Trying to figure out how to market children’s books online? It’s a tough genre to crack – find out how from seven-time bestselling author Y. Eevi Jones (tip: this works for other genres too).
Tiger Tales books has partnered with the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this special gift set is being donated. Please pass on the gift of giving to your child and the children in need by purchasing this set.
Visit Kristi’s Book Nook for a chance to win this wonderful gift set. There is also a link to purchase the book.
The gift of giving is the best gift of all. With this wonderful story and gift set you can teach your children to be kind and think of those who are less fortunate than they are. The spirit of Christmas is in all of us.
How to Narrate Your Audio Book With Expression
Are you speaking your audio book as if you were reading it? Reading your book and narrating your book have completely different approaches. The process focuses on your different skills of communication. The most common mistake made when you read a passage out loud is to let your voice drone on through every word in a steady stream with little expression. For your audio version of your book you must use your voice as a tool of interpretation for the meaning behind the words that are written.
Here are three essentials to keep in mind when attempting to record your book or to narrate segments orally to an audience.
#1 is Organization: The first element you must ask yourself is: what am I thinking about in this section of the book? When reading a book you follow the words as your eyes cross each line on the page. You hold in your mind what the images are as the information evolves. It is a passive form of interaction because your eyes run ahead of your mind: you read then think. So, the key here is that you must avoid speaking your words in this pattern and not utter them on one pitch level, or cram too many words in at one time.
Compare this to speaking in conversation with someone. You automatically think first about something that you want to say, and then you speak it. You naturally group your words together according to the thought first. If you wish to tell your friends about something interesting, you allow your voice to get excited about it, and you chunk your thoughts randomly in conversation. Therefore, when narrating your audio text you need to group only one idea and the words belonging to that idea, then speak it. Take time to embrace each new idea. Speak as if you want your listener to feel the moment with you. If you do this, you will be reading more naturally and easily.
#2 is Expression: The second element is to take your thought segments and show surprise, excitement, curiosity, fear, joy, wonder, sadness, enjoyment, or any other emotions to give certain words the force that is needed. Your expression should be natural as if discovering the text for the first time. Think of the image that you may have seen before and reproduce it through your voice. You are using your thinking processes actively when narrating audio books and awakening the pictures in your mind to pass onto the listener through your tone.
To practise this skill of sensory expression, observe and imagine, and then describe any object of nature that you might encounter on a short walk outside your home; such as, a leaf, a flower, a bird, or a blade of grass. Speak expressively about the details of these items. Remember your listeners do not have the text of the book to check out the details. This is a great exercise to tune your voice inflection and observation skills. You use your breathing skills and tone of voice to create the pictures and feelings in the words of your book.
#3 is Pace: The third element to be aware of is the pace that you speak and the clarity of your words. Not all audio books contain descriptive environments or characters and dialogue which require extreme expressive tones. To narrate a documentary, an educational textbook, how-to manuals, or staff training materials, you still need to group the ideas or steps accordingly, and give expression throughout. However, you must be clear on the pronunciations of your words, or specialized industry terms and understand what the concept is. For example, any audio book of medical, scientific, engineering, or some other unique genre needs to be correctly and clearly spoken.
In addition, you will find that a slower pace works best so the endings of words are not dropped or rushed together. Your pace will only enhance your tone and your expression ranging from a serious tone of importance, to a neutral tone as a bridge, to an example, story, or data of information. Pace for speaking all types of audio materials whether fiction or non-fiction is important to the image, feelings, and facts that need to resonate with the listener.
The professional audio voice-over talent must use all the mental, physical, and vocal skills to get the right balance for the listeners. They are experienced oral readers trained in the skills of how to expand the capacity of breath control, how to group phrases to make it the ideas connect, how to find the key words to give expression with matching the pace, to give an overall tone that works.
If you have written your book and want to do the narration yourself, then be sure to get some professional coaching; or better still, hire a professional narrator. You want to match the high quality of your content to the high quality of your audio version. Your listeners will vary from people who listen while they drive, to busy people who can listen and multi-task, and to the blind who are studying school texts or listening to fictional literature. Voice-over skills for narrating your audio book can be learned but it’s not something that you can wing it and get it right!
Did you find this article helpful? If want a professional audio narrator, training, or personal coaching for vocal expression then check us out at http://www.VoicePowerTraining.com
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Your Book Cover: What Is the Symbolism?
I finished a book several months ago. When I reached the end I wanted to cue in applause and hire a marching band. Of course, I didn’t do either of these things. Instead, I started looking for an agent or publisher. The search was discouraging because I kept seeing the phrase, “Not accepting new work.”
A local graphic artist had designed several book covers for me. He is talented, savvy, and I respect his work. When I received the cover, however, it wasn’t what I expected. I think of my book as an educational and motivational guide for women with heart disease. His cover made my book look more like a sports book and less like a women’s resource.
To understand our different perspectives, I started reading about the symbolism of book covers. Joel Friedlander writes about this topic in “Book Cover Design and the Problem of Symbolism,” posted on The Book Designer website. According to Friedlander, bad covers have poor font choices, confusing graphics, colors that don’t work, meaningless stock photos, and too much copy.
Nonfiction books like mine can have more copy, Friedlander continues, but the author has to be careful. “One common cover design error you may not have thought of is particularly difficult for many authors to overcome: they know their own books too well,” he writes. Was I guilty of this error? After thinking about this question for two days, I realized our different approaches were probably based on gender.
Friedlander lists the pluses of good book cover design — simplicity, a limited amount of type, and a clear message. Another article by this graphic designer, “Top 8 Cover Design Tips for Self Publishers,” offers clear suggestions for an eye-catching cover. If you are agonizing over a book cover now, his tips may help you make a choice.
- The cover should have a principal focus.
- Make all the design elements count.
- Avoid a white background. Use color and texture instead.
- Your title should be large, especially if the book is electronic.
- The font should be easy to read.
- Your cover image should clarify the content.
- Stick with a few colors.
- Look at lots of book covers before you make a final decision.
I considered these tips and realized my first cover photo choice was the best. The interior of my book will have two photos to delineate the sections. I checked my options again, eliminated one, and substituted another. Then I emailed all of this information to my graphic designer. The last two sentences of my email: Hopefully, the
se suggestions will meet with your approval and you can follow my logic trail. Thanks for your patience.
A book cover can make or break a sale. Before your book comes out, make sure the cover symbolizes the contents, the idea you have lived with so long, and worked on so hard.
Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson is the author of 31 books. Her latest releases are “Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss” and “Help! I’m Raising My Grandkids.” Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.
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Most teenagers go through what I like to refer to as an “initiation.” It’s that coming of age experience that seems to be challenging no matter what era your grow up. These days teens seem to have a lot to prove and they all to often stumble along the way. But I guess it’s all apart of growing up.
Please help me welcome Andrew Cotto, the author of “The Domino Effect.” His coming of age story is something we can all relate to. Andrew has stopped by to tell us about his writing experiences and his books.
TNW: How long have you been writing?
AC: I began writing in college and then in my spare time afterward for about 10 years. When I got to the point where I felt confident in my abilities, I started focusing on it seriously – that was about eight years ago.
TNW: Have you always written for children?
AC: My first ideas were definitely in the children’s realm, and these were short stories for children’s magazines (though none were ever published). THE DOMINO EFFECT is my first novel, and I was absolutely after that type of coming of age story that has enough breadth to appeal to young adults and adults. My second novel – OUTERBOROUGH BLUES: A BROOKLYN MYSTERY – is a literary mystery, definitely not for children.
TNW: What drives and motivates your writing?
AC: I’m after stories that are entertaining yet also insightful. I want to create dramatic tension while also evoking empathy for the characters, whether or not their situations relate directly to those of the reader. I also attempt to use language in unique and effective ways.
TNW: Do you feel it’s important for writers to use social media? How?
AC: I know that (most) writers have to use social media, though my feelings about it are mixed. I like the idea of connecting with readers, though I don’t like how much of the promotional responsibility falls on authors. I think a lot of time that should be spent creating is now spent on self-promotion. I don’t think this bodes well for author or readers.
TNW: Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
AC: I love the characters and descriptions of Roald Dahl. I love the insightful and compelling narratives of Dennis Lehane. Sherman Alexie uses humor in wonderful ways. James Lee Burke does setting like no one else I know.
TNW: What writing books would you recommend to new writers?
AC: The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop was the one I used most as a new writer. I still go back to it often.
TNW: What advice do you have for new writers?
AC: Immerse yourself in each project you are working on – it’s so much easier when there is consistency to the effort. You’ll find, after a while, that the story leads you to where it wants to go. When I’m really into it, most of my ideas come to me in my sleep.
TNW: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
AC: In five years, I see myself with a couple of additional novels under my belt as well as a tenured teaching position in the creative writing department at an established university. Fingers crossed.
Thanks so much for sharing with us Andrew. Please stop over at Kristi’s Book Nook to learn more about “The Domino Effect.”
You can learn more about Andrew at his sites: