Seeking advice on a solo recording

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neddieseagoon
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Post by neddieseagoon » September 27th, 2018, 10:21 pm

Hi All,

I'm thinking of doing a solo recording of George L. Craik's Compendious History of English Literature and of the English Language. As a lover of languages and English literature, I greatly enjoyed this book when I first encountered it many years ago, and found it engaging and informative.

The book does present a problem, though: it's enormously long. Even though I'm currently considering recording only the first of its two volumes, I've calculated that an unabridged recording would last between 22 and 23 hours.

So my question is this: is this a reasonable thing to consider doing, or am I insane? I'm not worried so much about the time it would take to record it, but more about whether, once it was recorded, anyone would actually want to listen to it. Would I simply be wasting my time?

If you're interested, you can find a copy of the book here: https://archive.org/details/compendioushisto01crai.

Thanks.

annise
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Post by annise » September 27th, 2018, 11:33 pm

Well yes, you are insane, but then again many non LV spouses consider them insane, so that's not a problem.
Will anyone listen to it? Does that matter? It's never likely to be released as a commercial recording, so you may be providing a resource for a blind student to get postgraduate qualifications - would knowing the only person who listened was that student stop you recording it? Personally I think you'd find a number of people would want to listen, it probably wouldn't top the charts but you might be surprised
And remember our aim is to provide audiobooks of all PD works, not to make people listen to them :D
Is it long? Yes
Should you read it? If it's what you want to read now, yes
If there was something shorter that you were interested in reading first, that would help you become used to the setting up process, but looking at your group contributions you don't seem to have had many problems. And as long as you start at the beginning changing section sizes and things is possible

Good Luck :D , And have fun

Anne

moniaqua
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Post by moniaqua » September 28th, 2018, 12:32 am

neddieseagoon wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 10:21 pm
So my question is this: is this a reasonable thing to consider doing, or am I insane? I'm not worried so much about the time it would take to record it, but more about whether, once it was recorded, anyone would actually want to listen to it. Would I simply be wasting my time?
I agree to Anne, you are insane, but then, this doesn't really matter. Because everyone who reads that book for him/herself, or Crime and Punishment, or Ben Hur or whatever is insane too (and those exist already ;) ).

And why would someone not listen to it when you read and enjoyed it? There are people out there who love literature but can't read, either because they are blind or because they have dyslexia or whatever. And then there are the people who learn a language and appreciate something interesting to listen to.

Also, even if no one else listens to it (what I don't really believe - there might be some students who might need it but don't find the peace to read it by themselves), you had the pleasure to record it, didn't you? So for me that is not wasted time.

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » September 28th, 2018, 12:41 am

The length is just a matter of taking each step at a time, and not thinking too much about how far away the last step is .... I'm about two-thirds of the way through a book that I've estimated to be about 47 hours long ... and enjoying it!

And, with respect to your audience, you'd be surprised what listeners are interested in. I've had over 3000 downloads of a little book on the commercial manufacture of tomato ketchup, and over 11000 of a very technical book on chemical assaying techniques. There are some strange people in the world ... and I include myself, and possibly most of us here on the LibriVox site!

Go for it.

Peter
"Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist." Kenneth Boulding, 1973

commonsparrow3
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Post by commonsparrow3 » September 28th, 2018, 8:36 am

A really really long project, and not something people might listen to in droves? Yup, that sounds familiar. I recently finished a solo project of Horace Mann's 'Annual Reports to the Massachusetts Board of Education'. The finished project ran about 37 hours and took about 4 years to complete. While Mann's reports are classics in the history of education, and famous portions of them are often assigned reading for students in the field, they are certainly not anything most people would be interested in. And even those who are interested would pick and choose which reports were of interest to them. Even education students are not likely to listen to all the reports in their entirety. So why do it? Because I once read selected excerpts when I was in college, found them interesting, and was curious to read the whole thing, and I thought that as long as I was doing that, I might as well read it aloud. And I thought that having all the material available in audio form, as a reference source, was worth doing, for those few who might want to consult some small portion of the work.

If you have found something that interests you for any similar reasons, I'd say go for it, and don't worry about how many people will listen to the whole thing. Do it for yourself, and for the people who will want to listen to whatever portion of it might interest them. Maybe a small handful of people might actually end up listening to the whole thing. Be prepared for it to be a long-haul project. Take breaks from it now and then, to work on smaller quicker projects, because such a massive project can wear you down if you do only that. If the big project really interests you, you'll always end up coming back to it, until it eventually gets finished. And when it is finally done, you'll feel such satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. :)
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JayKitty76
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Post by JayKitty76 » September 29th, 2018, 8:29 am

I’d say if you really like the book, and consider it a very good contribution to English literature, why not do a recording? It definitely would not be wasting your time if you really, really like the book. Another thing you should consider is if you have enough time in your schedule to actually do this. Consider where you would fit the recording hours in, as well.

-JayKitty

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » September 29th, 2018, 8:45 am

Here is a slightly different, perhaps rather a skeptical, view on it... :hmm:

There are many books to choose from. It would be nice to do all that haven't been done yet, and even some already done by somebody else... Alas, our lives are not infinite, our energy is limited, and we need to choose what we do, how we spend our time.

So, here is another way to look at it: if you need to ask whether it's worth doing, it probably isn't. Do what gives you no pause, do what you can't wait to do, do that about which you don't feel the need to consult your peers.

Whatever you decide, though, do it. :)
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

neddieseagoon
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Post by neddieseagoon » September 29th, 2018, 10:24 pm

Thanks to all who responded. I think I'll proceed. As I said originally, my primary concern was not so much the time and effort it would require on my part, or whether I would enjoy the process, as whether there would be any listener interest on the far end of all that effort. After (guided) reflection, I think there probably would be, and I think any number greater than zero would probably justify the effort.

Tovarisch, as I read it your advice is not to stray from my comfort zone, and not to request guidance from people who have more experience than I do. I must say I find that advice hard to understand and even harder to follow. But maybe that's not what you meant.

Now, if any of you have friends who speak Irish or Welsh, could you please direct them to my question on this forum about the pronunciation of Celtic names? :help: Thanks ever so. :D

Cori
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Post by Cori » September 30th, 2018, 3:38 am

Ah, interesting -- I read tovarisch's thoughts differently. There isn't a single LibriVox recording in all our history without ANY listeners. The lowest I can find is 29, and that one was only released yesterday. :mrgreen: Therefore, if you think a book is worth doing, then by definition it's not a waste of time, and more power to your microphone. 8-)

Celtic names, though, not a clue. I'm plain English. :roll:
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

tovarisch
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Post by tovarisch » September 30th, 2018, 5:53 am

Cori wrote:
September 30th, 2018, 3:38 am
There isn't a single LibriVox recording in all our history without ANY listeners. The lowest I can find is 29, and that one was only released yesterday. :mrgreen: Therefore, if you think a book is worth doing, then by definition it's not a waste of time, and more power to your microphone. 8-)
It's closer to my point perhaps than "don't request guidance from a more experienced folk".

Not to hijack a thread... Cori, how do you know that the book was actually listened to? All we know it that somebody downloaded the zip file. There have been books I myself abandoned (I am a listener too, not only a volunteer) after enduring for a section or two - not an impossibility...

My point was that if there is a doubt in your mind about the usefulness of some work, nobody will be able to dispel it for you. And if you are choosing between several different works, then give preference to the one about which you have no doubt. :thumbs:
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

Cori
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Post by Cori » September 30th, 2018, 6:10 am

I apply The Law of Wishful Thinking which I just made up. :mrgreen:

Each download represents the desire to listen which is marvellous in itself. In the longer term, averaging kicks in. Yes, many people will hoard recordings without actually listening to them. Many other people will share them with others (a family in a car, their children at the kitchen table, an MP3 player or home made CD passed around.) There's no way to know for certain, so I figure it's reasonable to make an optimistic assumption. :D
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

Penumbra
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Post by Penumbra » September 30th, 2018, 8:29 am

I have found it helpful to take a break in the middle of a solo to do something for a group project. Even if it is just a short poem or two, the change and the interaction with others gives me renewed energy and freshens my interest in the solo work. Just something to keep in mind when the solo project begins to feel like a slog.
Tom Penn

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