Voice Range: Adult
Accents: Irish, English, German, Alien, Wizard
Genres: Horror, Sc-Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Non-Fiction
Fluent Languages: English (mostly)
Awards: 4-time Edge Studio National Voiceover Winner
Audiobook Narrator Richard Rieman of RRVoice.com is the author of “The Author’s Guide to AudioBook Creation.” Richard is an audiobook self-publishing expert and top Audible narrator. He has narrated dozens of titles on Amazon, Audible, iTunes and more. He also produces audiobooks for authors voicing their own audiobooks and consults authors seeking a narrator. Before his audiobook adventures, Richard was a news anchor and reporter at the RKO Radio Networks in New York, WTOP in Washington DC, and ABC and NBC Radio in Chicago.
How on earth did you get into narrating audiobooks?
My first career was in radio news at WLS and WMAQ in Chicago and the RKO Radio Networks, so I was comfortable being a storyteller in front of a microphone. I volunteered narrating audiobooks for the blind and dyslexic at Learning Ally and discovered I loved long-form storytelling.
What do you do when you are not narrating?:
I consult authors on how to get an audiobook produced, and I direct authors recording their own books in recording studios in Denver and elsewhere. I’m also the author of “The Author’s Guide to Audiobook Creation.”
Many audiobook narrators do other voice over work, where else could we hear your work? Do you find there to any big hurdles to jump when going from audiobooks to something else or vise versa?:
I had a great time voicing several characters in the video game “A Stitch in Time,” and I have narrated documentaries for the U.S. Forest Service and even a few for a German company needing an American voice.
Audiobooks are a challenge for any voice actor because they are a marathon when other voiceover work is a sprint.
Do you have the luxury of picking and choosing the projects that you work on or do you take as many as you have time for?:
I both narrate and produce audiobooks full-time, and I get most of my work by meeting authors at groups such as Author U, at author book readings, and even author Meetup Groups.
For those of us that are unfamiliar with your work. How would you describe your narration style and voice? What would the one audiobook you would suggest for people to listen to your best work?:
I am a storyteller in the theater of the mind. I focus on talking to one listener, not “everyone out there.” I try to get beyond “reading out loud” by finding the rhythm and the music in the writing.
I’m proudest of narrating the incredible story of Joe Rubinstein, a concentration camp survivor who became one of New York City’s top shoe designers, in “Auschwitz #34207.”
As a narrator, do you get compensated in a set amount or do you also receive royalties from the individual sales? Do you like one more than the other? Has there ever been an per finished hour book that you wish was a royalty deal, what book? Or vise versa?:
I usually work on a “pay for production” basis, but when I spot a potential bestseller, I’m open to a royalty share agreement. I am very lucky to have narrated on a royalty share basis “The Incurables” by award-winning author Jon Bassoff, a horror novel that is about to be a movie starring actor Tom Sizemore.
What do you see as your greatest achievement as an audiobook narrator? What has been your most difficult moment?:
I’m honored to an “Audible Approved Producer,” which means I have been designated as a top Audible audiobook narrator.
My toughest moments came when I narrated the Auschwitz survivor’s stories of the true horrors and cruelty he witnessed. I felt like I was right there reliving those tragic moments.
If you had to choose someone to rescue you from the jaws of certain death would it be a superhero, supernatural creature, or a space alien?:
It’s got to be Superman, the way he used to be before all the current angst. I wanted to be Superman, but I decided to be Clark Kent instead and got into journalism.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another narrator?
Stop listening to your own voice. Don’t pay attention to whether you are “sounding good.” Pay attention to the words, the writing, and the people you are bringing to life.
Do you ever get specific notes or ideas from the writer about how something should be read? What is a helpful note, and what is, shall we say, less helpful?:
I always like getting notes from authors about which living person – actor, politician, speaker – they had in their heads when creating a character. I don’t try to do impressions, but it really helps give me an attitude and intention for that voice.
Is your studio in your home? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this? Do you have something that you would consider unique in your setup? What is it?:
I have a WhisperRoom booth in my home and when needed, I have a local recording studio I use nearby. I was very happy t be able to “come out of my closet” and afford a nearly soundproof booth.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring narrators?:
Take Sean Pratt’s audiobook narrator test. Go into a closet and record yourself reading out loud for at least 2 hours a day for at least a week. Listen to how you sound. Spend hours editing out all the mistakes. Is this what you really want to do for a living?
But if you LOVE telling stories, becoming characters that in movies and onstage you would never be cast as, then voice acting is for you.
Are you working on any special projects?:
I am in the process of starting “Audiobook Revolution Productions” at audiobookrevolution.com. It’s a team of narrators, audio editors, and recording studios dedicated to helping self-published and Indie authors create audiobooks.
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