HOW TO choose the BEST ACX Narrator for your Audiobook ~ Part 2

Monday, February 15, 2016

Voice-Over Artist Tristan Hunt and I have started a YouTube series of How-To's to help authors with the audiobook production process of their books.

The number one question I am asked about audiobook production at writer's conferences is, "How do I choose a good producer/narrator for my book?" THIS IS PART 2

Please comment and let us know if this is helpful to you, or if you have any other questions for us. Thanks for visiting!




The next thing to ask yourself as you begin to look for a producer/narrator is:
 
If it's written in third person, how many male and female characters are in the story?
 
If there are a majority of male characters in your story, then you should probably choose a male narrator. If there are a majority of female characters in your story, then you should probably choose a female narrator. But be sure to listen to the samples from the narrators you're considering to see if you like how they do voices for the opposite sex. You want your listener to be drawn into the story and held there by the voice of the reader, if a strange sounding voice is too jarring or distracting, it will yank the reader out of the story and they won't enjoy the experience as much as they could have.

Note: ACX is probably the best place to find the right narrator for you story and get production going.

How To Choose the Best Narrator for Your Audiobook Part 1 ~Audiobook Production via ACX

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tristan Hunt and I have started a YouTube series of How-To's to help authors with the audiobook production process of their books.

The number one question I am asked when I teach about audiobook production at writer's conferences is, "How do I choose a good producer/narrator for my book?" Please comment and let us know if this is helpful to you, or if you have any other questions for us. Thanks for visiting!



I think it's important to listen to what Tristan is trying to say about this endeavor being a creative "production." This is a collaboration to create a new product and a new way to experience your story. One reader told me she gets something different out of each format, which I found intriguing. But even reading an eBook is a different experience from reading the same story in print. So it's important to make sure the audiobook experience is just as enjoyable and unique to that format. And if you don't take care in your narrator choice, you will hurt sales because that experience won't be as great as it could have been for your audience.

The first thing to ask yourself as you begin to look for a producer/narrator is:
 
Did you write the book in first person or third?
 
If you wrote in first person then you must match the gender of the reader to the gender of the main character. If you wrote first person from more than one character's point of view, then you need a reader to match the gender of each. Note: ACX is, in my opinion, the best place to find the right narrator for you story and get production going.

Sophia from the Fateful Series now has a YouTube Cooking Channel!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Sophia now has a YouTube Cooking Channel!

Check back about once a month when she'll upload a new recipe... If you enjoyed this video and would like to see more. Please make sure you give it a thumbs up, share it with your friends, and subscribe to my channel. xoxo


 

Hello, my darlings!

According to my mortal lads and ladies, these sugar cookies are positively scrummy.

(This is my absolutely fabulous spin on the famous “Swig” Sugar Cookies)

Think of these for Valentine’s Day...

The Most Scrummy Sugar Cookies Ever

(US Measurements)
Addictive Cookie Dough

 1 cup butter (unsalted) at room temperature

3/4 cup vegetable Oil

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 eggs at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons water

5 cups All Purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter

1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream the butter, oil, sugars, eggs, water, and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cream of tarter together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. The texture should be very soft and easily scooped with a medium or small sized cookie scoop. Drop balls of dough onto either a stone baking pan, or a foil lined baking sheet. Dip the bottom of a glass cup into granulated sugar and smash each cookie a bit like you would smash peanut butter cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. These cookies do not brown, and they are done when they poof up a bit in the center.

Butter Cream Frosting

1 cup butter softened

4-5 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

half and half as needed

Beat soft butter and powdered sugar together until smooth. Blend in vanilla and then just enough half and half to create the spreadable consistency you would like. Depending on humidity, you may or may not need to add extra powdered sugar as well. Tint frosting with food coloring as desired.


(UK Measurements)
Addictive Cookie Dough

230g butter (unsalted) at room temperature

180ml oil

300g sugar

65g icing sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 tablespoons water

640g plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter

In a large bowl, cream the butter, oil, sugars, eggs, water, and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and cream of tarter together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. The texture should be very soft and easily scooped with a medium or small sized cookie scoop. Drop balls of dough onto either a stone baking pan, or a foil lined baking sheet. Dip the bottom of a glass cup into granulated sugar and smash each cookie a bit like you would smash peanut butter cookies. Bake at 180 •c or gas mark 4 for about 8-10 minutes. These cookies do not brown, and they are done when they poof up a bit in the center.

Butter Cream Frosting

230g butter (unsalted) at room temperature

560-650g icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Milk as needed

Beat soft butter and icing sugar together until smooth. Blend in vanilla and then just enough milk to create the spreadable consistency you would like. Depending on humidity, you may or may not need to add extra powdered sugar as well. Tint frosting with food coloring as desired.


 
 
 


Exclusive Q & A and Audiobook Sneak Peek of Forever!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Please join us on BookTube for another exclusive interview between me and Tristan Hunt about The Fateful Series characters.



The audiobook of Forever is finished and now available for purchase. Here is an exclusive preview:


Exclusive Q & A with Storytellers Tristan Hunt and Cheri Schmidt

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


 
Join us on BookTube!
 
Starting now, I'll be posting to YouTube twice a week. Join me for exclusive interviews, audiobook recommendations, how to on audiobook production, book trailers, and Sophia's Messy Kitchen Cooking channel. Check back every Tuesday and Saturday for something new.
 
Up next, the audiobook trailer for Forever, book 3 in The Fateful Vampire Series! If you haven't had a chance to listen to books 1 and 2, you'd best get to it. To preview those, go to Soundcloud right now. Or go to YouTube and watch the trailers. ;)
 
 



Guest Post from Louise Findlay

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hi everyone! Visiting my blog today is Louise Findlay. Check out her new book. ;)




Imprisoning a Duel Discord Description

The world is in musical order and a team of Government Agents called Harmony track down, experiment on and sometimes kill those who express the music of dissonance. Psycha, a duel Discord of Vyla and Sios is a prime lab rat to Harmony. Being able to disrupt harmony just by voice and hands alone makes her even more dangerous than the usual Discord. Will she run into trouble trying to protect her boyfriend, Caleb? Will her desire to destroy Harmony prove fatal for her? What will be left of her if she ever does get captured?
 
 
 
 
video
 
 
Book Trailer: Music: www.bensound.com
Louise Fantasy Adventures "Angevin B" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
 
 
Imprisoning a Duel Discord Excerpt

Psycha

What had Caleb gotten himself into this time? We were discords for music’s sake. We couldn’t strike back against Harmony if we ran, and be damned if he got caught. He was a Tara Discord not a Vyla like me. He was more vulnerable and I knew for a fact he left his Tara back at camp. Careless. That was so unlike him. He was usually methodical and paranoid. He couldn’t afford to throw his life away on a whim. I was the reckless one.

I hummed a tune to try and find his wavelength. Discords stuck out like a sore thumb, and he was a Tara. He was invisible without it, but I knew his musical signature like the back of my hand. I was almost certain I could pick something up, and I did. The three note discordant hum that was uniquely Caleb was faintly ringing in the air. I rushed to try and catch up to him. There was no way he would get captured on my watch. Cinder would kill me.

No. I caught sight of a man with the Harmony symbol on the back of his black suit. The tell-tale sign of a sharp, with two notes at the bottom and a treble clef in the middle, made him the enemy. I’d seen what happened to Discords when Harmony got a hold of them. They were mere husks of their former selves; dead and despondent inside. Their life cruelly ripped away. I would not let that happen to Caleb.

I screamed out notes at the man’s back, notes which clashed horribly. It was music to me, but the assailant recoiled, clutching his head in pain. How dare he try and take away the thing that made Caleb who he was. Being Discords defined us.

My enemy retaliated by taking out his Ko and trying to play me into submission. The harmony was excruciating to me. I was a duel Vyla/Sios Discord. Normal Discords were three parts discord and one-part harmony. I was fully Discord. I could control music with my voice and by touch alone. I hated Harmony for what they did to us, and I knew I’d be their prime lab rat.

“Caleb, run” I shouted.

I was bombarding him with musical assaults, but I had to be careful not to hit Caleb. He was powerless without his Tara. Why did he not bring it with him?

“I’m not leaving you,” he said.

Ah. Blood ran down my cheek when a note hit. Harmony and dissonance were opposites. One could hurt the other. Harmony were the government and Dissonance were the outcasts. I would make them pay for condemning us to a lifetime of running. Harmony agents lived to capture us.

“Go, you idiot. Get back to camp. You’re defenseless,” I ordered.

At last, he managed to see sense and fled. I couldn’t protect him if he was in the way. I waved a shield to protect against the agent’s next attack. Now Caleb was safe I could really let loose without fear of hurting him. I used my voice and hands in tandem to unleash a barrage of musical weapons at him. Streams of note swords and arrows flew at the enemy. He was pretty quick to keep up with me, but he couldn’t deflect everything I threw at him.

I started to hum a dissonant melody designed to sweep into his soul. I would poison his harmony with dissonance. He let out a hiss, which told me I was successful. I screamed as more musical implements of doom attacked me. I used the blood trickling down my arm in a note. Blood notes packed a mean punch. Judging by the look on his face, it did.

“Just die, Harmony bastard,” I said.

“Bring it, Discord cur,” he replied.

I screamed like a banshee. When he was distracted, I flung a spear at him. I turned his cries into a gag with a wave of my hand. His voice was grating to my ears.
Ah. A melody hit me straight in the neck and continued to constrain my throat. I tried to catch my breath, but it was impossible. I flailed around, trying to swipe him off me, but to no avail. I couldn’t let him get me. I couldn’t be captured. I finally managed to get him to relent, but my vision turned hazy as I gasped for breath.

Spooktacular Blog Hop Giveaway

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Welcome to the annual Spooktacular and totally spectacular blog hop brought to you by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. With over 200 chances to win free bookish-type stuff, this is one hop that is not to be missed!

The magic and wonder of Harry Potter with the melt-your-heart romance of The Vampire Diaries

(Check out my new book trailer.)
 
 


Praise for The Fateful Vampire Series

"Better than Twilight."
 
"Tristan's voice draws you into the story and holds you there."
 
"More romantic than A Shade of Vampire."
 
"Your ears will drink in Tristan Hunt's smooth voice like candy for the senses."
 
"Tristan Hunt is the Jim Dale of romance."
 
"If you liked Harry Potter, you'll love this."






















The prize choices:

A free copy of Fateful (book 1) on audio from Audible. (Valued at 24.95)

OR

A free copy of Fractured (book 2) on audio from Audible. (Valued at 19.95)

To enter:

Tell me why you'd like to try an audiobook for the first time, or why you love audiobooks, or what your favorite audiobook listen is. (And I'll go first. At the bottom of this post, you'll find a list of some of my most recent listens and what I thought of them.)

AND/OR

Join my email newsletter.

(Just scroll on down to the Rafflecoper form to fill in and confirm your entry.)

Why wait? Give it a listen right now!



 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest: I knew this series was selling really well, so I had to see what the excitement was all about. I really like this a lot! Enough so that I quickly bought book two. But then, as I just said, I was disappointed. The covers are totally cool too!



A Shade of Blood by Bella Forrest: This is book two in the Shade of Vampire series. The narrator from 4 different actors was really great, especially Zackary Webber. He is amazing. I didn't like book two as much book one, so I haven't moved on to book three yet. And the love seen is this one really put me off. There was no emotion to it. To me, just not romantic at all, and I thought the plot dragged. I actually started skipping ahead.





Dragon Dreams by Dusty Holloway: Would you like something that takes you into a world reminiscent of Lord of the Rings? Then this is it. Loved the way the narrator, Rob Goll, performed the dwarf and the dragon. He really brought me into the story.



The Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale: This is the first book I've ever listened to that was narrated by Nicolas Boulton, and now I'm hooked. I loved listening to him. The story was a bit long for me though...over 15 hours? But very well written.



Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover: The plot in this story is absolutely brilliant. The characters are very well drawn. The narrator, Jason Carpenter, was absolutely fabulous. Once I started listening I couldn't stop until I'd finished. My only complaint was the use of the F word. Is it really necessary?