And More Letters – Week 34

Continuing on from last week’s topic of communication with the Rights Holder of your Voice over Work project, we will pick up at the point where the First 15 has been completed:

I have uploaded the First 15 for your review. A few notes (which you may know if this is not your first book):

  • This file will be divided into separate files for the final version of the book, such as Opening Credits, Introduction, and individual chapters. At that time, the silent spaces between sections will be taken care of.
  • Generally, disclaimers, tables of content, copyright information, etc., are not included in the audiobooks. If there are lead-in pieces that were in the manuscript that are missing here and you need to have them included, please advise.
  • I cannot proceed with the book until you have approved this section. If you have corrections, please forward them to me. Otherwise, please approve this section and I will continue with production.
  • In certain instances, a phrase or wording may be slightly changed in order to make the audio flow more smoothly. Most often, this is in changing a phrase to a contraction where the manuscript may have the more formal presentation of the words, or the fixing of an obvious error in the text. If you wish for me to include precisely what the manuscript has, please let me know.
  • ACX requires a Retail Sample to be available, and generally the Introduction is used for this. Unless directed otherwise, I will use the Introduction or the beginning of Chapter 1 for the Retail Sample. If necessary, I will edit the section down to less than five minutes to meet ACX guidelines.

After you have approved the First 15, depending on the size of the book, the deadline, and other factors, I may begin uploading sections/chapters individually. At any time during the production, you can listen to the finished files that have been uploaded and make requests immediately for changes. I feel this is a more workable and productive approach than waiting until all the files are uploaded and then proofing them all at once.

If you have a desire to contact me directly, rather than going through the overhead of the ACX messaging system, please feel free to email me at xxx@xxx.com

This is a very important point of inflection in the project, and this email has both prevented problems and given me some leverage for later on in the process when there is confusion with something I have done or not done.

Over the course of my last month or so, I have also changed the way I handle the completed portions of a project.  Previously, I waited until the entire recording was done and edited and uploaded the file en masse.  I think it is more beneficial to upload more incrementally, every chapter or two now.  It is definitely less efficient from a pure time management point of view, but there are other benefits that for me outweigh the extra time required.  This note informs them that uploads are in progress:

I have begun uploading the audio files for your review, if you would like to start listening to them now. While you have heard and approved the First 15, there may be later sections of the manuscript that differ from the First 15 in content or style, and previewing now may help prevent some extra editing in the future! Of course, if you prefer, you can wait until the uploads are completed.

As you review these files, when you find an area you would like to have addressed for any reason, is it most helpful for me to know the chapter/section of the audiobook and the timestamp, as well as a brief description of the problem. These edits/overdubs will be done after I have completed uploading all the recordings, so you can send me your notes either as you complete each file, or save them for one document.

At this time, I foresee no problems in meeting the agreed upon deadline for the completion of the project. If I can answer any questions for you, please feel free to contact me.

And the next, when it is all done.

I have completed the recording of your audiobook and uploaded all the files.

The next step is for you to review the files and either accept them or request changes to be made. While it is possible to make changes later in the process, it is much easier to edit files and address any areas of concern before you accept the recording. Please do not feel as if rejecting the work or requesting changes is in any way anything other than the equivalent of a proof-read of your manuscript.

While I have done my best to avoid errors, I will not be offended by your indications of things that need to be repaired or adjusted. There may be instances where I have departed slightly from the manuscript by using contractions or other minor edits to improve the flow of the audio, or there may be small misreads that have missed correction during proof-listening – if you feel these detract from the book, or if you need to the text be performed exactly as written, it is most helpful if you can provide the section of the book and the time at which the changes need to be made.

When you are satisfied with the state of the audiobook, you can accept it and the process will begin its final steps. At that time, payment can be made for the production through PayPal.

If I can be of any assistance while this project concludes, please do not hesitate to contact me. Best wishes!

The ending of that message is one of the few times I will make a bid for further consideration.  I believe that a message like:

I see your title has made it through and is on sale in Audible. It was a pleasure working for you on this project – I hope you have great success with this, and any other ventures in which you engage.  Cheers!

that I would send at the right time will serve the same purpose whether I ask for future work or not.  If they liked what they got, they will make contact in the future.  I don’t need to tell them that I offer that service, and the contact without the pitch is more appealing to me.

As I have added other medium to my Voice over Work, I found that I wanted to have some testimonials, so I took the liberty of addressing a very few of my clients with:

I hope all is well. Because I value you as a client, I would appreciate your feedback. I am asking a few of my favorite authors/publishers, especially those with multiple titles or Royalty Share projects, to consider providing a testimonial regarding our work together.

Your story will help inform my potential clients why it’s good to work with me and how they can benefit. With your permission, I would like to use your comments as a testimonial to help convince future clients that they can benefit from working with me.

To help you get started, I’ve included a few questions, but please feel free to write whatever you like. Please don’t feel the need to answer all of these! Even a brief endorsement would be greatly appreciated.

  • Why did you specifically select me for this project?
  • What made you believe that I was the best for achieving your desired result?
  • How did you benefit from working with me?
  • Describe why you feel that working with me was successful.
  • If a potential client was on the fence about whether to work with me or not, what would you say to them?

Thank you for your time and kind support. I value your business and look forward to working with you again in the future. Please let me know if there is anything further I can do for you.

 

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