Cheri Schmidt's Blog

February 15, 2016

Voice-Over Artist Tristan Hunt and I have started a YouTube series of How-To's to help authors with the audiobook production process of their books.

The number one question I am asked about audiobook production at writer's conferences is, "How do I choose a good producer/narrator for my book?" THIS IS PART 2

Please comment and let us know if this is helpful to you, or if you have any other questions for us. Thanks for visiting!




The next thing to ask yourself as you begin to look for a producer/narrator is: If it's written in third person, how many male and female characters are in the story? If there are a majority of male characters in your story, then you should probably choose a male narrator. If there are a majority of female characters in your story, then you should probably choose a female narrator. But be sure to listen to the samples from the narrators you're considering to see if you like how they do voices for the opposite sex. You want your listener to be drawn into the story and held there by the voice of the reader, if a strange sounding voice is too jarring or distracting, it will yank the reader out of the story and they won't enjoy the experience as much as they could have.

Note: ACX is probably the best place to find the right narrator for you story and get production going.
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Published on February 15, 2016 08:22 • 27 views

February 4, 2016

Tristan Hunt and I have started a YouTube series of How-To's to help authors with the audiobook production process of their books.

The number one question I am asked when I teach about audiobook production at writer's conferences is, "How do I choose a good producer/narrator for my book?" Please comment and let us know if this is helpful to you, or if you have any other questions for us. Thanks for visiting!



I think it's important to listen to what Tristan is trying to say about this endeavor being a creative "production." This is a collaboration to create a new product and a new way to experience your story. One reader told me she gets something different out of each format, which I found intriguing. But even reading an eBook is a different experience from reading the same story in print. So it's important to make sure the audiobook experience is just as enjoyable and unique to that format. And if you don't take care in your narrator choice, you will hurt sales because that experience won't be as great as it could have been for your audience.

The first thing to ask yourself as you begin to look for a producer/narrator is: Did you write the book in first person or third? If you wrote in first person then you must match the gender of the reader to the gender of the main character. If you wrote first person from more than one character's point of view, then you need a reader to match the gender of each. Note: ACX is, in my opinion, the best place to find the right narrator for you story and get production going.
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Published on February 04, 2016 12:20 • 1 view

January 11, 2016

Sophia now has a YouTube Cooking Channel!
Check back about once a month when she'll upload a new recipe... If you enjoyed this video and would like to see more. Please make sure you give it a thumbs up, share it with your friends, and subscribe to my channel. xoxo


 
Hello, my darlings!
According to my mortal lads and ladies, these sugar cookies are positively scrummy.
(This is my absolutely fabulous spin on the famous “Swig” Sugar Cookies)
Think of these for Valentine’s Day...
The Most Scrummy Sugar Cookies Ever
(US Measurements)Addictive Cookie Dough
 1 cup butter (unsalted) at room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable Oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons water
5 cups All Purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, cream the butter, oil, sugars, eggs, water, and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cream of tarter together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. The texture should be very soft and easily scooped with a medium or small sized cookie scoop. Drop balls of dough onto either a stone baking pan, or a foil lined baking sheet. Dip the bottom of a glass cup into granulated sugar and smash each cookie a bit like you would smash peanut butter cookies. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. These cookies do not brown, and they are done when they poof up a bit in the center.
Butter Cream Frosting
1 cup butter softened
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
half and half as needed
Beat soft butter and powdered sugar together until smooth. Blend in vanilla and then just enough half and half to create the spreadable consistency you would like. Depending on humidity, you may or may not need to add extra powdered sugar as well. Tint frosting with food coloring as desired.

(UK Measurements)Addictive Cookie Dough
230g butter (unsalted) at room temperature
180ml oil
300g sugar
65g icing sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons water
640g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
In a large bowl, cream the butter, oil, sugars, eggs, water, and vanilla together. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, and cream of tarter together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. The texture should be very soft and easily scooped with a medium or small sized cookie scoop. Drop balls of dough onto either a stone baking pan, or a foil lined baking sheet. Dip the bottom of a glass cup into granulated sugar and smash each cookie a bit like you would smash peanut butter cookies. Bake at 180 •c or gas mark 4 for about 8-10 minutes. These cookies do not brown, and they are done when they poof up a bit in the center.
Butter Cream Frosting
230g butter (unsalted) at room temperature
560-650g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Milk as needed
Beat soft butter and icing sugar together until smooth. Blend in vanilla and then just enough milk to create the spreadable consistency you would like. Depending on humidity, you may or may not need to add extra powdered sugar as well. Tint frosting with food coloring as desired.


   
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Published on January 11, 2016 16:05 • 9 views

December 29, 2015

Please join us on BookTube for another exclusive interview between me and Tristan Hunt about The Fateful Series characters.



The audiobook of Forever is finished and headed to retail. It should be available very soon! Here is an exclusive preview:

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Published on December 29, 2015 19:14 • 14 views

December 22, 2015


 Join us on BookTube! Starting now, I'll be posting to YouTube twice a week. Join me for exclusive interviews, audiobook recommendations, how to on audiobook production, book trailers, and Sophia's Messy Kitchen Cooking channel. Check back every Tuesday and Saturday for something new. Up next, the audiobook trailer for Forever, book 3 in The Fateful Vampire Series! If you haven't had a chance to listen to books 1 and 2, you'd best get to it. To preview those, go to Soundcloud right now. Or go to YouTube and watch the trailers. ;)  

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Published on December 22, 2015 13:21 • 1 view

December 2, 2015

Hi everyone! Visiting my blog today is Louise Findlay. Check out her new book. ;)



Imprisoning a Duel Discord Description
The world is in musical order and a team of Government Agents called Harmony track down, experiment on and sometimes kill those who express the music of dissonance. Psycha, a duel Discord of Vyla and Sios is a prime lab rat to Harmony. Being able to disrupt harmony just by voice and hands alone makes her even more dangerous than the usual Discord. Will she run into trouble trying to protect her boyfriend, Caleb? Will her desire to destroy Harmony prove fatal for her? What will be left of her if she ever does get captured?      Book Trailer: Music: www.bensound.comLouise Fantasy Adventures "Angevin B" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Imprisoning a Duel Discord Excerpt
Psycha
What had Caleb gotten himself into this time? We were discords for music’s sake. We couldn’t strike back against Harmony if we ran, and be damned if he got caught. He was a Tara Discord not a Vyla like me. He was more vulnerable and I knew for a fact he left his Tara back at camp. Careless. That was so unlike him. He was usually methodical and paranoid. He couldn’t afford to throw his life away on a whim. I was the reckless one.
I hummed a tune to try and find his wavelength. Discords stuck out like a sore thumb, and he was a Tara. He was invisible without it, but I knew his musical signature like the back of my hand. I was almost certain I could pick something up, and I did. The three note discordant hum that was uniquely Caleb was faintly ringing in the air. I rushed to try and catch up to him. There was no way he would get captured on my watch. Cinder would kill me.
No. I caught sight of a man with the Harmony symbol on the back of his black suit. The tell-tale sign of a sharp, with two notes at the bottom and a treble clef in the middle, made him the enemy. I’d seen what happened to Discords when Harmony got a hold of them. They were mere husks of their former selves; dead and despondent inside. Their life cruelly ripped away. I would not let that happen to Caleb.
I screamed out notes at the man’s back, notes which clashed horribly. It was music to me, but the assailant recoiled, clutching his head in pain. How dare he try and take away the thing that made Caleb who he was. Being Discords defined us.
My enemy retaliated by taking out his Ko and trying to play me into submission. The harmony was excruciating to me. I was a duel Vyla/Sios Discord. Normal Discords were three parts discord and one-part harmony. I was fully Discord. I could control music with my voice and by touch alone. I hated Harmony for what they did to us, and I knew I’d be their prime lab rat.
“Caleb, run” I shouted.
I was bombarding him with musical assaults, but I had to be careful not to hit Caleb. He was powerless without his Tara. Why did he not bring it with him?
“I’m not leaving you,” he said.
Ah. Blood ran down my cheek when a note hit. Harmony and dissonance were opposites. One could hurt the other. Harmony were the government and Dissonance were the outcasts. I would make them pay for condemning us to a lifetime of running. Harmony agents lived to capture us.
“Go, you idiot. Get back to camp. You’re defenseless,” I ordered.
At last, he managed to see sense and fled. I couldn’t protect him if he was in the way. I waved a shield to protect against the agent’s next attack. Now Caleb was safe I could really let loose without fear of hurting him. I used my voice and hands in tandem to unleash a barrage of musical weapons at him. Streams of note swords and arrows flew at the enemy. He was pretty quick to keep up with me, but he couldn’t deflect everything I threw at him.
I started to hum a dissonant melody designed to sweep into his soul. I would poison his harmony with dissonance. He let out a hiss, which told me I was successful. I screamed as more musical implements of doom attacked me. I used the blood trickling down my arm in a note. Blood notes packed a mean punch. Judging by the look on his face, it did.
“Just die, Harmony bastard,” I said.
“Bring it, Discord cur,” he replied.
I screamed like a banshee. When he was distracted, I flung a spear at him. I turned his cries into a gag with a wave of my hand. His voice was grating to my ears. Ah. A melody hit me straight in the neck and continued to constrain my throat. I tried to catch my breath, but it was impossible. I flailed around, trying to swipe him off me, but to no avail. I couldn’t let him get me. I couldn’t be captured. I finally managed to get him to relent, but my vision turned hazy as I gasped for breath.
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Published on December 02, 2015 08:34 • 15 views

October 14, 2015


Welcome to the annual Spooktacular and totally spectacular blog hop brought to you by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. With over 200 chances to win free bookish-type stuff, this is one hop that is not to be missed!

The magic and wonder of Harry Potter with the melt-your-heart romance of The Vampire Diaries

(Check back later today or tomorrow to see
the new book trailer I'm making...)
Praise for The Fateful Vampire Series

"Better than Twilight." "Tristan's voice draws you into the story and holds you there." "More romantic than A Shade of Vampire." "Your ears will drink in Tristan Hunt's smooth voice like candy for the senses." "Tristan Hunt is the Jim Dale of romance." "If you liked Harry Potter, you'll love this."






















The prize choices:

A free copy of Fateful (book 1) on audio from Audible. (Valued at 24.95)

OR

A free copy of Fractured (book 2) on audio from Audible. (Valued at 19.95)

To enter:

Tell me why you'd like to try an audiobook for the first time, or why you love audiobooks, or what your favorite audiobook listen is. (And I'll go first. At the bottom of this post, you'll find a list of some of my most recent listens and what I thought of them.)

AND/OR

Join my email newsletter.

(Just scroll on down to the Rafflecoper form to fill in and confirm your entry.)

Why wait? Give it a listen right now!


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest: I knew this series was selling really well, so I had to see what the excitement was all about. I really like this a lot! Enough so that I quickly bought book two. But then, as I just said, I was disappointed. The covers are totally cool too!



A Shade of Blood by Bella Forrest: This is book two in the Shade of Vampire series. The narrator from 4 different actors was really great, especially Zackary Webber. He is amazing. I didn't like book two as much book one, so I haven't moved on to book three yet. And the love seen is this one really put me off. There was no emotion to it. To me, just not romantic at all, and I thought the plot dragged. I actually started skipping ahead.





Dragon Dreams by Dusty Holloway: Would you like something that takes you into a world reminiscent of Lord of the Rings? Then this is it. Loved the way the narrator, Rob Goll, performed the dwarf and the dragon. He really brought me into the story.



The Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale: This is the first book I've ever listened to that was narrated by Nicolas Boulton, and now I'm hooked. I loved listening to him. The story was a bit long for me though...over 15 hours? But very well written.



Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover: The plot in this story is absolutely brilliant. The characters are very well drawn. The narrator, Jason Carpenter, was absolutely fabulous. Once I started listening I couldn't stop until I'd finished. My only complaint was the use of the F word. Is it really necessary?
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Published on October 14, 2015 06:33 • 23 views

September 9, 2015

audiobooks-stagger - Copy

Recently, I asked readers to tell me what they thought of the samples for the audiobooks I have published. I've been surprised by many of the rather unenthusiastic comments. Some have even said they don't listen to audiobooks, so they can’t comment on the samples. Really? They won’t even take two minutes to even listen to the sample? I’m having a hard time understanding this. Honestly, to me this is similar to people who won't read, just in reverse. And it reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain.

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” ~Mark Twain It's true that it's hard to find time to read, especially when you have children to care for, a fulltime job to do, and laundry to sort. This leads me to my first reason to try audiobooks.

1 Listening to an audiobook is far more convenient than sitting down to read. You can multitask with an audiobook in ways you can't with a printed book or an ebook. You can enjoy a story or learn to speak French while doing laundry, preparing dinner, or driving to work. Basically, you can listen to a story being read to you at times when you cannot read at all. So let me put it this way, “The man who does not listen to audiobooks has no advantage over the man who cannot hear.” And with Whispersync via Amazon, you can keep the story going from your Kindle to your car without interruptions, making audiobooks even more convenient. Keep listening while you drive the children to soccer... Life doesn't have to interrupt your enjoyment of a good book.

2 Listening to a book rather than reading it IS NOT cheating like watching a movie is. Movies have been changed from the original book because much of what is in a book can’t be translated into film. The internal monologue, the descriptions of feelings, taste, and smell are not things that can be shown on the big screen. Sure an actor can show emotion on their face, but it's still just not the same. Books that are made into movies need to be stripped down to dialogue, scenery, sounds, and action. Movies just can’t be as rich and allow you to use your imagination like a book does. But most audiobooks are unabridged, which means it's exactly the same as the physical book, just more entertaining and more convenient. And listening still allows you to imagine every nuance written upon the page. The story is not imagined for you, it's simply lifted from the page.

3 Listening to an audiobook can help you momentarily escape reality when life sucks. When a book is acted out by a professional reader, the little inflexions in the voice, the laughter, and the tension all make the story fill your senses and bring it to life in a way that the story surrounds you. Maybe you need to run as you try to escape the demons in your life. Maybe you’ve been crying and you wouldn’t be able to focus on the words to read them. Maybe your vision is failing you because of an illness. Maybe you’re in so much physical pain you can’t even lift a book to read it. Maybe you’re blind but you love to enjoy a good story. Listening to someone read to you is actually easier than reading Braille. When you can EASILY sink into another world, time, or place, you can take a momentary break from reality so that when you do return to facing your demons, you’re refreshed and ready to battle again.

4 Audiobooks can make you smile when you realize you’re caught in a traffic jam. Nowadays, most audiobooks are digital, meaning you can have several with you at all times on your smartphone. Stuck in traffic or driving a long distance? Escape the monotony with a great story.

5 There’s nothing quite so delicious as having a romance whispered into your ear. Need I say more?

6 Have you listened to Harry Potter as read by Jim Dale? Um, you’re totally missing out if you haven’t. Your children are missing out too. And if none of the above reasons are enough to get you to try an audiobook, then start with Harry Potter and you’ll be hooked.



Of course, you’re welcome to try one of my audiobooks as well...


Not sold yet? Listen to chapter one of Fateful right now. 
 Tristan Hunt is like listening to Jim Dale, just sexier... ;) 
And if you're smart, which I'm sure you are, go download the Kindle copy of Fateful for FREE,and then snatch up the 10 hour long audiobook for $1.99! (Just click on the image below.) 
 Thanks for visiting my website! Why do you love listening to audiobooks? Let me know in the comments. Audio of Cheri's books are available in the USA from Amazon, Audible, or iTunes.Also from AU Audible.And from UK Audible.
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Published on September 09, 2015 17:39 • 26 views

September 2, 2015

A series on audiobook production via ACX by Cheri Schmidt.

Here is Jason Downs (aka Tristan Hunt) and Cheri Schmidt (aka that pale vampire) doing a Q & A for a writer’s conference. Second question: Can the author approve the voice of each character?



Jason brings up a good point. You've already been through the audition process, so there shouldn't be too many surprises. And you really should trust this person that you've hired to know what they're doing and allow them to do their job without you nitpicking over details that just don't matter. Let them have creative license with the story. This is a collaboration...

However, I feel it's important to note that you should take care in the audition sample you choose to post for the book. Make sure you have voices of the two main characters in there, along with some accents that might be necessary. I would also suggest choosing a scene with some tension and dialogue for both a male and female character.

Oh, and there's one more thing I forgot to mention. If you've described your characters well enough, the right voice for each one will be, or should be, pretty obvious to the professional you've hired. That's one thing that changed for me after I first heard my stories "performed." As I wrote, I could hear how it would sound as an audiobook. I couldn't do that before. I think it also improves your writing, because you know what will and won't work better than you did before

Thanks again for visiting my blog. Check back later for more... And please comment and share. ;)
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Published on September 02, 2015 11:40 • 3 views

August 13, 2015


This hop is hosted by Book Hounds and runs from August 14th to the 21st.

To enter simply do ONE of the items on the form below.Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck!
The winner will get their choice of:

A signed paperback copy of either Fractured or Forever with the vintage covers. (USA only)
Valued at about 9.99 each.   Or a free copy of Fateful or Fractured on audio (USA & UK)
Valued at about $20.00 each.  Give it a listen:




 Give it a listen:



a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Published on August 13, 2015 16:32 • 3 views