Niche Work, If You Can Get It – Week 22

I’ve done several books on blogging, and the first thing many of them talk about is finding the niche that fits the blogger. It’s no surprise that these authors feel that the best way to start a successful blog is to find a topic that first of all interests you as a blogger, and that also interests enough people that they will want to read what you have to say about it. Of course, after that come the ability to write things that people find worth reading! But it seems if you can put just those three things together, you can generate some traffic, and possibly even some money. A topic that suits you, a topic that draw an audience, and effective writing about the topic.

Is Voice over Work so different? It seems to me that in several ways it is, at least in the eyes of many of those writing and podcasting about VO. I would see it differently. Mainly, because I consider myself as a beginning Voice over Worker, not a Voice Actor. As my credits list grows on ACX, it is gravitating toward specific areas of work, and genres that include any acting ability are minimally represented! Sometimes I wish I had the ability to voice half a dozen different character voices and implement different accents, but I don’t. And I don’t even know if I want to put in the effort to learn how. I don’t consider myself a performer, and that seems a necessary part of voice acting. But as a narrator, I believe I have, and am developing, a bit of competency.

Realizing this about myself, I have started limited my auditions to titles that are more within that scope, and thusly I am wasting less of my time and the time of the Rights Holders! There are still some fiction titles that intrigue me and I will audition for, but for my own self-esteem and limiting the number of rejections, I have cut back a lot on those things. It would seem that my Voice over Work is going to be best directed toward non-fiction, narratives, histories, memoirs, and the occasional first-person fiction story. My niche is self-developing, being sculpted by the Rights Holders that are rejecting me for complicated fiction stories that call for character voicings and subtle emotional nuances in the voice.

I have not yet committed to some coaching, but I will before too long if the funds and time become available. At that time, I may pursue some coaching in the Voice Acting field to see what can be developed, but for now I am content to try to get better at the Voice over Work niche that fits me best.

With that said, this weeks boring stats:

  • 303 auditions
  • 53 offers (still hanging around 6:1)
  • 15 in production
  • 34 auditions pending
  • 36 completed
  • 109 sold

Finished this week were multiple books: Trauma and Tenacity in Vietnam, which I have considered an important book due to its topic and length, Algorithm Universe Theory, and Sermon Crunch. As you might infer from just these titles, my niche follows along with my interests – history, technology, and religion.

Five offers came in this week:

    1. Type 2 Diabetes – interesting because a big chunk of it is recipes, and while there are a lot of audiobooks out there with recipes in them, this is the first I have attempted.
    1. Accuplacer Study Guide – a quick explanation and sample multiple choice questions for the College Board placement exam for college freshman. This will also be the first time for talking through a series of multiple choice questions, and we will have to see how that goes.
    1. Three more summary books.

Did you know ACX has a “certification” that Producers can qualify for? As I understand it, if ACX gives you their stamp of approval as a Producer, that is they deem you ACX Approved, Rights Holders will see by your name an indication that you are a Producer with a reputable body of work, and that should alleviate some reservations Rights Holders might have about you. The requirement is that you have 25 or more books available for sale on Audible before you can submit to the approval process. This past week, I reached that milestone and promptly submitted my request to become Approved. For some reason, they indicate this process takes up to 90 days to complete, so it will be a while before there is anything to report in this area. Have any of you pursued, received, or used Producers with this Approved rating? Does it mean anything?

The recording booth is getting better. I have dubbed in the Cone of Silence. I used some three inch thick panels that apparently are called “high-R polyisocyanurate rigid board insulation.” I got them from a neighbor years ago, and after a decade in storage they have finally come in useful! They are very good at stopping sound, and when I get a door of some type fashioned to plug up the last hole, I should have my noise floor as close to -60 dB as I will ever get. I would be interested in what other creative solutions any of you have come up with for your home studios. Please leave us a comment.

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