Audiobook narration began as a service for the visually impaired and seemed to be performed only by the real “pros.” With the recent proliferation of audiobooks to wider audiences, many more opportunities for performance now exist. As I am recently retired from a career involving electronics as well as broadcast radio and television, I figured, “Why not give it a try?”
I made my first stumbling steps into the medium after discovering Librivox, the audio side of The Gutenberg Project, an organization dedicated to making public domain books available as widely as possible (at no charge!) It is staffed by some wonderful volunteers who are very patient and helpful to a raw beginner. If you are thinking of entering the ranks of audiobook narrators, this path is highly recommended as an effective method of getting your feet wet.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention the amazing generosity of the people in this industry. There are dozens of professionals who share their hard-won knowledge with all who need it – often free of charge. When you get past the neophyte stage to the point of wanting some serious coaching and training, there are many excellent tutors and teachers available at reasonable rates. Pat Fraley, Scott Brick and Bill DeWees come immediately to mind.
My first recordings were made using an inexpensive USB microphone, an old laptop and my wife’s walk-in closet. Not ideal, but it got me through the initial learning curve and into several commercial productions on the Amazon/Audible site ACX.
For you tech-types who may be interested, the current setup is a custom sound booth, Neumann TLM-103 large-diaphragm condenser mic, Audient ID22 mic preamp and digital interface, Sennheiser HD-280 Pro headphones and a Windows 7 tower cobbled together from parts by a helpful IT friend.
My productions are currently non-union. I am available for voicing corporate programs, e-learning projects and documentaries in addition to conventional audiobooks. Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments.
P.S. I have a hobby. It is drawing and doodling for my own entertainment and sanity. At one time, the web site was simply a place to share pictures with friends and family. When the site was revamped with a focus on audiobook production, the pictures went away.
My daughter complained that she often showed the pictures to her friends and could not any more. Then she whined. So… the pictures are gradually being added back in sub-tabs of the About Us tab. If you would like to browse the pictures, please feel free.