101: Narrating Audio Books, And Having Your Books Narrated, What’s The Deal?

 

coming soonThe last few weeks have been a very unexpected experience for me! I got two jobs narrating two audio books, and uploaded my books to be narrated. That was the main intention, to have my books placed into audio and open it up to auditions. After speaking with a fellow author on Facebook, who happens to be an audio book narrator, I decided to see if there was any demand for British narrators following her encouragement. She was sure British accents would be some kind of ‘hot commodity’ that’s needed. LOL Turns out there is a massive demand!!

I did two auditions, of just two minutes reading a script for two books that interested me, and got both books offered to me to narrate. One from a publisher and one from an author. I thought I’d share both sides of the coin, how to place your books in audio, and why you might also wish to consider becoming a narrator yourself!

Where Do Authors Find Narrators?…

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy…head to ACX’s site this is Audible and Amazon’s website HERE.  

Simply log in using your own Amazon account, or set up one under your author/narrator pen name. Then, head to the section which states ‘add projects’. Here upload the details and Amazon will automatically pull your book in, confirm it and that’s it! Then, you need to add a script for narrators to audition with. I recommend not placing your whole MS up there, just copy and paste a sample. It does not have to be the first pages either, you can use a really tense scene, steamy scene etc, to see how  potential narrators would handle these aspects of your book. Or just opt for a sample from the first chapter. Either  way paste it into the box, or save a Word.doc  and upload it. Bosh! Done you’re book is out there for narrators to find.

What Cost Are Involved For Authors?…

None, if you don’t want there to be. Authors and publishers are able to place their book(s) up, and offer what’s called a ‘life long royalty share option’ to the narrator. This means, if you are willing to give exclusive rights to Amazon and Audible you just split all royalties earned from audio sales with the narrator. You’ll receive 20% and so will they, each month for life. The rest goes to Amazon and Audible of course.

Or, you can pay narrators a fee per audio hour they produce. This option will involve costs to you. So if a narrator’s fee is £50.00 per hour produced for example, and your book is eight hours long = 8 x 50.00=  £400.00 must be paid to the narrator.

Or, lastly you can offer the royalty share option + an amount for each audio hour, say £20.00. So if your book is eight hours again 8 x 20.00= £160.00 PLUS a 20 % royalty share per month.

There are three options, the first one you have to give Amazon and Audible exclusive rights, with the other two you are free to have  your book sold in audio elsewhere. But there’s costs to you. So if you don’t want upfront costs, then don’t go with them.

How Do Authors Find Narrators?…

Once you’ve added your book(s) as projects, fill out the options to decide what kind of narrator you’d like. eg accent, age, type of reader eg versatile, feminine, husky etc Basically narrow down the options to the best voice you feel would be suited, or that you’d like to hear bring your work alive. Press submit and that’s it.

Narrators looking for projects will come across your book(s), and if they are interested audition. You will get an alert of an audition and can hear their voice.

What Happens Next?….

Your book(s) will be up for ‘audition’ and narrators can find you.You should hopefully start receiving auditions and hearing different voices. You can respond to anyone who takes your fancy. You can also search the data base of narrators based on the criteria you selected, then invite them to audition or reach out in some way. Once your book(s) are up, it’s time to either reach out, or kick back and wait for people to find you.

Once you offer a project the narrator has two days to accept, if they do you upload the full MS. Then, they will start working and submit to you a fifteen minute sample of their work, before the deadline agreed. You will then approve it or not, and if you do they continue and you kick back, and wait for your book to be transformed into audio by the agreed due date! Then it goes up on sale once complete and ACX has approved it for quality.

Are Narrators Willing To Do The Work With No Upfront Fee?

In short, yes I was and would do it again. Depending on 1. if they feel your book will sell 2. they have a genuine interest in your book 3. you include in your book’s details what you plan to do about marketing. To inform potential narrators who may have an interest what you’ll do to spread the word. So they can see potential.

Of course there are professional voice actors who are not! And wish to be paid a fee, rather than  risk the time and effort, your book sells little or nothing or not what they would have imagined.

My Experience So Far, As An Author…

Well as an author my books have only been up just over a week, I have not had auditions yet, but one narrator did make contact and say she would like to audition once she’s finished up a few books she’s working on this month. I honestly think patience will be needed. That said, I would advise any author wanting to place their work into audio, to be just that patient. Don’t run with the first voice you hear unless it grabs you! Remember you are looking for someone who will bring your story alive, be it fiction or non-fiction. I’m more than happy to wait and hear the right voice and emotions for my work. If you do this, I suggest you do too.  This will increase the chances of you being happy,  once the audio book is produced. I found that it was a very easy process to place my books up on ACX too.

My Experience So Far, As Narrator…

Wonderful!! Like I said, pick books and subjects that genuinely interest you. One book is non-fiction and is in the esoteric,  spirituality, and metaphysics genre so of course I’m loving it! And it’s a short book, just 15,000 words or so. The second is a autobiography, this lady’s story really interests me too. The third, which the publisher emailed me about this week to potentially narrate, is a fiction book in the women’s fiction genre. This should be interesting as it will be a different type of narration voice for me, proper voice acting for different characters! I will review it and see if I am drawn to it and the characters.

The thing is, it’s not as easy as reading out a book, you do need to make it interesting and ‘act’,  even if it’s not a fictional book. Think of the listeners, so adjusting your tone, speed and how you wish to present the author’s work for listeners in an engaging way, is key. Secondly, it can take time! To learn the software, to edit, and re-record the words and sentences you stumble on LOL. But it really has been a great experience for me, and  would do more for this publisher and other authors for sure.

I am now more than fifty percent through my first book, and hope to get it all l completed this week or next. That’s the other thing, you will agree with the author or publisher a reasonable due date. I recommend, no matter how short the book ask for six-eight weeks on the project. Unless you really feel you could or want to do it in less time.

My advice is take your time, aim for perfection and quality ( after all you want good reviews, and more work from the publisher or author). And you want to do it right, right? You need time to get each chapter correct.  I would advise you take more time, and if possible do it in less or at a pace that works for you.

When you start out I would not take on too  many projects either, if you don’t have much time on your hands. I only took on two as the first book is so short, and the second is a novel. I would not have taken on two novels in my first attempt at this, trust!

Hence why, the first project that I searched for I wanted only under three hours production time, in the genres I was interested in, So I didn’t bite off more than I can chew. But from the experience, I do feel I could do a full novel with a good timescale, and one that deeply interests me, hence I took on the second book.

What Do I Need To Narrate Books? Could I Do My Own?

Yes, you can narrate your own. In fact the thought crossed my mind to do mine if I did not find a narrator I really liked. In order to narrate books, be it your own or someone else’s all you need is…

  • a decent microphone and pop filter. ( Don’t even think about using your computer’s one it’s too crappy). A Pop filter will help to remove mouth noises, and sounds of breathing or inhaling and you DO NEED IT don’t skip it! I would not say you need to buy the most expensive either. Mine cost me under £30.00 with the pop filter. I think about £20.00 and it is ahmaaaaaaaaaaaayzin! Great quality.
  • a laptop or PC.
  • recording and editing software. Which you can grab free!! One called Audacity. ACX recommend a paid expensive software, you don’t need it all all.  I recommend you grab a free software download of Audacity HERE. It’s so simple to use too.
  • And I recommend this great ebook on Audio book production  by Krystal Wascher . Recommended to me by the author who encouraged me to audition, and I too recommend it. It’s like a Bible and a must have. There are many resources on ACX’s website to help, I say get the book too. Free on Kindle Unlimited to read also. Grab it here.
  • A VERY VERY quiet environment, table and chair.  This is key, please don’t think that any old place will do. I record in my bedroom ( at the back of the house away from the main road). Choose a quiet room, the smaller the better too.
  • Water to drink!

Overall, I think that audio books are great I have listened to them in the past. I also think that as authors it’s great to reach as many readers , via as many channels as you can! So while I am now redoing all paperbacks for my self-published works, I’m also doing audio books. My publisher who I signed with for my historical romance,  really, really also recommends that audio is the way to go…. so go for it authors!

On the other hand, if you’re someone who thinks yeah, I have the time and skill or even desire to narrate books I say go for it too. Pick the books and genres carefully, stick to what interests you. Also, think of what your voice may suit also! Keep in mind that fiction work will have characters, so you will need to adjust for this. Male and female voices, non-fiction the author will want a different approach to how their book is narrated.

There is a demand for all accents. So I’ll give this a crack, add to my monthly royalties coming in and have some fun too!

Also, there are things to help you decide on books, such as the reviews it has on Amazon, sales rank, and how established the author is, their marketing plan etc. But at the end of the day, it’s down to you to decide. You may feel a book will sell well, but  it may not sell as many copies and vice versa.

Decide if you want to be paid a fee or via royalty share or both! Remember royalty share is for life. Also remember that as the narrator you should invest in the book’s potential for sales too. Promote it once produced, you are a shareholder in it after all!!

Give it a go if you feel you’d enjoy it. Any questions get in touch or drop them in the comments.

Out Now On Pre-Sale & Kindle Unlimited- Release Date 6th February 2020. #amreading #romance #kindleunlimited

Would you risk a second chance, 4,000 miles away in paradise?

Chances, A Puerto Rican Love Affair is book three of the Romance Set In Paradise Series. Of romantic, steamy and suspenseful stand-alone novella length stories, all set in exotic locations around the world. Each one can be read as a stand-alone book.  Out now on pre-order and Kindle Unlimited Amazon Links—-)   http://bit.ly/2Lzdnpt

Chances ebookThirty-one year old Gabby from Barcelona, Spain has a love for the finer things in life including successful men. She finds herself in need of a change of scene. Opportunity knocks when the European company she works for as a successful estate agent, selling properties to elite clientele expand. Giving her the chance to take a one month work sabbatical, in the beautiful vibrant Caribbean island Puerto Rico. She snaps up the chance to leave Europe behind. Here her path crosses with thirty-five year old Puerto Rican born Mateo Sanchez. A former ‘bad boy’ turned entrepreneur. They touch each other on a physical and soul level, the two become connected. Thing is, while the passion, heat and romance builds between the two, the pair’s love affair becomes caught up in a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal from the past.

Mateo and Gabby fight hard for their blossoming relationship, and against the drama that keeps following them. But there are decisions and sacrifices to make if they are really going to make it work. There’s nothing that Mateo won’t do to show his growing admiration for Gabby, even when the police get involved and he’s in the hot seat. His hand is forced he’s pushed to make moves he promised he would never do again, due to past events and to move forward with Gabby. Gabby is faced with the decision over what sacrifices she’ll make, and where she really sees her future. Back in Spain, London or 4,000 miles away in Puerto Rico. Romance, soul mate connection, heat, lies, betrayal and brushes with the law await readers in this exciting multicultural ‘second chance’ romance.

I am so proud and pleased guys! National Novel Writing Month 2019’s baby here. I still can’t believe I completed the challenge. I loved every moment of writing this book, all 63,000 words!  This is so different to Havana Heat and Lover’s Retreat- books #1 and #2 of the series. You can pre-order now and yes, I’ve included this title in Kindle Unlimited so members can read free!

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR PRE-ORDER!

RELEASE DATE 6TH FEBRUARY 2020

Thirteen?- Service Resumed As Normal #amwriting

img_20190313_211101.jpgI’ve not logged into my author email account since the 13th September 2018, I’ve not blogged since the 13th September 2018. Today is the 13th March 2019, as I sat down originally and pulled up a new blog post to write, the time was 9.13 p.m. Many consider this an unlucky number, if you’re into numerology like me you won’t believe this. And, you’ll probably break down the number 13 to the number 4. 4 being the number of stability… which to means to me, today is a good day to write this and a very good sign from the universe that things are ‘stable’.

My original plan was to do a video and upload it and speak to everyone, but there’s been so many changes on WordPress, and for some reason my account ‘does not allow this access’. So what the fuck? May as well do what us writers do a write up y’all. I don’t know how many will read this but it’s important for me to write it, so it’s here. I want to let those who have contacted me, and had a lack of response know that now I am okay. Before I was not 100% and I had to withdraw and focus on my personal life.

The first thing I want to say is if you have sent me an email since the 13th September 2018, you’ll know I never got to respond. This is a heartfelt apology to all those 10,000 unread emails I logged onto today. If you are someone from what was  a Conscious Talk Magazine  member who emailed me, or has been emailing me asking what’s going on,  I will contacting you all directly speak to you ALL to explain, the ending of 2018, which resulted in my lack of response and absence. To everyone else I am so sorry!!

If you were waiting on a book review, interview, some kind of promotion and I never came through. I’m sorry forgive me I had a rough end to the year. But 2019 has started great. I feel that the end of last year, and most of the last two years for me personally, have been the ending of cycles, and karmatic things I had to experience  and deal with in order to be where I am now, which is a very good place.

I turned thirty-six in February and had a fantastic time, thank you if you did send birthday wishes thank you. Honestly, there are  good reasons for my absence.  I don’t really want to go into all that on a blog, I just want to let you all know I had to disappear for  six months for personal reasons, now I am the best I have ever felt. Living my greatest life! My family are well too.

That aside, I should start with the good news, and what I have been doing as a writer. The last time I wrote here  on the 13th  of September, I was in the throes of writing a  romance novel that has been requested by an agent. I was (and still am even more) over the moon. It’s complete,  yes! And I renamed that bitch after it took me so long to round it up. It’s changed from the very nice ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy’ title to ‘Sacrifices’ the story took on a meaning of its own, as I was writing. It’s now  on the way to that agent’s inbox.  I now await her response and I hope she likes it. While it’s shorter than my first full length novel , it’s taken me like since 2017 to push out just 72,000 words. I say just, as that’s nothing compared to the 90,000 odd I wrote before.

Now, I’m focused on a manuscript I’ve not finished, before I even published my first book. My very first idea,  it’s a crime thriller with a hint of romance! I keep talking about that, and need to get around to focusing on it. So yes, 2019 I have big plans in terms of writing personally, and finishing off The Suspenseful Collection part two, with my co-author bestie Didi Oviatt. That girl’s been so patient with me after I ghosted her in September. Tomorrow we’ll  meet on Skype and I am totally prepared for her to curse me out. I laugh as I type this as I know Didi very well, personally and what she’s like ( and she  knows me very well). I can imagine what tomorrow will be like. Thing is not only is our writing similar we have a lot in common as people, and get on really well. So I know it will be like ” what the fuck Kim? You bitch you ghosted me, I had the stories ready and blah blah blah” then, we’ll be back to laughing and joking, like nothing ever happened. After six months, I am rather excited to speak with her.

I’ve also been ghost writing too! Which is a great way to earn money as a writer,  if you are good, have talent and if you don’t mind signing non-discloser acts, and not being credited for your work…but paid instead, very well  indeed for all your work! I’ve written some very interesting topics and short books, to put food on the table and live. I have been offered another topic I’m considering, while I juggle my own work to publish.

Life has changed,  it feels like I’ve shed a skin, been to hell and back, come out smelling like roses and feeling good. I still have a day job that involves writing so I guess now, I am now a full-time writer.  I never actually thought I’d get the pleasure to say that, but I am! Writing my own work but also a variety of things that I never thought I’d turn my hand to.  I feel like I’ve got my dream job! So here goes  for 2019.

In terms of being present here, my vision for my blog is still to write short stories, do writing prompts which you all know I looooooooooooove, promote other authors, book reviews all the stuff I did before. And of course interact with as many of you as I can, and READ as many other blogs as I can. I no longer get emails sent to me for blogs I follow, why is that? Is this some major change on WordPress?

This is just a quick post to say ‘sorry’ to those who need to hear this, and update those who have just been like ‘ where’s Kim?’ I better try and make my way through this mountain of unread mail!

Thank you for reading, thanks to those who have sent me ‘hey what’s up’ emails. And if you have sent me an email cursing me out, which I’ve not got to yet, hey it’s cool I have no hard feelings.  I am yet to pull up all the mail and see what I’ve missed. But you have to understand I had no choice but to pull back and remove myself totally from everything.

I’ll catch y’all soon!

Ps. guess what the time is as I end this blog post 10.13pm…this is spooky!!

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts: What Astrology Taught Me About Writing… The Time Is Now

Love of writing

Before I started to write this post I had to step out into my garden and take a deep breath.  It’s late 11pm but I’m in a random reflective mood, I’ve not blogged in months so here goes some random thoughts…I can’t believe the journey I have been on this last year, personally and as a writer.  For a year in August I’ve been editing a magazine and writing non-fiction. During this time I’ve had the pleasure of going back to Astrology, as I have written to horoscopes for Concision Talk Magazine. I fell into Astrology, Tarot and all that good stuff when I was about sixteen, that’s another blog post. Anyway, as you read this now in June 2018 Mars the planet of action, determination, goals, motivation war and conflict has gone retrograde. This basically means moving backwards from an Earth’s perspective, during this time it’s when we are forced to revisit old ground, anger can come out for some depending on circumstances, it’s not a time to start new ventures things come to completion normally.  Also, it’s a time of focusing directed energy as Mars’ forceful motivation, determination and ass-kicking energy is in full force!

The interesting thing about a planet’s retrograde is that is happens in a ‘house of life’ for us all, depending on your birth chart where exactly. For me when I pulled up my chart on the 26th June the day the planet went into retrograde until the end of August, the retrograde is happening in my 5th house, the house that’s linked to creativity, romance, children, life’s pleasures and enjoyment.  This told me, this is the house I need to go back to creativity, what I love and look at old projects.

What is even more interesting about a Mars retrograde is that it happens every twenty-six months roughly, if you look back at the dates and times for yourself personally, you’ll have an idea of lessons you need to learn in your own life, or themes in your life etc. For me the retrograde from 2010 were largely based around my marriage, the home and family and creativity. You’re not going to believe this, I looked at my Astrological birth charts during the retrograde periods as far back as 2010, in 2016’s retrograde I realised I wrote my first novel, got my first publishing deal and that novel turned out to be an award winning novel, the retrograde took place in my 4th house of life which is connected to the family, home, recent past and your foundations.  ( Back then I was not following Astrology as I once did all my life, and had no idea this transit was happening in these areas). However, I was going through some shit! Massive changes which lead to me being free to write and so I did…  just before the current retrograde Mars almost two years later I started to write another romantic suspense, sent over three chapters to an agent who requested the full book from me, this was in late 2017 early 2018. I moved country  just as she come back to me, and had the magazine going so writing fiction slowed. If I’m honest, I never really could get into writing the fiction again I was loving the non-fiction of the magazine. Now, under this Mars retrograde in my 5th house of creativity, romance and life’s pleasures  clearly I’m being pointed to go back and prompted not miss the chance with the agent who is interested in my work…  write that damn book. I also, really miss my ‘home’ of fiction writing, you can take the editor out of the writer but you can’t take the writer out of an editor is how I feel. I found it so enlightening and awaking this week to study Astrology and notice  that during the last Mars retrograde, I wrote my first full 90k word novel during the exact three months it took place! Every day I wrote, like a crazy woman forget editing… and it showed LOL. I just wrote and later down the line polished the book.

Astrology teaches you so much in life! ‘As above so below’…. my break from fiction writing is clearly over as of this month. I’ve set the challenge, Mars’ retrograde will unleash the fiction writer in me again, and yes you better believe that agent is going to snap up my book like it’s the best thing she’s read this year!  I am I’m going back to that manuscript I feel a stronger writer… even if I was badass before *wink.

People check your birth charts see what this Mars retrograde can mean for you, if you believe in all that ‘mombo jumbo’ it really can move you to where you are meant to be! If you have no clue how to do it, I’ll do it!  It will take me like two seconds to pull up a chart using your birthday, location of birth and time of birth just email me! Don’t miss out on any opportunity or where you are meant to be when these cosmic changes transit, remember as above so below! The time is now!

 

Conscious Talk Mag Issue #2 Now Live! #amreading #life #news

Afternoon,

So we are now live with issue #2. We have great new articles in Bookish news & Reviews Writer’s Life Sex & Relationships Fashion & Beauty, Black & Ethnic News, health and wellbeing …. damn, just about EVERY column has some great reading for you!

Check us out at www.conscioustalkmag.com

 

Here’s a bit about us:

Details: Conscious Talk Magazine will launch its first online edition in August 2017, (we aim to become a print version magazine also). Conscious Talk Magazine is a proud online multi-cultural and diverse global magazine, covering a range of topics. There is something for everyone. Readers will find interesting thought provoking articles, from health and wellbeing , fashion and beauty, bookish news and reviews, sex and relationships, men’s issues, finance,  travel, international news, music, LGBT, film and entertainment to name  just a few. We have a team of talented and diverse writers from all corners of the globe, and walks of life, here to entertain, support and empower our reader’s mind, body and soul.  Conscious Talk Magazine is neutral and does not lean to one side politically, religiously or socially.  Conscious Talk Magazine is published twice a month on the 15th and 30th of each month.

Readership Target: 25-50 years old, male and female, globally situated. Conscious intelligent readers not after Hollywood gossip!

Like us on Facebook: @conscioustalkmag

Follow us on Twitter: @conscious_talk

 

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