of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, and branching out from radio to audiobook narration. You can visit Derek’s profile and listen to his samples here.

Name: Derek W. Shetterly

Number of titles currently on Audible: 14

What drew you to audition for APE?

Thousands of people self-publish every year, and even more are researching how to do it.  I wanted to be their guide as they researched and acted upon their dreams of one day being a published author.

Derek_Profile pic_SMALLHow long have you been in the audiobook industry?

Less than a year.  However, I’ve been a voice talent for two decades.   My experience began, as with so many, in radio.  I was a production/creative services director and fell in love with creating characters and compelling advertising.  That led to working in voiceover as my exclusive career, and I narrate for eLearning, corporate presentations, commercials and other projects on a daily basis.

At what genre’s/vocal styles do you excel?

So far, I’ve narrated for self-help, management, and special-interest genres.  I’m a big fan of historical narratives, and with my degree in theatre, hope to get more work telling true stories.

Favorite title you’ve produced or voiced?

I just finished a book called “Savage Will”, a true account from World War II of 23 medics & nurses who crash-landed in Nazi-occupied Albania and had to trek their way out of the hostile territory. It’s a truly inspiring account of determination, courage and, as the title states – savage will.

Check out Derek’s profile on ACX and invite him to audition for your title today!

Featured Finalist: Zehra Fazal

Today’s APE Featured Finalist, Zehra Fazal, joins us to discuss her audition for APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, as well her acting and audiobook career. After reading her interview you can listen to Zehra’s samples on her ACX profile and invite her to audition for your next title!

Name: Zehra Fazal

Number of titles currently on Audible: 3

How did you prepare for your audition for APE?

I read the audition script through once for understanding, and looked up pronunciations/definitions for any terms I was unclear on. Then, I fired up the mic and went at it. My goal for handling “how to” material is to keep the read conversational, warm and friendly.

Zehra_SMALLAt what genres or vocal styles do you excel?

I excel in genres that feature a young female protagonist -adventure, sci-fi, mystery with a bit of romance thrown in. I work in animation, so my voice definitely lends itself to young adult/children’s titles which have broader characterizations. In the world of non-fiction, I find myself getting hired for a lot of spiritual, inspirational and self-improvement books.

How long have you been in the audiobook industry?

I’ve been in the audiobook industry for about nine months now. I’ve been working professionally as an actor for stage/film for the past 12 years. I moved to LA a little over a year ago to pursue opportunities in television and voiceover. As I built up my voiceover work in commercials and radio, I was encouraged by several colleagues to explore audiobooks, and signed up with ACX. I love it – it’s a great combination of my love of reading and acting – nothing keeps your skills honed (and your vocal stamina up) like an audiobook. I fortunately discovered that I’m very adept at performing long passages of text without flubbing – an editor’s dream!

How do you produce audiobooks?

I work in conjunction with North Hollywood Sound, a leading audiobook production studio in Los Angeles. We take pride in delivering books that are great from both an acting and technical standpoint.

Favorite title you’ve produced/voiced?

I had such a fun time with the first book I did for ACX: The Typhoon Lover by Sujata Massey. This mystery/thriller is set in America and Japan, with a snarky female narrator and a large cast of international characters. I’m fluent in Japanese, so it was a really wonderful opportunity for me to showcase my language skills, as well as work on a range of accents and characters.

If you’d like to invite Zehra to audition for your next title, check out her ACX profile here. Check back tomorrow for another Featured Finalist!