Narrator Interview: Reuben Corbett

Introduction:

Hey all, I’d like to introduce you to a very special guest today. A few weeks ago, I had a fit of insanity and posted 5 casting calls for narrators for a variety of projects. I’d pretty much settled on a narrator for The Golden City Captives, when at the very last second, I got one more unsolicited audition. Upon hearing that short audition, I absolutely fell in love with this guy’s rich voice. Please welcome Reuben Corbett. He’s a relative newcomer to the audiobook scene, but I’ve no doubt you’ll be hearing more from him in the near future.

Let’s start off easy. Tell me a little about your background:

I grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado. I always liked performing, so I started playing the cello when I was 9 years old. I played all the way through college, where I was a cello performance major. A couple years into college, I realized there wasn’t a lot of money in music, so I became a welder of all things. 5 years and like 12 different jobs later, I still hadn’t found anything I really enjoyed. I had always been told by people that I had a great voice. I also loved reading and listening to audiobooks. I decided that I would be really good at narrating books! I did some research, found acx, and the rest is history!

What do you do for fun?

I narrate audio books!

(Me: I shoulda seen that one coming.)

About this Work:

What brought you to working on this project?

I found it on acx, auditioned for it, and Julie picked me for the part.

(Like I said, squeaked in under the wire. I was sending out proposals as his audition came in.)

What was the hardest part of bringing this story to life?

It really wasn’t too difficult. Julie’s writing does most of the work. The most difficult part is becoming the characters.

Do you have a favorite character voice from the project? Why/ why not?

My favorite voice to do was Lord Ewald. Coming up with his voice was just fun, and it just seemed to really fit the character.

(Me: That it did.)

Do you have a favorite chapter from the project? Why/ why not?

My Favorite chapter is chapter 5. A lot happens in the chapter, lots of action. A very dramatic chapter.

About your other works:

How many other works have you narrated?

I have only narrated one other book, so far.

Can you recommend any of your other titles for us? What about the work is appealing?

My only other title is called Simplify: How to Declutter, Get Organized, and Stay that Way. It is a short self-development book about being organized.

(Sounds like a useful title…less fun than a fantasy one though :-))

Which work are you most proud to have been a part of? Why?

The Golden City Captives, because it is my first fantasy genre book!

What drew you to voice acting?

Well, I have been told all my life that I had a great voice. One day the idea occurred to me, and I decided to try and make it a reality.

Is this the only acting you do? If you do other forms of acting, which is your favorite and why?

I also do YouTube videos. I prefer to do audiobooks, but I still enjoy doing videos.

Do you have a process when you approach a work? Please describe it for us.

First I read the book to try and dive into the story, get to know the characters and so forth. Then I practice voices for the characters, and try to figure out the tone for the overall book. Feedback from the author is definitely a necessity.

If you could only leave 1 lasting impression on the world, what would it be?

I would want people to remember me as an example of being loving and kind.

Do you get to read for fun? Do you have a favorite genre to read for fun?

My favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy.

What kind of movies do you enjoy?

I love movies that are clean and uplifting.

Where can we find out more about you?

Website: https://frcorbett1011.wixsite.com/reubencorbett

Social Media Links:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIayBxVOF0JuBVam1NDTQlw

https://www.facebook.com/reuben.corbett

Conclusion:

The Golden City Captives will release soon. It’s in the approval stage from ACX. I can’t wait to share this lovely project with everybody. Leave a comment and I might pick somebody at random to win a free copy of the audiobook.

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)

Audiobook Company Comparison: ACX vs Findaway Voices

Publishing through Findaway Voices
Publishing through ACX.

Part 1: Production

Introduction:

Recently, I had the unique opportunity to test the audiobook creation process of two different companies for creating audiobooks: ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) and Findaway Voices. It’s not a true experiment because there are too many variables, but I happened to have two short stories to produce simultaneously.

 

The Contenders:

ACX – Audiobook Creation Exchange

Besides being around a while, it has become the behemoth to beat simply because it’s an Amazon company. By default, that means it’s got major moving power when it wants to. On the flip side, it’s a massive company, therefore some things can fall by the wayside.

Major advantages: They have access to a lot of narrators. You as an author have way more control over the narrator selection process. Pacing’s ultimately up to you and the narrator you choose.

Hint: Try to find somebody who’s reliable and great with communication. It will make a world of difference in the long run.

Major flaw: They’re business practices kind of stink. In short, they’re out for the bottom line, not really you as an artist. To be fair, part of this problem stems from them being so big. Must be difficult to be so popular.

 

Findaway Voices – Draft to Digital Associate

This company’s a relative newcomer to the audiobook creation scene (at least to me).

Note: You can’t use them with Kindle Select titles because those have to be exclusive to Amazon.

Major advantage: They publish to far more platforms than ACX. Their customer service is top-notch, and they walk you through the audiobook process. Your share of the royalties will be much greater than with ACX (80%, I think).

Major flaw: By default, they’re a “middleman.” Everything takes longer when you involve more people.

 

Note: These will cover the Author side because that’s where my experience lies.

 

The ACX Process:

Step 1: Authors decide they want to publish an audiobook. Yay.

Step 2: Authors create an ACX account (basically, sign in with your Amazon.com account) and assert their rights to a title.

Step 3: Choose an excerpt and decide whether you want to do Royalty Share or PFH (pay per finished hour).

Step 4: Wait for auditions. Guess this one can vary a bit, but I’d recommend browsing narrators and sending the top 10 an invite to audition.

Step 5: Choose a narrator and offer them a contract. They accept!

Step 6: Review the audiobook files with the manuscript as the narrator uploads them to ACX. Send the narrator time-stamped corrections and any other directions within reason. Review the revisions!

Step 7: Review the whole audiobook, hit approve, and wait for it to pass quality assurance. Note: this is sound quality assurance not editing for mistakes. This typically takes 2 weeks.

Note: PFH offers attract a LOT more auditions.

Second Note:

Royalty Share is a double-edged sword and rarely outright profitable for the narrator. Essentially, the narrator accepts the responsibility for creating the audiobook and splits the royalties with the author. On the other hand, with ACX’s push for Bounties over royalties, getting a bunch of small RS projects might be profitable.

 

Findaway Voices Production Process:

Step 1: Author decides they want to publish an audiobook. Sweet.

Step 2: The book has to be published through Draft to Digital, as far as I can tell. Easiest in anyway. I’m sure you could go to the company directly, but they’ll probably want it available through D2D because the platforms they intend to publish on are those available through that company.

Step 3: Click on the “Create an Audiobook” button. You may have to search for it by clicking on the “Other Formats” button.

Step 4: Fill out the paperwork for your tax information, cover, book manuscript, and such while you wait. In a few days, they say 1-7, they’ll get back to you with a selection of 7-ish narrators.

Step 5: Browse the narrators by listening to their samples. Choose a few to invite to submit an audition.

Step 6: Wait some more. The rep from Findaway Voices will let you know when they have some auditions for you to compare.

Step 7: Choose a narrator and wait for the first 15 minutes. This is where I’m at right now. It should take another 3-7 days to get this.

Step 8: Review the files and give feedback through their commenting system. Review the updated files. Approve.

 

Which Company is Better for You?

The answer depends entirely on your personality and financial situation.

Some things to consider …

Findaway Voices is only available for PFH. That means, if you have no budget for this process and must go RS, they’re out of the race and ACX is your winner.

If you hire a narrator through ACX, you have to be exclusive to Amazon companies and ones they negotiate special deals with, like iTunes. In terms of choice and freedom, Findaway Voices wins hands-down.

If you’re a control freak, ACX probably edges out the competition here. You have direct access to your narrator every step of the way.

If you’re somebody who likes to be guided and helped along the way, Findaway Voices can fulfill that mentoring role. They’ve got a lot of experience at this.

If you’re really good at selling people Audible subscriptions, ACX will be more profitable.

If you’d like a bigger piece of the pie you made, Findaway Voices is your answer.

ACX provides you with codes to help promote your book. Findaway Voices offers your book in WAY more places.

 

Conclusion:

I’m probably going to continue using both companies. They fulfill different niches. The PFH model means that you have to shell out more money at once, but you can probably find a “cheaper” narrator through Findaway Voices because they will help you keep to people in your price range. I’ll have to see how sales do on multiple platforms vs. Amazon exclusive. Shorter projects will likely end up with Findaway Voices. Jury’s still out on whether longer projects will work that way.

 

New to Draft2Digital? Check it out. (Note: this is a referral link. It will basically tell them I sent you.)

 

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)

Audiobook Reviews: The King’s Trap by Peter Meredith

Introduction:

This is a beautifully performed high fantasy story about a prince trying to regain his throne.

Summary:

Erieden fights for his throne, Ella tries to find her mother, and battles are found all over the place. This is definitely high fantasy – elves, dwarves, goblins, maug (?? sorry, I might not be spelling that right since I heard the audio version), etc.

Additional Comments:

– I have not read book 1 in the series. Although I think it would be better to have read book 1, one can follow the events easily enough.
– The story itself was okay. It meanders all over the place and the romance seems either forced or ridiculous (ie. everybody’s falling all over themselves to love Erieden).
– The world-building is fine, but most of the “honor is everything” gets old pretty quickly. You just want to reach in and smack some sense into people.
– The bad guy doesn’t seem to have much of a motive besides “destroy everything b/c I hate everybody who’s not me”. Maybe that was explained more in book one.

– Switching back and forth between the Hidden Land and America was odd.
– This is high fantasy but there wasn’t much of an emphasis on the dwarves or elves.

  • Prejudice swings pretty hard in the book, especially with one of the MC’s at the end of the story. It seems silly.
  • Ella’s okay, but the quest to find her mother seemed a tad useless.

Content Warning:

  • Battle descriptions are gruesome but very well-handled both in the writing and the performance.
  • strong language
  • There are some awesome reversals at the end of the book.

What I loved:

– I listened to the audiobook narration by Tom Adams. He’s perfect for the story.
– Characters – Whip-whip is adorable. The effect for the fairy voices was neat.

Conclusion:

Excellent performance of an intricate story.

 

Special Treat:

If you want the chance to get the book on audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author with an audiobook you’d like featured on the weekly list, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

For a limited time, I’m offering a fantasy book to anybody who supports Audiobook Edge.