Tag Archives: producer profile

A Portrait of the Artist

Listen here, ACX Producer—when’s the last time you updated that profile page of yours? Here on the blog, we can often be found extolling the importance of investing in your home studio, honing your editing and mastering skills, and publicizing your work on social media platforms. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight the value of your professional presence on ACX—your Producer profile! A curated, well-maintained profile will not only make it easier for Rights Holders to find you on ACX, it can help you stand out from the crowd and command the attention of authors and publishers on the hunt for talent like yours.

So, what are the elements of a successful profile? We’ve written a guide to giving your profile the makeover it deserves and sprinkled it with examples from some excellent Audible Approved Producers. Refer to the highlighted areas in the image below as you read along at home.

Prod Profile_01

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Profile Image

A complete, professional-looking ACX profile should include an image, first and foremost (1). Many Producers choose a professional headshot or a picture of themselves having fun in the studio. Not all voiceover artists wish to provide a headshot, however; many feel that their physical appearance sets an expectation incongruent with the variety of vocal performance they’re able to deliver, and would prefer to let their voice speak for itself. In that case, we recommend a graphic or logo developed to represent your brand—Fiverr can be a great place to source one of these—or a picture of your studio without you in it.

Bio

There are two places for you to biographize yourself on your ACX profile: the one-line blurb that appears beneath your name, and the “About” section (2). The first is a great place to offer a zippy little intro that grabs the searcher’s attention. Draw some inspiration from these great one-liners:

  • Confident, Intellectual, Charismatic—The Darkly Sophisticated British Storyteller. (Hannibal Hills)
  • Bright. Vivacious. (Suzanne Barbetta)
  • A smooth blend of professional sound with a personal touch! Bringing stories to life for over 15 years as a narrator and voiceover talent. (Heather Costa)

Then, there’s space under the “About” tab to add a longer bio (3). This is a place to give a comprehensive overview of how you got started, how long you’ve been narrating/producing, why you love it, what sorts of characters/projects you’re drawn to, your vocal range, repertoire, and any special skills you possess. For example, Kyle Tait highlights his extensive experience as a sports announcer. Listing this type of skill might seem irrelevant to audiobook production, but it can capture the attention of the author of a sports biography that wants to be confident their narrator is up to tackling the specific jargon and style of their book. Consider your unique skills and knowledge outside the world of audiobooks, and include anything that makes you stand out!

Prod Profile_02

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Samples

We know it’s tempting to include samples of the great work you’ve done in short form VO, but compelling as they may be, they aren’t especially relevant to Rights Holders looking to hire you for an audiobook project. For your ACX Profile, it’s best to include audiobook samples (4). If you’re new to audiobooks and don’t have many (or any) productions under your belt, head over to Project Gutenberg and choose an appropriate piece from the 60,000 free public domain books on their site. Remember, you can always link to your website from your profile and include your other VO work there.

Next, be judicious when it comes to the number of samples on your profile: too few and your experience and range won’t be apparent, too many, and authors may find themselves overwhelmed and moving on before they give you a good listen. Choose just 5-7 of your best samples that showcase great production values, your range as a performer, and a variety of genres, character types, and dialects. Hannibal Hills and Suzanne Barbetta use their “Sample” sections to great effect, including samples from a wide variety of genres so prospective authors can hear their range as a performer and don’t have to imagine whether they’re up to the task. Pro Tip: you’ll notice these producers have named the samples according to the genres and/or vocal styles they represent. The author or publisher perusing your profile may be completely unfamiliar with the book titles listed in your repertoire, so help them out a little by describing the vocal skills and characteristics on display in each sample.

Credits

Think of this section (5) as your IMDB page on ACX—this is your space to list not only the audiobooks you’ve recorded, but the movies, television shows, theater productions, commercials, radio programs, or video games you or your voice has appeared in (yes, here we encourage you to include relevant non-audiobook work). We also find that successful Producers include related experience, education, and training, be it a master’s degree in theater or a vocal performance workshop they took. Many producers, such as Kyle Tait, also choose to list the gear they use in their home studio setup here so that authors know they have the tools to produce a great audiobook, whereas Suzanne Barbetta features her experience as a paralegal under “Special Skills” to impart her knowledge of legal terminology. Heather Costa lists all of her available audiobook titles under “Credits,” which not every Producer chooses to do, but the list is impressive and the effect is clear—you can tell at a glance she has plenty of experience and has been re-hired by several authors to narrate multiple titles in their catalog.

Prod Profile_03

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Awards and Recognition

This is no place for humility, folks—this section (6) is your chance to brag a little! Show off your accomplishments and tell ‘em what the critics are saying—include any awards you’ve won or been nominated for, include ratings and reviews from listeners on Audible (like Hannibal Hills has done) or from authors who have been happy with your performance and delivery of the project, such as in Heather Costa’s profile. Most consumers don’t make an online purchase without reading the reviews first, so why should we assume shopping for an audiobook narrator should be any different?

Now that you know the ins and outs of a shining producer profile, don’t let it get dusty! Keep it current and up to date with your achievements, new releases, and professional development. Your producer profile is more than just your resume on ACX—there’s a good chance you won’t meet the authors you work with in person, and won’t have contact with them until they make the offer to produce their book, so think of your profile page as your resumé, audition, and interview, all rolled into one. Someone wise once said you only get one chance to make a first impression, so you’d better make it an impressive one, don’t you think?

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Samples (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Today we bring you tips and info on the audio samples you upload to your producer profile on ACX. Your samples are the backbone of your ACX profile, so devoting some attention to this is a good idea.

With that in mind, here are the important things to know about your samples on ACX:

1. If you don’t have at least one sample uploaded to your profile, you are not searchable on ACX.

  • Sure, you’re able to search for great titles on ACX and submit auditions for them without including a sample[s] in your profile. But what about the other side of the equation – all those rights holders using our narrator search to find the right voice for their book? Without a sample, you’re invisible, and potentially missing out on booking that next great project. 40% of projects on ACX are booked without an audition, which means without a sample, you’re cutting your chances to produce that next great title almost in half.

2.  Your sample should be audiobook-specific.

  • ACX rights holders are here for one reason – to get their books made in audio. Those radio spots you did for Shea Cocoa Butter are nice and all, but they don’t shed much light on what kind of audiobook producer you’ll be. Skip ‘em. If you haven’t yet produced a full audiobook, or you want to post a sample that represents a different vocal style, it is ok to use a small portion of a book from your shelf.  (In the rare case that the book’s rights holder notices and contacts us, we reserve the right to remove the sample.)

3.  Get right into the material.

  •  Don’t slate it much, if at all. The rights holder will be able to see your name, credits and awards as you’ve listed them in the text portion of your profile. If your sample opens with 30 seconds of slating, the rights holder may not listen long enough to get to your actual narration.

4.  Note what the sample represents in the “performance notes.”

  • We provide an area for you to add a description next to each sample you upload. You can use this space to showcase aspects of the performance, explain where it was recorded, on what equipment, etc. You should also be sure to mention whether the sample represents your current and final production abilities. At least one sample on your profile should be indicative of the current final audio quality a rights holder can expect to receive from you.

5.  Don’t include music or sound effects.

  • We strongly advise against using music and/or sound effects in your ACX production. Our listeners often find these more distracting than enhancing, and rights and clearances can get very tricky when it comes to music. Your production won’t have these elements, so your sample shouldn’t either.

6.  Upload as many relevant samples as you’d like.

  • ACX does not limit the amount of samples your profile can include. As long as they adhere to the other guidelines listed above, feel free to upload multiple samples that showcase your varied vocal talents.

The above covers what you need to know when it comes to samples. If you need some more basic info on home studios and the art of recording, editing, and mastering audiobooks, check out our Video Lessons and Resources page, as well as our Rules For Audiobook Production. And be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments!