Audiobook narration is, to me anyway, the most challenging and rewarding genre of voiceover work there is.
I just started narrating the audiobook ‘Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs’ by David B. Yoffie and Michael A. Cusumano.
Like most of the books I’m privileged to narrate, this one is fascinating. I’m even taking notes as I go. I’m confident that this book will make me a better voiceover business and coach. When the audiobook releases, I’ll pen my customary blog entry sharing what I’ve learned.
TIP OF THE WEEK
A long time ago I wrote an audiobook narration production checklist blog entry so it’s time to update it 2020 style. These days most of this checklist is taken care of by the Rights Holder, but if you’re working directly with an author who is new to the process (and maybe you are, too), you need to have your ducks in a row…
Confirm the deadline and find out if it’s flexible in case of illness, computer disaster, personal emergency, etc.
Confirm the manuscript you received has been finalized/approved by the Rights Holder
Receive or convert the manuscript into your preferred format, preferably one that allows you to take notes directly on the page
Read the entire book before you start. If you don’t have the time and it’s non-fiction, read at the least the first few chapters to get an idea of tone and pace. If it’s fiction, you MUST find someone of prep the book so you don’t get ambushed with an accent or characterization the book doesn’t mention/reveal until late into the story.
If fiction; establish characterizations, genders, accents, etc.
If non-fiction, determine if the client wants footnotes or other bits to be read
Get or build a pronunciation guide. I strongly recommend by buddy Adam Verner’s amazing tool Pronounceology.
Confirm the audio settings and file format
Confirm the method of audio file delivery
Confirm the Intro and Outro aka Opening and Closing Credits
Confirm the manuscript’s page range to begin and end your narration
Send a recording of the first fifteen minutes of the book to confirm tone and pace
Confirm whether you or the client will do Quality Control
Find out if the client wants the retakes as separate files or if they want you to edit them in
NEWS AND NOTES
Thursday May 28th @2:30 PM EST: “Learning to do eLearning”. Are you in town for APAC Week? Curious about eLearning narration? In this In this two-hour workshop, you will learn what eLearning narration is, it’s sub-genres, narration tips, how much to charge, demo specs, and there will be live coaching!
It’s $100 to attend, but if you use the promo code EARLYBIRD528 you get in for only $75! Seats are limited so sign up ASAP. Click here to register!
Thursday, February 20th @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Business and Money 201 webinar will be ‘Time Management’. In this one-hour webinar, we’re going to talk about how to keep your voiceover business on track on a daily basis. Click here to sign up.
Thursday, February 27th @8PM EST: My next Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar will be ‘Brand Yourself’. In this one-hour webinar, we’ll talk about the basics of telling the story that is your voiceover business. Click here to sign up!
Sunday, March 1st @10AM EST in NYC: Scott Brick & Johnny Heller present: The New York Audiobook Business Workshop 2! I will be part of two conversations that day – social media and “office crap”, as in which software we use to run our businesses. Click here to sign up!
The VO Atlanta X-Session registration is OPEN! I’m leading two X-Sessions this year…
Thursday March 26th @9:00 AM EST: (PRE-CONFERENCE X-SESSION) Learning to do eLearning
Friday March 27th 6:30PM EST: eLearning Script Writing & Performance Intensive
These special workshops carry an additional fee on top of the VO Atlanta registration fee BUT you don’t have to attend VO Atlanta proper to sign up for these workshops. Click here to see the full list of X-Sessions offered.
November 6-8, 2020: the Mid-Atlantic Voice Over (MAVO) conference in Herndon, Virginia. I have the honor of presenting yet again! In addition to the regular sessions (which will be announced soon) I will also be leading a special 3-hour Mastery Session. The topic: ‘Manage Your Money Like a VO Pro‘. These sessions fill up quickly so make sure you get your spot! Click here to sign up now!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Tom Dheere is a 20+year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for hundreds of clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a voiceover business & marketing consultant known as the VOStrategist and produces the comic book “Agent 1.22”.