As audiobooks flourish, thanks in part to digital technologies, the industry has given many aspiring actors a steady paycheck.
Byron Wagner's insight:
(The companion print article to the video on this page as well: Video: Inside the Voice Actors Studio).
Gabra Zackman is a new kind of acting star: she is heard, but unheard-of.
Ms. Zackman had classical training through the Shakespeare Theater of Washington, has worked in regional theaters for the last two decades and has had a sprinkling of appearances on television shows like “Law and Order.” Those performances, however, have brought neither fame nor fortune.
BeeAudio, the independent producer of audiobooks for most big publishers, has signed a deal with SAG-AFTRA, the union representing narrators.
Byron Wagner's insight:
The company has also cut deals with four new clients and in recent days as news of the imminent deal leaked an additional 30 narrators. BeeAudio’s roster now has 225 narrators, editors, proofers and researchers.
“The deal made clear business sense,” said James Adams, BeeAudio’s founder and CEO. “We want to be the most competitive full service audiobook producer and even with the deal, our prices are the best in the business. At the same time, narrators can feel free to go where the work is, which is with us.”
The union had blacklisted the company last November after it claimed there had been a refusal to negotiate. The result was an acrimonious standoff that was broken when the union reached out a month ago.
“Once I started talking to Jane Love at SAG-AFTRA, it took less than a week to cut a deal,” said Adams. “It’s always true that reasonable people on both sides can achieve remarkable things and this deal is right for us and right for the industry.”
There are self-publishing routes, but I'd highly recommend going with a professional narrator and an established audiobook publisher if possible. For one, the product will be more consistent and polished, but you'll also have ...
How Will you Celebrate Audiobook Month? Good E-Reader (blog) Besides also being the month that plays host to National Donut Day, June is audiobook month, a campaign that was originally created by the Audio Publishers Association to make more...
Grammy-winning Audiobook Producer Inspires Peers While Battling ALS PR Web (press release) Bob Deyan, a Grammy award-winning audiobook producer, received the devastating diagnosis of ALS earlier this year but even with his deteriorating physical...
Book Publishers Association of Los Angeles, Independent Publishing, Los Angeles California
Byron Wagner's insight:
Do you have one or more books that you think would be good candidates for audio publishing? This month’s panel will walk you through the steps of audiobook publishing today.
Learn about the fundamentals of audio publishing, the latest developments, and how to determine whether your work is a viable candidate for audiobook recording. Our speakers will address these issues and more:
- The resources involved in self-publishing or publishing audiobooks
- Why some decide to license the audio rights instead
- What to do to ensure the best production quality
- How to get it into the marketplace once it is ready for distribution
- What others are doing to publicize their audiobooks
Ladies & Gentlemen, start your browsers! AudioEloquence—pronunciation and dialect site for audiobook narration—has been updated, expanded, nipped, tucked, and gently restructured. And re-launched!
Narrators Heather Henderson and Judith West, in a rush of linguistic fervor, have added some 40 new sites, putting AudioEloquence at more than 100 annotated entries. And they’ve re-sorted a number of sites to create a discrete section of Dialect & Accent resources—easier to access for character work.
Please help yourself to the updated AudioEloquence.com. It’s free to our colleagues in audiobook production—with thanks for the valuable contributions we’ve received from that community.
LeaFebruary 8, 2013 - 10:01 amAs a listener, if I concentrate on the performance of a well-narrated book, I stand in awe of the talent and training it takes to make these characters come to life. I’m amazed at the rapid change of voicing required to clearly and consistently perform one character then another then another in a multi-person conversation. And I’m thoroughly impressed that I don’t hear a single intake of breath. In my mind, I can’t see how all of this is possible without training, an immense amount of practice, the guidance of a director (at least in the first stage of learning to narrate), and some degree of raw talent.
I was initially inspired by being such a voracious reader from the day I learned how letters become words become stories. The magic of entering
Byron Wagner's insight:
One day I was invited to perform radio plays before my career as a Dr. Ruth (clinical psychologist). But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I began this second career. People often commented about my voice. They really believed I must be a singer, they didn’t know I was tone deaf.
However, over the years, I did some acting, a call in radio show (Ask the Psychologist), made relaxation tapes with my patients, was an invited public speaker at national meetings, and had a podcast series WOMEN GOING SANE. Officially, I have narrated and edited two books on ACX, I was fortunate to have auditioned three times and accepted twice, the third book was never assigned.
"When I heard that the first Royal Spyness book was going to come out in audio I was apprehensive. American actors have not always been successful with British accents (think Dick Van Dyke and “Oye say, Mary Poppins”) But then I got an email from Katherine Kellgren, telling me that she was going to be reading the book and asking me how I wanted various things pronounced. Then I heard the first recording and I was thrilled."
Lucy Fleming is the niece of Ian Fleming and is closely involved in commissioning the new James Bond book by William Boyd, due to be published in Autumn next year. She has recently produced all her uncle’s full-length novels read by great British actors for download or on CD.
While it’s true that a Stephen King book can make hearts race, churning through “The Shining” generally doesn’t qualify as a cardiovascular workout. Not in print, anyway.
So what about listening to an audiobook version of the horror classic during a run? Joe Flood, for one, says the spoken word imbues him with an inexplicable desire to keep going.
“Most days it can be a struggle to get myself out the door, or to run that extra mile,” says the 30-year-old writer and college archery coach who lives in South Dakota’s Badlands. “If I’m wrapped up in a good book, though, the time and the miles just seem to flow along with the narrative.”
There are now legions of such long-distance readers who, data suggests, prefer burning calories to turning pages.
Two masters will teach ten participants advanced skills as they record their Audiobook Narration Demos. All is included in the fee. Participants will learn how to negotiate for more money in 2013, how to research, prepare, network, record, and bid; and how to connect with publishers and producers.
Telegraph.co.uk Audiobook roundup Telegraph.co.uk Audiobook roundup. Carole Mansur listens to Jonathan Coe, Muriel Spark and Gerald Durrell. Jonathan Coe and Muriel Spark Photo: Martin Pope; Getty. By Carole Mansur.
Audiobook discounted if you already have the book. Screenshot of discount. I didn't even know that ACX/Amazon did this. It's pretty cool. If you already own the e-book, you can evidently get the audiobook at a substantial ...
A UK based company, Bardowl, have brought to market a Spotify-for-audiobooks service. Available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch there is a big selection of business related titles available. When you acquire the app you get a 7 day free trial, and thereafter, you can subscribe for unlimited audio for £9.99 a month. Have a look: www.bardowl.com
Virtual Engineer- Tone Matching Recently upgrade your recording studio equipment chain or make adjustments to your sound and now things just don't match when picking up an old project? Let their golden-eared engineers come up with the processing settings you need to make revisiting old projects a breeze!
They will process the audio, send back the resulting file for approval, and provide you either preset files or screen shots of the settings (where applicable), as well as detailed instructions on how to make use of the information.
Voice-Over Superstars Pat Fraley and Scott Brick will be joining Julie Williams for this two-hour webinar to benefit one of Fraley’s students, Nicole Nielson, who has been stricken with a horrible incurable disease.
Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 6pm Pacific (9pm Eastern)
Fraley and Brick are two of the absolute hottest audiobook narrators in the industry—and their extensive Billion Dollar Read webinar, presented as part of Julie Williams’ “VoiceOver Insider Enrichment Webinars” will cover such essential topics as:
How to bid on an audiobook projectHow and when to negotiate a higher rate for your booksWhen to accept a revenue share dealHow to negotiate a multi-book dealWhich books are good revenue share dealsHow to know if a book has “legs!”
This Friday you will find six well known narrators here at AudioGals discussing their background before they started narrating audiobooks and their subsequent training that has kept them at the top of their profession. We’ll also focus on new narrators, methods of training, and how one gathers the necessary tools to produce a good performance. Through the discussion, we plan to create a path of success for those new to narration.
Joining in this forum:
Barbara Rosenblat Holter Graham Susan Ericksen
Kate Reading Tavia Gilbert Karen White
Moderated by Lea Hensley
The forum starts at 10:00 a.m. and will run until 12:00 noon CST on Friday, February 8th. During that time, you can follow the live discussion. Once the forum is completed, we’ll open it up for further discussion to all who wish to participate. The narrators will be available to answer your questions.
Mark your calendar and come join us! I’m sure the discussion will be prove to be both lively and educational.
Celebrated chef Marcus Samuelsson can cook a chicken 200 different ways, but how does he take the heat of recording his memoir? We go into the studio to find out.
Byron Wagner's insight:
Celebrated chef Marcus Samuelsson knows kitchens better than most people, but today he is mixing them up with chickens. “I never forgot that lesson, even though as a kid we didn’t kill the kitchens we ate for dinner,” reads Samuelsson.
He says the line into a large, futuristic-looking microphone, reading from a stack of pages in front of him—chapter 4 of his new memoir, Yes, Chef, which will be published by Random House in late June. Samuelsson is a James Beard Award–winning chef, among stacks of other culinary distinctions, and a fixture of Food Network programming, and has his own popular and acclaimed restaurants, including most recently, Red Rooster Harlem.
Listen Up’s Audiobook Q&A is back — and they’re delighted to return with a conversation with Audie Award-winning narrator Laural Merlington.
Listen Up: The APA recently released its call for entries for the Audie Award for Distinguished Achievement in Production. You were part of the cast of last year’s winner, The Watch that Ends the Night. What was it like to be a part of that production?
Laural Merlington: The Watch that Ends the Night was different from my usual assignments in that it is a multi-voice work. Also because the book is written in a poetic format it afforded the voice talent and director some creativity in terms of doubling voices, layering them, and also adding sound prompts to add to the drama. I have played many different characters in my career as talent, but this was my first ICE BERG!
Ms. Raffin, who had top roles in films and television, including “Haywire and “Noble House,” also started a successful audiobook business with her husband, Michael Viner.
The two started Dove Books-on-Tape in their garage in the mid-1980s. It became a multimillion-dollar business. The company’s first best seller was Stephen Hawking’s opus on the cosmos, “A Brief History of Time.”
Ms. Raffin’s job included getting celebrities to provide voices for some of the books. Among them were the nonfiction best sellers “Anatomy of an Illness” and “The Healing Heart,” both by Norman Cousins, which were read by Jason Robards Jr. and William Conrad.
Ms. Raffin also compiled celebrities’ Christmas anecdotes for a 1990 book, “Sharing Christmas,” which raised money for groups serving the homeless. It included stories from Margaret Thatcher, Kermit the Frog and Mother Teresa.