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Audiobook Narrator Tutorial for Voice Actors

Although this video no longer is available, here’s a free gift for anyone who wants to learn how to become an audiobook narrator…

…or how to become a more successful audiobook narrator.

how to narrate audiobooks for ACX and AudibleOur 90-minute audio seminar, “The ACX Audiobook Narrator Insider’s Guide.”

Best practices for ACX profiles

ACX audiobook demo tips

Which genres off the most work for narrators

Union vs. non-union ACX titles

Don’t rely on rumor, urban myths, or out-and-out false information.

If you want to get paid to narrate audiobooks, download your free audio seminar here and learn how audiobook narrators can get more and better jobs inside ACX.

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  • Michael Giobbe February 3, 2017, 10:10 am

    Q: I’ve a question about the format of the class. Is it live in person, live remote-taught (synchronous), live-asynchronous, or by access to pre-recorded video only? (I’m asking because my work doesn’t allow me a lot of time off, and requires notice well in advance.) Do I have to make travel plans?

    I’m curious about the cost as well, but I know what the course cost in 2014, and I expect it’s gone up a bit. I also know that if the editing techniques you teach are as effective as you say, it’s well worth it.

  • Dale Hubbard February 3, 2017, 10:15 am

    Dan, Nice intro into my next thing! I am moving from day to day operations into a consultancy roll, as I transition out of the station, to the new owners!
    I have tried to do audiobook narration for a local author, and couldn’t beleave the time it takes…
    Who edits the book to an audio format?
    What about music or sound effects, is that part of the editing process?
    I am hoping to jump in, and sign up after March, are classes on-going?
    or is there an enrollment period?

    Thanks Dale

  • Dan O'Day February 3, 2017, 11:32 am

    @Michael Giobbe: You don’t need to travel (although I’m sure my ACX Master Class partner, David H. Lawrence XVII, would be glad to put you up at his sprawling estate for a few weeks).

    Two live teleseminar (i.e., via telephone) classes per week. Everyone receives an mp3 recording of each class within a few hours, so if you miss a class “live” you still get all the material. (We’ve had students who never attend a class “live,” due to their own schedule and/or time zone conflicts.)

    Each week we also release a bunch of new videos related to that week’s content. You can access the videos 24/7 on our private member site.

    Bonus mp3 recordings, PDFs, and other videos also will be accessible you to 24/7 on our private member site.

    We’re not announcing the tuition yet. But if we ever teach the class again (e.g., in 2018), the cost will be higher than this year.

    I’m sure you’ll be happy when you learn David’s editing technique — and surprised at how quickly you learn and apply it.

    Looking forward to having you with us!

  • Dan O'Day February 3, 2017, 11:40 am

    @Dale Hubbard: Great to hear from an old Radio/Production Summit survivor!

    On ACX, you — the narrator — edit the audio version of the book. Technically you could pay someone to edit it for you, but:
    – That would seriously cut into your earnings.
    – You won’t need to. With David’s Stairstep editing method, you’ll find it wonderfully fast and easy.

    Almost all audiobooks are produced without any music or sound effects, so you needn’t worry about that.

    There will be an enrollment period of only about a week or so. Enrollment opens later this month.

    The classes are taught over a 4-week period. But because you receive mp3 recordings of each class and have lifetime access to all the materials, you can complete the course at your own pace.

  • Fred February 4, 2017, 11:29 am

    Most of my voice-over work is short form. I’m obsessive about getting it what I consider to be ‘just right’. This can lead to really overworking it. It’s a bad habit – hard to break. I’ve never done an audiobook, but I’m sure that I’d have to get over this. What a relief that would be. Does Master Class address this problem?

  • Dan O'Day February 4, 2017, 11:31 am

    @Fred: We don’t formally address that issue in our curriculum, but it has come up once or twice in our live Q&A classes.

    The way to get over it is to change your criterion for success.

    Replace “I’m going to keep working on this until I think it’s perfect” with “I’m going to make this good enough to meet ACX’s high quality standards.”

    “Until I think it is perfect” is never-ending. It never will be perfect.

    “Meeting ACX’s standards” is objective and precise. Either they accept your work or they don’t.

    If you make “meeting ACX’s standards” your objective, you’ll be removing your subjective — sometimes almost obsessive — judgments.

    If you want to accomplish anything of value in any context (not just audiobooks), you need to choose not to sacrifice “Good” on the altar of “Perfect.”

    Fortunately, the editing method we teach doesn’t include “going back and listening to different takes.” That will help a lot, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether to let go of your fear of imperfection and, instead, to share your storytelling gifts with the world.

    Hope you’ll be joining us!

  • Veleka Gray February 5, 2017, 1:25 am

    Dan, that was very interesting. Thanks for offering the course. I may have missed the cost. Did you announce it? I adore David Lawrence.

    My three concerns: on average, how much can a graduate of ACX Master Class make in audiobooks on ACX? Is this a pathway for Audible books? Do you share how to record directly for publishers?

  • Dan O'Day February 5, 2017, 2:15 am

    @Veleka: We haven’t yet announced the tuition. But as we said in the video, it’s definitely not one of those slapped-together $49 webinars that actually exist to enable the “teacher” to troll for students for the much more expensive “real” program. We don’t hold anything back. At the end of the 4 weeks, you’ll have everything you need to give audiobooks a go.

    There’s no way to estimate an average income for ACX narrators. In fact, we’ll explain why in our next video. It has to do with the fact that Audible doesn’t share certain information with the outside world, as well as the unpredictable variance of pricing. After you watch Video #2, you’ll understand what I mean.

    Video #2 will, however, cite some specific examples of what our graduates have achieved. It’s not the dollar amount that’s important (impressive though it may be); it’s how they achieved those results.

    Yes, ACX absolutely is a pathway for Audible sales. Once you join the ACX platform and learn to submit audio that meets their precise specifications, every audiobook that meets those specifications automatically goes on sale on Audible.com, Amazon.com, and iTunes.

    Do you share how to record directly for publishers? There are publishers who deal directly with producer/narrators via ACX. But I suspect what you mean is, “…for publishers who don’t use the ACX platform?”

    Yes, you absolutely can take what we teach you and apply it to audiobook recording that is contracted directly with the publisher — or, often, with the independent production house to which the publisher outsources the audiobook production.

    While you’re waiting for Video #2 to be published, you might want to check out these no-holds-barred reviews from dozens of our graduates.

    Looking forward to having you in the class!