Welcome to Going Public!

I’m so glad you’ve joined us, whether as a listener or contributor! My name is Xe Sands, I am an audiobook narrator and voice artist, the creator of the Going Public project, and the admin of this site. New listeners and potential contributors often have questions, so I have assembled a bit of info to get you started. For specifics on contributing, please skip down to the “For Contributors” section of this FAQ.

What is it?

At it’s heart, Going Public is a celebration of work in the public domain or shared via Creative Commons licensing, recorded purely for the joy of reading something that truly resonates with the narrator and then sharing that joy with others. Pieces are offered gratis on a weekly basis, without compensation of any sort either to the narrator or author.


In August 2011, my friend and colleague, Robin Sachs, teamed up with Tanya of Dog Eared Copy to record The Wreck of the Hesperus as a surprise for Megan Fitzpatrick, releasing it publicly via Twitter. I was awed and inspired by the generosity of time and spirit and the amount of joy brought and derived from this simple act. That awe was quickly followed by an overwhelming desire to rediscover the treasures of the public domain and find a way to give back to the listening community at large. So in September ’11, I made the decision to produce one piece each week, purely for the joy of narrating and sharing. I invited any/all to join me, and it’s been an amazing, liberating journey.

 Why do we do it?

Well, I can only speak for myself. I do this because I love poetry and letters and short stories that I will never be paid to read professionally…because I discover authors every month that deserve a wider audience, whose work inspires me to narrate…because I want to share this content with the world and light a fire in someone’s heart, the way it was lit in mine when I read that poem or that letter or that story.

Who contributes?

I’ve been thrilled that at least 10 other folks have joined me at various points since the project’s inception. Contributors and their respective websites can be found in the sidebar.


  • Anyone can contribute – professional narrator or not.
  • Pieces can be of any length (as long as your server can host it!)
  • If you don’t have a website to post your pieces on, SoundCloud works just fine – let me know if you need help setting up a stream and I’ll gladly walk you through it..
  • Pieces are hosted by you through whatever service you choose (i.e. your website, SoundCloud, Audioboo, etc.).
  • Pieces must be publicly accessible.
  • Pieces must fall into one of these categories: (1) in the public domain; (2) shared via Creative Commons licensing (CC); or (3) content author has offered for free and expressly permitted you to record.
  • As long as it falls into one of the above categories, any type of content goes – letters, odd lists, poetry, short stories, blog posts, etc. You are limited only by your imagination (and copyright law, of course).
  • Pieces must be offered by both the author and narrator for free.
  • Pieces should not be excerpted from longer works that are for retail sale elsewhere (i.e. work for sale on Audible); however, it may be excerpted from longer work that is offered for free.
  • Ideally, pieces should be recorded for the purpose of sharing them via Going Public (and wherever else you like – for free), but you can share older pieces that you’d like to “bring back out.”
  • You can contribute as much or as little as you like – no requirements or commitments required.
  • Offerings should be posted on Fridays – if it’s Friday in your time zone, that works!

Notes on promotion  & sharing:

  • If you share your piece via Twitter, please use the hashtag #GoingPublic so that I can find and promote your piece 🙂 To be sure I see it, feel free to mention it to me at @GoingPublicFri.
  • Please feel free to post your offering on the Going Public Facebook page as well as your own page: https://www.facebook.com/goingpublicaudio
  • Please feel free to post your offering in the Going Public SoundCloud group: http://soundcloud.com/groups/goingpublic

For inclusion on this site:

  • In order to ensure timely inclusion in the weekly round-up post (every Friday morning), please be sure to email me at goingpublic@xesands.com with a link to your posting by no later than 8PM Pacific on Thursday of that week. If you email me on Friday, I’ll do my best to update the post to include your piece, but it might not happen until later in the day.
  • If you want your piece to play directly from this site (see examples in any post), be sure to either post it on SoundCloud so I can grab the appropriate embed code, or send me WordPress-ready embed code to use. If you don’t have either, send a link to the website that is hosting your sound clip and I will at least link to that site.

If you keep in mind that this should be content that calls to you – content you really want to record, and that above all, it should be fun, you’ll be just fine.

Give it a try…I hope you’ll be as amazed as I was at how liberating it can be to record something purely because you feel like it.


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