I just wanted to drop you all a line to say I'm...
That's right, I'm alive and kicking. I've been silent here, but literally talking my ever-loving a$$ off in real life. I'm still buried under self-imposed and actual deadlines which has lead to the white noise you've been hearing on my end. I have completed seven audio books since my last blog and I'm on the last contracted book that I planned to do before going away to the national Romance Writing Convention next week in San Diego. So here's what I know. A little secret I'll let you all in on. Narrating is the hardest thing I've ever done! Writing a novel is hard work. As you are all aware, I've done it four times. But narrating...holy bejeezus! There are a few words I never thought would trip me up, but darn it, even with perfect controlled dialect and mastery they just plain suck. Here's some of my favorites: grasps, clasps, particularly and there are a few more that I can't think of right now. I need to have a running list. Those words don't seem hard individually, but put into a sentence and saying them with fluidity is a whole other ball game. Oh here's one - breasts. A solo breast (sucked, grasped, touched. licked or fondled) not so hard, but make it a set of two and it can sound like a snake. Thank god for the d-esser effect on my software.
I moved my studio to my lake house for the summer and set up an incredible office to record in. Looks like I'm going to have to set up another at my main house. It's too daunting to move all the equipment back and forth. I don't know how much narrating I'm going to do moving forward, but I've learned a lot and really enjoy the process. I can honestly say, that the money has to be good, or the author has to be top notch with a book that has great ratings and sales for me to take it on. You only get paid by the finished hour. You heard me right - THE FINISHED HOUR. What you buy, not what it takes to get it to you. So the audiobook you buy on Audible says it's 9 hours and 30 minutes. Triple or quadruple that and that's how much time it takes to record it, edit it and master it. That's why the super popular narrators, and highly sought after voice actors are member of SAG-AFTRA and can't except less than $225 per finished hour. Most of them charging $400+ for their time. That's why there are over 2000+ books out there to be narrated and very few narrators willing to take them on. Most of them are "royalty share". Which means that you only make a profit off the sales of the audiobook and won't get paid a flat fee on the front end. Some authors don't want to pay up front because they are afraid their book won't do well and then their out the cash. On the flip side, best selling authors and publishers are anxious to pay you up front so they don't have to share a percentage of thousands of downloaded audiobooks. So far, I've done both. Mostly paid jobs, but a few royalty shares. The book I'm currently doing is both. It's paying me per finished hour as well as royalty share. There's money to be made, but it's a fight for the high paying jobs and a lot of work goes into every book. I audition for the books that look promising and hope my voice comes out on top. I've had tons of authors listen to my audition samples that have asked me to narrator their work, but I've said no to most of them. I'm saying who. I'm saying where. I saying how much... You get the picture. If I'm going to chain myself to a mic it's going to be for all the right reasons - money and fame!
I still have Merger Reignited in the works, Claiming Emerson is almost complete and I've been toying with a Young Adult novel for my daughter. It's hard to write and narrate at the same time. They are both time consuming. I"m trying to find a balance between both.
Funny enough, I've sold more books in the last three months than I've sold in the previous six with very little promotion on my part. I'm amassing more fans and I couldn't be more grateful for the continued love and support.
Don't give up on me and check back often. If you haven't been following me on the bazzillion social media sites I have, jump on board. Some days I'll wear you out and others it might just be a touch of inspiration.
Here's what I'm listening to:
ZAYN - PILLOWTALK
Here's what I'm drinking:
2 teaspoons sugar
1 lime wedge
3 1/2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1/2 cup tequila
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Triple Sec
Lime wedges or watermelon balls (optional)
Place 2 teaspoons sugar in a saucer. Rub the rims of 6 glasses with 1 lime wedge; spin rim of each glass in sugar to coat. Set prepared glasses aside.2. Combine watermelon and next 4 ingredients (through Triple Sec) in a blender; process until smooth. Fill each prepared glass with 1/2 cup crushed ice. Add 1/2 cup margarita to each glass. Garnish with lime wedges or melon balls, if desired.
As always...stay tuned in and turned on.
Heather M. Miles