Thursday, May 09, 2013

Audiobook Adventures: Sour Sixteen

I don't have much in the way of updates this week.  At least not when I'm starting this post.  Who knows, maybe something exciting will happen. 

It looked like it was going to a couple of days ago.  I auditioned for a book that was part of a series (the third entry),  and got a positive response from the rights holder, who wanted to hire me (or whatever you technically call not paying someone to narrate the audio version for Audible), but wanted me to commit to at least five books in the series.  Turns out the series is longer than that, and not having read any of them, I didn't want to commit prematurely. 

So I looked up the book on Wikipedia, then on Amazon, and finally, discovered two websites out there dedicated to the work of the book's author.  That was exciting to me, and I nearly emailed the site to let them know I was going to be involved in it. 

But then I remembered that this was the third book in the series, which probably meant that they had gotten someone to narrate the first book (or the first two books), but that reader wasn't willing to commit to more, hence asking me if I'd commit to at least five.  I asked the rights owner if she expected me to try to sound similar to the reader of the first two books, whether she wanted an English accent, and if I could listen to the first two books to know how to do the performance. 

The rights holder told me that nobody had performed the first and second books either, and that the job was mine if I wanted it.  I told her that I'd be happy to do the first book at whatever deadline she set, and that would give me an indication of how long to ask for each additional book.  I have to admit that I was getting excited about the prospect, even though, damn my eyes, I hadn't read any of the books other than the audition segment from the third book.  I talked to Jeff about it, and it turned out he had three of the author's books in his library already, which leads me to believe the writer is at least as famous as Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

But then I didn't hear back.  I didn't get a contract.  I didn't get an answer as to whether I should audition for the first book.  Nothing.  Knowing me, my first inclination was that I had said something in the email that was perceived as offensive or deal-breaking.  If you know me, you know it's possible*, so I hope there's just some other delay going on that has nothing to do with me, and I'll soon be on my way to fame and fortune with this project.

Okay, neither fame nor fortune, but still, a project that's worth getting excited about.

My other news for this week is that, after recording that last book, and discovering entire sections within it where the microphone simply cuts out for a minute, then cuts back in**, I decided I didn't want to record anything else with the microphone, or in the less-than-perfect condition I'm in.

I live in this world, and I understand there's not going to be a literally perfect recording environment unless I spend money and build one, but it sucks to know you're just rolling the dice when you go downstairs to record, and if I have to re-record, it's gonna sound different, whether better or worse.

So, I asked Big if it would be alright if I spent the Dunesteef's money to buy a microphone like he has, a Zoom H1.  He suggested I get one a month or so ago, but I don't do podcasts from my car like he does, and thought it was a waste of money.  But then we recorded a couple of shows with it (including one I should've edited weeks ago, sorry), and the sound quality was so good, I thought, "Eff all these microphones I've been struggling with for months now, I should just get that tiny device and be done with it."

Now I've got the device, and despite it shutting off on on us a half hour away from finishing our podcast last night, I'm pretty happy with it.  I just need to get a bigger memory card for it, and some kind of case to protect it, and I'll be back in business.  I haven't recorded any audio books with it yet, but I re-did a couple of lines yesterday that were dropped in last week's recording, and the sound quality was way better.  So that's a plus.
Also, because it's portable, I should be able to do these recordings anywhere I am, and that's good news if I'm going to keep taking on audio projects.

That's it for this week (except that a book I thought I was finished with has come back to haunt me, as I now have a list of changes I'm supposed to make before it is done.  Sigh-emoticon).  We'll see what week will bring.

Rish Outfield, Audioboy

*As I very nearly said something angry about someone criticizing my English accent in this very post, when I asked the masses if a British author would want his main character to have a British accent.

**And this was before I slammed it on the ground several times, mind you.

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