Updated: Apr 25, 2021
I just spent two days on Zoom at the Audiobook Academy at VO ATL and this is what I learned!
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On April 22-23rd I attended the Audiobook Academy at VO ATL. This was my second time at VO ATL, I first attended in 2018, but this was the first year for the Audiobook Academy, as the academy was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic. The Audiobook Academy is really geared towards new narrators; those with less than 50 audiobooks narrated. It is curated by the folks over at the APA and took place online this year; again due to this damn pandemic! Nonetheless, this is what I learned:
I could still use my eyes when I woke up Saturday morning after staring at my computer screen for almost 16 hours straight over the course of 2 days!
Zoom is amazingly innovative; who knew you could host a virtual lobby in Zoom and get ushered into your virtual session if you happened to get lost in the virtual land of the conference.
I need to update my Ahab account asap, and identify my vocal range!
If you are a new audiobook narrator, you need to apply for the Penguin Random House New Narrator Mentorship here .
There is yet another genre; LitRPG (Literary Role Playing Game, it means it’s the book version of watching someone play a video game) that again I knew nothing about!
If you're not using a plot diagram to help you prep your audiobook manuscript, you might want to reach out to a Audiobook Narration Coach to get started. I took Andi Arndt's GPS: Approaches to Text Prep for Audiobook Narrators as an X-Session where this was introduced and I'm eternally grateful! Sidebar: I was introduced to Bobby Gentry during this X-Session after we analyzed 'Ode to Billie Joe' using a plot diagram!
Be selective about what you audition for, know your 'signature voice' and ask yourself; "Is this project right for me? Are there primary characters in this book which I may not be able to represent authentically? "
Janina Edwards is da bomb, and I have officially declared her my narrator crush!
I'm not interested in learning a new DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) at this point no matter how many people declare their DAW is best. I'm sticking with Adobe Audition for a while!
All social media platforms have a purpose for audiobook promotion and marketing, take a moment to understand, and create a strategy and intent for each social media account you have, and avoid blanket cross-posting across social media accounts!
I can truly say that I now know the different use cases for a Condenser microphone vs. a Diaphragm microphone, and can proudly proclaim that I have the right microphone for my space, YAY!
I understand how Peak dB and RMS dB impact the listening experience for an audiobook listener and am glad I have a Mastering chain (Thanks to Uncle Roy Yokelson for his "Life Changing" DAW session) which allows me to meet those ACX specs EVERY TIME!
On another note, participants in the "So What is RMS?" session were challenged to make and post to social media, a picture of a tomato cake they made, and tag ACX for a re-post. Here's the tomato cake recipe here , let me know how you do!