Here’s a complete listing of all the narration-track sessions planned for the 2013 Audiobook Publishers Association Conference at the Javits Center in New York, May 29. Register here. It’s going to be a great year!
Director Diagnostics — Are you totally new to the game and want feedback about all you’ve been practicing and preparing in order to be ready to work? Or are you a mid-career narrator who is eager to take your work to the next level? This special session is your opportunity to meet one-on-one with an expert director, casting director, producer, okr narrator to identify opportunities for growth in your narration craft. Need help with character differentiation? Want feedback about your pacing and phrasing? Looking for insight about how to bring more intimacy to your work? You’ll leave with more confidence and a better understanding of your work. (This special session has been reorganized to add additional time for feedback for each participant. Attendance will be capped and based on order of APAC registration, so register early to guarantee a diagnostic appointment.)
Translating Voiceover to Audiobooks — You’ve been working as a voiceover for years, doing commercials, promos, some medical narration, eLearning. You have a home studio, you produce finished tracks for your clients and send them off all day every day. Or you’ve listened to dozens of audiobooks, and everyone has told you you have a fantastic voice, and you read voraciously. You’re ready for audiobooks, right? Well, maybe not. What are the basic audiobook acting techniques that every pro audiobook narrator employs to create an expert performance each time? What skills carry over from the world of voiceover to the world of audiobooks, and what techniques should you leave behind? This panel will get you up to speed on what the demands of the audiobook narrator really are, how this genre of voice acting is different than any other, and what you need to do to be great in an ever-saturated marketplace. Panelists include narrators Scott Brick, Simon Vance, and Hillary Huber; moderated by teacher and voice actor Pat Fraley
Marketing Successfully, and With Manners — We all know that audiobook actors don’t just craft nuanced performances behind the mic, they often also self-direct, self-engineer, even manage all the phases of post-production. But more than ever, audiobook narrators will benefit from taking their skills to the next level, by adding marketing and PR efforts — not just to promote the titles they perform, but to promote themselves as voice artists. What is successful promotion of oneself and one’s work in person and online? How can audiobook performers graciously and powerfully connect with listening fans, authors, reviewers, news media, and casting directors, in a way that will increase sales, attract audiences, engage decision makers, and help build a sustainable career? Panelists include narrator and social media leader Dave Courvoisier and social medial experts Sarah Twombley (Blue State Digital) and Meg Walker (Tandem Literary); moderated by narrator Tavia Gilbert
12:30 — 1:45:
Publishers/Pros Speed Dating — Publishers may believe they know and work with just about every experienced narrator, but they may be surprised at the number of voice actors they’ve not had a chance to hear and cast. In this session, experienced, veteran talent only (Audie and Grammy nominees and winners of the Grammy, Audie, Odyssey, Nautilus, Scorby, Earphones, and ListenUp Awards) will have an opportunity to connect with casting directors and decision-makers, publishers and independent producers. Perhaps new and beautiful relationships will spark and flourish! (Attendance will be capped and based on order of APAC registration, so register early to guarantee a slot.)
Home Studio Work Flow — So you want to break into the Wild Wild West of audiobooks, where there’s a sudden abundance of work. Do you have the tools, skills, and equipment to do the job? Where do you start? How much equipment is enough? How much is too much? Do you record, edit, proof, correct, and master your own books? What do you outsource? How can you efficiently work in a home studio to manage a project from delivery of the script to delivery of the work? Which production model is right for you? Panelists include Bryan Barney (Blackstone), Amil Dave (Audible/ACX), and John Nesco (Tantor); moderated by Jeffrey Kafer.
2 — 3:15:
Vocal Health and Sustainability — If audiobook narration is a marathon, what can you do make sure that you’re taking care of your body and your voice throughout the long, demanding hours of work? What are the concerns of the actor whose work demands sustained periods of remaining seated? How can you sustain character voices? How do you get on voice, finding a narrative voice that is intimate, authentic, and listenable, and one that is still healthy? Panelists include narrators Robin Miles, Barbara Rosenblat, and Suzanne Toren; moderated by narrator Eileen Stevens
Listening Community Reviews — With a flood of new titles hitting the market, and a tidal wave of new narrators coming into the industry, good reviews are more important than ever. What titles get reviewed? What will NOT get reviewed? What are acceptable standards of performance, and what will get slammed as bad performance? Can actors do anything to bring titles to the attention of reviewers? And what can actors do to ensure that they’re turning in the best performance possible, so that the review is as good as it can be? Panelists include Robin Whitten (AudioFile), Sue-Ellen Beauregard (Booklist), Adam Boretz (Publishers Weekly), Mary Burkey (Booklist), and Vicky Hensley (Speaking of Audiobooks); moderated by narrator Karen White
3:30 — 5:
Doing Your Homework — It’s now typical for the majority of audiobook narrators to work entirely on their own, with no direction, and feedback given only in the form of good — or bad — listener reviews. In fact, with rights holders emerging as self-publishers, narrators are increasingly working outside the infrastructure of a traditional audiobook publishing model. With post-production standards varying widely from publisher to publisher, and work being made available for those without a background in classical acting, how do emerging audiobook narrators set their own standard of research and preparation for their project? How do you prepare a text so that you can be confident you’re giving an excellent performance, and one that will lead to you booking your next gig? Panelists include narrator Katherine Kellgren, narrator/researcher Heather Henderson, and director David Rapkin; moderated by narrator Dion Graham
Listening Lounge — Back for another year, the popular end-of-APAC, pre-cocktail hour entertainment session! Hear selections — the humorous, the heartbreaking, the profane — brought to life by your favorite performers. MC’ed by the inestimable, unparalleled, one and only narrator/comedian/rapscallion Johnny Heller.