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Adventures In Audio Recording - Part VI

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Okay, so now that we've got all the technical parts of recording covered and how to meet ACX's requirements, we're ready to record and submit, right?


Yeah, what the 10th Doctor is saying. There are a number of other non-technical requirements that we have to pay attention to, in order to submit our audio successfully. First off, you need to include opening credits. These are as follows:

-The title of the audiobook -The subtitle, if there is one -Written by (Name of the Author) -Narrated by (Insert your name here)
All of these need to be included in the very first file. Now you can submit this as a separate file, or as part of the first chapter.
Speaking of chapters, each chapter should have its own sound file. When you submit to ACX you'll be submitting an entire folder of files to them. And each file can only include one chapter, no matter how short. UNLESS... the chapter is so long that the sound file is going to be longer than 120 minutes. In that case, you'll be br…

I'm Being Featured Over On a Blog...

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I'm delighted and honored to say I'm being featured over on the wonderful Aurora Jean Alexander's  Writer's Treasure Chest blog. It is an honor and a pleasure to be in the spotlight and I hope you'll all click on the link below and come check it out.
Aurora Jean Alexander is the author of "The Council of Twelve" series which I have reviewed on our blog about writing. So please give her a little love and follow her blog while you're there. You won't be sorry.
https://aurorajalexander.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/author-spotlight-allan-krummenacker/


Adventures In Audio Recording - Part V

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Okay, we covered a lot of technical details in the last entry, but there's still one more thing I want to talk about today, before going on to other details to consider when doing an audio recording. Regretfully, I'm one of those people with asthma so on occasion you can actually hear me taking a deep breath from time to time in the raw recordings. I do try my best to watch my breathing while I'm recording, but occasionally I take one of those deeper ones that the microphone catches. Now, this may not be a huge problem for audiobooks, but if you're doing recordings of yourself singing it can be a BIG problem. So to keep yourself covered on both fronts let me introduce you to Noise Gate. 
Now, in my case Noise Gate was one of those Effects that I needed to add to Audacity. You may want to refer back to this YouTube Video for how to add an effect to your Audacity:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdQq9W6Ot2w

Of course you'll want to know where do I find the Noise Gate…

Adventures in Audio Recording - Part IV

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Okay folks today we get down into some of the actual nitty-gritty with the Audacity program.  I'm going to be covering a fair amount of info here, while also supplying you with links to various videos that helped me. This way if my own instructions are not clear, or maybe you work better with  a visual, you'll have the link to see exactly what's going on.

Now I'm going to introduce you to what I refer to as "My Best Friend" in Audacity. It's called the CHAIN. What the chain does is applies several clean-up "Effects" that will improve the quality of your recording in one shot. Mind you, it is possible to do every Effect separately, but you'll probably need to do it every one at a time, whenever you do a recording. The Chain command will have all the Effects  preset at the levels you already need in order to meet ACX's requirement guidelines and will save you a LOT of time.
However, we will have to do those presets while creating the Chai…

Adventures In Audio Recording - Part III

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Okay, so getting ready to record in the privacy of your own home. Sadly, this will not always be easy. Finding a quiet spot to set up is always tricky at best. But here are a few do's and don't's:

1 - DON'T use your bathroom! It may have great acoustics for singing, but for recording an audio book, not a great choice. Too much echo, unless of course you want that effect for a particular scene where the character is in a cave/tunnel.  But not ideal for an entire book. You'll drive your listeners crazy.

2 - Do not have any laundry, dishwasher, or loud fans going anywhere nearby. If you've got a really good microphone, guess what it will be picked up in the background. Not acceptable to ACX requirements.

3 - Make sure the windows are closed so you don't pick up outside noises, like traffic or kids playing.

4 - Be prepared to start over... repeatedly! Things happen. You accidentally step on something, or your clothing is crinkly, etc. Where something comfortab…

Adventures In Audio Recording - Part II

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Okay, continuing with my adventures in recording audios, I left off last time with the image above. Now what you are seeing are the Blue Yeti Microphone, which had a huge amount of reviews over on Amazon. It's a very versatile microphone in the respects that it can give you several options for picking up sound. It can do 360, if you want a room full of people involved (or to pick up background sound effects), it can do 2-way where you're on one side of the mic and someone else is directly opposite you, while filtering out the sides somewhat. It also has a setting called Cardioid which is the one I use for audios, this allows you to not have to be directly in front of it at all times, so if you like to move a bit and perform as you record a scene, it catches everything you're saying. These will plug into your computer's USB port, so no special attachments. Also, the cord is very long (about 6-7 feet) so you have some freedom of where to set up to get away from your com…

Adventures In Audio Recording

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As many of you have learned from my last post, my great adventure in audio recordings has begun. So far I have recorded only the one short story "Wolves and the Northern Lights", which comes from our first anthology book "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At a Time". But simply recording one story is a far cry from turning a full-length novel into an audiobook. However, that is indeed my long term goal. At this point, I'm keeping things simple for myself as I still get used to the equipment both for recording as well as editing to get the best sound quality for listeners. 
To keep things manageable for myself, I'm planning on recording the rest of the 25+ stories from the anthology, as well as slowly begin recording it's predecessor "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home".  Like the anthology, that novel is mainly comprised of blog, e-journal, and e-diary entries from various characters in the book.  And I plan on doing different voices for the authors o…

My First Audio Short Story...

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Okay, here it is folks. My first full-scale attempt at doing an audio recording of one of the short stories from our anthology "The Vampyre Blogs - One Day At a Time". 
This particular tale features our vampyre Nathan, talking about Alaska and what it's like to have shape-shifting powers.
*NOTE: Do not click on this image, link to audio is provided further down
Please feel free to leave some comments below or at YouTube to let me know how I did. I'm hoping to fine tune my skills before trying for a full-scale audiobook version of the anthology and our full-length novels in the future.
FYI, I'll be putting together a rather lengthy blog entry in the near future (possibly complete with videos including Blooper outtakes) demonstrating what lengths I go to get a good sound quality within the confines of my own home. I think I'll be able to give you all a few good chuckles as well as useful information.
Just click on the link below to begin listening:
https://www.youtub…

Taking a Few Steps Back...

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Every so often we come to a realization that something we've been doing hasn't been working as well as we'd hoped. Admitting you didn't do something right the first time is not a sign of weakness, it actually shows growth. Learning from your mistakes is just as important as getting things right the first time.  
Recently, during a book release party (for someone else) a mutual friend who is a librarian started talking to me about the Para-Earths series. She's watched trends and keeps a close eye on what's popular in the industry and she pointed out to me that the Para-Earths might actually do better aimed at a Young Adult (YA) audience. This would still make the books quite available to the adult crowd of course, while opening the series to more readers. 
I gave this a lot of thought, especially after several others readily agreed with her. So I spent the next week or doing some serious research into YA books. To my surprise, what I found there really made me …

How can I support authors I like, you ask?

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Well, maybe you don't ask. But now you want to know, because once you fall in love with a book, you want more like it.
Review it! Many online stores and book sites allow readers to post reviews. A person is more likely to take a chance on a book that 50 people say they loved than 5 people say they do.
Recommend it! Readers have friends who read, and you likely have an idea of their tastes. A recommendation makes a person more likely to find out more about an unknown book. Some authors, such as J.K. Rowling, got further by word of mouth recommendations and kids buying it for their friends, than by traditional marketing methods.
Gift it! I've been running a special-- the book retails at $12 each, but I've been running a 2 for $20 special via direct sales. It encourages people to either buy an extra as a present for a friend or talk them into buying one too and splitting the savings. And I'd never ask this, but two of my buyers spontaneously paid extra, so that someone w…

5-Star Reviews for "Forever's Too Long"...

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The first installment of "The Forever Detective" series is now available in Trade Paperback and E-Book formats

And the review are just starting to come in...
5.0 out of 5 stars  "Clever writing without being campy" "This genre mashup of 1940s detective/vampire novel must have been a challenge for Helen Krummenacker to write, but she pulled it off beautfully...."5.0 out of 5 stars"Fun Chandler-style with a twist" "Had so much fun reading this book..."You can read the rest of the reviews by clicking on the link below:https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Zero Hour. The book is available.

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What a tense time. Will it sell? Will people review it? I know the book is good,  but making a splash when there are so many forms of entertainment out there isn't easy.

This is the part where the audience keeps the writer in suspense. But don't worry, I'm good at waiting: in fact, I'll start right now. 
On sale now at: Nook:https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083 Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF    AmazonUK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF   AmazonCA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF  AmazonAU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF   Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589 Signed trade paperback copies are available upon request. Simply leave a comment in the section below, or e-mail me at: helenkrummenacker@gmail.com

Countdown to release:7 Days. Why Print-On-Demand?

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So, one of the first things I often hear from people when they hear I have a book coming out is, "Who's your publisher?"
There's long been a stigma to self-publishing, and until recently, it was deserved. A writer had to buy a few thousand copies to get it printed at reasonable rates and generally did so as a pet project. Anyone who wanted to reach a wide audience and to possibly make money had to find a publisher who thought their work was high enough quality to invest in. It would go through rounds of editing before ever going to the shops. A real publisher meant the writer had talent. Self-publishing just meant they had money.
But. That was then. This is now. Everyone knows there have been radical changes in how books are sold.There are many formats besides paper. Bookstore chains have collapsed or moved to online only. Publishing houses rise and fall, to the point where there are few one has heard of. But more has happened behind the scenes. Publishers tend not …

"Forever's Too Long" Book Trailer...

These days, books as well as movies are often advertised with trailers that use images and sound to give you an idea of the flavor of the book, as well as sharing information about genre, storyline, and availability.
Allan Krummenacker was a huge help with this, doing the actual production based on music and images I chose, and a few finds of his own, but I especially like his vocal work-- since the book is almost entirely first person narration, I decided to script the trailer that way, so he's giving the voice of Rafael Jones.
*And remember the book will be available on June 1st, but you can still Pre-Order an e-copy at the following links:
Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonUK:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonCA:
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonAU:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589

Also …

Pre-Orders Available NOW...

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Welcome to the first solo novel of Helen Krummenacker, co-author of the Para-Earth Series. Adventure, humor, film noir and dark urban fantasy blend in a unique vision that will appeal to fans of Harry Dresden or Marvel's Horror Comics....Enter the world of The Forever Detective Series...

Raphael Jones' love of adventure took him into police work, military service, and finally a career as a private eye. But when his first couple of cases combine to drop him into deep trouble, can his sense of adventures survive? For that matter, can he? A practical man with a kind heart, he never expected to encounter supernatural evil threatening the people he cares about.
"I was reading along enjoying the Raymond Chandler vibe and suddenly WHAM! Night Stalker!" - author Danarra Ban

Available June 1st, 2019 for all e-books (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, PDF, etc.) and trade paperback!
Reserve your e-book now at:

Nook:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131…

Book Review: Brain Twister by Randall Garrett and Lawrence Janifer

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Review by Helen Krummenacker This book was copyrighted in 1962, which explains why it reads like a very old-fashioned, Cold War Era story on one hand, with the language of the era, and yet has elements that would be futuristic by today’s standards. It also predates the period where writers decided longer is better-- it’s decidedly light on padding and has a crispness to the language. Overall, it reads like a Young Adult novel, not demanding much of the reader but imagination and a bit of tolerance for mild sexism and ablism.

The writers, Randall Garrett and Lawrence Janifer, give us an FBI agent assigned a seemingly impossible case: there is a spy working, presumably for the Russians, to ferret out what is happening with a project for a new kind of space drive. The reason that catching the spy may be impossible is that the spy is a telepath. By coincidence, a second research project at the same facility had been studying telepathy and developed the means to determine when someone was h…

Book Review: "Noble Rot" by Carson Buckingham

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REVIEW BY ALLAN KRUMMENACKER
5 - STARS  "Monsters don't always hide in the closet..."
A failing marriage, a struggling writer, a new job, a new place, a new beginning... What could possibly go wrong? For Allison Pilch just about everything and anything. Walking away from a failing marriage Allison sets out on a journey to find her own way as a person and a writer and soon finds herself not only with a new place but a new job as well in the real estate office that is also the property management of her new home.
     But as with anything too good to be true, there are mysteries and secrets that should be best left alone.
     Her new boss, a handsome and devilish (almost literally) fellow has his eye on her. As does the owner of the building she's currently living in. But unlike her boss, this man shuns the light and hides in darkness, covered in bandages to avoid being seen for very good reasons. A past transgression has left him with a terrible curse forcing him to li…

Letting Go of An Idea... Or Several Actually

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Today I'm following up on a topic I brought up in a previous entry where I talked about having started all over on "The Door". Originally this story was meant to be the 3rd novel in our Para-Earth Series, only I kept hitting one wall after another with "The Door" and not getting much farther with the story. It got so bad I realized way too much time was passing without a new book being released, so Helen and I went to work on "The Vampyre Blogs" books because we had a clearer vision of those stories.
But even during that interim, I'd go back to "The Door" and new progress would be made, but then another wall or distraction would come along. That is until recently when I've gone back to it with a vengeance and have been making some serious progress. The story is moving along nicely but there have been a few bumps in the road. Most of those difficulties I've been encountering lately have come from new shapes and directions the sto…