Jumping into BC-ing and Project Ideas

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ColleenMc
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Post by ColleenMc » April 19th, 2020, 4:12 pm

I've been wanting to venture into the Book Coordinating part of Librivox-ing, but I've been hesitant to do it. I think I'm ready...but I keep putting off taking the plunge and continuing to look for that "perfect first project.". There are so many books I'd love to facilitate recording, and I also have some short work anthology/collection possibilities in my mind that I want to try, but thought I should get at least one standard BC project under my belt before launching off on my own themed collections.

So, what do you recommend as a first BC project? Any advice from the experienced as to where to start?

Also for the experienced, I wanted to ask for opinions of the two short work compilation projects I have in mind:

1) This one comes from a request in the Suggestions from a long time ago, where someone asked about non science fiction pulp stories. I love digging around in the old magazines myself, and have noticed that there's a gap in our short fiction collections where a lot of "golden age" pulp stories could go. The regular short fiction collections often tend toward the more literary (though I do my best to bring down the tone of the collections with my contributions, lol) and the ghost/horror and SF sides are well represented in those special collections.

So I was thinking of doing a collection (or a series, if people like it and I like organizing it) of pulp fiction stories that aren't ghost/horror or science fiction -- a collection for the lower brow magazine stories of Western, romance, war, adventure, mystery and detective, etc. I would also put together a list of possible recommendations and suggestions on where to dig for stories to contribute.

2) This one comes from my love of digging through old newspaper archives online. The New York Times has a selection of articles in its archives that are free to read so you don't have to be a subscriber to access them. I've often thought about doing "news of a hundred years ago". As an experiment I went through the freely available articles from January 1920 and put together an assortment of 25 or so articles that would be fun reading and an interesting snapshot of the time. I mostly steered clear of very topical news stories (the peace treaty squabbles, the presidential campaign heating up, Red Scare raids etc) that filled up the front pages and looked for the feature articles from the Sunday editions and the human interest and odd stories as well. If I did this as a group project I would provide direct links to the PDF version of the individual articles, which (while it's not as easy as the images of print books) is the easiest way to read the articles compared to the "Times Machine" full page images. I've also thought about doing this as a solo project similar to the ones that I've seen "Bellona Times" and others create over the years that I've enjoyed listening to. My guesstimate would be that each article would be around a 5-15 minute read - I tried to pick articles that were longer than 1-2 paragraph filler but not overly huge.

Any thoughts on either of these -- how interesting would they be to others/how difficult to wrangle as a newbie BC-er? I'm excited and motivated about both ideas but don't want to get in over my head or go running off in a direction that Librivox wouldn't go, so I figured I'd ask before plunging in.

Thanks for any thoughts/advice!

Colleen

annise
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Post by annise » April 19th, 2020, 4:36 pm

I'm not going to tell you an answer, just give a few opinions, so here goes
Always choose something you are interested in.
Collections are more difficult to manage than straight out books by known authors with easy writing styles.
The concept of a pulp fiction collection seems a good idea
If you went down that pathway it would be easier for you to set up 20 stories that you think fit and you have checked their PD status.

But I repeat
Always choose something you are interested in.

Anne

TriciaG
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Post by TriciaG » April 19th, 2020, 4:36 pm

I think that for both of these ideas, it would be best to provide the materials yourself. I think when a collection gets too specific or obscure (what exactly is "pulp fiction"? What would you do if something too highbrow was submitted - tell them this isn't "pulp fiction"?) it is better to provide the texts you're interested in. Otherwise people will possibly think the search for texts would be too hard and pass it up for something handed to them on a platter. :)

As for what is good as a first BC project, I was going to say some sort of short story or poetry book, but you'd get a lot of new readers for those. Negotiating new readers is a challenge sometimes (they claim then disappear much more often than longer-term readers do). I'd say, maybe look for a shorter book, something you're interested in but not so committed to that you'll be disappointed when what you consider a less-than-professional reader contributes. :lol:

*cross posted with Anne. Looks like we're in agreement.*
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ColleenMc
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Post by ColleenMc » April 19th, 2020, 4:51 pm

These were both kind of where my own head was going. Thanks for the advice!

Colleen

KevinS
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Post by KevinS » April 19th, 2020, 5:40 pm

I've always wanted to do something with a directed series of newspaper articles but was scared off because of copyright issues. I seem to recall that newspapers like the Times claim copyright on the articles which they digitize and then provide to the public through their sites. They can't do this when the source for a recording is a scan of the actual articles from x number of years ago, of course, but I've never wanted to fish through the copyright laws regarding other sources.

annise
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Post by annise » April 19th, 2020, 6:01 pm

And that certainly would not be something you would want as the BC to do - check every submission. None of us joined LV to spend hours looking up other people's copyright problems and rejecting submissions.

BT has some good ideas but they were usually theme-based not open slather which is why they work. But they did take him a long time to research before he posted

Anne

ej400
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Post by ej400 » April 19th, 2020, 6:48 pm

Being here about 6 years has told me that you always start with something small, and of course, something you are interested in before you "go big." I think that also applies to when you start your own theme because it's honestly only now that I'm finding a huge interest in what I love best, (DR's). Because of all the projects I've BC'ed, I've learned how things work, and so then I decided it was time to do what I really wanted to do. There is a small process I use when starting any book, though:

1. Finding something you want to do. Sometimes it's not about getting something in that hasn't been done, sometimes doing another version is good too. But you need to do something you are interested in, or you'll find things dull, so finding that "perfect first book," is really up to your interests.

2. Planning things out. Are there more than two books you are interested in? Maybe plan out when things will happen, try to stick to a schedule and have a "to-do," list. Some projects move slower than normal, so planning for a second book keeps you entertained.

3. Know what's going on. I know it probably doesn't sound like a hard thing to do, but if you look at the text beforehand (like breaking chapters up,) it will really help you in the long run. I would also add to this, saying that you should also be paying close attention to the members that are claiming. Are they new? Are their hands full? Making sure they aren't claiming an already claimed section. Sometimes finding a DPL before starting a project is good too, because then you know who your team is. This especially helps in DR's.

Elijah

ColleenMc
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Post by ColleenMc » April 19th, 2020, 6:59 pm

Great ideas and advice, thanks! I"m going to get my feet wet with a memoir that I've partially read -- light and chatty about life in France as a transplanted American in the late 19th/early 20th century. Good project for newer readers as well--the only potential stumbling blocks are a fair amount of French place names and some French phrases and sentences here and there....

Excited!

Colleen

Penumbra
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Post by Penumbra » April 19th, 2020, 7:00 pm

You might consider doing a short book (maybe a children's book, for example) as a solo recording. In a solo you are both the reader and the BC, so you can get your feet wet without any of the interactions with other readers. Of course (IMO) the interactions are both the most fun and the most challenging part of a BC's job, so I'd stick with something short or easy, just to get the hang of the technical bits. Oh, and be sure to give your reader plenty of lavish praise. :wink:
Tom Penn

ej400
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Post by ej400 » April 19th, 2020, 7:02 pm

ColleenMc wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 6:59 pm
Great ideas and advice, thanks! I"m going to get my feet wet with a memoir that I've partially read -- light and chatty about life in France as a transplanted American in the late 19th/early 20th century. Good project for newer readers as well--the only potential stumbling blocks are a fair amount of French place names and some French phrases and sentences here and there....

Excited!

Colleen
That sounds like a great place to start! I would recommend trying to find some pronunciation guides for some of the French, just to be safe, but otherwise I'm glad you have found something already! :D
Penumbra wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 7:00 pm
You might consider doing a short book (maybe a children's book, for example) as a solo recording. In a solo you are both the reader and the BC, so you can get your feet wet without any of the interactions with other readers. Of course (IMO) the interactions are both the most fun and the most challenging part of a BC's job, so I'd stick with something short or easy, just to get the hang of the technical bits. Oh, and be sure to give your reader plenty of lavish praise. :wink:
That is very true. I love interacting with other members here and just getting a bunch of people involved (hence why I do DR's :D )

mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » April 19th, 2020, 7:07 pm

I like both your collection ideas. I'm more drawn to the newspaper stories myself, but I think they'd both be appealing for many readers and many listeners as well. I agree that a regular book of some type would be easier to manage than a collection. But it sounds like you've already done a lot of your research as far as what kinds of things you want to include, so it seems that you're well prepared. I also agree that the more specific a topic, the more important it becomes to provide your own texts rather than relying on reader submissions.

Whether you find a fun book that calls to you or pursue one of these collection ideas, I'd encourage you to take the plunge. The worst thing that could happen is, the project falls through and you realize that BCing isn't for you. But on the other hand, you may find that you really enjoy it! :D

ColleenMc
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Post by ColleenMc » April 19th, 2020, 7:26 pm

Trigger pulled! Just posted Chateau and Country Life in France by Mary King Waddington (a book I have had on my "I want to get around to this one day" bookmark list forever) to the Launch Pad...off we go!

Thanks again for the advice and encouragement....I'm going to hold off on starting my own collections til I see how this project goes, but I am excited about both of them and definitely plan to do them in the not-too-distant-future if all goes well.

Colleen

lurcherlover
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Post by lurcherlover » April 20th, 2020, 12:38 am

ColleenMc wrote:
April 19th, 2020, 6:59 pm
Great ideas and advice, thanks! I"m going to get my feet wet with a memoir that I've partially read -- light and chatty about life in France as a transplanted American in the late 19th/early 20th century. Good project for newer readers as well--the only potential stumbling blocks are a fair amount of French place names and some French phrases and sentences here and there....

Excited!

Colleen
That would certainly count me out as I once did a book for Audible that had a lot of French words, dialogue etc., particularly in one chapter, and it drove me nuts! (I'm probably nuts anyway, but there are limits!) Of all languages, French is so alien to me to make it nearly impossible to get right. Give me Italian any day!

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