Tag Archives: Karen Commins

This Week in Links: August 21 – 25

Did you hear the news? ACX University is back for 2017, with eight episodes coming in September. This year, we’ve expanded our premiere audiobook education event to cover topics for authors and publishers in addition to actors and producers. Check out this year’s curriculum, meet the panelists, and catch up on past year’s lessons here. Make sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, where you can watch every episode of this year’s program for free!

For Producers:

Why George Guidall Is the Undisputed King of Audiobooks – via The New York Times – Learn audiobook performance theory from the venerated veteran.

Should You Neutralize Your Accent? – via Paul Strikwerda – “Even though it’s fun to do all kinds of accents and characters, nine out of ten times clients hire me because I sound like me, and not like someone else.”

Should You Ever Volunteer to Do Voice-Over for Free? – via Edge Studio – “One way to add to your experience is volunteer work. But should you volunteer to do voice work for free? There are pros and cons, so read on…”

The Still Small Voice – via Karen Commins – Find out how rediscovering the love for her childhood instrument reminded Karen how listening to that little voice inside can be important for your VO career.

For Rights Holders:

Making A Great Author Website In 16 Steps – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – “First, look at your site from the eyes of those who would come to visit it…Second, ask yourself if you started from scratch, how different would a brand new site look in comparison to what you have?”

Brands to Avoid – via CreateSpace – When building your author brand, be authentic, and remember to highlight the positive aspects of yourself and your books.

4 Questions You Should Never Ask About Your Book – via Helping Writers Become Authors – “In short, good writing is not about finding the right answer. It’s about finding the right question.”

20 Inspiring Writing Podcasts to Subscribe to Right Now – via The Write Life – “For writers looking to bust writer’s block, hone their craft or spice up a boring commute, there’s no shortage of podcasts from amateurs and experts alike.”

This Week in Links: June 5 – 9

Audible’s Matt Thornton stops by today to fill us in on an exciting new initiative Audible has recently launched.

The mixture of words and voices that give books their power is an even more fundamental element of the audio experience, which can bring together the best of writing and narrative performance. Last week, Audible announced a $5,000,000 fund to commission and produce new works by playwrights for Audible listeners. This project elevates three areas of focus that have informed Audible’s mission from the beginning: serving listeners, serving the professional creative class, and applying the best of emergent digital technologies on behalf of listeners, actors and authors.

Audible has enlisted an advisory board of distinguished theater talent to collaborate in the selection of recipients for the grants, and will solicit submissions for fund grants immediately. Read more about this program here, and inquire about submission at AudibleTheater@audible.com.

For Producers:

Dial Down the Intensity of Your Delivery – via Dr. Ann Utterback – “The problem is that if your excitement bleeds into your delivery too much, you’re doing a disservice to your listener.”

Refresh, Reboot, Refurbish, Renew – via Dave Courvoisier – Don’t collect digital dust. Consider these aspects of your voiceover business that might be ready for an upgrade.

6 Questions About Audio Publishing – via Karen Commins – Thinking of buying audio rights and becoming an audiobook publisher? Karen answers some questions about the process you may not have considered.

For Rights Holders:

Beginners guide to Indie Author Jargon: Book Marketing Glossary – via ALLi – You’ll find multiple entries for each letter from A – Z, with recommended blog posts for every term. Bookmark this one now.

5 Skills Every Writer Should Develop – via The Book Designer – Learn the attributes a writer should attain to become a true “autherpreneur.”

Can You Sell 10 Copies Of Your Book Every Day? – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – “Any goal that you set needs to have a number attached to it, something that’s measurable, realistic, but inspiring.”

Is Email Marketing Still Relevant? – via CreateSpace – It turns out the key to effective email marketing is… all your other forms of marketing. Who knew?

This Week in Links: May 29 – June 2

ACX audiobooks win three audie awards!

Last night, at the 22nd annual Audie Awards, 3 titles produced or distributed via ACX took home the coveted prize in their category. The winners were:

The Greatest: My Own Story by Muhammad Ali & Richard Durham. Narrated By Dion Graham (Autobiography/Memoir).

The Brink: Stories by Austin Bunn. Narrated By Austin Bunn, Luke Daniels, Tanya Eby, Ralph Lister, Amy McFadden, Mikael Narramore & Nick Podehl (Short Stories/Collections)

Marriage Games: The Games Duet by CD Reiss. Narrated By Elena Wolfe &  Sebastian York (Erotica).

Congratulations to all the authors and actors involved!

For Rights Holders:

Why Networking at a Writing Conference is SO Important – via The Write Conversation – Did you hit Romantic Times or BEA this past month? Planning to attend a conference later this year? Check out Bruce Brady’s example of real world networking in action.

It’s a (Mad, Mad) Marketing World – via Writer Unboxed – Find out how the plot of your story plays an important role in the marketing of your book.

Marketing Tip: Stay Organized! – via CreateSpace – “When it comes to book marketing… It doesn’t matter what system you use, as long as you use a system.”

5 Creative Book Marketing & Promotion Ideas for Indie Authors and Self-published Books – via ALLi – Find out how innocuous things like an email from Amazon or a trip to the dentist can be opportunities to market your work.

For Producers:

Recaps From 5 APAC 2017 Sessions – via Karen Commins – If you were unable to attend APAC this year, check out Karen’s roundup of the best tips shared in a handful of sessions.

Important Voiceover Work Legal Considerations – via Victoria DeAnda – “Without prior knowledge of voiceover work legal considerations, you could end up compromising years of hard work and client-list building.”

Protecting Your Voice – via Paul Strikwerda – Look after your instrument by reading Paul’s in-depth interview with Vocal Health Educator Elissa Weinzimmer.

Do You Know Craig? – via Dave Courvoisier – Have you landed any VO work via the online classified ad service Craigslist? Dave wants to know! Discuss your experience in the comments of his post, if so.

 

This Week in Links: April 11 – 15

If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely a storyteller. More than that, by producing and publishing audiobooks, you’re changing the way stories are told and listened to. Audible Range, a new online magazine, is exploring this altered landscape by telling stories around listening, voice, literature, and technology. Check out some of our favorites below, then continue on to our weekly roundup of the best audiobook links from across the web.

Audible Range

Weird Voices Are Winning OutIn the newly democratized world of voice acting, quirky, wry, and “real” voices are having a moment.

Why Books Get Banned – Warning: Reading certain books may cause empathy.

Scandal List: The Sounds That Brought Them Down – Here are some of the most prominent people who’ve “Jinxed” themselves by getting caught on tape.

The Amazing, Strange, And Horrifying History of Irish Storytelling – Grab a warm drink and brace yourself for the dark story behind Ireland’s dark stories.

For Rights Holders

An Interview with Fauzia Burke, Author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors – via The Book Designer – An expert look at author branding and digital book marketing.

5 Ways To Connect With Your Readers – via BookMarketingTools – A handful of tips for coming out from the shadows and marketing directly to your fans.

[VIDEO] Money Upfront: How Authors Crowdfund their Books – via ALLi – ACX author Ben Galley discusses various crowdfunding platforms and how to get the most out of them, all lessons that can be applied to funding the production of your next ACX title.

Guest Blogging to Expand Your Influence and Readership – via where writers win – “You benefit from the exposure to new audiences; they benefit with new, original content for their sites. Everyone wins.”

For Producers:

Tips for Perfecting Conversational Tone in Voice Over – via Rick Lance – If you’re struggling to develop a natural, conversational style tone, try these tips.

Your 12-Step Voiceover Lesson Plan – via Backstage – Make sure you’re aware of and working on these 12 aspects of voiceover success.

How to Act Like an Audiobook Narrator – via The ACX Blog – Audible Approved producer Karen Commins stopped by last week with insight into what makes for a successful audiobook performance.

Working From Your Home Studio – via Bobbin Beam – Get a peek at what it’s like to record at home, plus seven tips for success.

 

This Week in Links: April 4 – 8

For Producers:

Your Cure For Deadly Dull Non-Fiction Narrations: Flow With These Four ‘Voices’ – via Voice-Over Xtra – Learn the proper way to voice everything from section headers to quotes.

Don’t Let Poor Sleep Sabotage Your Performance – via Online Voice Coaching – Get Dr. Ann’s five tips for ensuring you’re getting the rest you need to fuel your VO.

The Importance of Sending Monthly Newsletters to Voiceover Leads – via Victoria DeAnda – “A newsletter is a simple way to show others what you know and what you can do for them so you can get some new referrals.”

The Power of Playfulness in a Voice Actor’s Toolbox – Via Anna Parker Naples – “What if failure could be turned on its head to a happy place which allowed you to experiment further with different ideas, and be playful?”

For Rights Holders:

15 Instagram Book Marketing Ideas from Publishers – via BookBub – Not sure how to promote your audiobooks on the popular image sharing platform? Look to publishers for inspiration.

How to Start Blogging: A Definitive Guide for Authors – via Jane Friedman – Learn “what it means to blog successfully and in a meaningful way for an author’s long-term platform and book marketing efforts.”

4 Ways Planning Your Audiobook Can Make You a Better Writer – via Karen Commins – Producing an audiobook has many advantages, including some that benefit your future writing.

5 Ways to Market Your Book Daily (That Don’t Feel Like Marketing) – via BookMarketingTools – The easiest way to build a habit is to start small. This post offers five things you can do per week to get started.

 

This Week in Links: November 9 – 13

For Producers:

Let’s Get Serious About Breath Support – via Dr. Ann Utterback – Breathing is the energy for speech, and not having good breath support is like driving a car with watered down gasoline.”

7 Things (And A Bonus) You Can’t Overlook Before Sending Your Voice Over Auditions via Voice-over Xtra – “[T]hese 7 points cannot be overlooked. They are the Holy Grail of “must-do” actions on the pre-flight list – a “basic necessities” list of pertinent reminders.

How to Effectively Deal with Customer Dissatisfaction in Voiceover – via Victoria DeAnda – “It is never easy to hear criticism. The first step in dealing with it is to understand that this happens to everyone. The next step is to help the client.”

Audiobook Narrator Tavia Gilbert Shares Her Secret to a Riveting Read – via Writer’s Digest – Learn from this short Q and A with a seasoned audiobook narrator.

From Amateur to All-Star: Everything I Wish I’d Known About Audiobook VO – via That’s Voiceover – Join ACX at That’s Voiceover in Los Angeles on November 14th to learn audiobook production from three Audible Approved Producers.

For Rights Holders:

Book Marketing on Facebook – via Book Marketing Tools – Learn why Facebook may be better for brand building than direct sales.

From Casting to A Narrator to Happily Ever After – via Karen Commins – The Audible Approved Producer offers pro tips on casting your audiobook from an actors’ perspective (check out Karen’s companion article here).

Book Marketing: How Authors Can Use Periscope’s Video Streaming Service – via ALLi – Author Chris Syme takes a look at how the emerging social video platform can work for book promotion.

How to Write Funny Dialogue – via Helping Writers Become Authors – Give your narrator something fun to voice.

That Week in Links: June 29 – July 2

Worry not loyal readers – we didn’t let the holiday-shortened week deter us from bringing you the best audiobook links. Get this week started on the right foot by reviewing our favorite producing and publishing advice from last week.

For Producers:

The Real Voice of Siri Explains the Art of Voiceover – via Vox – VO Susan Bennett talks about recording for Siri, her favorite studio gear, and why text to speech won’t soon replace voice acting.

How Should I Describe My Voice? – via Gary Terzza’s Voice-Over Blog UK – “It is important to get a voice description. You don’t need too many adjectives –  it’s about honesty, but at the same time there is a promotional element.”

[VIDEO] Demo of Kindle eBook and Audible Audiobook Whispersync – via Karen Commins – The Audible Approved ACX producer provides a detailed look at Amazon’s text + audio technology.

Rejection Isn’t Personal – That’s (Voice Over) Life – via Voice-Over Xtra – Actor Rob Marley shares “three things you can do to help deal with rejection and improve your voice over success rate.”

For Rights Holders:

So Many Voices – Who Can Hear Yours? – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – ‘We are each a drop of water in a vast ocean. Our content mirrors this ratio as well. It’s just the way things are – and it is likely to get more crowded soon.”

The Complete List of Creative Distractions and Defenses Against Them – via Writer Unboxed – A comprehensive, tongue-in-cheek list of the many things vying for an author’s attention, and advice on how to combat their allure.

[PODCAST] Book Marketing on the Cheap – via Book Marketing Tools Blog – Hosts Sean and RJ dive deep into a recent blog post covering budget-friendly marketing ideas.

3 Ways to Make Writing Your Novel Easier – via Helping Writers Become Authors – “If you want an easy writing experience, you’re going to need to make sure you’re choosing a story that supports that desire.”