Join Voice Over Expert Bettye Zoller as she introduces you to “Getting Started in Audiobook Narration”. Bettye is a veteran audiobook narrator and coach who has been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Listen to this snippet from her audiobook about… audiobooks!
Bettye Zoller, VoicesVoices.com, Audiobooks, Voice Acting, Narration, Narrators, Voices.com
Transcript of Getting Started in Audiobook Narration
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 Bettye Zoller.
Bettye Zoller: Hello. I’m Bettye Zoller and this audiobook is about audiobooks, more particularly, narrating them. In a recent study after the American Federation of TV Radio artists found that in the US, paying jobs in the voiceover area of audiobook narration is one of the fastest growing segments of the business today.
There are special voice techniques required to become a sought-after audio narrator and among these are certainly a heightened sense of text interpretation often facilitated by a background that includes some type of theatrical or dramatic training. You may not be equipped to narrate all genres of audio. What type of read are you best suited for, fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, business or medical or self-help topics, the Boddess Rippers – those are the romance novels so many of us love. Can you voice characters or dialects well?
If you’re not world-class, don’t do it. It limits your narration scope to choose genres certainly but I believe you have to honestly ask yourself, “What do I want to put on my audio book demo?” And honestly, you should only put on any kind of any demo those things you do the very best. Voice talents must be aware that this field differs markedly from other voiceover job areas. There’s no point in seeking work as a narrator and expecting to get paid for it in the audiobook field unless you are really skilled and really good at reading long texts.
When you feel ready to do so, consult with an audio producer who is skilled in audiobook production or narration, about creating your new audiobook narration demo. This demo will be much longer than any other type of voiceover demo, unless that’s my belief. The demos that I produce for my clients are between 6 to 12 minutes long and show a wide variety of audiobook literature genres. Those who hire readers insist on hearing longer demos to determine if you can sustain a narration, if you can prolong a characterization, if you have the stamina and also, publishers and audio producers insist on finding out how good you are at reading various types of material. You’re more likely to get work from a small publishing house when you’re first starting out without credits, of course.
Seek out small niche publishers. A niche publisher is one who publishes only things in a small area of knowledge particularly if you know a lot about their subject. Be sure and tell them that when you submit your demo to them.
Keep your ears open for audiobook authors or wannabees who are considering creating an audio product of some kind and might use you to narrate it. Network of business and writer’s groups and keep searching for publishers who welcome new people and hone your skills by reading every chance you get.
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 Bettye Zoller
34 years as a respected university and private educator in voice, speech, theatre, radio-TV, and voiceover techniques along with her award-winning career in voiceovers and jingles has won Bettye Zoller an international reputation that brings clients and students to her workshops and to work in her Dallas recording studio (she’s an accomplished audio engineer/producer) from all over the globe! She is educated through the doctorate (from Missouri University, University of Texas at Dallas, University of North Texas) with faculty positions in the past at Southern Methodist University, University of Texas at Arlington, Dallas County Colleges. She has also studied with famed NYC acting coach Uta Hagen, in Chicago at the “Second City School” and her career began long ago at Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s Hollywood studio school (as a child performer signed to MGM).
Her voiceover credits number in the many hundreds (she’s never counted!) and range from voiceovers and jingles for national TV commercials to audio books to cartoons, from toys to podcasts to anime. You’ve heard her for decades worldwide! Clients have included American Airlines,Pepsi, Visa, Lifetime TV Channel, The Weather Channel, Pace Picante Sauce, Lionel Trains, Texas Instruments Talking Toys, Seven Seas Dressings, Pedialyte Vitamins, promos for ABC, NBC, and BBC America. She is a Simon and Schuster audio book author, narrator, and producer. She has won ADDYS, CLIOS, GOLDEN RADIOS, and AUDIE awards over the years. She is the author of eleven audio titles sold worldwide and continues to produce new titles annually. She is known for teaching voiceover techniques including audio book narration and production, and her BUSINESS OF VOICEOVERS workshops are legendary with students who credit her with starting them in their lucrative voiceover careers!
Bettye, with four top male announcers, has written and produced a wonderful CD program entitled “COMMERCIAL$PEAK” featuring interviews and sections announced by guests and male announcers of reputation. The foreword is by Dick Orkin of Hollywood Radio Ranch, a man who is well known in the U.S. as a commercial creator producer as well as Voice Over performer and teacher.