Tag Archives: #ACX

Once Upon A Time……

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time……
We’ve all heard it.
Having just read it, probably out loud in your head in a voice from your childhood, you now expect a story.
The art of storytelling predates written books and was a crucial element of society in days long since gone by. Storytelling was a means of passing on history, knowledge, beliefs, myths and legends, and, of course, entertainment. These tales were brought to life by the narrative of the storyteller and occasionally supported by dance and music.
As a little girl, I loved being read to. Bedtime story time was a time to delve into the adventures of various characters as read to me by my mum. She read me stories from some very old children’s story collections, books that already been old when she was a girl; she read me Disney stories from a big blue book I was given one Christmas; she read me library book after library book (I loved Mr Grimpwinkle!); she read me books we chose and bought together. Even when I was old enough to read for myself, we kept one “special” book aside for bedtime story time.
The bedtime stories ended when I was about nine years old…. I never did finish Anne Of Green Gables. We moved house part way through reading the book and, for a myriad of reasons, never got back to it and I could never bring myself to finish it alone….. the magic spell had been broken.
When my own children were little, I read to them, trying to instil a love of books in them. I read some from my childhood (yes, I read them the big blue Disney book); I read library books; I read tales of Katie Morag and of Hairy McLary from Donaldson’s Dairy and tied my tongue in knots reading Dr Seuss.  What even is a seven hump wump????
The last book I remember reading to both of them was The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe. The three of us would sit in my bed and read a chapter a night. Precious memories……
Confession – now-a-days, I hate being read to. I really struggle to maintain concentration in lecture/presentation situations and I absolutely loathe radio programmes where they just drone on and on and on……. Give me music any day!
As an indie author, this has presented me with a dilemma. An audio book dilemma.
There’s a whole market out there that I’ve yet to fully explore but I suspect that I’d hate even my own book babies in audio format. That’s not to say that others would….. I just can’t bear to listen to audio books. I appreciate that they are a Godsend to those who love a story but for whatever reason are unable to read it for themselves. Audio books are great for people who drive long distances or folk who travel a lot in general; Audio books are great for book lovers who love to multi-task and don’t have time to sit down and read a book. They are readily available in CD, mp3 and other digital formats. But, as an author, where to begin?
A couple of years ago, I did a trailer video clip for Book Baby 1 aka Stronger Within and, if that short clip taught me nothing else, it taught me that I am NOT a narrator! (Here- listen for yourself –
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VObOV6c0FXs )

If my Book Babies are going to find their niche in the audio book world, I’m going to have to find a narrator (or two).
I suspect this is not going to be easy……
I’m not sure if all authors feel the same about their work but I can “hear” it in my head as I read it. That’s the voice I’m searching for!
All four books have been added to ACX.com accompanied by a short audition script. The opportunity to narrate them is being offered on a “royalty share” basis so I suspect my target narrator is someone fairly new to the craft who is looking to build up their portfolio. Is that you? Is it someone you know? Does the person with “the voice” even exist?
Time will tell…….

If you wish to submit an audition please check out the link below:
https://www.acx.com

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To Be Read To Or Not To Be Read To…..

 horror-audiobooks

 

Audiobooks? Thoughts?

Personally, I’m not a fan, however I can see the benefits for people who, for a wide variety of reasons are unable to read a paperback, a hardback edition or a Kindle e-book.

We’ve Thomas Edison to thank for inventing the phonograph in 1877 and making recording the spoken word possible. His vision was for this to be an invention that would “speak to blind people without effort on their part.” The first recorded instance of the spoken word is Edison’s own recital of Mary Had A Little Lamb. I’m glad to report that things have matured somewhat since then!

There have been many formats of audiobooks over time. Having initially been sold in cylinders in the early 1900’s (each cylinder only held 4 minutes of spoken words so books were an impossibility), audiobooks moved onto vinyl where the listening time was increased to around 20 minutes per side. By 1970’s cassette tapes became the format of choice and due to the significant increase in capacity, talking books were now feasible. The commercial audiobook market was born!

The audiobook industry grew rapidly through the 1980’s and 1990’s. Advances in technology and in compressed audio formatting in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s  saw further growth in the industry as audiobooks moved into digital format.

Audiobooks have come a long way since Edison’s first recording!

Audiobooks are primarily aimed at the vision impaired but are also popular with many other “readers”. They  play an important part in education, particularly with dyslexic students and those with other learning difficulties.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), a UK charity, offers a Talking Books library service and currently has over 18000 titles available.

So how does an author get their book into audiobook format?

That’s been a question that I’ve been pondering for a while after receiving a few enquiries about releasing my book babies in this format.

As those of you who follow my ramblings will know, I have self-published both my “babies” through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space options.

Did Amazon offer an audiobook service? Yes, they do! ACX.com

So I registered my book babies as available projects and started the search for a narrator who is prepared to work with me on a Royalty Share basis.

I selected sections from each book to be used for audition purposes. (Not as easy a task as it sounds, trust me!)

This is feeling more like a theatrical production than a book!

There are over 40 000 audiobook samples from potential narrators available on ACX to listen to. Fortunately it is possible to narrow down your search based on genre, gender of narrator, accent, vocal style etc.

I narrowed the search down to about 250 samples and began to trawl through them. This is where I hit stumbling block number one.

I hate being read to! I’m really struggling to select potential narrators to contact to invite them to audition. I’m sure they are fantastic narrators but most of them so far are making me cringe.

Stumbling block number two is cost. There are very few narrators that I’ve identified who are prepared to work on such lengthy tales on a Royalty Share basis. Most are seeking a fee of a minimum of $100 per finished hour. For both books that would amount to roughly $3000. WAY beyond my purse!

So, here’s my plea –  are you or do any of you know any fledgling narrators trying to establish a portfolio presence who would be prepared to invest the time on a Royalty Share basis? Do any of you know of other avenues to convert my book babies into audiobooks with minimal financial outlay?

There’s a whole new group of readers ..ok, listeners… out there and I’d love to introduce them to Jake and Lori and all things Silver Lake.

 audiobook

(images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)