I have a special guest with me today. Her name is Sharon Blumberg and she's a narrator for ACX, the audio leg of Amazon. Since I normally interview authors, I thought this interview would take us into, and shed light upon, a mostly unknown world to us.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've uploaded my books to ACX to be made into audio versions. My nonfiction book, Stop Procrastinating - Get Published! is narrated by Sharon and is now available on Amazon--in print, Kindle, and audio. In fact, for a short while you can get the audio version at no cost to you! (Go to www.amazon.com and type in my name, then click on the book title.)
Welcome, Sharon! Thanks for being here today. Can you tell us what it took to become a narrator for ACX?
I trained for about five months with a voiceover coach through online training, but it could also have been done in person. We worked together as I practiced reading scripts, recording them, and sending them to him, so he could listen to them. I also had to learn how to edit what I recorded, so it would have a great sound. Then I signed up to set up my voiceover artist profile, to become a narrator through ACX. Before June of 2014, I was a Spanish and English teacher for over 20 years. In addition, I'm also a writer.
How long have you been narrating for ACX?
About two years.
You narrate about how many books a year?
In the past year and a half to two years, I have narrated a little over 20 books.
That's a lot. When you narrate a book, is it difficult to do the different voices?
It can be difficult, but once you get into the character and feel comfortable doing it, it gets easier.
Do you read the book through first before starting the narration?
Yes. I either read through the whole book first, if it's a children's book, or I go through the book by chapters. I also color code the characters' lines.
Do you need any special equipment?
I use my Mac computer, and online recording and editing systems such as Audacity and Twisted Wave. I also use a plug in microphone and an interface that connects to the computer and microphone.
Do you like being a narrator?
Yes, very much. But it often gets a little disappointing, when you get rejections from your auditions. There are also other forms of voiceover work, and I aspire to do more of that also in the future.
I'm sure my readers want to know if a person can make a living doing narration?
Yes, once you do it full time with some big projects, the income can build up over time.
What’s your favorite part of the process?
My favorite part is the relationships I create while working on projects, and completing projects I feel proud of having created.
How do you feel the process could be improved?
As I narrate and produce audio books, I feel there are still more things I can learn about, and that's one thing I look forward to. We can always learn more by taking classes and training programs.
I'm glad, too! Thank you, Sharon, for inviting us into your world and giving us a glimpse of the voice behind the audio books microphone. For more information on having your book narrated or being a narrator, go to www.acx.com.
Quote of the Day: If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood. Peter Handke