Archive for the ‘Audiobook’ Tag

NARRATION: How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Last

How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Last

How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Last

My fifth audiobook narration for Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) has hit the Amazon store. It’s a short one I picked specifically so I could fit it in before going on vacation. I’ll be curious to see how How to Make a Long Distance Relationship Last does, because I can imagine that more people might take a chance on a short, inexpensive book. And if that’s true it would mean that I could be doing a lot less work for a lot more return. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t still do longer books. 90% of the short ones are scam books of the kind where the guy promises the key to life 80 times in 45 minutes but never actually gives it to you (for that you have to order his $200 lecture series), and I don’t need to have anything to do with those. But I have to admit that a one week project does have some advantages over the typical 1-month book, so if I can find some of those to do, I will.

As always, I don’t want to comment on the content of the book itself. I have no control over the content other than the ability to refuse the option to produce it, and the way ACX is set up I have to agree to produce it before I get to see the full manuscript. But as far as the narration and production go, I’m pretty proud of this first effort and the new Audio Technica 2020 mic I had to get to replace my dying Blue Spark. I don’t have it 100% dialed in to where I want it yet, but it’s not too bad at all so far.

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NARRATION: Rolling Through Life: Camp HandiCan

Rolling Through Life: Camp HandiCan

Rolling Through Life: Camp HandiCan

I’m now up to four audiobook narrations for Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) with a fifth on the way in a week or so. The book is called Rolling Through Life: Camp HandiCan and it’s probably my proudest project to date. My pride isn’t because I sing in it (though I do—sorry), or because the writing is perfect (though it may be the best of the books I’ve narrated so far), but because the subject matter is touching to me and because it’s told by an author who obviously poured his heart into it.

It’s fiction—I’m told by the author that his actual life is spread across a couple of the characters—but it reads like a memoir. It’s about a guy that ends up being a counselor at a camp for handicapped children by accident. Personally, having spent a summer and a couple winters working at Camp Variety for Spina Bifida, some aspects of the story may have touched me a bit more than some. But I think the triumphs and the love story are pretty universally accessible (ironic remark intended), and you could do worse than to give it a read or listen or both.

As I said, the writing’s not perfect; I think there are some parts that could be fleshed out more. But it’s a solid first writing effort, you’ll enjoy it, and the author could use your encouragement so that he keeps writing and developing.

It’s safe to say that if I can find more books like this to work on (though perhaps with less singing on my part), this will continue to be a very fun second job/hobby/side hustle for me

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NARRATION: Holocaust Survivor Accounts and Holocaust Rescuers: Surviving The Holocaust Stories

Holocaust Survivor Accounts and Holocaust Rescuers: Surviving The Holocaust StoriesThis makes two audiobook narrations for Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) under my belt. It’s called Holocaust Survivor Accounts and Holocaust Rescuers: Surviving The Holocaust Stories.

As before, it’s not for me to comment on the content of the book itself. As the narrator I have no control over the content other than the ability to refuse the option to produce it. I’m proud of this as a longer project. There were some things I could have/should have done better, some that I thought I would have a chance to fix later and didn’t. But altogether, I think it’s a solid second effort, and of a topic that was more interesting to me personally. The price is high and I wish I had some control over that to help saleshttp://www.audible.com/pd/History/Holocaust-Survivor-Accounts-and-Holocaust-Rescuers-Audiobook/B06XY8MBWV/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1491311242&sr=1-1. I’ll tell interested friends to check it out on sale.

NARRATION: Horror Stories: Bizarre Reports of the World’s Craziest True Ghost Stories and Hauntings

Horror Stories: Bizarre Reports of the World's Craziest True Ghost Stories and HauntingsMy first official audiobook narration for Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) has hit the Amazon store and I’m excited to see how it goes. The book is called Horror Stories: Bizarre Reports of the World’s Craziest True Ghost Stories and Hauntings.

I don’t want to comment on the content of the book itself. As the narrator I have no control over the content other than the ability to refuse the option to produce it. But as far as the narration and production go, I’m pretty proud of this first effort and I can honestly say I learned some new things while working on it, which is not something you say often when you’ve been dabbling in audio projects of various kinds for over a decade. Or two.

Regardless, the thing about these kinds of projects (and most things in our world) is that ambition trumps quality. It doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world, if you’re not motivated to promote it, it’ll never sell. In this case, I get the distinct impression that the author is motivated, and that he’s in a niche that is notoriously hungry for input. So, I’m hoping that we can get some sales out if it. The long-term idea is to get enough active audiobooks that even scattered sales from a lot of sources can add up to some kind of income. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve talked with other ACX Narrator/Producers that have enough irons in the fire to make a steady, livable income from the earnings. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to that stage, but having some play money to put into the kids’ college funds and such would be nice. Cross your fingers!

BEST NEW MEDIA: Podiobooks.com

Evo Terra

Evo Terra, progenitor of Podiobooks.com. Image via Wikipedia

For all the enjoyment I’ve received from Podiobooks.com over the recent years, I would be doing it a great disservice if I didn’t mention what a great resource I think it is for entertainment and encourage you to try it out.

Antiquated media juggernauts are collapsing all around us, trying to find their way in the electronic age. In their wake, new media offerings are springing up and poising themselves to take over. I’ve mentioned before how I think Scrub Club Records and others like them  is making huge moves to do this on the music side. On the literary side Podiobooks.com seems to be taking lessons from the publishing dinosaurs breathing their last and doing everything right to remain standing while the pubs fossilize into the past. The old school players were busy fighting among themselves and wasting time not coming up with efficient print-on-demand systems; not agreeing on a common format for the eBook market (this disagreement still rages on after more than a decade — come on idiots, books are all made on paper, it’s not that hard to just agree that all eBooks should be PDFs and get on with your lives!); and not figuring out that electronic publications should be priced less than half of their print counterparts.

While this has been going on, Evo Terra and the new media moguls have been going a different route. They started with manuscripts that didn’t gain the attention of the big publishing houses (not astonishing since big pubs only put out about 35 books per year and 80%+ of those are repeat authors). They weren’t bad, and they certainly had audiences waiting for them, they just lacked big-name backing and someone with foresight. So these geniuses said, “I want to get my book out there, I don’t care if it sells, but I’m a storyteller with something to say. So I’m going to record myself reading my book in episodes and release it online for free and see if I can generate some attention with it.” And you know what? They did.

My personal exposure came one day when I was thinking about all of the free independent music out there and I started wondering if anybody was doing something similar with audio books. A quick Google search later and I was at the doorstep of Podiobooks.com. I was a little unsure how to find something good, but the risk was nil since everything was free. So I jumped into the sci-fi section and came across Phil Rossi’s Crescent. I was blown away. That something this good should be out there for free was staggering. Phil’s voice was entrancing, his story engaging, and I think I listened to the whole thing in the course of three or four days. From a recommendation on Crescent, I moved on to J.C. Hutchins7th Son trilogy and found myself again blown away. I think that led to Mur Lafferty‘s Playing for Keeps, Scott Sigler‘s Ancestor (and all of his other titles), P.C. Haring’s Cybrosis, Jake Bible’s Dead Mech and several more leading to where I am now — Nathan Lowell’s Trader Tales series which has me gripped to the point that I don’t know how to start my car if I don’t have my MP3 player with me so I can listen to the next chapter.

And they’re all free! Podiobooks.com provides a donation button for you to give what you can if you like what you’ve used. When I started, I was way too poor to donate, but I’m at a point now where I can afford some money here and there and I am going back through and leaving donations in the hopes that every little bit helps raise up the site and the authors.

I’m not saying there aren’t mainstream media sources out there worth enjoying. However it is SO refreshing to see that while the biggies fight amongst themselves for scraps and ignore the bigger issue, someone is out there doing good work for us common folk in a big way. Please — go to Podiobooks.com and try out some of the wares. Please donate where you can to help these authors get what they deserve. And most of all, PLEASE spread the word of this amazing resource. There’s still time to be an early-adopter so that you can be cool when your kids come to you in 10 years raving about the audiobook they got from Podiobooks.com. More than that, you will be better off and your friends will thank you for getting them in on this amazingly apt use of digital distribution.

REVIEW: Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell

Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell

Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell

FORMAT: Audiobook
PRICE: FREE (donations appreciated)
AVAILABLE AT: Podiobooks.comiTunesAuthor’s Website | You can also purchase a copy of the printed book from Amazon.com

Follow Ishmael as he is forced to begin his adult life after his mother’s death. The planet he lives on is corporate owned, so he needs to play their game or find a way off. Knowing little about it, he finds a way to get himself hired onto a space freighter. His open mind unpolluted by preconceived notions makes him the perfect student of shipboard life and helps him to take advantages of the opportunities around him in ways not considered by his more seasoned shipmates.

Ishmael is instantly lovable and the author makes him someone you empathize with like a family member. If you’re an Orson Scott Card fan, Ish may strike you as the middle between Ender Wiggin and Bean.

This is one of the most perfect marriages of story and reading I have ever witnessed. There are a lot of stories that are read by a good voice — the kind of voice you expect to hear reading audiobooks — and this is that too, but the author’s voice, inflection and tempo are also just plain perfect for telling his story.

There isn’t a lot of flashy action. No surprising plot twists. Just characters that breathe and share their story with you as if they were next to you on the couch. If this weren’t set in a spaceship, you would swear you were hearing a sailor’s audio journal.

I can’t always afford to donate for books I get for free from Podiobooks.com, but I donated for this one.

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