I know it is very rare that I do two blog posts in one day, but I can't help myself because my new audiobook HOW TO LAUNCH AND MARKET A BOOK: SIX MONTH COUNTDOWN, narrated by Timothy Burke, just became available hours ago. Are you kidding me? This is exciting news because now, authors who are on the run can listen and learn how I market my books as the #1 New Release on Amazon. I am actually hitting a great batting average, not only with the books that I authored but also with the books I have edited and published with my publishing company Absolute Author Publishing House. The formula I present is real and it works. Just this weekend, Peter J. Liang, author of I AM A LEADER A 90-DAY LEADERSHIP JOURNAL FOR KIDS launched his book and guess who marketed it? Me, using the strategies I presented in my book. It opened as the #1 New Release. I have to give him a shout out because the book is awesome.
The system I outline in HOW TO LAUNCH AND MARKET A BOOK works. In fact, my books have consistently launched as the #1 New Release not only in paperback, eBook but as recently as last week in audible when NEVER STOP RUNNING launched as the #1 New Release in audible. Oh, it also opened as the #1 New Release in paperback last January. So what are you waiting for? If you are an author about to launch a book or need to market it, grab my book HOW TO LAUNCH AND MARKET A BOOK: SIX MONTH COUNTDOWN now!
|NEVER STOP RUNNING IN AUDIBLE, PAPERBACK OR EBOOK ON AMAZON|
I'm not finished! I want to introduce you to the narrator of HOW TO LAUNCH AND MARKET A BOOK, Timothy Burke.
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I grew up and went to school in the Detroit, Michigan, area. I first aspired to be a musician and obtained a bachelor’s degree in music on the classical organ. After several years I realized how difficult it is to make a living in music and I found I was talented with computers. I then spent several years as a system administrator, software/hardware QA analyst, and as a desktop support/PC technician. After I found myself unemployed due to a merger/downsizing at the company I worked for, I decided to get into radio. I’ve often been told, “You have a radio voice,” and so I went back to school to become a radio news/anchor reporter. After spending several years at that job, I once again found myself unemployed due to upheavals in the radio business. It was at that point that audiobooks were becoming accessible and technology had advanced such that producing studio-quality audio at home was possible. I’ve always loved to read (I don’t even own a television, and I have not actually sat and watched TV in more than 12 years) so, with all the other factors taken into consideration, I built a home studio and have been narrating audiobooks for nearly two years now.
What inspired you to become a narrator?
The fact that I love to read, I’m told I have the voice for it, and once I tried it, I was hooked. I find that I get more “job satisfaction” out of narrating audiobooks than out of any of my previous occupations. Moreover, I get to work from home and set my schedule.
Do you have a preferred genre?
I do not. The majority of my work so far has been in non-fiction (i.e., self-help books, history books, books on spirituality, etc.) but I have done one fantasy/fiction novel and am currently working on a murder/mystery novel. I love fiction and plan to do more of it, but I find it is a lot more work than non-fiction. I must also confess that I have never had any voice coaching or voice acting lessons – that is on my to-do list as I pursue more fiction work.
What has been your favorite section or chapter you narrated from any book?
That would come from “The Light of Supremazia (Afterlife Lessons)” by Alana (Siegle) Mag. The premise of the book is a young girl who finds that she can see and talk to ghosts. She finds herself in a special school, the Vita Postmortem Academy, where she is taught how to deal with her special talent. The teachers in the school were all ghosts of famous people from history, so I got to voice JFK, Alber Einstein, Sammy Davis Jr., and more. Even Marylin Monroe!
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to produce an audiobook?
Mostly overcoming self-doubt and accepting that no one person's voice is good for every kind of narration. I’ve learned not to take rejection personally, even when I’ve been told that I didn’t get the contract because my voice sounded “too polished and professional” and this has happened more times than I like.
What production companies do you work with?
ACX and Beacon Audiobooks, so far.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other narrators?
That is a difficult question to answer because I believe every narrator is unique. We each have a unique voice, narration style, and a unique way of doing business. However, when I am narrating for a client, I see myself as part of a team rather than “just the narrator” and, as part of that team, our goal is to produce the best audiobook possible. I also try to establish an excellent professional working relationship with my clients, which, I believe, has lead to many repeat customers.
How do you prepare your voice before narrating?
I simply sing a few lines from whatever song pops into my head at the moment. I find this sufficient for loosening up my voice for narration.
Do you have a preference for fiction or non-fiction? Why?
I find that, like many things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to both. I like narrating non-fiction because it is relatively quick and easy and I’ve found some pretty interesting non-fiction books to narrate, such as “Leif Erikson: A Captivating Guide to the Viking Explorer Who Beat Columbus to America and Established a Norse Settlement at Vinland.” I found the subject matter interesting, and it was challenge learning how to pronounce Norse and Norweigan name! I do find that fiction is a lot more work (keeping track of character voices, aiming for the right emotion, etc.) but it is a lot more fun!
How do you go about marketing your audiobook?
Until just recently, I left the marketing chores to the publishers and authors or rights holders. I realize that this is not going to further my career as I would like, so I’ve begun posting samples of my audiobooks on my web site and doing my best to keep my ACX samples list and my SoundCloud account up to date. I’ve also begun producing video trailers for my books (and other narrators as an add-on service) and am just learning how to use them as an effective marketing tool. I believe that, like many other narrators, I stink at marketing and I have a lot to learn.
How do you choose the books you want to narrate?
I simply see what is available on ACX and choose what piques my interest and has a decent pay rate. I’ve recently signed with Beacon Audiobooks, and they assign the books that they feel you would be good at, but that is how I got my first contract for a murder mystery. I also, on occasion, will audition for something that is outside my comfort zone. That was how I got the contract for “The Light of Supremazia.” I auditioned for it not expecting to get the contract – mind you the story is told in the first person from the point of view of a 14-year-old girl. I have a bass/baritone voice, but after I submitted the audition, the author said, “Love, love, love it! I love the way you bring my book to life!” Who’d have thought it?
Describe what your recording studio? Also, please submit a picture of it. Attached
My studio is a DIY project measuring 7’ high by 6’ wide by 4’ deep. I built it by combining aspects from a number of DIY audio booth plans that are out on the web. It consists of a 2 x 4 frame with 5/8” drywall on the outside, acoustic insulation between the joists, and the inside is covered with 1/2 soundboard and acoustic foam.
What is your preferred equipment in microphones, headsets, software, etc?
I’ve used various pieces of equipment as my narration career has evolved, and I suspected that would continue. However, I’m currently using a Rode NT1 mic running through a Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface, and I use Adobe Audition as my DAW with a number of plug-ins for audio processing and mastering. I have a set of Sennheiser HD201 headphones, but I only use them if I need to do some very detailed editing. Usually, I listen through a set of Edirol MA-15D studio monitors, and I don’t use my headphones while recording. When I first started in radio, and very experienced news director (whom I admire to a high degree) advised I not use headphones while recording. He explained that most people tend not to speak naturally when they can hear themselves through headphones and, in my case, I’ve found this to be true.
What one piece of advice do you have for new narrators.
I would tell new narrators several things, including to keep in mind that no one voice fits everything and don’t take rejection personally. However, if I had only one piece of advice, it would be one of my favorite quotes…
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States
Tell your readers anything else you want to share.
I think we pretty well covered it.