Tag Archives: narrator

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?

ACX Holiday Gift Guide Part 2: Gifts For Authors

Earlier this week, we offered our suggestions on gifts for narrators, and today we’re back with the other side of the ACX equation: authors and rights holders! Everyone could use a bit of holiday cheer to wrap up the year, so join us as we highlight some gifts that will have your collaborators writing thank you notes in between novels.

JUST THE WRITE GIFT

Hand Cream: Keep those hands smooth and moisturized during chilly winter writing sessions. CreamLiquid Inspiration 1 – Coffee Subscription: For the author who needs to focus, make sure coffee is on their doorstep every month with a subscription coffee service.

Coffee

Liquid Inspiration 2 – Booze: For added creativity, give the gift of holiday spirits.

Booze

Speech Recognition Software: Help your author put the pen down, and think with their audiobook in mind! Speech to text software like Dragon can help authors do a little “narration” work of their own.

DragonA Good Review – if you enjoyed an author’s book (and didn’t produce it), one of the nicest things you can do for them is provide a positive critique of their work. Reviews help boost sales, so this counts as two gifts in one.

ReviewA Literary Tote full of Books – Writers are readers too, so you can’t go wrong with a fun bag stuffed with some of your favorite paperbacks.

Tote

An Audible Gift Membership: You’ve already turned your authors into audiobook fans by bringing their books to life, now turn them into seasoned audiobook veterans with an Audible membership. As an added bonus, every book they listen to helps authors become better audiobook publishers!

Audible

That does it for our 2013 gift guide. Have fun putting your gift bags and baskets together, enjoy the holiday season, and get ready for a creative and thrilling 2014!

What are you getting for the author in your life? Tell us your suggestions below.

ACX Holiday Gift Guide Part 1: Gifts For Narrators

The holidays are a time of giving, and once you’ve decided what to get friends and family, colleagues and collaborators are up next. Who better to thank than the actor that helps bring your words to life via ACX? If you’re making a list and checking it twice, but have no idea what to get for the special actor in your life, check out our recommendations.

These Are a Few of Their Favorite Things

A mug and throat coat tea: Professional narrators swear by this standby that soothes their instrument and keeps it running like a well oiled machine.71-UyKJZwOL._SL1500_
Lip Balm:
Helps prevent mouth sounds such as lip pops while recording. If your narrator doesn’t thank you, their editor will!
Cherry ChapStick
iTunes gift card:
Apps like iAnnotate are a godsend for narrators that read from a tablet, and the card can also be used for apps that help with accounting, organizing, scheduling, and having fun.
An iTunes Gift Card
Staples
or Office Depot gift card
: If your narrator prefers paper scripts, they can use the card to buy supplies for script prep, like ink, paper, and highlighters.
My toolkit for reading
Throat spray, like “Entertainers Secret“:
This spray is designed to moisturize, humidify, and lubricate the throat and larynx. Perfect for those long audiobook recording sessions.
entsec
Sweetwater or Sam Ash gift card: Every narrator could use some funds to put towards new recording equipment or software.
Faust-F2

You can also include old standby’s, like cookies and other snacks, as well a handwritten note thanking them for their work on your productions this year.

Check back in with us on Thursday, when we’ll cover the flip side of the audiobook equation, and give our recommendations on gifts for authors!

Actors – what are you asking Santa for this year?

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?

This Week in Links: October 21 – 25

ACXers in temperate climates are starting to feel that first chill in the air. Autumn is upon us, and with it thoughts of holiday fun and the year’s end. As 2013 winds down, use the links below to inform and educate yourself as you embark on your final audiobook productions of the year.

Remember, now is the time to get those audiobooks recorded and uploaded to ACX for your best chance of having them live on Audible in time for the holiday season.

For Producers:

The 5 Things You Should Be Doing NOW to Close Out the Year – via Dave Courvoisier’s Voice Over Blog – As the year’s end draws near, Dave has a 5-point checklist that will help VO’s wrap things up right.

Whittam’s World Episode 8: Acoustical Treatments for your Home Studio – via Edge Studio’s Youtube Channel – Home studio master George Whittam talks soundproofing in this informative video

Bed, Bath and Beyond – via Finding My Voice – Justin S. Barrett gets philosophical about life away from the microphone.

Why Restaurants And Voice Over Talents Fail – via Marc Scott Voiceover – Marc sees popular TV show “Restaurant Impossible” as a metaphor for VO failure – and success!

For Rights Holders:

Conflict—Giving LIFE to Your Fiction – via Kristen Lamb’s Blog – “Bad decisions make GREAT fiction.” Kristen tells you how to work that adage to your advantage

How Writing “Small Stones” Hones the Writer’s Craft – via The Alliance of Independent Authors – “Novelist Satya Robyn explains the meaning, process and value of writing “small stones” – tiny observational pieces of poetry or prose detailing something close at hand.”

Passion, Purpose, and Power: A Pep-Talk For Writers – via The BookBaby Blog – In need of a pick-me-up? BookBaby’s got you covered

Did you find some great audiobooks links this week? Tell us all about ’em!

ACX Studio Gear Series: Home Studio Setup – Part 1

If you’re a regular reader of the ACX blog, you know we’ve been working our way through the list of items you’ll need for a professional sounding home recording studio. But what about the setup of the studio itself? Over the next few posts, we’ll be joined by expert and prolific producers from Audible Studios and ACX, who’ll offer their tips for the essential elements of home studio construction.

Today, we talk to ACX engineers, an author who built a home studio to narrate his own books, and our own Audible Studios staff about the importance of using high quality equipment and working with the noisy quirks of your unique recording space.

ACX: In your opinion, what are the most important elements of home studio construction?

Pete wVocal Booth_Small

Peter A. Rohan’s Queens, NY home studio

Peter A. Rohan, ACX Producer: You’ve got to start with the right equipment. Use a “quiet” mic that gives you the best frequency results for your voice.  Choose an interface with a good preamp that provides quality analog to digital (a/d) and digital to analog (d/a) conversion and that will not introduce a lot of noise. A budget mic and inferior interface can introduce an amount of noise and contribute to your overall noise floor.  I found that out the hard way, after exhausting all my energies in soundproofing and absorption only to find that it was the cheap mic that I was using that was generating most of my noise floor.

Darren Vermaas, Audible Studios Post-Production Associate:  Definately don’t skimp on the equipment.  Using proper gear in the first steps of recording is going to make your life a lot easier in the end.  Besides saving you time in post-production editing out noises and trying to figure out how to bring your overall noise floor down, it will simply make your book sound more professional.

Rob Granniss, Brick Shop Audiobooks: Get as good a mic, headphones, preamp and DAW as you can. Then get to know them as well as you can. Compare them with every other reference possible, including your laptop speakers, your cellphone, your audio geek friend’s sound system, etc. Listen to the same source material on each and note differences. Listen to your own recordings on those sources, as well as professionally produced recordings (voice as well as music if you’d like). The comparison isn’t to find what you like or what is “true” but rather to find what’s missing or is too enhanced about your own setup.

The "Brick Box," Brick Shop Audiobooks custom self recording studio, in Brooklyn, NY

The “Brick Box,” Brick Shop Audiobooks’ custom “self-record” studio, in Brooklyn, NY

Peter:  Also, be wary of cooling fans and keep them away from your mic.  Avoid recording with your laptop near the microphone or anything else with a cooling fan that turns on and off as the temperature fluctuates.

Darren: Get away from noises. That ticking clock, running refrigerator, dogs barking outside your window at the loud trucks driving by, and (of course) that fan running in your computer are all potential hazards.  These are all real things I’ve heard come through in recordings here. The last example is one of the most important to consider.

You will discover a lot of things about your room while you’re setting up a home studio.  Noises you’ve never paid mind to are going to start jumping out, and you’ll have to figure out how to deal with them.  When I needed to record vocals in my noisy 5 story apartment building with window AC units, you could find me hanging packing blankets and winter coats in my closet, positioning a microphone in there, and sweating it out while recording to make sure it sounded good. Not glamorous, and not comfortable, but it did sound good!

Stephen Woodfin’s home studio

Stephen Woodfin, ACX Author/Narrator:

Without a doubt the single best thing I did was to read and study the information on ACX about what is involved in the process of setting up a home studio.  I found that information practical and concise and used it as a blueprint each step along the way. I supplemented the ACX material by watching YouTube videos about the construction of home studios. In addition to watching videos, I read blogs and bought several books that provided more in depth discussions of audio production and equipment.  From these books I was able to determine which equipment was essential for my purposes and which optional. I also learned that it wasn’t necessary to buy the most expensive equipment available because there are economical ways to build a studio capable of producing first-rate audio without skimping.

Check back with us next week for more for more expert discussion on home studio setup!

What do you think is the most important aspect of building a home studio?