There is so much…

There is so much information out there right now.  Almost too much to absorb.  I’ve listened to ‘More Than Just A Voice: The Real Secret to Voiceover Success‘ by Dave Courvoisier so many times I could almost record the book from memory at this point.  Dave puts out the down and dirty facts of running a VO business, and when I say down and dirty, I mean there is NO sugar coating on it at all.  I appreciate his candor and it’s a huge reason why I’ve listened to the book so many times and will continue to do so.  Every time I listen, I catch something I didn’t catch before.  He gives you resources, TRUTHFUL numbers, he’s not afraid to tell you that this is going to be HARD WORK and that this isn’t a ‘get rich quick scheme’ where you can start making six figures overnight.  He tells you several times in the book if you email him, he will send you a PDF of all the links from his book.  I did, and he did.  That document is GOLDEN my friends!  Dave has his own blog where he shares tips, tricks and TRUTHS about this wonderful business.  You can find it here.   Through him, I’ve come across videos from Bill Dewees on YouTube.  Over 450 videos to help you on your way. Those can be found here.  I turn the videos on and listen while I’m doing everything from playing Xbox to doing laundry.  Over and over again.

Both of these men have been amazingly helpful to me, whether they know it or not.

No matter how many other places I find information, I keep coming back to Dave’s book.  It’s a gold mine!  Nonetheless, there is still SO MUCH information out there.  I’m doing my best to sift through it and absorb everything I can.

I’ve been focusing on Bill’s videos on home studio the last day or so and I’ve realized that while I have a very understanding family that will leave if I say I need to record, that is nothing next to having a space. Not necessarily a whisper room like Bill has, but just a space.  Things are a bit cramped at home right now and I don’t have a set space for my work.  I set up a mic stand with my PVC pipe when I need to record.  I tell the family I need to do some recording and the next time I turn around, they’re gone.  I don’t mean hiding quietly in their rooms, I mean the car’s gone!  They left!  They have no idea how grateful I am for that.  So now, as I make more and more contacts for work, I have to figure out a way to move SOMETHING in the house to make a space.  No clue what that’s going to be, but I’m sure I’ll be listening to a video by Bill Dewees or Dave’s book again when I do it.

Until next time, have a wonderful week!

No longer difficult

Well, I have mentioned in past posts that I was having a heck of a time working with the SAV website editor and another voice actor mentioned another site.  Wix.  I went and read the reviews and looked at prices and checked out a few others and decided that Wix was indeed for me.  I have now posted my fully functional website at http://www.ddholley.com.  I have my demos  posted and even a picture.  I’m still working on building my brand visually, but for now I am using my picture across all platforms to keep it the same.  Start locally, move forward globally. I do need to put something together for CRM, an excel spreadsheet might work for local contacts, but once I move past the local guys, that just won’t cut it.  I’m thinking Zoho is a great place to start.

First Contact

I made my first contact (ish) with a local ad agency today.  Yes, it’s Sunday. Yes, they’re closed.  Hence the ‘ish’ after contact.  I wrote a short, succinct email on their website contact form, checked it for spelling and grammar mistakes and sent it off.  I ran over to my spreadsheet for contacts and put all of their information in and copied the email I sent them to the page as well.  As soon as I did that, I realized I’d forgotten something in the email.  My phone number!  It’s ok, I have my website address in it and the site has my phone number on it.  But I need to make sure and include that information in the future.  Live and learn, right?  I set a follow-up date on my calendar so I can reach out again in a couple of weeks if I’ve had no response.  So begins the self-marketing grind. 🙂

 

Why so difficult?

After fighting with the videos and the ‘editor’ on my such a voice website, I decided to look around and find another website hosting program with a better editor.  I found one, on WIX.  As the reviews said, not the cheapest but perhaps the best looking.  Best of all, it’s WYSIWYG!  So I have set up a site, still needs a few tweaks here and there for the overall feel, but I’m on my way now.  I fought with the SAV site for over a week.  I set up the WIX site in one evening.  I purchased my domain name and in a day or so I will have ddholley.com out there and ready for marketing.  Now I have to go learn something about SEO.  More research!

If they can, I can….right?

If you’d rather listen to this blog, you can go to https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-f449j-8ae511

It really is sad, I LOVE to read, but I find I have less and less time for it as the months go by.  I miss reading, I mean really miss it.  It has left an empty spot inside me.  I’ve tried to fill that hole with plenty of other things, but the only thing that seems to work is…..surprisingly enough…audio books.  I’ve tried to listen to them before but always zoned out and wasn’t really listening to them.  This time seems to be different.  I’m enjoying books again, just from a different venue.  I can listen in my office, in the warehouse, in the car, at home…..just about anywhere and just about any time.  FINALLY!  My love of reading is sated once again.  Yes, yes, I know.  It’s not the same, but I can imagine the scenes, imagine the conversations, the people, the places…the same thing I do when I’m reading.  The difference now is that I can cook, wash dishes, do warehouse work, play the Xbox, or a hundred other things while I listen to my books.  So now I have racked up a pretty comprehensive library in my chosen genres on Audible.com.

So, with that said…..I’ve heard some really Really REALLY bad book narrations.  I’ve heard some amazing ones too, but the bad ones make it difficult to enjoy the story.  I started thinking…I can do better than that, I know I can.

Enter ACX.  I did some research to find out how people are chosen to narrate books.  The process, the pay, the time, the requirements.  Yeah, all that seemed pretty simple.  Don’t get me wrong, it was going to take work, but nothing I couldn’t do.  I kept saying, “Oh geez, surely so-and-so author could have made a better choice than so-and-so narrator!”

I have a book published, Going Green Without Going Broke.  I also have friends and relatives who have published books.  My friend and fellow author Jack Cotner, I thought he might be willing to let me at least try out for narrating his book.  Either way, I can do someone else’s book or I could do my own.  I thought I was spoiled for choice.  On with the research.

One thing kept coming up in all my research.  Voice Over.  Well, I’d never heard of it.  Sure, I think Mel Blanc is the bomb, doing so many of the voices for the cartoons I used to watch on Saturday mornings as a kid, but I never actively made the connection until I delved into all of this.  So here we go.  Voice over, voice actors, coaching, training, demos, auditions, royalties, anime, video games and so much more.

Such-A-Voice.com kept coming up as a great place to get training. Yeah, you see where this is going.  I signed up with Such-A-Voice for coaching, marketing training, demos, and just generally to get on my way toward doing audio books and doing them well.  To be able to read for a living, now THAT would be the bomb.

I paid my down payment and when taxes came in, I paid off my entire bundle.  I hate being in debt when I don’t have to be.  Skype coaching sessions, webinars, blogs, you name it, I hunted it down and read it and soaked it all up.  On December 14, 2017, I drove from Abilene, TX to Garland, TX to a studio there and recorded my demos.  Two of them, once for commercial, one for narration.

On January 11, 2018, they were submitted for final approval.  Today, January 24th, I received the email and link for my completed demos.  I went to my such-a-voice website and put in the link and have been working on finishing that page up so it’s presentable for consumption to someone besides me.

So that’s where I am now.