Tag Archives: make audiobooks

The Diary of a Canadian Author: Part Three

We asked Sci-Fi Romance author Susan Hayes to keep track of her progress publishing Double Down in audio. Join her on her journey here on the blog. Missed Part 1 or Part 2?

Day 16 – 06/17/17: My Book is Starting to Sound Great!

Before my Producer, Tieran Wilder, started working on Double Down, she and I exchanged several emails to make sure we were both on the same page. I sent her a list of the main characters, along with a few defining traits. I also gave her a pronunciation guide, which was quite necessary given my story is a science fiction romance containing alien names, planets, and other languages I had created.

My fifteen-minute checkpoint audio came in right on time. I was excited to hear what Tieran had produced, and amazed at how much depth it added to my story to have her bring the characters to life. I listened to it several times over the course of the day, and I couldn’t find a single thing I wanted to change. I approved the checkpoint audio the same day I received it.

While I was waiting for my producer to work her magic on the rest of the book, I started letting my readers know that Double Down was in production. My cover artist created a gorgeous new cover for the audiobook. I had fun sharing it with my reader group and newsletter subscribers, as well as with the rest of my social media followers. As the audiobook nears completion, I’ll ramp up the marketing by increasing mentions of the project on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and making an announcement on my website. I will upload the retail sample to SoundCloud and post links to give my readers a taste of what’s to come. I want to be sure the word gets out to my readers and fans of the series. Some of them have been waiting for years for me to start producing audiobooks of my work.

Susan can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Read more about Susan’s audiobook journey in part four.

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.”

The Diary of a Canadian Author: Part Two

Once we opened our doors to Canadian authors and actors this June, Sci-Fi Romance author Susan Hayes posted Double Down, the first book in her series, for auditions. We asked Susan to keep track of her progress through the audiobook publishing process. Join her on her journey here on the blog. Part one is here.

Day 6 – 06/07/17 : I Found the BEST Narrator!

I was fortunate enough to have the guidance of a few authors who had already gone through the process, including Kristen Painter, Zoe York, and Jill James. I bounced ideas off them all morning, especially when it came to picking an audition script. They reminded me that I would want to hear the narrator read for all of the main characters. Since I write ménage romance, there are three main characters: two heroes and a heroine. They also had a few tips about how to make the book appealing to potential narrators. I made sure to mention it was part of an ongoing series, that it was well reviewed, and I laid out what kind of social media reach I had in place for promotion. It seemed to work, because Double Down attracted more than thirty-five auditions in the first three days it was posted, which was equal parts exciting and terrifying.

Listening to the narrators reading the script for my book was an unforgettable experience. They brought my story to life and made my characters far more real than I expected. I got to experience my book in an entirely new way. I was out of the country at a book signing when the auditions started coming in, so my assistant and I wound up listening to various narrators in our hotel room every night. Between us, we whittled down the choice to a handful, and finally to one, Tieran Wilder. She made me laugh at all the right moments, and she captured the essence of the story and the characters.

Listen to Tieran Wilder’s winning audition for Double Down:

I’m learning as I go, but my narrator has been a wonderful resource for information, as have my friends and fellow authors.

I think it helped that I did my research before starting this project. I had listened to a variety of audiobooks so that I had some ideas on what I wanted in a narrator. I knew how much I was willing to pay, and I had already spoken to my friends about royalty splitting and some of the other choices I would have to make along the way. That preparation made the process easier.

Even though audiobook publishing was always part of my long-term plans, I must confess that when the opportunity arose, I was incredibly nervous to take this step. Now that I’m on my way to having my first audiobook completed, I’m glad I dove in and didn’t let my worries stop me. It’s been exciting, fascinating, and more fun than I expected it to be.

Susan can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Read more about Suan’s audiobook journey in part three.

The Diary of a Canadian Author: Part One

Sci-fi romance author Susan Hayes had been waiting patiently for the opportunity to publish her audiobooks via ACX. Once we opened our doors to Canadian authors and actors this June, she posted Double Down, the first book in her series, for auditions. We asked Susan to keep track of her progress through the audiobook publishing process; join her on her journey here on the blog below.

Day One – 06/01/17: I Can Finally Join ACX and Post My Book!

I’ve been a small press and indie-published romance writer for five years now, and it wasn’t long after I started as a professional author that I first heard about audiobooks and ACX. I was intrigued enough to start looking into it, but quickly learned that ACX was not available to Canadian authors. I explored other options for audiobooks, but in the end, I decided to wait for ACX. The access to quality narrators, good technical support, and a solid distribution model all made it the right choice for me.

In the meantime, I talked to friends who had published in audio, and started buying audiobooks to listen to different narrators and get a feel for what could be done, they had to get financial help from https://nation21loans.com/ in order to be able to buy what they needed. I knew audio was something I wanted to do to expand my audience and give my readers what they wanted, so I aspired to educate myself on the topic before I jumped in.

When I got the news that ACX was finally open to Canadians, I hit the ground running. I was ready to post my first book for auditions in a matter of hours. To say I was excited might be something of an understatement.

While I have over thirty books published at this point, I knew from the moment I signed up which book I’d publish first. Double Down is the first book in my current sci-fi romance series, The Drift, and I’ve had many requests from readers to make it available as an audiobook. When I told my readers Double Down was coming to audio, their positive reactions affirmed that I’d made the right choice.

Being an independent author/publisher means wearing a lot of hats and acquiring a multitude of skills, many of which I couldn’t have imagined when I was first starting out. Now, I’m adding a new hat to my collection: audiobook publisher.

Susan lives out on the Canadian west coast surrounded by open water, dear family, and good friends. She’s jumped out of perfectly good airplanes on purpose and accidently swum with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef.

To contact her about her books or to arrange end of the world team-ups, you can email her at susan@susanhayes.ca or find her at susanhayes.ca. If you’d prefer to stalk her from afar, you can sign up for her newsletter http://susanhayes.ca/susans-newsletter/

Read part two of Susan’s diary here.

This Week in Links: August 14 – 18

For Rights Holders:

4 Social Media Productivity Tips for Authors – via The Book Designer – “We all know that marketing takes time. Too much time, some might say. I insist that it needn’t take time away from your writing. Not if you adhere to some productivity tips.”

Learning to Listen: Tips to Help You Get Into Audiobooks – via BookRiot – Try passing this advice along to those readers you’re yet to convert into listeners.

5 Email Marketing Tips for Self-Published Authors – via where writers win – “Email marketing is a fantastic way to stay front of mind and to let your readers know about everything from competitions to new releases.”

This is The Reason Book Marketing is Exhausting You and How to Fix That – via BadRedhead – “Many writers are exhausted by book marketing — even those who haven’t released their book yet. Sometimes, simply the thought of where to begin can be enough to stop a writer from ever starting at all. What to do?”

For Producers:

Voiceovers And Your Problem – via Tom Dheere – Tom offers five things to listen for if you want to make it as a voice talent.

Allowing Your Voice-Over Niche to Evolve Over Time – via suchavoice – “I didn’t set out years ago with this niche as my goal, but through hard work and perseverance, I was able to find my path over time.”

A Networking & Publicity Tactic from My Savvy 12-year-old Daughter – via Natasha Marchewka – “Way too often, I experience others as closed off and disinterested in group situations that would allow for valuable networking and even camaraderie. Being open to connecting helps us grow our business and, further, can help us grow as people.”

Yes, You Can….But SHOULD You? – via Dave Courvoisier – How big is your wheelhouse, really? Dave guides you through realistically approaching auditions.

This Week in Links: July 31 – August 4

For Producers:

Got The Summertime Business Blues? Plant Seeds Early For The Long Game – via Voice-Over Xtra – It turns out there is a cure for the summertime blues, and it involves cultivating client relationships.

Breathe Easy This Summer – via Dr. Ann Utterback – Learn to narrate while standing with proper posture to deliver your best in-booth performance.

The Importance of Listening Skills for Voiceover Work – via Victoria DeAnda – “Listening, which is an integral aspect of any form of communication, helps any voice actor learn control, adapt to new styles, and become more confident overall.”

No Shortage of Advice – via Dave Courvoisier – Wondering if any of your past VO clients are ready to work with you again? Dave’s got an email marketing cheat sheet so you can reignite those relationships.

For Rights Holders:

5 Reasons Audiobook Sales Are Booming And How You Can Be Part Of This Growth – via Digital Book World – “Audiobooks are a hot ticket these days – currently the fastest growing piece of the publishing industry, audiobooks are on everyone’s mind and in everyone’s ears.”

Do You Market Your Book With Urgency? – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – Learn nine ways you to ensure you’re not getting too lax or too crazy when promoting your book.

Use a Sex Angle to Flirt with the Media for Book Publicity – via The Book Designer – Hubba hubba! Can you find a creative way to get eyes and ears on your (audio)book?

The Platform Conundrum – via CreateSpace – Author Richard Ridley demystifies phrases like “A cross-platform strategy is the most optimal solution to create buzz about your book.”

This Week in Links: July 24 – 28

For Rights Holders:

What Are Authors Willing To Do To Get Publicity? – via BookMarketingBuzzBlog – “If you can’t find much to publicize about you or your book then you probably should rethink who is going to buy the book and what will move them to be interested.”

16 Ways to Make Your Setting a Character in Its Own Right – via Helping Writers Become Authors – Let your audiobook narrator chew on some scenery for a while.

Airtight Plotting Strategies – via CreateSpace – Every audiobook project starts as a writing project. Make sure you don’t lose the thread on your next one.

8 Tips to Keep in Your Mind When Seeking Book Reviews – via where writers win – Learn the smart way to get professionals to review your book, and keep in mind the ways these tips apply to your audiobook as well.

For Producers:

How Dangerous Is Your Voice-Over Studio? – via Paul Strikwerda – “In order to truly feel at home, happy, and safe in my claustrophobic recording cave, I had to add some items and make some adjustments to make life a lot healthier.”

How to be Productive During a (Voice-over) Vacation – via Natasha Marchewka – Read about smart ways to both relax and be productive in your time away from the booth.

A Reminder… – via Dave Courvoisier – Dave’s back with a 15-point reality check for voiceover newbies. Can you pass the test?

Voiceovers And Working With Authors – via Tom Dheere – Tom’s here to remind you that you might not always be working directly with the author of the book you’re recording, especially if you’re working with an audio publisher.

This Week in Links: July 17 – 21

For Producers:

Cultivating Your Personal Brand As A Voice-Over Artist – via suchavoice – You know you need it, even if you don’t want to work on it. Read up on the five ways to “cultivate a personal brand that is really, and truly your own.”

What Are You Waiting For? – via Paul Strikwerda – Paul’s here with that kick in the pants that every freelancer needs from time to time.

4 Reasons You Should be Marketing Your VO Business on Instagram – via Dave Courvoisier – Learn why the visual social network is a great place to spread word of your audio services, and the best part is that now you can Buy instagram likes whenever you want, this will improve your marketing strategies on social media.

ACXU Presents: Inside the Booth: A Day in the Life of an ACX Pro Producer – via ACX – Get an idea of what it takes to make a career out of voiceover work with Audible Approved Produced Caitlin Kelly.

For Rights Holders:

How to Create Pre-Launch Buzz for Your Book Right Now – via Bad Redhead Media – As you read this, note the tips that can be repurposed for your audiobook launch.

A Step-By-Step Indie Authors Guide for Attracting Media Attention – via Book Marketing Tools – “If you’re like most indie authors who can’t afford the razzle-dazzle of today’s publicity masterminds, there is an option for you. It’s called DIYing your own publicity campaign, and it’s not as scary as it sounds.”

Authors and Marketing Fatigue – via The Book Designer – If you’ve got an excuse for why your book marketing isn’t working an are ready for a dose of reality, this is the article for you.

Tips on Writing a Sequel (When You Didn’t Plan to Write a Sequel) – via Writer’s Digest – So, you’ve heard that series do well in audio, and you’re kicking yourself for not planning ahead. Never fear, Writer’s Digest’s got you covered.

This Week in Links: July 3 – 7

For Rights Holders:

Do You Have a Platform? – via The Book Designer – “The problem is that most authors focus on where they will build their platform and how they will build their platform. They fail to identify what their platform is and whom they intend to reach.”

How to Go On Vacation & Write While You’re Not Writing – via Writer Unboxed – Learn some ways to involve your brain in tasks that will set you up to write when you finally sit back down at the keyboard, this is something that has worked a lot for me lately, last time I rented my vacation home from outer banks rentals I was able to sit down, relax, and just write about many things that just came up to my mind.

How to Ace the First Act in Your Sequel – via Helping Writers Become Authors – Want to hook listeners with multi-part series? Find out how to kick off successive books with a bang.

Start Your Own Think Tank – via CreateSpace – Might starting a group of like-minded authors be beneficial to your writing and marketing efforts?

For Producers:

How To Attract and Keep New Clients – via Paul Strikwerda – Even though you and I are likely to have different clients with different needs, there are three factors that always play a role in every purchase decision: price, benefits, and perception.

Who Said Goofing Off Is a Waste of Time? – via Dr. Ann Utterback – “Think of the constant onslaught of information coming from the Internet, email, news stories, conversation, and our own busy thoughts. We’re asking our brains to digest all of this every second of every day. We need to shut this off for a time if we want to recharge.”

How Acting Ability Helps in Voiceover Work and Ways to Improve It – via Victoria DeAnda – “If you’re having a hard time turning yourself into a character required in a voice recording project, maybe it’s time you try acting classes on the side.”

Five Things To Do After a Voiceover Conference – via Rob Marley – The action doesn’t end when you return from a voiceover event. Take a look at how to continue the momentum once you return home.

 

This Week in Links: June 26 – 30

For Producers:

Do This Instead of Buying a New Mic – via Dave Courvoisier – Ready to add to cart? Consider whether coaching and technical training may be a better  investment for your career than new equipment.

What Is Your Computer Backup System? And Will It Work? – via Edge Studio – “Whether your computer succumbs to a malware attack, a hardware failure, or your own human error, having a backup will make the situation much less nerve-wracking, and probably far less expensive.”

Why I Don’t Listen to Fictional Audiobooks Narrated by Men – via Book Riot – One listener offers her perspective on a performance choice that drives her buying decisions.

5 Years As The VO Strategist Taught Me 3 Things – via Tom Dheere – What can you learn from Tom’s three big revelations from his time as VO coach? Find out in this milestone post.

For Rights Holders:

Use Cheat Sheets & Checklists to Entice, Engage Readers – via The Book Designer – “Readers love chunks of information they can digest easily in just a minute or two…tie the topic of your cheat sheet or checklist into your book, and you’ve got a promotional hook that reels in readers.”

How to Carry Your Book Cover Design Through to the Marketing Campaign for Your Self-published Books – ALLi – Find out how image, color, texture, and typography can be used as a theme for your (audio)book promotion.

How to Set Up Your Own Online Book Tour – via BookMarketingTools – “Whether you’re launching for the first time or hoping to drum up support for a published book, virtual tours can be incredible for building buzz, encouraging people to share your content, growing your platform, enhancing your reputation, selling books, and much more.”

An Illustrated Guide to Dynamic Characters – via Writer’s Digest – Compelling characters are a dream come true for any actor to perform. This fun infographic takes a look at what makes some of your favorite TV/movie characters so interesting.