Audiobooks, narration

The One With The Recording Setup and tips for audiobook narrators from Megan Carter…

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I love seeing narrators’ recording setups and so I’ve asked Megan Carter, the narrator of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT (coming soon), if she didn’t mind sending me a picture of her setup.

And…here it is. 🙂

Where the recording magic happens.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some tips for narrators from Megan…If you haven’t listened to those three tips, you can catch up here or below.

You can also click here to access the YouTube video.

1. Try to pick projects you love! Don’t be shy about asking to read the whole book before you sign a contract. If you like what you’re doing, you’ll enjoy the process more and create a better product.

2. Keep track of your characters! I use a spreadsheet with timestamps for each voice. If you have a minor character that appears in chapter 3 and doesn’t come back until chapter 17, you want to remember exactly what he sounds like!

3. Take care of yourself! Sitting in one place and using your voice all day can be really hard on your body! I warm up before, take breaks during, and I’ve bookmarked a few favourite yoga videos on Youtube for a great neck and shoulder release after. And make sure to hydrate!

Have you already listened tothe excerpts from the FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT audiobook I shared over the past couple of weeks?

The first minute of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT…
Meet Dimitri – an excerpt from his point-of-view…
The Killer Speaks…
There’s romance in the air…
A little excerpt from Erin’s POV (Chapter 2)

Have you already listened to the first part of the bloopers?

Explicit bloopers (Part 1)
Bloopers (Part 2)

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletteror to fill out the Google Form if you want to receive an exclusive scene narrated by Megan.

And if you’d like to help me raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and #LightTheNight, please check out this link.

Do you want to receive my blog posts directly in your inbox? You can…by just signing up below.

If you’d like to receive updates about my books and get exclusive access to bonus content, don’t hesitate to susbscribe to my newsletter here: https://mailchi.mp/elodienowodazkij/website .

Audiobooks, narration

Three tips for audiobook narrators from Megan Carter…

Megan’s narration has been called “top-notch” and “fantastic”. And I couldn’t agree more. 

Megan is a London-based actor from Kansas City, USA. She received her MA in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. She also holds a BA in Theatre from Loyola University Chicago, with minors in in Musical Theatre, Dance, and Shakespeare Studies. When not working, Megan enjoys reading, running, and practicing yoga. She loves a good road trip, and has been on one hundred and one roller coasters.

For more information about Megan and her work: www.megancarter.net

Here are her three tips for audiobook narrators:

Transcript from the audio file:

Hello, listeners! This is Megan Carter, the narrator of Fear Me, Fear Me Not, and these are my top 3 tips for narrators!

  1. Try to pick projects you love! Don’t be shy about asking to read the whole book before you sign a contract. If you like what you’re doing, you’ll enjoy the process more and create a better product.
  2. Keep track of your characters! I use a spreadsheet with timestamps for each voice. If you have a minor character that appears in chapter 3 and doesn’t come back until chapter 17, you want to remember exactly what he sounds like!
  3. Take care of yourself! Sitting in one place and using your voice all day can be really hard on your body! I warm up before, take breaks during, and I’ve bookmarked a few favourite yoga videos on Youtube for a great neck and shoulder release after. And make sure to hydrate!

Thanks for listening – talk to you soon!

Do you have any questions for Megan? You can add them into the comments and maybe we’ll select one or two to answer in the next few weeks. 

And here’s an excerpt of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT narrated by Megan in case you haven’t listened to her amazing narration yet. 🙂

First minute of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT narrated by Megan Carter. Available soon.

If you want to know when FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT becomes available for sale and get an exclusive scene narrated by Megan, you can either sign up for my newsletter or fill out this Google form. With the Google form, you’ll receive only ONE email from me, instead of somewhat more regular updates when you sign up for the newsletter.

Another way to keep updated is to sign up to my blog (see below). I post on here way more often than I send newsletters. Or you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Thanks for reading! ❤

Audiobooks

The one where you meet Megan Carter, audiobook narrator…

I know this is a long blog post title. And I went through different options: Spotlight on Megan Carter, audiobook narrator extraordinaire. Or On Wednesdays, we talk audiobook narration. But let’s face it, there’s a chance I will not post those updates on Wednesdays and communication has a lot to do with expectations (that’s a different topic).

Anyways, today I am so so happy to introduce you to Megan Carter. Megan is the narrator of my book FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT…If you haven’t heard Megan’s narration, here is a little sample from the two first chapters of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT.

When I listened to Megan’s audition, I was blown away. Her voice and her acting skills and the audio quality of her production were just exactly what I was looking for. And I am so happy and excited she agreed to narrate FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT.

Megan’s narration has been called “top-notch” and “fantastic”. And I couldn’t agree more. 🙂

Megan is a London-based actor from Kansas City, USA. She received her MA in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. She also holds a BA in Theatre from Loyola University Chicago, with minors in in Musical Theatre, Dance, and Shakespeare Studies.

With her strong musical theatre and dance background, Megan especially loves theatre that is highly physical and that involves lots of movement and stage combat. She is passionate about bringing classical works to contemporary audiences in a way that allows people to feel like they have a place in the story and a way to connect to it.

When not working, Megan enjoys reading, running, and practicing yoga. She loves a good road trip, and has been on one hundred and one roller coasters.

I asked Megan to tell me in three words what she loves about narrating books. And here’s her answer: Freedom, Artistry, Bookworm.

Here’s where you can find more information about Megan and her work: www.megancarter.net

Next week, Megan will share with us three tips for audiobook narrators. I’ll be sharing those on my blog (you can subscribe at the bottom of this page to my blog) and on Instagram.

Do you have any questions for Megan? You can add them into the comments and maybe we’ll select one or two to answer in the next few weeks. 🙂

If you want to know when FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT becomes available for sale and get an exclusive scene narrated by Megan, you can either sign up for my newsletter or fill out this Google form. With the Google form, you’ll receive only ONE email from me, instead of somewhat more regular updates when you sign up for the newsletter.

Another way to keep updated is to sign up to my blog. I post on here way more often than I send newsletters.

Audiobooks

#TeaserTuesday – Exclusive audio excerpt from FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT…

Fans of Criminal Minds and the movie Scream and Lifetime movies: Are you ready for another excerpt of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT which is currently being recorded by the very talented audiobook narrator Megan Carter? I love, love, love love love how she’s bringing this story to life. All the characters and the atmosphere and just…everything.

Plus, there are a few extra fun things coming your way: Newsletter subscribers will be first in line for audiobook promo codes (Audible) and they will receive one extra scene narrated by Megan. So…if you’re interested don’t hesitate to sign up for my newsletter here.

If you do not want to receive somewhat regular emails from me (which I get, it’s okay ;-)), you can fill out the Google form below the video and you will receive only one email from me: to let you know when the audiobook is up for sale and that email will include a code to access one extra exclusive scene narrated by Megan.

And now… the exclusive excerpt from Chapter 2!

And don’t forget, you can sign up to receive only ONE email from me when the audiobook is available for sale and you’ll also get a code for an extra scene narrated by Megan! Once ten more listeners sign up, I’ll share a little bit more from chapter 2…Don’t forget to click “submit” at the end of the form.

Did you want to re-listen to Chapter 1? Here it is again 🙂

Audiobooks

Adventures in narration Part Two: What do I need? (material, home studio & software)

So you’ve decided you wanted to start as an audiobook narrator.

But what do you need? Microphone? Stand? Software? And why do you need all this material?

Well, you want the sound to be as clear as possible before you start editing and mastering your tracks. ACX frowns upon and rejects over-edited tracks.

You can see ACX’s requirements of the files here: ACX Audio Submission Requirements.

Material

This is the material I’ve been using:

(please note that those links are Amazon affiliate links – I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com)

  1. Blue Yeti Silver Edition
BLUE Yeti Silver Edition, Mic Only (988-000103)
Purchase on Amazon

I’ve searched and read lots of reviews for microphone, and hesitated a lot. But I ended up buying this BLUE Yeti Silver Edition for less than $150 (if you decide on this one, please note that sometimes they have different prices for different colors).

Krystal Walcher also has a list of material on her website, which I found very useful when I was looking and looking and looking…and I thought about going with her microphone.

Others said you absolutely should not use a USB mic to record audiobooks, that it wouldn’t be good quality enough. However, I read a lot of other reviews and posts promoting USB mics for audiobook narration.

What you definitely shouldn’t use is your computer build-in mic or a bluetooth microphone. Trust me, the first time I tried recording (before actually researching) I used my computer build-in mic. Talk about wasted hours 🙂

The price for this Yeti mic is one of the factor that tilt the balance in its favor. At the time of its purchase, I was also receiving 15% back on such purchases with my Amazon credit card…so I went for it and have not regretted it. One of the downsides is it’s a bit difficut to adjust the pop filter on it and it didn’t fit right in a sound box I had also purchased, but except that it has worked perfectly for me. I also bought a pop filter and a foam windscreen to ensure even better sound quality.

2. Professional Foam Windscreen

It helps filter out hard “p” and “t” sounds and helps keep unwanted noise out.

Professional Foam Windscreen for Blue Yeti (less than $15 on Amazon).

3. Pop filter

Microphone Pop Filter For Blue Yeti and Any Other Microphone Dual Layered Wind Pop Screen With Flexible 360° Gooseneck Clip Stabilizing Arm By Earamble (Less than $10 on Amazon).

(from their description):  Banish the dreaded hissing and lisping sounds that come when pronouncing the letter “”S”” and blocks those ugly “”plosives”” that follows “”B”” and “”P””.Swivel mount for easy installation.

4. Headphones (mine are Tascam TH-02 Closed Back Studio Headphones, Black)

Headphones help you during recording to notice if your mic is picking up any unwanted noises and they are definitely a must when you master and edit your tracks.

Personally I chose the Tascam TH-02 headphones because the reviews were pretty good and they weren’t very expensive (less than $30).

Home studio

I set up my home studio in the closet of a guest bedroom, using blankets to put against the wall, and soundproofing foam squares against the door. I added pillows above. And I also put blankets by the windows in the room. This didn’t cost much at all.

This is how my home studio looks like 🙂

Again, I got my inspiration from Krystal (I mention her a lot but I actually never interacted with her :-), I just found her site super helpful when I first started out narrating audiobooks).

I used those panels on the doors as I couldn’t seem to put blankets on that side :-): Foamily 12 Pack- Burgundy/Charcoal Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges 1″ X 12″ X 12″

I used the command tape to attach it, you know the one that you can remove without any traces. I need to readjust them now because they are starting to fall off. So, this mounting tape did last about a year.

Software

I personally use Audacity. It’s a free software. And I find it very easy to use.

Audacity® software is copyright © 1999-2019 Audacity Team. Web site: https://audacityteam.org/. It is free software distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The name Audacity® is a registered trademark of Dominic Mazzoni

You can download Audacity on their webpage here.

I have read a lot in forums on how to use Audacity for narrating books and complying with ACX and other platforms’ requirements.

And would you be surprised if I told you Krystal Wascher is thinking about doing a tutorial on how to meet the ACX audio submission requirements using Audacity n January 2020 ? 🙂 If you scroll down at the end of this link, you should be able see more information.

Personally, on top of the forums, I used this book:

The Stressed-Out Writer’s Guide to Recording Your Own Audiobook (Stressed-Out Writer’s Guides).

The ebook is only $3.99 (and is in Kindle Unlimited).

I found Kirk’s chapter on how to set up your settings for Audacity recording and editing/mastering very very very helpful.

In my next post in my “Adventures in Narration” series, I’ll go a bit deeper into what it has been for me to be a narrator. I’ll share some bloopers, how I organize my days, and answer a few questions I’ve received.

Do you have any questions for me? Don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments or send me an email at: authorelodienowodazkij@gmail.com

Uncategorized

Adventures in audiobook narration…(Part 1 – Say what?)

Microphone on blackHave you ever listened to an audiobook? Have you ever thought about recording one? 

I personally really enjoy listening to audiobooks. The Chemical Engineer and I always listen to audiobooks when we go on road trips. I also like listening to audiobooks when I do things around the house. I get them from Audible or the library. I was so happy when I realized Overdrive/Libby carried audiobooks.

Some of my own books (you know, the ones I write :-)) are even available as audiobook. I have worked with amazingly talented narrators (like Jennifer Barragio, Kasi Hollowell and Tiana Hanson.) I mean, listen to this excerpt from LOVE IN B MINOR…Love it!

Why did I start narrating?

I did theater for a while when I was (much) younger and I always thought teaching was a bit like theater: modulating my voice, getting the audience as engaged as possible 🙂 Maybe that’s why I decided to dip my toes into the audiobook market as a narrator.

I mainly record in French. So, if you’re an author reading this and you’re thinking of expanding your work to the French audiobook market, I may be able to help 🙂 

It is something I can do from home and I can organize my own schedule. Since I’ve been on treatments on and off for the past two years and had to quit my job as Adjunct Faculty, I’ve tried many different jobs on top of writing. I did some transcription with Rev.com. It was interesting, even though my pay per hour was really minimal. I’ve listened to audiobooks for a while and had been thinking about trying my hand at recording. 

It hasn’t been smooth sailing. But, the main reason is that when I first tried, I did pretty much everything wrong. I had the wrong equipment. I didn’t have the right software. And I thought I could just master the files so didn’t work on setting up a proper studio.

Major fail.

And then fast-forward a year and I decided to really try. 

I wanted to test the French audiobook market with the French version of FEAR ME, FEAR ME NOT (LA PEUR DANS LE SANG). I decided to hire an audiobook narrator for the male POV and I decided to record the other parts myself.

So…what are the first steps in narrating?

The first step? Go back to the beginning. What do you know about narrating? What does it entail? 

What is audiobook narrating?

There are different ways and processes. Are you going to work from home? Are you going to rent a studio or work for a company?

I personally want to have the flexibility of working from home but I also find the process in an external studio pretty fascinating 🙂

Here are a few resources that you may find interesting and show different perspectives.

At the time of my research, the audiobook narrator Krystal Wascher was running a free class on audiobook narration which went over a lot of details. I found that extremely helpful.

I also went back to my theater classes and teaching techniques to see how I could modulate my voice. I read out loud. I listened to more audiobooks.

Do you want to know more?

In my next post, I’ll go over the equipment and software and how I set-up my studio and then I’ll go into where I got my first jobs (in addition to my own books).

If you have any questions for me, I’ll add the answers to those questions in another post on the topic. Don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments.

And I’ve created a website for my narration work: http://www.elodienarration.com