Archive for Audio

Dec
12

Festive Competition

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Hey everyone!

Amanda, Vicky and I have just decorated the office, and as the silly season hits the AR HQ, we’d like to offer you the change to share in our festive excitement. We’ve got a great competition for you…and the prizes are here, in our tree:

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To celebrate today’s launch of Any Other Name, the second in the Split Worlds series, Emma Newman gives us an insight into what life as a narrator is like, but specifically what it’s like for an author to narrate his or her own characters. With praise for Between Two Thorns recently coming from The Guardian describing Emma as “J. K. Rowling meets Georgette Heyer”, we’re even more excited than normal for this fantastic release. 

Not only that, but Emma is running a competition to win the audio book of Any Other Name, details here:http://www.enewman.co.uk/publishing/any-other-name-is-out-in-the-uk

Happy book birthday, Emma!

The Author - Emma Newman

Audio books, authors and readers – oh my!

I’ve been narrating audio books for a few years now and it’s something I enjoy immensely. Narrating a book is like climbing inside it; I feel I’ve really understood and explored a novel I’ve narrated on a much deeper level than one I’ve just enjoyed as a reader.

As a narrator, I feel just as responsible for a listener’s enjoyment of an audio book as the author – which is an odd thing to feel, especially as I’m an author too. If my performance is poor it could be a barrier to someone consuming the story so I do my best to deliver the narrative at the correct pace and in such a way as to stay interesting (i.e. no monotonous drone!) as well as delivering information in the correct way. Sentences can have their meanings altered just by a change in inflection and it’s my role to ensure my own interpretation isn’t contrary to what the author intends – something I, of course, have to guess from what I read.

Audio books don’t just change the medium of story delivery

When a person listens to an audiobook, they’re letting a third person into the relationship: writer, narrator and listener, rather than just writer and reader.

If you think about when you read a book, the character’s voices as well as the narration emerge from your consumption of the text. When a narrator gets involved everything changes; you hear what has emerged from the text for them first. I interpret how I think the characters would speak and deliver their words accordingly, thus having an influence on how a listener may feel about that character. Of course, that isn’t nearly as powerful as watching a film or TV adaptation that’s been through many, many people before reaching the screen, but it’s a factor nonetheless.

The hope is that the narrator enriches the experience, or at the very least, doesn’t get in the way!

Then I signed the Split Worlds deal with Angry Robot

After I’d calmed down a little (and asked Lee if he really had said what I thought he did) one of the first things I asked about was the audio book version. Specifically; would I be able to do it?

Brilliance Audio produces Angry Robot’s audio books and there was no guarantee they’d want me to narrate – they have lots of professional narrators to pick from. However, much to my delight, they listened to samples of my audio work online and offered the narration to me.

It’s different when it’s your own

I’ve narrated a collection of my own short stories before, for Iambik Audio, so it wasn’t the first time I’d narrated my own work, but working on the Split Worlds audio books was a whole new experience. For one thing I was in a studio working with a sound engineer and director. Such a joy! No more hours of editing and re-recording errors in my home office! However, I went from recording in half hour bursts to 5-6 hour stretches a day over a week or so and that demanded some stamina.

The other difference is that in a studio you wear headphones that play your own voice to you as you read. That is weird. You quickly get used to it, but your attention and concentration is split between producing verbal output and analysing aural input at the same time. With each line you’re focused on the best delivery and a beat later thinking “did that sound right?” so you get very tired by the end of the day. I do still love it though. There’s a joy in intense and deep concentration (can you tell I’m an introvert?) that the work provides in spades.

The thing about being the narrator and the author of the work is that the internal editor gets louder. I have many author friends who tell me they sometimes edit on the fly when performing readings at events – well, the urge to do that has to be squashed in the recording studio as your reading has to be text perfect. No matter how many times you edit your book, you’ll always find something to worry about when you next read it – and all the doubts and fears about how it will be received increase tenfold when you’re recording it! However, the good thing is that it catches those tiny typos that might have missed the proof reader’s eye if the book hasn’t gone to press yet.

The best thing about narrating the Split Worlds novels

When I wrote Between Two Thorns and Any Other Name (the first two novels in the series and the ones I’ve recorded to date), I spent a lot of time with those characters in my head. They’re still there actually, I’ve no idea when they’ll decide to leave. Anyway, I know what they sound like. As a narrator I don’t have to make as best a guess as I can – all I have to do is do my best to convey what is already in my head. The intonation, the inflection, the pause as a character struggles to say the right thing is all there already.

Being the author and the narrator means that relationship goes back from three to two people. It’s just me and you, surviving in the Split Worlds, and I like that. I hope you do too.

Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman, March 2013Any Other Name by Emma Newman, Artwork by Sarah J. Coleman

The Author - Emma NewmanTomorrow (February 26th) Emma Newman’s Between Two Thorns is released as a Trade Paperback in the US and Canada, and as an ebook worldwide. The UK gets the paperback next Thursday (7th March).

Emma describes the book as “Downton Abbey, but with mad sorcerers and evil faeries”, which is undoubtedly true, but it is oh, so much more than that!

This coming Saturday (2nd March), we will be hosting a live telephone chat with Emma, and we’d love you to dial in!

At 5.00pm GMT you can dial in and hear Emma talk about her book, and ask her some questions. Want to know about the book? About her short fiction? About the unusual project she had planned for the series before it came to Angry Robot? What about her audio work? Her YA fiction? Ask anything*.

Click here for a list of Dial-In Telephone Numbers, wherever you are in the world. You’ll need to copy: +44 (0) 7848 432913 into the box where it asks for the dial number. Callers in the UK should dial 07848 432913.

And click here to find out what time 5.00pm GMT is in your area.

We expect the call to last for about 20 minutes, but it might be a little shorter, or longer, depending on attendance.

Once you’ve dialled in, you’ll need to enter the Access Code: 177959#

See/hear you Saturday!

________

Don’t forget – pre-order a copy of the book to win a cool prize, or come to the launch event in Bristol or London for a chance to win even more!

________

*Well, not anything.

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Jan
04

Christmas Joke – winner announced

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On December 20th we launched a Christmas Joke Competition. We really should have known better, I suppose,

Anyway, we said we’d send an audiobook prize to the winner. And that winner is: Heike Harding-Reyland!

Heike sent in two jokes, and they are:

Q: What’s the most popular Christmas wine?
A: I don’t like Brussels sprouts!

and

Q: Why is Santa so jolly?
A: Because he knows where all the bad girls live.

There are plenty of others for you to look through, and they can be found in the comments, here. But if you pulled any Christmas crackers over the festive period, you’ve probably read most of them, anyway…

Congratulations, Heike! Your prize will be with you, soon.

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Dec
20

Christmas Audiobook Competition

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Now here’s a great competition for you! 30 hours of audiobook brilliance spread over 25 CDs!

Win Anne Lyle’s The Alchemist of Souls and The Merchant of Dreams on CD – both books read by the incomparable Michael Page for those fine folk at Brilliance Audio.

And what do I need to do to win these audible delights? I hear you ask? Well, that’s a very good question, we reply – thanks for joining in! Simply leave a Christmas joke* in the comments section, below. We’ll then use an arcane scoring system based on laugh-out-loudedness and god-did-they-really-type-thatedness and decide a winner! We might also just pick one at random – who knows?**

Note: If your joke does not show immediately, it might just be held in the moderation queue, awaiting approval, so don’t worry – it’ll get there…

The competition is open until midnight (wherever you live) on Sunday 23rd December. The winner will be notified by email. There may even be some runner-up prizes, depending on what we can find lying around the office.

The prizes will be sent out in the first week of January. There is no geographical restriction on entering***.

____

*”A Christmas joke” may be defined as “A joke that has some connection to Christmas”, or merely “A joke that you tell, and it’s pretty close to Christmas, so let’s just say it counts, eh?” We’re really not hung up over details…

** This is likely, to be honest.

**except for outer-space – the postage there is too restrictive, so only enter if you have a terrestrial mailing address.

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We’re pleased-as-punch to announce that, via our parent company Osprey Group, we’ve concluded a deal with to create audiobook editions of all our forthcoming Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A books.

Here’s the press release that we’ve just sent out to our chums in the bookish media – please feel free to copy & paste for your own blog or website if you’re an audiobook fan:

AudioGO

Leading audiobook producers AudioGO have signed up to create audio versions of titles from two of Osprey Group’s fiction division imprints: YA specialist Strange Chemistry and next year’s upcoming crime imprint, Exhibit A. The audiobooks will be produced in AudioGO’s specialist UK studios and will have worldwide digital distribution.

The first titles will be the debuts from the Strange Chemistry line: Blackwood by Gwenda Bond and Shift by Kim Curran, which will launch in the first week of September. Further titles will appear simultaneously with the release of physical editions from Strange Chemistry and, starting May 2013, Exhibit A.

Quotable Quotes

Jan Paterson, Publishing Director of AudioGO, said: “We are really excited by this new collaboration with Osprey Group. The digital revolution continues to deliver more and more sales of audiobooks each year, so this is a great opportunity for two independent publishing companies to collaborate to reach new markets.”

Marc Gascoigne, Managing Director of Osprey’s Angry Robot fiction division said: “Quite simply, AudioGO are damn good at what they do. We’re absolutely delighted to have them on board making audiobook editions of the books from our new imprints. Our mission has always been to have books available to our readers in all formats, worldwide, simultaneously – and AudioGO can help us deliver just that.”

Further Information

AudioGO (the home of BBC Audiobooks) publish an extensive range of drama, comedy and factual programmes from BBC Radio, in addition to abridged and unabridged recordings by best-selling authors read by the finest narrators. Most titles are available in both CD and download format.

Browse through the complete collection at www.audiogo.com.

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Courtesy of those fine folk at Brilliance Audio, we have some snippets of some of the quite brilliant audiobooks they have produced of some recent Angry Robot titles.

Last month’s titles: Omega Point and Blackbirds
This month’s titles: Empire State, Giant Thief and Dead Harvest.

Click on each of the links (below) to hear about 5 minutes of each, or to download to your computer for your offline listening pleasure (by right-clicking and saving, or doing what you usually do with these things #techie).

These titles can be ordered as downloads or on CD from Audible (UK / US) or Amazon (UK / US).

Blackbirds by Chuck WendigBlackbirds – Warning: Contains Chuck Wendig!
Narrated by Emily Beresford


Download MP3

Omega Point, by Guy HaleyOmega Point by Guy Haley
Narrated by Michael Page


Download MP3

Empire State by Adam Christopher
Narrated by Phil Gigante


Download MP3

Giant Thief 125Giant Thief by David Tallerman
Narrated by James Langton


Download MP3 

Dead Harvest, by Chris F. HolmDead Harvest by Chris F Holm
Narrated by Brian Vander Ark


Download MP3 

Nov
23

Zoo City audiobook

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If you’ve not yet read Zoo City by Lauren Beukes in eBook, paperback or limited edition hardback, there’s now another way to enjoy it, courtesy of those fine folk at Brilliance Audio.

There are countless reviews of this multi-award winning book, so here’s what Bull Spec Magazine said of the audio version:

A deservedly highly-praised and award-winning novel has come to audio with a really well-done production… a novel which Publishers Weekly just named as one of the best science fiction and fantasy novels of 2011.

You can hear a sample by clicking on the play button, below, or download an mp3 sample here to use on the device of your choice.

The audiobook is 9 hours and 25 minutes long, and can be bought as an MP3 CD ($14.99 / £11.25), a set of audio CDs ($14.99 / £22.50), or as a download from Amazon or Audible ($10.49 / £7.89).

Here’s 5 minutes for you. You’re welcome.

 

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