Join Voice Over Expert Pat Fraley in his lecture “Audiobook Good News”. Pat shares his vast knowledge about the audiobook industry and instructs you on how to take advantage of the booming market for audiobook narration. Don’t miss this episode with tips and insight from an expert audiobook producer.
Pat Fraley, Pat Fraley Teaches, PatFraley.com, Audiobooks, Audio Books, Narration, Narrators, Voice Overs, Voice Acting
Transcript of Audiobook Good News
Julie-Ann Dean: Welcome to Voiceover Experts brought to you by Voices.com, the number one voiceover marketplace. Voiceover Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voiceover. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voiceover talent. It’s never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and your own pace. This is truly an education you won’t find anywhere else.
This week Voices.com is pleased to present Pat Fraley.
Pat Fraley: Greetings to all you Voices.com people, where as I like to think of it, the international voiceover diner. Nothing warms the cockles of this old teacher’s heart more than getting the news that my students get work. I get this weekly and it’s trilling particularly with audiobook deals. I want more and more and more.
For the next five minutes, I’m going to talk to you about audiobooks and give you some very good news except for the shameless infomercial at the end of all this where I talk to you about my two hour audio CD set and companion 50-page workbook that covers all the performance and business skills you need to work the audiobook market. Wait, I’ve already started. Okay, I’m stopping, I’m stopping. I promise.
Okay, now for some good news, the audiobook market is the best opportunity for the voiceover talent to get work. I’ve taught workshops and events on this area for years now and the probability of work gets better by the moment. You see at present about 4,000 books are recorded a year, according to my friend and President of Blackstone Audio, Craig Black which is a real progressive audiobook company. This figure of 4,000 will balloon to 24,000 over the next four years, why? Because of the success of downloadable audiobooks on the internet. What this means for audiobook publishers is that they have virtual inventory, no duplication and packaging cost, no shipping and no returns. No returns is a big deal by the way.
In a publishing business if a book, magazine or audiobook doesn’t sell, it can be returned to the publisher for full refund, ugly for the publisher. What this means for the voiceover talent is there will be a huge amount of work, the time to get ready and ramp up for this work is now. More good news, audiobook publishers need all kinds of talents and reads, those who sound old, very young or have a Midwest ascent. If you’ve struggled because you sound like your 16 or 60, guess what? There are books out there and projects that need your sound. It’s just a matter of finding the door where the welcome mat is ready and waiting but just know this, your read will adjust to the book. You see the prime directive is the author’s intent.
Let me give you a couple of examples. Listen to this brief snippet from a read by Frank Muller, arguably the best performer of audiobooks ever as he performs part of a short story by Jaclyn entitled, “Buck”.
Frank Muller: “Now, you red-eyed devil,” he said, when he had made an opening sufficient for the passage of Buck’s body. At the same time he dropped the hatchet and shifted the club to his right hand.
And Buck was truly a red-eyed devil, as he drew himself together for the spring, hair bristling, mouth foaming, and a mad glitter in his blood-shot eyes. Straight at the man he launched his one hundred and forty pounds of fury, surcharged with the pent passion of two days and nights. In mid air, just as his jaws were about to close on the man, he received a shock that checked his body and brought his teeth together with an agonizing clip.
Pat Fraley: Don’t you get the sense you’re sitting around a camp fire? Great. But listen to this read by Richard McGonegal of a book I produced called, “The Death of Che Guevara”
Richard McGonegal: Meanwhile Guevara’s body was placed on view for journalists to see on October 10 and they were allowed to take finger prints if they wished. Several did. Then on October 13, Barrientos made the gruesome announcement that Bolivian authorities would put a thumb amputated from Guevara’s body at the disposition of investigators.
Pat Fraley: Didn’t he sound like he was reporting? Yes. That’s because the book was so dry and had so little thinking and feeling of the author that it was appropriate. It killed Richard McGonegal who’s a consummate actor but I kept telling of the rain back, no opinions just lay out the facts and finally listen to this brief excerpt from a book called “A Puzzling Mind” read by Hillary Huber.
Hilary Huber: It was a disturbing prospect. Rearrange the crime scene photos for the third time. Evelyn had cleared her desk and one by one laid the eight by ten color prints down. Tommy, shot a look at Evelyn. What are you doing? They remind me of something, she said. Laid out like that, they remind me of something.
Pat Fraley: Did you notice how she held back? There was time between the passages, so she brings you along on the journey, all about realizing the author’s intent. Here’s some more good news. Audiobook jobs are union or non-union and pay very low up to high depending on how deep the audio publisher’s pockets are. This means you can start working for a small audiobook publisher who doesn’t pay much but isn’t expecting Meryl Streep and build up to bigger projects for more money, on the job training – what a concept.
And if you’re union and offered a non-union gig, I’ll tell you how to make it union and be able to take the job. Still more good news, 40 to 50 percent of the jobs are recorded by women which makes it the most equitable area of work in the voice arena. Also there’s no need to go through an agent. Audio publishers deal directly with you. In fact agents scare them, they’ve seen the same movies we have and they’re really frightened of the prospect to being called, cookie or baby.
More good news? You only need one relationship with an audio publisher at a time. Your name and voice come up, they call or e-mail you and you start working and when you work, you are on the studio for an extended period of time perhaps 15 hours for a project getting paid for all the sessions. I could go on but won’t. Know that there are specific skills and a way of going about getting work which are unique to the industry.
This is why and here it comes, I’ve recorded over two hours of interviews, demonstrations, exercise, examples and specific information covering all the skills in business you need to work with the audiobook market with and packaged at with a 50-page companion workbook, cover letter, templates and a step by step walk through on how you prepare your audiobook demo. It’s called the “The Billion Dollar Read, How To Make Money Reading and Recording Books.” You can purchase this set at my website bookstore, you just go to patfraley.com and click on store. Okay, end of infomercial and if you have any questions e-mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org. That was fairly painless, right? Oh, I forgot. Void where prohibited by law and in the state of Wyoming.
Julie-Ann Dean: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast, visit the Voiceover Experts show notes at Podcasts.Voices.com/VoiceoverExperts. Remember to stay subscribed.
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Links from today’s show:
Your Instructor this week:
Voice Over Expert Pat Fraley
Patrick Fraley has created voices for over 4,000 characters, placing him among the top ten performers of all time to be cast in animation. He has produced dozens of award-winning audiobooks, such as, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, A Very Easy Death, and The Light in The Piazza. Pat produced and performed all 100 voices on the award winning audiobook, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which People Magazine hailed as, “The best yet of this evergreen.” Patrick teaches events, workshops, and seminars on various aspects of voice over across the country, and has created a variety of instructional books and CDs, all available at PatFraley.com. He is a member of The Voice and Speech Trainers of America, and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Professional Acting from Cornell University.