Tag Archives: audiobook casting

Featured Finalist: Corey Snow

Welcome to part 2 of our Featured Finalist series, where we’re highlighting the best auditions from the Audible Studios/ACX open casting of Guy Kawasaki’s APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. Yesterday, we met Janet Borrus, and today, we’ll introduce you to actor Corey Snow. Check out his profile on ACX, and invite him to audition for your title today!

Name: Corey Snow

Number of titles currently on Audible: 20

Corey_Headshot_SMALLHow did you prepare for your audition for APE?

For APE, I prepared in the same way I do for every audition. First, I download the audition copy and printed it out. Next, I read the entire script, carefully, to get a sense of how it flows. Some areas will be drier, others will have a different sound. For example, in the APE audition, there was a portion where the script describes how self-publishing challenges traditional publishers. The tone there gets a little bit excited; you want people to realize that hey, this is the cool part. In other areas, it’s much more staid. I try to find the “subtext,” because that’s what you use to make the narration really work. It drives everything in very subtle ways.

After reading the script at least once (usually twice), I’ll put it on my copy stand and record it, just as I would a regular book, then upload it and move on to the next one.

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

I specialize in nonfiction – military history especially –  as well as biographies and memoirs. I am a former soldier and have a good command of military jargon, plus my voice is suited for that type of delivery. It’s deep, relatively smooth and clear.

That said, I’m a passionate reader of science fiction and fantasy on my own, and really enjoy the chance to read such titles. I’ve been the narrator for an urban fantasy series (The DeChance Chronicles by David Wilson) since its inception and being able to narrate characters like vampires, a blues-playing ghost, sorcerers and bikers is a lot of fun. You can also really get creative with voices in fiction in ways you can’t in nonfiction, especially when the characters aren’t human!

Vintage Soul_SMALLHow do you produce audiobooks?

I have a personal studio in my home, and I’ve spent a lot of time and a moderate amount of money making it into a good recording space.

I narrate in my studio, using punch and roll. I’m a very efficient editor myself so I will often manage the editing personally. That said, if I have narration work waiting, I’ll hire out the editing so I can get to the recording because it’s more cost-effective. I’m very blessed to work with very good editors and proofers, so I don’t have to worry about compromising quality. As to mastering, I handle that for my projects on ACX, and I like to think I’m getting pretty good at it.

Favorite title you’ve produced/voiced?

I recently completed Thunder Below! by Eugene B. Fluckey, which is about the submarine USS Barb in World War II. This sub and its crew did some utterly amazing things during the war, including being the first sub to use rockets in combat and conducting the only land operation on the Japanese home islands.

I loved Thunder Below! not just because it’s a great story, but also – and this is sort of the kid in me, I’ll admit –  because I got to stand there with a microphone and shout stuff like “CLEAR THE BRIDGE! BATTLE STATIONS TORPEDOES! DIVE DIVE DIVE!” and even make the klaxon noises for the diving alarm (AA-OOO-GAH!) . I felt like I was in a movie, it was so much fun.

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

Featured Finalist: Janet Borrus

If you’re a regular reader of the ACX blog, you’ve seen our recent posts on the Audible Studios/ACX open casting for Guy Kawasaki’s APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur.  While Lloyd Sherr was ultimately cast as the voice for Guy’s book, we heard many great voices among the 350+ auditions we received. We’ll be featuring some of the finalists on the blog this week, so check back for more updates. You just might find the voice of your next title!

Finalist: Janet Borrus

JanetWhat attracted you to audition for APE?  

I’m always up for a competition, and as an actor who also writes professionally, I was immediately drawn to the catchy title and the subject matter.  And the authors’ tone is very appealing – direct, a bit cheeky, but never superior or pedantic.  Bringing humor, drama and clarity to informative text is one of my strengths, so APE felt like it would be a good fit for me.

At what genres/vocal styles do you excel?  

In terms of vocal style, I’m probably best described as “versatile storyteller.” My voice has a natural authority but is also warm, and can evoke great vulnerability when needed. I have a strong sense of irony, so comedy comes easily to me.  Thanks to many years as a professional actor, I inhabit characters on a deep emotional level and also have a gift for for accents, so interpreting male as well as female characters from many parts of the world is fun for me.

How long have you been in the audiobook industry? 

While I’ve acted for many years in film, TV, and theatre, and have several years of experience in commercial voiceover, I’m new to audiobooks. Being selected as a finalist is very encouraging!

How do you produce your voicover work?

My husband Chris and I have a home studio. We use an Audio Technica 4040 mic and Pro Tools and have done full production.

Favorite title you’ve produced?

The most fun I’ve had in the booth was working with Carl Reiner, Ed Asner, Theodore Bikel and Richard Kind on The Dybbuk, the classic Yiddish play, for Dove Audio and NPR. The late Yuri Rasovsky directed.  Actually, the green room was as fun as the booth with these guys.  Maybe even more.

You can check out Janet’s ACX profile and invite her to audition for your title here!

The Chosen One

ACX/Audible Studios and Guy Kawasaki are thrilled to announce the casting of actor Lloyd Sherr as the voice of APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. We received auditions from some of the best talent in the industry hoping to read Mr. Kawasaki’s comprehensive and inspiring guide to self publishing.

Sherr01_SMALL

The Voice of APE: Lloyd Sherr

APE is Mr. Kawasaki’s first foray into self publishing an audio version of his popular titles. “I was thrilled to have received over 350 auditions for APE. Ultimately, Lloyd’s audition really stood out to me. His audition brought out the approachability of the APE method, while still educating and informing. Lloyd sounds like he should be working for NPR, and I love NPR!” Said Mr. Kawasaki.

Mr. Sherr has been the narrator of the cable documentary series “Modern Marvels” since 2000 in more than 400 episodes, and is well known to children for his work in animation, such as Disney’s “W.I.T.C.H”, “Back at the Barnyard” and “Tak and the Power of Juju” for Nickelodeon; “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” for Cartoon Network; and as “Fillmore” in “Cars 2” for Pixar. He just completed narration on  the audiobook “A Reason to Live,” a detective thriller by Mathew Iden which is due out this month from Audible.

Mike Charzuk, Executive Producer/Sr. Director of Audible Studios, was impressed with Mr. Sherr’s efforts. Said Mr. Charzuk,From the sound quality to the performance Lloyd Sherr was pure professional perfection. Present in the text and conversational with his delivery, he added the gravitas needed, but with a light touch to keep the listener engaged. One of the best auditions I have heard in a very long time.”

You can listen to Mr. Sherr’s audition by clicking the play button below.

Mr. Sherr shared his thoughts on being cast for APE with us. “Being chosen to narrate APE is a major thrill for me. The book being written by Guy Kawasaki is a gigantic plus, and the fact that I would be paid to read something I would read anyway is really killing two birds with one stone. Writing a novel has always been in the back of my mind and this, I believe, is the book I’ve been waiting for.”

Production will begin immediately at Mark Kondracki’s Los Angeles based Outloud Audio. Look for – and listen to –  Mr. Sherr’s read of APE at the end of August on Audible!

Which book should be the next subject of an ACX/Audible Studios open casting call? Tell us in the comments below!

APE This: ACX and Guy Kawasaki Launch Open Casting Call

ACX and Audible Studios are proud to announce our latest open casting opportunity! Audible studios is seeking a dynamic narrator to perform Guy Kawasaki’s inspiring and comprehensive guide to self publishing, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur. All actors are invited to participate by recording their read of the audition script and uploading it to ACX. Audible Studios and Mr. Kawasaki will select the winning audition and Audible will produce the audiobook immediately upon announcing the chosen actor.

Guy Kapeawasaki is the author of eleven other books, including The Art of the Start and Enchantment, and is the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web.

“I’m happy to be creating an opportunity to encourage entrepreneurial actors. I’m continually amazed at how many great actors are embracing this burgeoning art form and I can’t wait to listen to all the auditions that come in.” Said Mr. Kawasaki.

The audition text for APE can be found at www.acx.com/ape. In order to upload an audition you’ll simply need to create an ACX account. Auditions are open Monday July 22 – Monday July 29 at 5:00PM ET. After submitting your read of APE, browse our 2,900 + additional titles and find your next audiobook gig.  We can’t wait to hear your voice!

Do you think you have the perfect voice for Guy Kawasaki’s APE? Tell us why in the comments!

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Earlier this week, we discussed selecting an audition script for your book once it’s been posted to ACX. Today, let’s tackle the next step for authors and rights holders: casting your title and making an offer. This is an important step that can ensure that your production goes smoothly.

Casting the right producer.

mike-charzuk-exec-prod-audible-com

Mike Charzuk

Only you know who has the perfect voice for your story or characters. Among the 10,000+ producers on ACX, you’re bound to find some fantastic narrators. Mike Charzuk, Executive Producer/Sr. Director of Audible Studios, advises you to know your text well and cast to your narrator’s strengths.

When casting, it is important to know the text inside and out. If the text is complex with many characters, then an actor that is facile with character delineation and accents would be advised. Remember, subtle is the way to go with accents and character choices; you don’t want the narrator to sound to cartoonish and over the top. If the text is nonfiction, then a voice that is engaging is optimal. Remember to cast nonfiction to the strengths of the actor. Someone that might be not be good with complex verbiage may not do well on a book about ancient Greek language, for example.

You should also be listening to the technical aspects of the audition. The auditions you receive should be indicative of the final audio quality your producer will deliver once they begin producing your title. We recommend listening to some samples of well rated audiobooks on Audible to get a sense of what a good production sounds like. If you have reservations about the sound quality, feel free to politely discuss them with the potential producer or pass on the audition.

Making an offer.

Consider a few things when making an offer on ACX. As you post your title, you may have already chosen what payment method you’ll use, but if you’ve offered your title as royalty share or pay-for-production (P4P), you’ll now need to commit to one or the other. Next, you’ll choose exclusive or non-exclusive distribution, and offer due dates for the 15 minute checkpoint and final audio.

It’s important to understand the amount of time that goes into producing an audiobook when deciding on due dates. See this post for information on how long it can take to produce your audio. Based on this, a good estimate for the length of time needed on an average ACX production is roughly 45 days. It’s always a good idea to discuss the production timeline with your potential producer via the ACX messaging system before making an offer.

Help your producer help you.

One final thing to note is that you should be prepared to send your producer a copy of the final, published version of your book as soon as they accept your offer. You should also include any additional notes that you can regarding character voices and pronunciations. Putting your producer in the best position to produce your title ensures that you’ll end up with a great audiobook.

Are you ready to make an offer for your book? Tell us how you set yourself up to get the best audiobook possible from your ACX productions in the comments!