Posts Tagged With: audiobook

Going Public JIAM Audiopalooza – June 26th!

GOING PUBLIC JIAM AUDIOPALOOZA!

Recap: Monday through Friday this week, I (Xe) will be posting a new Going Public piece. I’m also participating in Audiobook Week, so if you’re looking for those posts, please look for “Audiobook Week” in Recent Posts in the sidebar.

The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Part 1 of 3

Read by Xe Sands

(and if you cannot see the player above, you can access it via the SoundCloud page for The Yellow Wallpaper). 

Recap: several weeks back, I decided I wanted to offer a fresh Going Public piece every day of Audiobook Week, in celebration of JIAM. But just WHAT to offer? I mean, after doing the Lawrence poetry mashups with Robin Sachs…well, where could I possibly go from there?

Originally, I wanted to record The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson. Sadly, it is not in the public domain. But then, for some reason, this wonderful, dark, gothic story of a woman’s decent into madness came to mind. Not sure whether to thrilled to have the perfect piece, or somewhat disturbed that a tale of neuroses run wild popped into my mind so easily, but I digress…

I’ve serialized this, almost like an old-time radio program. So grab your favorite beverage, get cozy in your favorite chair, slip on the headphones, and join me as we listen to our narrator tell us her tale…

“I wish I could get well faster.

But I must not think about that. This paper looks to me as if it KNEWwhat a vicious influence it had!”

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Audiobook Week 2012 – Audiobook Reviewing

Welcome to Audiobook Week – Day #2 here at Going Public!

**UPDATE ON GIVEAWAY – WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN AND NOTIFIED**

AudiobookWeek2012 pictureRecap: Monday through Thursday of this week, I (Xe) will be posting new Going Public content and blog posts in conjunction with the wonderful audiobook promotional effort of Jen at Devourer of Books. Need further info on Audiobook Week? Pop over to here and check out all the wonderful content flowing in from bloggers all over the cyberverse. For Monday’s post, please scroll down, see the side bar, or click HERE.

Tuesday’s discussion topics: Discuss the essentials of audiobook reviewing. What do you make sure to include? What do you want to see when you read other people’s reviews?

Oh here is a topic near and dear to my narrator’s heart! I think I’ll tackle this from the flipside – what a narrator most benefits from when reading a review…and I don’t just mean positive reviews. But before I get to that, I have to offer my thanks to all of you who even bother. You give your time for no other reason than because you wish to share your experience with a book, and I am always grateful that you choose to spend precious time offering your thoughts.

For a rundown of the mechanics of writing an audiobook review, I’ll direct you to two excellent prior posts on this topic, a wonderfully succinct one from reviewer extraordinaire, Beth Fish Reads, and an indepth look at narration as it applies to reviewing from director Paul Alan Ruben.

**UPDATE** Many thanks to Jeff at Audiobook Jukebox (and exceptional site, btw) for this as well: AN AUDIOBOOK LEXICON, written by Mary Burkey, published in AudioFile Magazine.

So the first thing narrators (like authors) must acknowledge is that reviews are not written for them. They are written for other listeners, to give others a feel for what worked/didn’t work in a given audiobook. That said, I believe what I hope to glean from a review is also content that best serves potential listeners.

Because audio can dramatically alter your experience of the read, I’m looking for a separate section specifically on the audio aspects. Within that section, here is what I find most helpful:

  • How did the performance affect your experience of the book. Did it elevate the experience or detract from it? Did I get out of the way of the story and author’s intent, or were you always aware of my presence as narrator?
  • If you enjoyed the narration, what specifically worked for you and why (if you can get specific)? Was there something in particular that stood out positively for you in the performance?
  • If you didn’t enjoy the narration, what specifically detracted – pacing, characterizations, vocal tone, enunciation, etc? Were there specific moments that really pulled you out of the story?
  • Did you feel the delivery and tone matched the nature of the book, matched the emotional content?
  • How was the audio production? Did you hear too much extraneous noise? Breaths bug you too much? Odd changes in volume or “presence” that detracted from your experience?
  • Lastly, it’s also helpful to hear how you listened (your laptop speakers, headphones, MP3 player, etc.).

I suppose that makes it sound like quite a long bit to write, but I don’t think it needs to be.  My goal is to continue honing my performance to deliver a the most immersive and engaging delivery for you that I possibly can…so I appreciate every bit of information you can pass along.

For those who haven’t written an audiobook review but want to give it a try with no risk and minimal time outlay, I’m going to make a cheeky suggestion (I wish I had a British accent…makes saying “cheeky” so much more gratifying). I’m offering the classic gothic short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, in serialized format, today through Thursday, as part of the Going Public celebration of #JIAM2012. It will come in around 35 minutes total. I’m game to be your Guinea pig – use this as your test case. The first installment is below.

The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Part 1 of 3

(and if you cannot see the player above, you can access it via the SoundCloud page for The Yellow Wallpaper). 

And if you just want something entertaining to listen to – feel free to just enjoy the story 🙂

Now how about you? How do you feel about reviewing audio – does it present specific challenges that print reviews don’t? Have you ever been contacted by a narrator or author after you’ve reviewed their work, or have either ever commented on one of your reviews? If so, what did you think – was it uncomfortable to be directly engaged by the narrator or author?

And remember – each post you comment on enters you another time in the Triple-Threat Giveaway…

The Triple-threat Giveaway: 1 Audio + 1 Print Book + 1 Custom Piece

Leave a comment on any of my Audiobook Week posts before 8PM PST on Friday, 6/29, and you will be entered to win a gift package including:

  • 1 Audiobook of mine, from either Tantor (Mp3 CDs or digital download) or Iambik (download only)
  • 1 Print book of your choice from the ARCs below**
  • I’ll narrate the poem or short story of your choice (some restrictions on length/content)

…and for each post you comment on, you get your name added into the hat another time. Comment on all five posts, and you’ll have five chances to win! Regrettably, if you are outside the US, I can only offer item #3.

If you’ve got a Twitter handle, please list it in your comment so I can more easily notify you.

Winner will be announced here, and via my and Going Public’s Twitter and Facebook feeds. Winner will have until 5PM PST on Saturday, 6/30 to make their print and audiobook selections (more time can be taken for the custom recorded piece :) ) Please be sure to check one of those sources after the close of the drawing.

**print ARCs to choose from:

Categories: Audiobook Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Audiobook Week 2012: My Audiobook Year

Welcome to Day #1 of Audiobook Week here at Going Public!

**UPDATE ON GIVEAWAY – WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN AND NOTIFIED**

AudiobookWeek2012 picture

Monday through Thursday of this week, I (Xe) will be posting new Going Public content, blog posts, and a giveaway, in conjunction with the wonderful audiobook promotional effort of Jen at Devourer of Books. Need further info on Audiobook Week? Pop over to here and check out all the wonderful content flowing in from bloggers and listeners all over the cyberverse.

Just looking for the Going Public pieces & write-ups? Look for “Going Public #JIAM Audiopalooza” posts in the sidebar.

Monday’s discussion topics: Are you new to audiobooks in the last year? Have you been listening to them forever but discovered something new this year? Favorite titles? New times/places to listen? This is your chance to introduce yourself and your general listening experience.

It’s the concept of discovery over the past year that I’d like to talk about today, after a smidge of introduction.

I am an audiobook narrator and voice artist, with a passion for first-person and literary fiction, and piercing poetry, so my Audiobook Week posts will be a mash-up of my perspective as a listener and narrator.

have been listening to audiobooks forever, it seems – LOL! My daughter and I began listening to audiobooks years back when we had a long daily commute. We quickly discovered favorites (the narration of Granny Nothing from AudioGO still pops into my mind, along with her hilarious little song) and developed a list of go-to narrators we came to love. We’ve since moved and our commute has ended, so the days of daily listening have sadly passed; however, in the intervening years, I’ve gone pro with my narration, and discovery has taken on a new dimension – especially this past year.

There were many enriching experiences over this past year, but today I’d like to highlight two in particular.  The first was a rediscovery and immersion into poetry, specifically the joy of reading poetry aloud – first, feeling it wash over me during the first read; then feeling it rise up out of a deep, inner place when recording it. Through W. W. Norton’s and Poetry Foundation’s Twitter & Tumblr feeds, and Twitter memes such as #TodaysPoem, my poetry landscape has expanded tremendously this past year, and my love for my college favorites (Lawrence, in particular) has re-emerged and deepened. However professionally produced audio productions of poetry are unfortunately rare.

And while this personal poetry renaissance was happening, I was fortunate to meet the wonderful Robin Sachs. True, I first became aware of Sachs as an actor (Hello. My name is Xe, and I’m a Buffy fangirl). But I actually met Robin as an audiobook narrator.

Putting on my listener hat for a momentIf you haven’t experienced one of Sachs’s narrations, make some room in your to-be-listened pile. Now. He’s an exceptional narrator with a depth and richness to his voice that is hard to match. I’ve listened to several of his narrations and he has made my list of go-to-narrators for the foreseeable future.

But in addition to discovering his work, I’ve been blessed to discover the joy of working with Robin on several projects as well, including two we prepared specifically for the Going Public push in celebration of #JIAM2012. Given the right material, we’ve found that our voices combine to create something that I have to admit is kind of phenomenal.

Take a listen – here’s what we came up with for today (for full background, see this post):

“New Year’s Night” and “Mystery,” by D. H. Lawrence  (read by Robin Sachs & Xe Sands)

(and if you cannot see the player above, please go directly to the SoundCloud page for “New Year’s Night / Mystery”)

Listener hat firmly strapped back on...And in addition to Sachs, I’ve discovered three other narrators who have blown me away with their delivery: Bianca Amato, Dan Stevens, and Bahni Turpin. I’ll offer this caveat though – I haven’t been able to listen to a whole narration by the latter two, but simply cannot wait to remedy that. But Amato? Bliss to listen to.

How about you? What have audiobook discoveries have you made this year? And which of them surprised you most? While you are pondering, let’s chat GIVEAWAY, shall we?

The Triple-threat Giveaway: 1 Audio + 1 Print Book + 1 Custom Piece

Leave a comment on any of my Audiobook Week posts before 8PM PST on Friday, 6/29, and you will be entered to win a gift package including:

  • 1 Audiobook of mine, from either Tantor (Mp3 CDs or digital download) or Iambik (download only)
  • 1 Print book of your choice from the ARCs below**
  • I’ll narrate the poem or short story of your choice (some restrictions on length/content)

…and for each post you comment on, you get your name added into the hat another time. Comment on all five posts, and you’ll have five chances to win! Regrettably, if you are outside the US, I can only offer item #3.

If you’ve got a Twitter handle, please list it in your comment so I can more easily notify you.

Winner will be announced here, and via my and Going Public’s Twitter and Facebook feeds. Winner will have until 5PM PST on Saturday, 6/30 to make their print and audiobook selections (more time can be taken for the custom recorded piece 🙂 ) Please be sure to check one of those sources after the close of the drawing.

**print ARCs to choose from:

Categories: Audiobook Week | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Going Public JIAM Audiopalooza – June 25th!

That’s right, it’s the last week of June, folks…the last week of June Is Audiobook Month (JIAM)…which means it’s *finally* time for the…

GOING PUBLIC JIAM AUDIOPALOOZA!

Monday through Friday this week, I (Xe) will be posting a new Going Public piece. I’m also participating in Audiobook Week, so if you’re looking for those posts, please look for “Audiobook Week” in Recent Posts in the sidebar.

So without further ado…let the audiopalooza commence!

New Year’s Night and Mystery, by D. H. Lawrence – a poetry mash-up
Read by Robins Sachs and Xe Sands

(and if you cannot see the player above, please go directly to the SoundCloud page for “New Year’s Night / Mystery”)

Several weeks back, I decided to offer a fresh Going Public piece every day of Audiobook Week, in celebration of JIAM. But what to do? How could I present something a little “beyond” as part of the effort?

I threw this question to reviewer extraordinaire (and dear friend) Kelli of The Oddiophile, who immediately came back with the most wonderful idea: more dual narration – which she followed up with the idea of poetry pairings, with alternating narration.

And like THAT! the flame was lit, the call went out to the ever gracious and phenomenal Robin Sachs, and a plan was hatched.

Last August, Robin and I worked together on The Answers, by Stephen Dunn. Since then, I’ve been looking for just the right project for a second collaboration and was thrilled that he was willing to join me for this very special week of Going Public. But what to choose – what to CHOOSE? Well, that’s simple really, isn’t it? Sachs’s voice offers such depth, sensuality and power, and together…well…how could we not do Lawrence?

Oh David Herbert…such a love/hate/love relationship I have with you, just like, well, a lover I suppose – there is no middle, no even path with Lawrence. He inspires such heights and depths – rage, passion, disgust, longing. There is nothing that escapes his mark of sensuality and morbidity, usually tied inextricably together. But really, isn’t that life itself – the sensual and the morbid, sex and death and sacrifice and grief pressed against each other until all the lines blur?

This first mash-up, featuring the poems New Year’s Night and Mystery, merging sensual with sacrificial imagery, meshed so perfectly together that the result was almost startling.

And I guarantee that you will never hear “falcon” quite the same way again…


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June 22, 2012

In prep for the audiopalooza happening next week, it’s a short and sweet (and nourishing!) offering from Amy Lowell, and a bit of horror  and nourishment of a different sort from Steven Savile this week…

A Decade, by Amy Lowell
Read by Xe Sands

Xe writes…

Perhaps the shortest piece I’ve done, but you just can’t judge significance by length. Lowell packs such intent and meaning into a very simple bit of phrasing. It’s compact, but it conveys everything…and a bit more.

When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.

…and I am left wondering at the end if morning bread, although admittedly less “sexy” than red wine and honey, isn’t perhaps the more sensual and ultimately fulfilling of the two?

And So Yearns the Sparrow, by Steven Savile
Read by Ian Stuart, Shared by David Niall Wilson

David  writes…

This short story was written by International best-seller Steven Savile, and narrated by Ian Stuart, who also did the commercial recording of Steven’s collection The Forgetting Wood. This is offered free to listeners under the creative commons license.

Licensed under a Creative Commons License 3.0.
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