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Old 11-22-2015, 09:03 PM   #1
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Audible (Behind-the-Scenes Video)

Here is a 5 minute tour of the Audible headquarters by one of the voice actresses.

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Old 11-22-2015, 10:44 PM   #2
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Here is a 5 minute tour of the Audible headquarters by one of the voice actresses.

Cool.
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Old 11-23-2015, 06:28 AM   #3
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Interesting, except for the jarring way it was made.
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:51 AM   #4
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Here is a 5 minute tour of the Audible headquarters by one of the voice actresses.
Cool... thanks
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Old 01-09-2016, 02:16 PM   #5
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Audio is way more work than I anticipated, that is for sure. That said, there is an amazing amount of equipment available today and for relatively cheap that allows a home user to produce some good stuff.
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Old 01-09-2016, 06:38 PM   #6
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Audio is way more work than I anticipated, that is for sure. That said, there is an amazing amount of equipment available today and for relatively cheap that allows a home user to produce some good stuff.
Technically, it's not all that expensive to put together a recording studio. I know people who have done it. The real issue is that voice talent is, well, talent. Having a good speaking voice just isn't enough any more. It isn't nearly as easy as they make it look.
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:16 PM   #7
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Technically, it's not all that expensive to put together a recording studio. I know people who have done it. The real issue is that voice talent is, well, talent. Having a good speaking voice just isn't enough any more. It isn't nearly as easy as they make it look.
No, we didn't spend a lot. Les than 100 dollars. (One of the mics is a Yeti that we picked up on Craigslist. It's actually a remarkable piece of equipment for 50 dollars and makes me wonder what one gets for the 700 that some people spend (or more)). We bought a lamp-like arm to hold it and we already had a computer. We actually have mixing equipment too, but only used that on the first two stories before we switched to the Yeti mic.

Husband has some recording experience so setting up a quiet (dead) room wasn't hard either. I made the pop guard (I call it a spit guard just to annoy my husband) myself because I have every fabric under the sun in my collection. Made it from silk/hemp and a quilting hoop. Worked extremely well on the Shure vocal mic. For engineering there's all kinds of great software out there, some of it FREE.

The talent part is something we are still learning/learning about because it's like art--every listener has an opinion on how much "acting" should be done. Some want a full cast, some expect various voices, some hate various voices. I've followed a few forums and you hear the oddest complaints that range from "why use British voices if this is the American version" to "His voice isn't the way I thought that voice should sound."

I agree, however, that you can't just read the text or it's worse than listening to a bad sermon that goes on forever. We downloaded audio books from the library for examples, and sometimes those had good acting but very poor audio quality. The range of what is out there is HUGE.
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Old 01-10-2016, 06:11 PM   #8
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Amen to that. One of my former girl friends was a voice talent (for all I know, she may still be).

I have a pretty big collection of audiobooks. I'm pretty open as far as the approach goes as long as the talent knows what he or she is doing, though some books just scream for a particular approach. I suspect that the poor audio quality may be older material where the audio was ripped from the cd's rather than created from the master.

Rule one is you can't please all the people. As anyone who has ventured onto the internet knows, there are always people who hate something because it's not exactly like they would have done it, regardless of it it's actually well done or not.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:10 PM   #9
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Amen to that. One of my former girl friends was a voice talent (for all I know, she may still be).

I have a pretty big collection of audiobooks. I'm pretty open as far as the approach goes as long as the talent knows what he or she is doing, though some books just scream for a particular approach. I suspect that the poor audio quality may be older material where the audio was ripped from the cd's rather than created from the master.

Rule one is you can't please all the people. As anyone who has ventured onto the internet knows, there are always people who hate something because it's not exactly like they would have done it, regardless of it it's actually well done or not.

AH, maybe it was taken from a CD instead of the original source. But still. It sounded like it had been copied, recopied and then copied a couple more times -- and not from the original. Luckily we only wanted it as a sample and weren't trying to listen to the whole thing. When I worked at the library there was at least one audio company that was blacklisted for low quality recordings. The library had to stop ordering from them because audio is so expensive and after two or three checkouts the CDs wouldn't play, would skip or would otherwise have developed problems.

I think audio books will enjoy some of the boom that happened when indies entered the book market a few years ago. With the equipment out there, smaller studios have a chance to make recordings (and Amazon helps that process by matching up authors with recording artists.) For those who don't read indies, there's still a huge amount of backlist material that an author can take to market.
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:57 AM   #10
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I'm already seeing that with Audible, though I'm not so sure that it will be a boom. Now that Amazon has taken over Audible, I'm seeing the same basic issue that I see with the kindle section of Amazon, i.e. having to wade through page after page of stuff that I have no interest in to find the new books that I might be interested in.
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:27 AM   #11
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I'm already seeing that with Audible, though I'm not so sure that it will be a boom. Now that Amazon has taken over Audible, I'm seeing the same basic issue that I see with the kindle section of Amazon, i.e. having to wade through page after page of stuff that I have no interest in to find the new books that I might be interested in.
I know they verify audio quality, but not necessarily content. Authors who have gone audio are finding it is adding to their income--Amazon often chooses indie books and marks them down to a very affordable price (under 5 dollars). Unlike Kindle ebooks, Amazon controls pricing of audio and Amazon takes a larger cut. The most an author can get is 40 percent--IF they go exclusive for 7 years. They get 35 percent if they don't go exclusive, but they may have to do a royalty split with the actors/recording. (You can pay upfront for the reading or, if the actor agrees, you can do a royalty split.)

This issue is that I'm not sure that trad publishers will see indies as a threat--and if they don't they won't lower prices. That worked for ebooks until the collusion. Now I see that it no longer really works or doesn't work as well. Most trad books are back up to 12 and 13 dollars. For the first time in years when I did my "what was the best book you read this past year" there was only one indie on the list--and every other book was 10 dollars or more (if I recall correctly--there might have been an 8.99 one). Granted, many reading my blog are indie-centric since I'm indie, but that is why I found it so ... interesting. The books now being noticed by readers are back to best sellers and those being advertised by the big guys.

IMO, indies have definitely fallen out of vogue.
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Old 01-11-2016, 05:57 PM   #12
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Getting a little off thread here, but a number of years ago, when talking about ebook piracy, Tim O'Reilly said "The real problem for most authors isn't piracy, but obscurity". I would expand on that a bit and say that the biggest reason that some quality authors never made it big is discover-ability rather than anything else. How do you manage to catch your audience's attention in a sea of dreak? It was true prior to the indie movement and it's 1000 times more true now.

Prior to ebooks, an author had a very short window for readers to find their books before the book stores started shipping the unsold books back, with ebooks, an author now can develop a following more slowly. But that assume that readers can find those authors in the flood of ebooks.
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Old 01-11-2016, 06:09 PM   #13
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Getting a little off thread here, but a number of years ago, when talking about ebook piracy, Tim O'Reilly said "The real problem for most authors isn't piracy, but obscurity". I would expand on that a bit and say that the biggest reason that some quality authors never made it big is discover-ability rather than anything else. How do you manage to catch your audience's attention in a sea of dreak? It was true prior to the indie movement and it's 1000 times more true now.

Prior to ebooks, an author had a very short window for readers to find their books before the book stores started shipping the unsold books back, with ebooks, an author now can develop a following more slowly. But that assume that readers can find those authors in the flood of ebooks.
This is very true and one of the reasons I got into ebooks in the first place (as a writer). Discovery (bad or good) was easier because the selection was smaller. There's a similar, but not as easy, opportunity with audio right now--but the freedom of pricing isn't there and the ease of getting to market isn't there either. It takes almost as long to get a good recording of an existing book as it does to write an entirely NEW one--OR you have to pay in the neighborhood of 1500 (and up) to get the book recorded--that means you can get discovered, but alas, you aren't making money because 1500 is quite a bit to earn back when you get 35 percent (and that might be 35 percent of 2.99 if Amazon puts it on sale). With ebooks, good editors could be found for 200 to 500. Artwork? It ranges from 100 on up. That's half the cost of audio.

It is hard to find the good books and it is harder now than it was a few years ago (For me anyway). I am asked now and again why I don't make my first in series free, but it's largely because it's not a good "discovery" mechanism now. There's so much free stuff, it's actually likely to be IGNORED because it's free. Sure, you get lots of downloads, but if the book is never read, no one will go on to buy the next book.

I do agree discovery is a huge issue for writers, but I also think piracy is a problem (not a help) to authors. I have heard all the arguments about discoverability via piracy and whatnot--but I don't buy that argument. If a pirate talks about a book he/she found, he's also likely to pass that book on or tell people where he/she got it for free. I think most pirated books are pirated BECAUSE they have already reached a level of "DISCOVERED" --not the other way around!
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:58 PM   #14
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I would say that piracy isn't really an issue in places like the US. It's a much bigger deal in the 3rd world. In general, piracy doesn't represent lost sales. It's too easy to buy ebooks and too hard for the average reader to find pirated ebooks. I agree that piracy isn't a good method of discover-ability simply because the pirate audience is relatively small.
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Old Yesterday, 02:47 PM   #15
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I totally missed this video till now, and, to my embarrassment, I had no idea that Audible was so local to me! I may have to stop by on my way home from work one day just to see the place!
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