We’re halfway through with the questions on my Audiobook Narrator Self-Assessment Quiz! To catch up, start with Analyzing the Audiobook Narrator Self-Assessment Quiz Part 1.
Most of this blog’s readers know about the audiobook production site ACX.com. Each year, ACX produces educational programming called ACX University. I had the great pleasure of being a guest speaker on the topic of Acting With Intention in one of the 2018 ACX University sessions.
During and after the video broadcast, I chatted with viewers. As usual for the Queen of Links, I shared a number of resources in that chat session. I also answered a number of questions.
While the chat is embedded with the video, I wanted to post all of the ancillary material and discussion here on my blog to make it easier to reference. That way, you can watch the video and not worry about missing anything.
After I published my last article, Drew and I moved to a new house! We had lived in our other house for 30 years, so it took 6 weeks to get everything relocated from there to here. We’re STILL unpacking and hanging artwork in between our other activities, including actually doing some work!
Like finding the right place to live and physically moving in, choosing the right career — even if it’s a career change — should start with significant self-reflection about the way you want to structure your life, the activities you enjoy, and your skills. I think most people spend more time planning their vacations than they do in planning their lives!
Many people think they want to become an audiobook narrator until they realize that being successful in this career entails a large number of skills and personality traits they may not have considered. I therefore created my Audiobook Narrator Self-Assessment Quiz.
In the first article about analyzing your answers, I explained the rationale behind the questions in the Baseline and Language sections.
Today, we’ll look at the first 8 of the 15 questions in the Personality/Work Habits section.
Last week, I presented my Audiobook Narrator Self-Assessment Quiz. Today, we’ll look at the rationale behind the Baseline and Language questions. Note that these questions don’t have right or wrong answers.
A commenter on my article How to Become an Audiobook Narrator asked me:
I am told that I have a great talent in reading and acting…and for some time I’ve been thinking if I should start doing voice overs as an audio book narrator. What kind of skills do I need to acquire or improve on?
I could — and someday will — write an answer that addresses the part of the sentence that reads “I am told that…”. Today, though, I present my (drumroll)…
Audiobook Narrator Self-Assessment Quiz
If you’re thinking about a career in audiobook narration, answers to these questions will help you determine if you’re a good fit for this type of work.
Do you like to read?
If the answer is NO, stop taking the quiz, and start thinking of some other career option. Seriously.
Do you regularly listen to audiobooks?
If the answer is NO, listen to many more audiobooks in different genres to get a feel for the art form before you continue with the quiz. I’d suggest you’d get a subscription to AudioFile Magazine, which is the industry’s standard for professional reviews, and listen to audiobooks that earned Earphone Awards.
Have you ever heard the sound of your recorded voice?
Have you ever read aloud?
Do you enjoy telling stories?
Do you have training or experience in acting or oral interpretation?
Do you love language?
What is your native language?
Do you know more than 1 language? If so, how would you rate your proficiency in it?
Do you like to work independently or with other people?
Are you a self-starter?
Do you consider yourself organized?
Are you detail-oriented?
Are you adept at time and project management?
Are you thick-skinned when it comes to criticism?
Are you curious? Do you like to learn new things?
How do you deal with constant rejection or perhaps even feeling ignored?
How would you rate your comfort and skill levels with working with technology more complicated than your phone?
How does the thought of learning new software make you feel?
How would you rate your communications and customer service skills?
How do you feel when you need to research something?
Are you able to concentrate on one task for long periods?
Are you patient?
Are you a perfectionist?
What are your financial expectations?
Have you ever worked as a freelancer?
Do you have a day job or other monetary cushion to see you through slow times?
Do you have money set aside for start-up and on-going business costs?
How do you feel about constantly networking and marketing yourself to attract and retain clients?
Do you have or can you make a dedicated recording space in your home?
I’ll talk about the importance of each section and explain my thinking behind many of the questions in these posts:
For now, take some time to reflect on each question, and be sure to date and write down your answers! To encourage you to spend the time needed to reflect on these questions and write the answers, I’ve created this free, downloadable PDF of the quiz.
If, after reflecting on your answers, you decide to pursue a career in audiobook narration, your first stop in your journey should be my site NarratorsRoadmap.com. You’ll find an incredible wealth of free information from industry pros to help you learn about this business.
Updated 28 April 2019
After poring over my Audiobook Marketing Cheat Sheet, an author recently asked me whether QR codes are still relevant and in use.
I responded that the answer to that question depends on who you ask. You’ll find compelling arguments on both sides, but the codes seem to be regaining their popularity.
Lifehacker reported in April that Apple iOS 11 and some Android phones can read QR codes natively, so you no longer need a special app to scan them. Presumably, Apple wouldn’t spend the time and cost to develop this feature if no one wanted to use it. You simply click on the smartphone camera app, point it at the code, and the operating system will scan and convert it for the browser.
This SocialMediaToday article, also from April, talks about Facebook rolling out QR codes for Pages and links to an article about the popularity of these codes in Japan and China.
I agree with the assertions in this article that QR codes continue to be good tools as long as you use them correctly — i.e., only on printed materials though they will scan from the screen — and keep the linked content updated and optimized for mobile access.
I decided to post this article on my blog for narrators because I have a QR code on the back of my business card that links to my web site. This way, I can hand out my business card to someone, and they can instantly connect to and HEAR my demos.
My web site URL is in my email address. Many people would prefer to type it, may not have the ability to scan the code, or may not understand the code.
For what it’s worth, I used business card CDs before I moved back to paper cards with QR codes. While they had a “WOW” factor, they were expensive and time-consuming to produce. In addition, if I changed my demos, I couldn’t update any business card CDs on hand because I had to burn the files onto the CD. What’s worse, people sometimes had difficulties in playing the small, rectangular CD on their system. Today, so many computers are sold without CD readers that I would advise narrators to avoid making CDs.
This article includes a section creating and using QR codes in your marketing. You can use these ideas whether you are promoting a particular book or yourself as a narrator.
Updated in April 2019 to show 3 recent examples illustrating that QR codes are becoming even more entrenched in business:
1. Longhorn restaurants print QR codes on the dining check. You can scan the code in their app and pay for your meal without waiting for your server, saving time for everyone. This measure also gives you added security over your credit card as you never hand it to anyone.
2. Chateau Elan, a resort and winery near my house, must be following my lead as they include a QR code on their business card. Once you scan it, you’re taken to their TripAdvisor page so you can leave a review.
3. VOAtlanta assigned each attendee a QR code in the event app. Rather than swapping and keeping up with business cards, attendees could scan QR codes and have the other attendee’s app profile page added to their contacts within the app.