Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

How To Create Great Fictional Characters

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Bryant Park Reading Room in New York CityWhen preparing to write a book, what comes first?

Some authors have a story in mind at the outset while others start with characters and weave threads of the story together from there.

Whether you're writing fiction for children, young adults or grownups, you're going to need believable characters that audiences are drawn to.

That means creating characters that they root for, and, some they might not be able to stand! All in all, you've got to pique the interest of your audience. One way to do that is through character development.

So, what goes into a great fictional character?

Find out in today's Vox Daily.


3 Ways Narrators Can Use Goodreads.com

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Goodreads logo, 320 pixelsAre you on Goodreads?

If not, you should be!

There are so many wonderful reasons to become part of the Goodreads community online.

Take a few minutes now to learn more about Goodreads and how it can fit into your life as a tool for professional development, marketing and networking.


Celebrating Father's Day with Audiobooks

By Lin Parkin

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young-daughter-with-daddy.jpgFather's Day is coming!

Do you know a Dad with young children?

With June 15th fast approaching, what perfect gift is there for Father's Day than an audiobook?

Father's Day offers the perfect opportunity to cuddle up with your children and listen to an expertly told children's story while you and your child follow along with a picture book.

Join VOX Daily in this celebration of Father's, in conjunction with June Is Audiobook Month (JIAM), as we present a short list of audiobooks for the Dad on your list.


How Do Publishers Decide What Books to Turn Into Audiobooks?

By Lin Parkin

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Woman Peering Over Book.jpgNot all books make good audiobooks. So how do publishers decide which ones to transform into audio versions?

Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment in publishing. It has grown into a billion dollar industry, with millions of people downloading them to their media players or purchasing them on CDs each day.

Audiobooks are a huge advantage to those with vision problems or dyslexia, and the average audiobook has enough content that the listener can get a week's worth of entertainment during their long daily commute to work.

For road warriors listening to radio stations play the same songs over and over can get on the nerves. An audiobook, however, provides an ongoing story to stay entertained between stops. But what exactly is it that makes a book a good candidate for an audiobook?

We reached out to several publishers to get their take on the subject. Learn more in today's VOX Daily.


Winners of the 2014 Audies Awards

By Lin Parkin

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the-audies-600.jpgOn May 29th 2014 publishers, narrators, and authors gathered for the 2014 Audies Awards Gala.

Billy Crystal proved his writing, comedy, and narration chops are still well intact taking home Audio Book of the Year as well as the awards for Humor and Narration by the Author or Authors.

The judges called his work: "a seamless blend of single voice narration and live performances [that] does for the audiobook medium what Billy Crystal's opening acts have done for the Oscars, which is to bring in a larger audience. From Mickey Mantle to Muhammad Ali with the inside story on Meg Ryan's infamous scene in When Harry Met Sally thrown in for good measure, Crystal's life story will have listeners hanging on every word. Crystal pulled out all the stops to draw in fans and to create new ones with a clever mélange of audiobook-specific print, radio, TV, social media and store appearances. In a word: 'Mahvelous.'"

Sold! That makes me want to have a listen. How about you?

Join VOX Daily to find out who all the winners were and who took home the narration awards.


The Evolution of Audiobooks Continued: From Cassette Tapes to Digital Downloads

By Lin Parkin

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woman-grass-listening-headphones.jpgIn today's VOX Daily we'll pick up where we left off yesterday on the development of the audiobook industry from cassette tapes to digital downloads.

With the longer audio format of cassette tapes and the inexpensive portable Walkman, the 1980's were a turning point for the audiobook industry.

By 1984 there were eleven audiobook publishing companies, but it was Brilliance Audio who created waves in the industry after inventing a way to record twice as much on cassettes. This meant audiobook publishers could now produce affordable unabridged editions of their most popular books.

Just one year later, there were twice as many audiobook publishers in the market. New major book publishers, such as Harper and Row, Random House, and Warner Communications joined in the distribution of audiobooks.

A number of events happened that cemented audiobooks as a profitable market. Join VOX Daily to learn how it unfolds.


In Celebration of JIAM: The Evolution of Audiobooks

By Lin Parkin

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audiobooks-headphones-colourful.jpgDo you love to read audiobooks? Are you an audiobook publisher?

Have you heard of June Is Audiobook Month (JIAM)?

It's a growing movement in conjunction with the Audiobook Publishers Association where publishers, producers, narrators, authors, and all those involved in the audiobook industry make a joint effort to heighten awareness about the joy of audiobooks.

With all the advances in technology, more and more people are turning to audiobooks as a favourite source of entertainment. You can listen to an audiobook while driving, doing house work, or anytime you just want to kick back and get lost in another reality.

From "books on tape" to digital downloads and audiobook apps, the audiobook has seen many incarnations but its long journey here all began with an invention made centuries ago.

Join VOX Daily in a celebration of JIAM and learn about the fascinating development of the audiobook industry.


Celebrating Audiobooks: Are you attending APAC and the Audies?

By Lin Parkin

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smiling-woman-japanese-listening-to-music-headphones.jpgDo you work in the audiobook industry? Then there's no better place to be than New York City this week!

On May 28, 2014, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) will host their annual conference (APAC) where audiobook producers and narrators can mix, mingle and learn from each other to heighten the audiobook experience for both consumers and those working in the industry.

This years' APAC key-note is Alan Iny, a nationally-recognized writer and speaker. He'll bring a well-rounded perspective to the event having also narrated his own book, Thinking in New Boxes.

Alan will hold a business session to discuss current challenges and opportunities in the industry, followed by an interactive panel presentation that's designed to leave APAC attendees with new skills. This year APAC is bringing publisher and narrator tracks together in the first-ever panel Publishers and Narrators Promoting Together session, which promises to be an enlightening experience.

Join VOX Daily to learn more about what to expect at APAC and get a glimpse at the finalists in THE audiobook event that will wraps it all up.


Celebrating Audiobook Month with Going Public...in Shorts!

By Lin Parkin

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Going Public SM.jpegThis June marks the 18th annual June Is Audiobook Month (JIAM).

To celebrate the written and recorded word, a group of narrators, producers, bloggers and authors are joining forces to bring to life some of the greatest classic short stories of all time with Going Public...in Shorts!

Going Public...in Shorts showcases thirty-eight Spoken Freely narrators reading thirty-eight short works from the public domain. From Chekhov to Chopin, Poe to Lovecraft, even Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address will be heard online this June. The narrators will be hosted on various industry blogs across the net each day throughout the month.


Pronunciation Guides for Audiobook Narrators

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Man reading over a piece of paper, sitting by his lap top computerWhat do you do when you don't know how to pronounce the name of a person, place or thing?

Voice actors routinely run into words that they may not be familiar with.

This is why it is important for you to have immediate access to tools that are designed to help with pronunciation.

Do you need to speak with confidence on topics outside of your expertise?

This article has links to a few resources you may find helpful in your quest.


The Vow By Kim and Krickitt Carpenter

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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The Vow audiobook published by Oasis AudioHave you ever faced a turning point in your life when everything changed?

One of life's undeniable truths is that you never know what tomorrow will bring. For Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, a car ride to visit family for the holidays literally turned their plans upside down and altered the course of their lives in a tragic yet beautiful way. You may recognize these names because of a Hollywood movie called "The Vow."

I recently listened to the audiobook featuring the voice talent of John McLain. John was kind to answer a number of questions for me about his experience that I am eager to share with you.

Read more about the story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter and John McLain's experience narrating their book The Vow in today's VOX Daily.


How Have Celebrity Narrators Affected The Audiobook Market?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Empty star shape on Hollywood's Walk of FameWhat kind of a role do celebrity narrators play in audio books and the success of audio publishing?

Has their participation brought new business to the industry? How has the impact of celebrity narration shaped consumer behavior?

Hear the musings of one narrator, Tim Lundeen, as he explores the impact celebrity narrators have had on the audiobook industry in today's VOX Daily.


Tips Narrators Can Use From An Audiobook Reviewer Perspective

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Woman smiling, listening to audiobook on an MP3 playerAre you interested in recording audiobooks?

Want to know which pitfalls you should avoid before you began?

Paul Alan Ruben, a Grammy award-winning audio book producer/director, has authored an excellent article on reviewing audiobooks that shares valuable lessons that may save you from a career blunder.


How To Get Permission To Record A Copyrighted Book

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Mother reading with her young daughter, smiling, book opened on the floorIf you came across a book that you wanted to narrate that is still under copyright, who would you contact for permission to record?

After an open discussion via Facebook, two recommendations emerged for who to contact first when obtaining permission for recording a copyrighted work.

Hear what audiobook narrators are saying and discover tips for how you can embark on this journey in today's VOX Daily.


The Local Library as a Source for Audiobook Narration Material

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Latin American / Hispanic young woman reading a book in the libraryHave you ever thought of your local library as being a resource for your voice acting career?

Whether you're borrowing materials to practice with, cut demos from or to gather industry data, your local library serves as a wonderful place to broaden your horizons.

Find out more in today's VOX Daily.


VOICE 2010 Audiobook Panel: Pat Fraley, Hillary Huber and Scott Brick

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Books with headphones around themThree big name narrators were on hand for the VOICE 2010 audiobook panel to share insider tips, dispel myths and direct volunteers in long form narration.

Patrick Fraley, Hillary Huber and Scott Brick set the record straight on a number of fronts and provided information that is critical for anyone aspiring to record audiobooks, even for seasoned audiobook narrators, to hear.

Join me now in this coverage of the audiobook panel and an awesome display of talent. Enjoy!


Stephen King: Audiobooks Are The Written Word's Acid Test

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Stephen KingIs the act of simply "listening" to an audiobook akin to "reading"?

Just how powerful is the spoken word?

Hear what author Stephen King has to say about audiobooks and make your own judgment!


Storytelling Through Spoken Word and Song

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Heather ForestAre you a fan of folklore, fairy tales, and nursery rhymes?

If you are particularly fond of storytelling and are looking for another creative outlet, recording stories is a wonderful way to have your cake and eat it too.

By combining your passions, you might just even find another way to prosper by your talent! Hear about one woman who has done just that and how you can do it as well here at VOX Daily.


Audiobook and Author Tea Coverage from BookExpo America 2009

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Woman leaning on a book with cup of teaOne of the most influential women in the audiobook industry, Robin Whitten, founder and editor of AudioFile Magazine, moderated a panel discussion at BookExpo America called, "The Heard Word: BEA's Audiobook & Author Tea", hosted by the Audio Publishers Association.

Hear some wisdom and sentiments from television personality Kathie Lee Gifford, author Lisa Scottoline and narrator Katherine Kellgren.


June is Audiobook Month!

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Audiobook Concept - headphones around book stackDid you know that the month of June is audiobook month?

For any of you who are audiobook enthusiasts, this may come as no surprise, however, I thought we should mark the occasion with a special blog post.

I've compiled a number of links and resources that relate to audiobooks, audiobook production, narration technique, communities and places where you can buy audiobooks.


Winners at the 2009 Audies in NYC

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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The Audies 2009 Gala

Last weekend, I had the privilege to attend the 14th annual Audies, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association, at the fabulous New-York Historical Society situated at 170 Central Park West, and believe me, the voices were just as sensational and decadent as the surroundings they were placed in.

For the remainder of this week, I'll be sharing more about our trip and highlighting special moments and intriguing topics that took shape at the Audies and at BookExpo America.

Curious to learn which audiobooks won awards? Read on!


A Look at Some of the 2009 Audie Nominees

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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The Audies

Ever heard of the Audies?

The Audies is the annual awards ceremony, hosted by the Audio Publishers Association, that honors people in the audiobook industry for their achievements in a variety of categories, representing the cream of the crop in every genre.

This year, I will be going to the Audies with David, and I wanted to be sure that I gave a special shout out to all Voices.com members and friends of our company who were nominated for an Audie award in 2009.


Doing It By The Audiobook With Full Cast Audio's Dan Bostick

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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woman-man-recording-one-microphone.jpgHave you been wondering about getting into the world of audio book narration?

What about playing a role as part of a full cast of characters?

Dan Bostick, Artistic Director of Full Cast Audio, a speaker at the Voice Coaches Marketing Expo, describes how the company got started, their creative process and shows you how working with a variety of voice actors to achieve a common goal can be a rewarding experience.


Marc Cashman Invites You To Color Your Words

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Male toddler coloringRemember coloring when you were younger?

It was fun and liberating, wasn't it?

Discover how the same spirit and techniques from your youth can apply to voiceover artistry when coloring words courtesy of guest blogger, Marc Cashman.

Ready to reminisce?


Jump Start Audiobook Narration Work with Classics in the Public Domain

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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African woman listening to an audiobookIf you've been watching trends and sales figures, you know that narrating audiobooks is a booming part of the voice over industry.

There is a wealth of opportunity for those who are willing to explore and produce their own audiobooks.

This article focuses on how narrating literature in the public domain, specifically classics, can help you to build your audiobook portfolio without having to pay licensing fees.


AFTRA Announces New Audiobook Agreement With Audible.com

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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lady-bench-headphones-280.pngDo you have questions about AFTRA's new agreement with Audible.com?

Learn more about this agreement by reading this article.

If you still have questions or are unsure of something, be sure to leave a comment and I'll ask AFTRA during my interview with them to get you the answers you're seeking.


Want some Audiobook Narration Practice? Try LibriVox.

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Jodi KrangleThe audiobook industry is worth billions of dollars with an ever-increasing number of titles being recorded.

Have you thought about recording your voice for audiobooks or narrating other projects?

Read this interview featuring a voice actress who has used LibriVox to help her do just that.


Audible's Best Audiobooks of 2007

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Curious to know which audio books made Audibles Best Audiobooks of 2007 list?

Check the titles out here!

Audibles Best Audiobooks of 2007


Get the Skinny on The Audiobook Market

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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There is good news about audiobooks and we're here to tell you all about it!

Here's a special message I'm happy to bring to you from Pat Fraley with some neat statistics and facts about the current state of the audiobook recording industry.

Lady bench headphones


Content VS Narrator : Why Do You Choose An Audiobook?

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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AudiobooksWhat makes you pick up an audio book?

While some people love hearing their favorite stories read aloud to them, others prefer to collect the performances of their favorite narrators, regardless of the content.

Which audiobook selection philosophy do you follow?


The Audies 2007

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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The AudiesDid you know that there is an annual awards show just for audio books?

The Audies, are taking place in New York City this Friday June 1st, 2007, acknowledging literally hundreds of people in the audio book industry.

Want to learn more?


Audio Book Narration, Voice Actor Interview with Janis Panizza

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

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Yesterday, I interviewed Janis Panizza, who recently launched her new website and recorded an audio book entitled The Dark Twin, written by Marion Campbell.