Can I Just Ask ... How Do You Get Into Audiobooks?
I've just spotted this on Facebook posted by Tanya Eby, narrator and owner of Blunderwoman Productions, one of the most generous people I know, who is also feeling the pressure at the moment. Tany writes . . .
"I'm getting a ton of emails from people who want to 'bend my ear' and talk audiobooks for a while. They've always wanted to be a narrator and now seems like the perfect time.
So ... where do you begin that research? . Tanya suggests that you visit 'The Narrators' Roadmap' - created by Karen Commins. This is an absolutely brilliant and comprehensive resource for anyone wanting to know more about Audiobook Narration. I can't recommend it highly enough.
You can find 'The Narrators' Roadmap' by clicking on THIS LINK.
With thanks to Tanya Eby and Karen Commins.
This post by Andi Arndt was originally posted on Facebook. Andi writes:
I am posting this here in case it's of any help to people (like me) used to having the house to themselves during the day, who are now surrounded by people unused to structuring their own days. Routines can be so reassuring, without us having to say a word.
Posted with kind permission of Andi Arndt.
Step 1 - Signing up to the PLR website
Under the PLR system in the UK, payment is made from government funds to authors, illustrators and other contributors whose books are borrowed from public libraries. Payments are made annually on the basis of loans data collected from a sample of public libraries in the UK. The Irish Public Lending Remuneration (PLR) system covers all libraries in the Republic of Ireland and operates in a similar way.
To qualify for payment, applicants must apply to register their books, audio-books, Ebooks and E-audio-books including downloads from platforms other than Audible who do not subscribe to the scheme.
Applicants can find the relevant information required to register their titles, for example the ISBN number and what format the book is, on their Royalty statement - or for audiobook narrators, by searching for their narrations on Amazon.co.uk, to find which are published as CD copies. Audible downloads are not eligible for payment.
The UK PLR scheme is administered by the British Library from its offices in Boston Spa. The PLR office also provides registration for the Irish PLR scheme on behalf of the Public Lending Remuneration office.
Over 22,000 writers, illustrators, photographers, narrators, translators and editors who have contributed to books lent out by public libraries in the UK receive PLR payments each year.
If you have contributed to a book which is lent out by public libraries in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and wish to apply to register for UK and Irish PLR schemes, Applying for PLR will provide you with further information and guidance.
So, the first thing is to register online via The British Library website, www.bl.ul/plr
Step 2 - which audiobooks are eligible?
The next thing is to find out which audiobooks are released on CD - not all are - and some are initially only available on Audible as a digital download, but may subsequently be released on CD, so you need to check a couple of times a year just to make sure. You can find this out on Amazon.co.uk. Unfortunately, Audible is not part of the scheme, so only audiobooks available outside Audible are eligible. This is the full list of the type of audiobooks that are eligible for payment@
MP3 Playaways (pre-loaded MP3 players which contain a single audio-book title – customer supplies headphones and battery)
MP3CD – (unabridged audio-books which can be played on home computers)
CD Roms which are the equivalent of a printed book produced in CD Rom format (eg a narrated version of a book or a pdf version of an ebook produced in CD Rom format)
The following materials qualify for registration (if they are issued with ISBNs), however will not receive a payment (as they are subject to the same copyright law restrictions as ebooks):
. Digital download
. Audio download
The following audio materials do not qualify for registration:
Amazon Audible downloads (digital downloads issued with ASINs)
Dramatisations of TV or radio shows or audio material based on TV and radio shows which just contain actors performing their role with no narration in between
Recordings of conversations, speeches, interviews and comedy sketches
Interactive/Multimedia CD Roms which require additional software or interactive content in order to use the material. Under the terms of the scheme, this type of material is not deemed to be the equivalent of a printed book (eg software providing interactive access to teaching materials)
So ... if you've recorded an eligible book that is for example available on CD then all you need to do is to search for a specific book title - if its available on CD, you'll see an entry like this:
Step 2 - finding the ISBN number
Click on the Audio CD button as shown on the far right of the image above - this will take you to the CD listing on Amazon, which includes the ISBN number. You need to scroll down the listing, past all the advertisement type stuff showing other titles by the same author - eventually you'll arrive here:
Step 3 - enter the information on your PLR page
Next you need to enter the relevant information onto your personal PLR profile page. You list the ISBN number, the book title, the name of the publisher, the year published and finally what percentage you are due to be paid. Narrators get 20% payment - payments are made annually in February for the entire previous year running from June to June. This is the PLR form that you complete.
PLR staff are incredibly helpful by the way - and there is lots of information about this on their website.
Now all you have to do is search for all your titles, ISBN numbers and then sit back and wait for the money to come rolling in!
Six monthly check up!
Goodness gracious me ... how long it's been since I uploaded a new post! The spirit has been more than willing - but the schedule has been hectic. Not that I am complaining mind you - I am delighted to be busy - and I have always been a little bit of a workaholic truth be told - and I've always enjoyed being politically engaged and active.
This busier than usual recording schedule, along with all the horrible things that seem to be happening all around us made me consider what pressure I might be putting on myself and my personal relationships by taking on all this work.
I thought I had the balance about right - but I suspect that my friends and family didn't feel the same!
I like to think that I am pretty well organised - I have a timetable in my head, I know my deadlines and what I need to complete each day to meet those demands; but my schedule over the past six months has been pretty punishing. I have been working more hours than were good for me, and my weekends and eveningswere being sacrificed. Some things have slipped under the radar ... housework and gardening being just two of them - and my poor long suffering husband has had to put up with some pretty uninspiring meals!
I love my work - and I love working. Doing what I love is extremely rewarding and I am immensely grateful for the opportunities that comes my way ... but I also love my family, my friends and my dog and I don't want them to feel neglected, or to resent the fact that I am working so consistently because it reduces the quality of my time with them.
I think this is an issue that effects many people - especially those working in the arts where work is irregular and where there so many people chasing the few jobs that are available. I know so many colleagues feel unable to say no when work offers come in, so they are adding more work to an already full schedule - and though financial uncertainty is sometimes a factor, in many cases it is more to do with fear. If you turn down a job, you'll never be asked to work again! I know that I have gone through that scenario in my head many times - so I have spent quite a lot of time over the past few months trying to put things into a clearer perspective, enabling me to work as much as I want to ... but to not overload my schedule to the point where I am no longer enjoying what I do. You do your best to build in 'downtime', take time off for holidays and special occasions but then - because you're tired and stressed, when you do take a break, some lurgy or other strikes and leaves you feeling more exhausted, more stressed - and more behind than ever.
So ... my New Year Resolution (only three months behind its deadline - the only deadline I have ever missed) is to take time for myself - to be kinder to myself and to be more productive when I am actually working. So to this end ... I have disabled the internet in my studio when I am recording, thus removing the temptation during a long session to just pop onto Twitter or Facebook for a quick look at what's happening in the world!
Goodness ... I get so much more done in far less time and feel much happier too.
I realised that at least half of the stress I was feeling was actually down to fury and frustration about things going on in the wider world - things that I can do absolutely nothing more about. I have voted, I have protested, I have supported, I have written letters and achieved? Nothing! Terribly things still happened and go on happening - and I am still angry, but I am also more pragmatic than I have been for the past four years. I no longer read newspapers or articles or blogs, I no longer watch the news or listen to it on the radio.
This is for the sake of sanity rather than being overcome by apathy all of a sudden - it's a case of recognising what I have no power to change - and letting it go. Perhaps for the first time in the last four years, I am seeing what is really important.
Photo Credit: Paul Haynes
I've gleaned quite a lot of knowledge over the years, knowledge that might be of interest to others, especially authors, actors and voice actors. Because I read so much, for pleasure and professionally, I also occasionally write reviews of what I read - so they're here too.
My opinions are mine and my views are my own!