Tag Archives: Gary Terzza

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.”

This Week in Links: August 10 – 14

For Producers:

How to Promote Yourself as a Voice-Over Actor Online – via Voice Over Herald – Promote your audiobooks to gain sales, or promote yourself to book gigs.

Who Needs a Voice Over Coach? How To Get Training For Free! – via Gary Terzza – “It is possible to break into the industry without spending too much, but you will certainly need to invest plenty of effort.”

[VIDEO] Marketing Persistence – via Marc Scott – This week, Marc offers thoughts and encouragement, to help you develop persistence in your marketing efforts.

5 Ways to Get Hired in Voice Acting – via Backstage – Here are five ways to ensure your land solid, quality jobs that pay good money.

For Rights Holders:

Free Newswires Help Promote Books & Author Brands – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – Learn how to promote your audiobook for free via press releases.

4 Methods to Invigorate Your Prose With Surprising Sentences – via Helping Weiters Become Authors – Give your narrator something cool to say in the booth.

Simple Promo Tip: Nailing Your Email Subject Line – via Writer Unboxed – Sometimes, it only takes a few words to sell an audiobook. Find out which will have the biggest impact on your potential listeners.

11 Ways to Ask for Writing Advice (And 10 Major Mistakes to Avoid) – via The Write Life – “Connecting with other writers — who are at your experience level or above it — is a great way to learn, grow and expand your career.”

This Week in Links: August 3 – 7

For Rights Holders:

22 Ways a Blog Can Sell Books – via The Book Designer – “[L]earn to get big results blogging, big enough to drive book sales and other ways to make money from your content.”

Balancing Dialogue and Description in Your Story – via Jane Friedman – Getting the ratio right is especially important for audiobook authors.

Authors Must Skim The Media They Hope To Impress – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – When promoting your work , it helps to be a bit of a Renaissance person.

The Obsessively Detailed Map of American Literature’s Most Epic Road Trips – via Atlas Obscura – Get inspired by playing around with this interactive map of various American novels.

For Producers:

Neck Tension & Vocal Pitch – via Dr. Ann Utterback – Learn how to consistently speak in your optimum pitch range.

How to Control Your Mind When Working as a Voiceover Artist – via Victoria DeAnda – Good advice on how to keep distractions out and focus on your art while in the booth.

A Voice Over Novice CAN Compete With The Pros – via Gary Terzza – Believe it or not, rookie VO’s have some definite advantages over the veterans (log in to LinkedIn to view).

Job or Career? – via Dave Courvoisier – Find out the distinction, how to commit to one, and how everything else in your VO life can come from it.

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.

Five Things Every Audiobook Beginner Should Know

Gary Terzza is a UK-based voice over artist and coach who runs a popular voice over master class and has trained successful actors like recent guest blogger and Audible Approved Producer Anna Parker-Naples. Today, he joins us to offer a handful of helpful tips for audiobook newbies.

To Begin At the Beginning

Gary TerzzaMy first encounter with an audiobook was back in 1976. As a mediocre student I was going nowhere with my English literature studies, but an enterprising teacher opened my 16 year old ears to something quite remarkable – a box set of vinyl records of the play Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas, with the ‘first voice’ part read by the sonorous Richard Burton. Have a listen to Mr. Burton’s narration below.

Suddenly, the Welsh actor’s distinctive and assured delivery brought this sleepy fishing village vividly to life. Here was one voice (Burton) becoming the same as the storyteller’s (Thomas) so that the two were indistinguishable.

From that day onwards I realised that a truly good voice actor speaks the writer’s words with total conviction.

Today I passionately believe this is at the core of all voice overs and is especially true in audiobooks.

So what should you be mindful of when embarking on your audiobook career? Here are five things to keep in mind as you progress.

1. Audiobooks Can Be Very, Very Long

Last year I received an urgent call from one of my voice over students. Sonia (not her real name) was panicking, and quite rightly so. She had never performed a voice over before, but an author had contacted her about reading a 110,000 word novel in the style of Jane Austen. She loved Austen, but 110,000 words frightened her, because it sounded like a lot.

Time HeadShe was right – it is. In fact that is approximately 11 hours of listening time or what we call ‘completed audio’.

“How can I do 11 hours of reading and recording all in one go?” she asked nervously. I responded with the good and bad news.

The good news was she did not have to do the whole read in one go. The bad, was that 11 hours of completed audio would take her 44 to 55 hours to record, edit and review. That equates to a couple of weeks’ work including essential breaks and weekends off.

“It was a baptism by fire,” she told me later “but very enjoyable.” In fact it took her nearer 70 hours to complete because of technical issues (she was grappling with unfamiliar software and hardware), but the author loved the end result.

The lesson? Never underestimate the amount of time it will take you to produce an audiobook. Not all projects are over 100,000 words (the average audiobook is about 9 hours long), but I would allow a ratio of 4 to 5 hours of your time for every completed hour of audio. Make sure you clear your calendar before starting.

2. Don’t Read the Book – Tell the Story

At first glance this may appear contradictory. Surely reading is storytelling? Well no, not quite.

Boy LibraryIf you have ever read a story to young children (especially as a parent) you will notice that you have a highly critical audience. If the characters do not sound convincing, your young listeners will soon let you know – in fact my eldest son was particularly critical of my delivery of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which I have to admit I would sometimes skip through nonchalantly.

I soon realised that I had to be genuine in my delivery; I had to believe in what I was saying 100%, because my son would soon let me know if I was just “going through the motions’.

Likewise, your listeners want you to narrate the story with complete conviction. Remember too, you are talking to them and not at them.

Like Richard Burton, you should completely immerse yourself in the story so that your voice doesn’t just sound like the author’s (metaphorically), but is inseparable from the author’s.

3. Choose Your Book Carefully

GelatoWhat do you like to read in your spare time? Do you prefer crime fiction, historical tales, or romantic novels perhaps? Imagine you absolutely hated science fiction, but were forced to read Arthur C. Clarke; well that is what it’s like if you get stuck narrating an audiobook that you don’t chime with.

In some areas of voice overs it does not matter if you like (or even understand) the subject matter. A 30 second radio commercial for toilet paper does not mean you have a predilection for all things bathroom related.

But an audiobook narration is different. You will be reading thousands upon thousands of words. Remember Sonia? She lived and breathed her author’s book for weeks and she probably even dreamt about the characters!

Carefully selecting a book you will enjoy is crucial.

So how can you make sure the project you are embarking on is for you?

Check out the book on Amazon. Every title profile on ACX has a link to the print/eBook edition on Amazon, and you don’t even have to make a purchase. Just open up the preview pages and have a read through. Can you hear the voice in your head? Do the words speak to you? If so, this could be a job worth taking on.

Perhaps you don’t like (or don’t yet have the chops for) doing character voices, in which case I advise you stick to nonfiction, or avoid novels that are peppered with a diverse range of vocal personalities.

If the book reads well, chances are you will enjoy the narration.

4. Know Your Author

Once you are in the happy position of accepting an offer on ACX, it is time to form a very special relationship. This is between you and the book’s original voice – the writer.

Reading RoomOn ACX, you’ll audition using pages from the book itself. Once you’ve been selected to narrate, you’ll produce a 15 minute portion of the book and submit it for the author’s or publisher’s approval before moving forward. She will then take a listen and make some critical observations.

  • Is the pace correct? Does the tempo need to be slower or faster?
  • How is the general tone? Is the narrator in tune with the spirit of the book?
  • Are there any mispronunciations of names or fictional places?
  • If there are characters, do they sound convincing?

The rights holder may then request some adjustments based on the answers to the questions above. Once you have been given the green light, stay in touch with your new client at regular intervals as she will want to be kept up to date. If you have a bad cold or anything else that might put you behind schedule let her know straight away.

Remember, cultivating a relationship based on respect and understanding is the best way to smooth any rough water you might encounter.

5. Be  A Producer

In the early days of your audiobook career you will likely be recording from home. That means taking on the role of editor, performer and producer – three hats on one head…. yours.

Getting the sound right is essential, so spend some time creating a home studio. It doesn’t have to be grand or expensive, just practical and comfortable. There are two basic aspects to domestic recording: the hardware and the acoustic space.

Old EquipThere are lots of options in terms of microphones. Check out ACX’s previous post on mics, or visit some of the voice over community groups on social networks such as Facebook , Linkedin and Google +. They are very helpful and supportive.

In terms of software, I recommend using Audacity. It is flexible, easy to use, has lots of training videos on YouTube, and best of all, it’s free. It is ideal for audiobooks and all your other voice over work.

Achieving the required ‘deadness’ in you room is a little more tricky. ACX has also covered the key elements of home studio construction, and you can read that post here. Your aim is to remove the inherent ambiance that every room possesses and create an echo free environment. This helps your voice sound direct and intimate – as long as you are close enough to the mic.

Starting out in the world of audiobooks need not be daunting. If remember these key points, stay focused, learn as much as you can and never give up, success could be on the next page.

What’s your top tip for audiobook beginners? 

This Week in Links: November 17 – 21

For rights holders:

How to Connect with Readers on Goodreads – via BadRedHead – Learn how to find readers who’d be interested in your books.

15 Words You Had No Idea Were Acronyms – via The Huffington Post – Were you aware of these fun abbreviations?

Here Are The 2014 National Book Awards Winners – via BuzzfeedBooks – “The winners were revealed at the 65th National Book Awards ceremony.”

The Power of Journaling – via Writer’s Digest – “Journal writing is a powerful tool that opens the path to greater insight and self-knowledge.”

For producers:

8 Steps To Becoming A Professional Voice Over Actor – via VoiceOverTimes – These tips will take you from “great voice” to voice over professional.

Your Voice Over Showreel Is Not As Important As You Think – via Gary Terzza – Are you placing too much emphasis on your demos? Gary’s here to set you straight.

Stuffing Your Voice – via Karen Sour – Don’t let holiday eating and drinking detract from your instrument!

This Week in Links: June 23 – 27

Balancing the the artistic and financial sides of your business may be one of the most challenging parts of maintaining a creative career. Luckily, this week’s links cover both sides of the equation. Check out this week’s advice on achieving the best of both worlds, and share your favorite links from this week in the comments!

For Rights Holders:

Book Reviews for Self-Published Authors: What You Need to Know – via BookBaby – A good review is one of the best ways to generate buzz for your book. This post collects a number of articles to help you understand the when, why, and how of getting reviews.

Writing: How to Self-Edit Your Novel – via ALLi – Professional editor Jessica Bell shares her top tips for polishing your fiction writing.

What It Takes to Be an Authorpreneur – via Live Write Thrive – The digital publishing revolution has empowered authors like never before. Author Geraldine Solon looks at what that means for industrious writers.

For Producers:

Five Warning Lights (For Voice Talents) – via Dan Hurst – Much like your car, the voiceover industry has occasional “warning lights” you must heed to to ensure a smoothly running business.

Is Your Amateurism Preventing You From Getting Voice Over Work? – via Gary Terzza’s Voice-Over Blog UK – Gary reviews the little things that separate voiceover pros from voiceover amateurs.

Voice Talent Wisdom: Environment – via Christian Rosselli – Many voice talents don’t book jobs simply because they’re not focused on an integral part of the script: The Environment.