The Audiobook Master Class presented by Pat Fraley was everything I hoped it would be and more. It was really 3 master classes in one. We each received a wonderfully detailed book of notes, saving us the trouble of writing like mad and hoping we weren’t missing something important in the process. Instruction both in the classroom and in the studio came from our three very talented teachers: Pat Fraley, Hillary Huber and Kimberly Breault. (Hillary’s link is to a page on Pat’s site. I can’t find a site specifically for her. Here is another page with some good comments about Hillary.)
First, it was training in how to approach the reading of an audiobook. It’s a very different approach than doing a commercial voice-over. The word picture Pat gave us was “it’s like a train,” running for a very, very long time in the same direction. Recording sessions for audiobooks often last 3 to 6 hours, with just short breaks each hour and for the longer sessions, a stop in the middle of the day for lunch.
Second, it was training in how to find work recording audiobooks. There were many helpful suggestions here, not just about web sites to look at but suggestions about letters to use for contacts and follow-up. This was the part I expected to get the least from, because I’m such a poor self-promoter, but even I believe I can follow through on these simple, and practical ideas.
Third, it was recording our actual audiobook demos. There were 3 voice booths in use, with four of us moving from booth to booth in turns. (One group had 5.) I was delighted to get to record with three talented artists: Connie Zimet, Dwight Harmon and Cindy Shoemaker. Hillary, Kim and Pat each provided direction and notes as we recorded.
This week they are taking our raw tracks to a professional editor to prepare the finished demos. We’ll receive them in a few days.
In addition, Kathe Mazur came in during lunch to offer us her insights as a successful voice talent recording audiobooks for major audiobook publisher, Books-on-Tape. It was wonderful to hear her thoughtful comments about both the delights and the challenges involved in recording audiobooks.
Having now attended three training events with Pat Fraley, I strongly recommend you jump at your next chance to take one of his classes; at least one that makes sense for your specific area of interest. The price of the serminar, the air transportation from Charlotte to LA and back, the hotel, rental car and meals…all of it combined was worth every penny based what I learned in one 8-hour day. I’m very confident I’ll make it all back, and lots more before this year is finished.
Best of all, its was a load of fun!