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Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs

Interview 4 – Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs

Tune into a rapid fire chat with the authors of the book and hit show: ‘Women like us’, Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs.

In an hilarious look at gender stereotypes, parenting, comedy coaching and writing, Stella, Mandy and Ellen ‘rip the band aid off’ our changing cultural norms.

Mandy has coached over 1,500 people in the comic arts (“Yes and five of them are working” she quips) including Ellen who was writing a book at the time that was “getting funnier”. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and Women Like Us, now in it’s fifth year.

It’s not always easy to fathom the years of refining, testing, failing and succeeding that results in a truly funny – and what seems like an ‘off the cuff’, spontaneous comedy routine. Mandy reckons it took her a decade before she hit her straps. Ellen was dead against doing stand up, but delights in ‘making people angry’, leaving her nowhere to go but up with her audience – there’s no people pleasing without some kind of human sacrifice!

In a classic moment during the interview, Stella opens the topic matter up to more weighty issues like: what’s sexy about middle age and the disproportionately small number of women in comedy ,which they all get right down to. But not before Ellen shatters the more serious tone by announcing: “Before we do that, I thought my drink would last longer?” Stage and audience crack up with Mandy suggesting: “Sounds like the title for the next book!”

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Hung Le and Rod Quantock

Interview 1 – Hung Le and Rod Quantock

Stella brings in the maiden interview of the ‘Funny about books’ podcast live at the Newport Comedy Room with special guests and legendary comics – Rod Quantock and Hung Le.

Rod proudly confesses to having never written for his stand up routines, but Hung admits to aiming for a cracking punch line every three sentences!

In a conversation taking more twists and turns than a federal politician watering with a cheap garden hose, the group discusses whether comics are made or born, the delights of the classics and how much fun it is to ‘peel the tape off’ racial and political stereotypes.

“It really helps if you look funny…” reflects Hung about physical comedy, to which Rod quips: “You lucky bastard!”

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Richard Stubbs

Interview 3 – Richard Stubbs and Evan Hocking

Comedy, radio and TV icon – Richard Stubbs – joins Stella and ‘grass roots’ comic Evan Hocking for a wild discussion covering everything from duty free to running the country.

Richard, who is best known for hosting variety show Tonight Live on Channel 7, pioneering breakfast and drive time radio comedy (XY Zoo on Melbourne’s 3XY and later on 3 Triple M) – has recently returned to stand-up between ongoing corporate gigs and presenting on ABC Radio Melbourne.

Like many Melbourne comedians, Richard had his first shot on stage at The Last Laugh in Collingwood during the early 80’s – where he (and many other aspiring comics) worked as a barman at the time.

Stella, Evan and Richard compare notes on the current comedy scene: “Four minutes on stage for a try-out, and no pay”, Evan reports flatly – with Richard curbing his earlier career interstate travel expectations, now being “put up overnight in the promoter’s spare room”!

We also hear some of Richard’s family tales as brother, father and son. Like many people approaching their 6th decade, he tells the familiar challenging stories of ageing parents, new loves and flexible careers.

His retirement plan will crack you up – look out for him as you come through customs at Melbourne Airport (or in federal parliament as this week’s prime minister)!

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Stellavision – ‘Hobson Words’ podcast 2

Interview 2 – Richard Evans

RichardEvans

Born and bred in Williamstown, Richard has challenged himself across a range of pursuits including: actor, AFL footballer, corporate executive and in 1993, was elected to the federal seat of Cowan (WA), that he held for six years.

His most recent novel is ‘Deceit’ – episode one of the ‘Democracy’ trilogy. A political intrigue narrated through the eyes and ears of a parliamentary clerk, where the aspirations of the elected superstars are pitted against the powerful ‘heavy weights’ of parliamentary process.

In a fascinating interview, Richard and Stella discuss issues of political ambition, how changing reality may come second to manipulating perceptions and the inherent soul destroying nature and deep personal cost of political life.

Richard seeks to reveal, inform and educate Australian society by writing about both the ‘bird’s and worm’s eye view’ of our democratic processes.

We also hear that the strategic marketing techniques Richard has used to manage his marginal seat (amid scoffs from fellow ‘pollies’), have also been applied to the planning and publication of his books.

Richard warns against author’s submitting their first manuscript draft. Poor spelling, syntax, and quality are unlikely to get you a good hearing from a publisher. Consider your brand versus business strategy, and pick a publisher that pays attention to marketing and distribution.

Oh, and listen out for the ‘dirt’ on some of the players during the infamous WA Inc. of the 70’s and 80’s.

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming interviews.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Hobson Words

Funny about books

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

 

Stellavision – ‘Hobson Words’ podcast 1

Interview 1 – Sara Rena Vidal

Sara-1

In this inaugural ‘Hobson Words’ podcast episode, Stella is joined by the warm and wonderful Sara Vidal. An avid and outspoken supporter of people displaced and traumatised by war.

Sara feels she is not a natural writer, but after 25 years in the making, she has published a story of life, beauty and freedom.

She wanted to tell her Polish parent’s – Bella and Chaim’s – story of life and their dangerous escape from the Warsaw Ghetto, preceded by an 18 month stay beneath a machine in a cramped hole underground. An amazing story of resilience and hope.

“What does it mean to be human, and how is it that some people manage to cope?”

We sometimes forget to acknowledge the impact of the ablation of entire generations from those families affected by The Holocaust. A peoples who somehow endured profiteering from slave labour, the systematic ‘Selections’and the mass executions of the ‘Final Solution’ and those lured in disbelief to their demise.

“Your mind does not take in, that such a thing is possible.”

This is a story to be told and retold…

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming interviews.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Hobson Words

Funny about books

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

 

Greg Fleet

Interview 2 – Greg Fleet

Veteran comedian and author of three books – Greg Fleet – joins Stella in a walk down (sketchy?) memory lane when comedy venues like The Last Laugh and The Prince Patrick were the ‘Valhalla’ of aspiring comics.

During their shared experiences in the 80’s, The Comedy Company and The Big Gig brought with them incredible television exposure for Australian comedians, who also made up the majority of the show’s writers. So comedian to writer and author isn’t such a big stretch.

In a frank, revealing and sometimes heartbreaking sojourn, Stella and Greg meander through his experiences of grammar school, acting, hard drugs and a mysterious father figure. It’s a heartfelt story of two very close friends (even closer in the early days ;>)

(Apologies to Michael Collins, Jacinda Arden and Dave Taranto whose names were mispronounced during the show).

Don’t forget to check out the Stellavision website for forthcoming shows.

To listen to all our podcasts and episodes, go to:

Funny about books

Hobson Words

Come to Stella Kinsella Books for stockists, and the fascinating back stories on Stella’s own publications.

Upload, distribution and promotion

I upload your audiobook files for distribution, ensuring we meet the publisher’s and online store’s audio specifications.

My preferred method at this stage is to use an ‘aggregator’. I currently use the Author’s Republic who enable distribution to Audible, iTunes and another 30 online stores and libraries.

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I’ll need a high resolution image of your book’s cover, your PayPal email address for royalty payments and of course, your audiobook recommended retail price.

Author’s Republic track and report your sales and royalty payments from all of the outlets you have distributed to, into a single account, that only you have access to.

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It usually takes around 2 weeks from the time we upload your audiobook files until publication. Audible and audiobooks.com are usually first with iTunes and the other international outlets within the following 2 to 4 weeks.

Once you have a live link to the outlet’s page for your audiobook, you can include it in your promotional materials, and of course on your website.

Please take a look at the Author’s Republic frequently asked questions here:

https://www.authorsrepublic.com/faqs

 

Audio or audio visual?

If you would rather sell your audiobook through the store on your website, there are two options. I can create a single MP3 or an M4A file. Both files will contain the book cover graphic. The advantage of M4A, is that you can display unique images for each part, chapter and section of your audiobook. This make navigation and bookmarking on your smartphone a lot easier. We can go even further by displaying important figures, tables, photos and infographics. I guess that makes M4A an audio visual book!

Here’s a quick description of the M4B/M4A format in (almost) non-tech terms:

https://whatis.techtarget.com/fileformat/M4B-MPEG-4-Audio-Layer-Bookmarkable-File

 

What’s involved in editing and production?

I aim for high clarity, quality, consistency and completeness during editing and production. I can use your recording if you wish, but prefer to record you myself. The largest factor in the final audio quality is the standard of the original recording. You just can’t “unbake the cake” (or can you?)

Love this:

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Editing usually takes 5 to 6 times the recording duration (in our example 40k word count, about a week). During that time, I cover the recording from top to tail cleaning up re-records, pops, clicks, pacing and heavy breath intakes. I also label each section of audio according to your book’s table of contents and each headed section.

I use a series of audio production tools like: equalisation, RMS normalisation, noise reduction and auto ducking. These help to produce the best possible sound for your audiobook.

Within a week, I’ll send you a sample of the mastered recording. I can also break your recording down into ‘Sound bites’. Quotes and excerpts that can be used to help create sales lures or to promote your message on social media.

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Once the editing is complete, I prepare each book section with its own MP3 audio file. Those files may then be used to distribute your audiobook to many online stores including Apple’s iTunes, Amazon’s Audible and Spotify.

Listen to an audio sample here:

Here’s a link to a book on audiobook production:

Recording an audiobook

If you decide to author narrate, I come to you in your home, office or book a studio. Your carpeted dining room or office with high ceilings and soft furnishings is ideal – it’s familiar, has good acoustics and is generally soundproof enough. I bring all the audio gear with me and join you for the entire recording.

It seems to help to have someone to tell your story to – kind of a one man private audience. It helps you perform and engage. Just being there to answer questions, stop for a chat, note down quotable quotes, time stamp mis-reads and desk check pronunciation.

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Book prose that works well when written, can sometimes trip you up when spoken. It took 7 goes to nail: “No drill dentistry in the local shopping strip” and don’t get me started on pronouncing the names of Polish researchers!

I often suggest beginning with an author interview to help you warm up your voice. It becomes useful later as social media content for audiobook promotion. A 40k word count book will generally take around 7 hours to record.

An array of interesting articles on aspects of audiobook recording and production here:

https://cchogan.com/audiobook-tips-a-short-guide/audiobook-articles-and-resources/