Updated: May 21, 2021
Hey, Adult who wants to Audiobook! Good ta see ya. You look great! Get down with that hydration :).
Let's talk about supplemental websites that will make you a verbal virtuoso in your craft.
When I first started my audiobook career - I literally typed in "Audiobooks" into Youtube. I watched their suggested videos till I had some semblance of what I considered an entry-level education into Narration (Youtube University, TM), and I went through some duds in my information binge. I learned the hard way what the industry considered a valuable and cited source of CORRECT info.
Years later, I have a bookmark list chock full of extra audiobook supplemental sites that I reference ALL THE TIME. And because I believe that you are incredible - I'm going to share the top ones here with you.
Get your Bookmark Bar ready, friend - HERE WE GO.
1. Narrators Roadmap - It's first because it's seriously THE BEST. Karen Commins is a well of industry knowledge that never runs dry. There's a slew of blog posts about getting started in the industry, best practices, vetted coaches - you name it. She has it. Once you've got the basics down, she has a paid subscription that can give you intermediate to advanced level knowledge, but seriously the free stuff for a newbie is so incredible I demand you read it.... now. :)
2. 2nd Opinion - Steven Jay Cohen (another Industry vet) created this nifty tool that is seriously a game-changer when you're mastering your own files to ACX Specs. His downloadable program will tell you if your current file meets the audio requirements of ACX as well as if all the files are recorded in the same way. These are things that can kick back a file as "rejected" by ACX and will save you TONS of time and sanity by using. IT IS AMAZING (AAAANNND, it's all for a donation price of a cup of coffee).
3. Audiobook Scout - This site is so good it's got TWO bookmarks!
-One is for the Audiobook Scout service itself, which scans current listings in ACX through a filter of your preferred genres, Contract type, etc., and sends them to you. No more having to go onto the site and sleuth through auditions. Time. Saved.
- The Second bookmark is for their ACX Author Snoop service. This helps cut down falling for scam auditions (which - unfortunately, there are on ACX) by letting you check up on the Rights Holder posting the audition. It will give you info like how many completed projects the RH has done and if they have information in their profile or are all blank and.... scammy. Oh - It's also FREE, so... yah. Good stuff.
4. Narratic - This is a site that helps track ratings and reviews. It's got a tiered payment system and will deliver your reviews and ratings to your inbox every Friday as well as let you track multiple names. You can use this to look at previous titles from a potential author, your own work, and even has a cool "collage" element that will group all your covers for a nifty marketing snapshot.
5. Audiobook Boom - Jeffrey Kaffer ( ACX business coach extraordinaire) Started Audiobook Boom to help Producers from ACX garner audiobook reviews with their promo codes (ACX sometimes gives free codes for marketing purposes). He created this site to help pair reviewers with free books to listen to with the promise that they'll review them. Is it 100 return on your purchase? No - Not always - but it does generate buzz. If you decide you want to dump the codes and get people listening- the sister site freeAudiobookcodes.com allows you to upload the codes available and let people get them directly without the fuss of reviewing.
6. Pozotron - This one gains a lot of popularity from indie publishing companies and bigger publishing houses. This is an automated proofing tool that will essentially allow you to upload your manuscript and your audio and will cross-reference for clarity, flubs, and miss pronounced words. It doesn't replace a human proofer, but it does automate a lot of the decision fatigue that a proofer might have so they can listen for more nuanced things like making sure a character's voice is consistent throughout. It's also building out additional cool features like a place for an author to post pronunciations and a marker list for compatible DAW's that flag your pickups for you.
7. Booth Junkie Youtube - This gear guru has a TON of info about recording space, Reaper (a DAW for recording), mic reviews, and general how-to's for voice-over. He's got a solid reputation and has been known to make a mic recommendation and then have it sell out for months after (Check out his Stellar X2 review). Highlights are his quick and easy DIY acoustic foam, his review of the AT4040 vs. the Rode NT1, and his how-to on building your first VO booth.
8. IDEA (International Dialects of English Archive) - This website is a bible for Dialects and Accents. It's got region-specific voices, different ages... anything you need to research a specific accent is here. They are always growing and adding to their collection. It's a wonderful resource and a HUGE boon for any audiobook narrator at work.
9. Audio Eloquence - This is also a great resource for accents, but I have used it for so much more. Judith West and Heather Henderson run this site, and it's pretty much a narrator's database dream. It's got lists of vocabulary based on type, a keyword shortcut search functionality, and a MEGA Directory. Need Yiddish? They've got you.
10. WeTransfer -This site is a FREE secure data transfer site that I frequently use to send audio files that might be too large for something like my email. Dropbox and Google Drive are options, but that requires me to continue to host the data. For WeTransfer, they give the recipient a code and a time limit to download the content, and I've sent entire audiobooks this way to authors and co narrators, and it's seriously awesome.
Well, there you have it, friendly friend! You've got your Audiobook Bookmark Tab completely stacked, and you're officially a cool kid with all your additional narrator knowledge. Have fun looking around these, and as always - if you have questions - I'm here :).
Till next time,