Monday, 20 May 2013

What every Voiceover Artist should have on their book shelf...

I'm an avid reader. I can't get enough of finding inspirational books (and eBooks, and blogs, and magazine articles and Audiobooks) to motivate and challenge me as a both a performer and business- lady extraordinaire. My favourite topic: Voiceovers, Voice Acting and Voice. It seems I am not alone: since starting my blog just under a year ago, I am inundated with requests for advice, tips and suitable material to learn the Voiceover ropes from. As a result, I created my own Amazon Voiceover Bookstore to share my recommendations and have found that sharing tips has become one of the most pleasurable and satisfying part of my job. Everyone needs a helping hand when getting started. This month I have been asked to share which books are ideal for those starting out to have a look at, and so here are a few of my thoughts.

The founders of  Stephanie and David Ciccarelli have recently published 'Voice Acting for Dummies', which comes in the trusty, foolproof format of the the 'For Dummies' series. It starts at a very basic level, and takes the reader step by step through the working life of a Voice Actor. It encompasses all elements of work from commercial to corporate to animation to gaming. It takes a good look at what is required in setting up, not just in terms of studio equipment, but also the in's and out's of day-to-day business ettiquette for Voice work: creating profiles, websites, building and maintaining clients relationships, quoting for work, invoicing,  and so forth. It takes the reader from the 'so basic it is obvious', to the far more technical elements of editing and producing quality audio from your home studio, and the layout makes it easy to dip in and out of sections as and when required.

Another book that I have learnt oodles from is 'Sound Advice:Voiceover from an Audio Engineer's perspective' by Dan Friedman. Oh, how I wish I had had this book when I was setting up my studio initially! It would have saved so much time, effort and heartache, and the inevitable errors that can occur when you decide to 'go it alone'. I found it particularly useful when Dan described ISDN set up, as this was a real headache for me. If only I had known such great advice was available. Dan discusses not only the technical side of choosing and setting up your studio, but provides clear descriptions, and pictures, of what waveforms should look like when editing your recorded material. He unravels some of the abbreviations used in the business by the audio experts, and makes the studio much more accessible, and a lot less scary and intimidating.

If you're looking for an easy-to-read and understand eBook to help you grasp the basics of Voiceover work, then my friend and fellow British Female Voice over Artist Natalie Cooper, and two US Male VO counterparts (Stewart WJ Reynolds & Rob Wreford) have put together a new addition to the Voiceover book world. Quick to download, and great value-for-money, 'The Voiceover Bible' is a great place to start for those who are less keen readers, who are simply not going to spend hours swotting up. It is compact and concise, and written from three very different Voiceover Artists' perspectives. It includes their own versions of 'how-to's' and 'what not to do's'. Natalie has helped me with her advice on several occasions, and she knows what she is talking about. Have a look. You could be reading it within a minute if you order now!

So there you go- a few books to keep you going. Personally I love to read a book about the industry and profession I work in even though I've a few years as a Voice under my belt. It is great to keep abreast of thoughts, opinions and practices, and there's always room for improvement. So which book will you order today?