* Set your equipment up in a quiet place away from barking dogs, loud fans, television sounds or any type of external noise.
* If possible, use an external microphone that can be placed in such a way that you are not turning your head away from it as you read.
* Set up your reading materials so that you can turn pages without creating noise.
Getting Prepared to read
* Be sure your voice is clear. Do not record if you are congested or hoarse. You might have water nearby. It is recommended that you take frequent breaks – every 20-30 minutes. Again, pause rather than stop the recording.
* Read with interest and inflection and avoid monotone or overenthusiastic reading.
* Read over the materials before you start recording. This can be a brief scan, but if you find anything unusual be prepared to smoothly handle it. Please note the following issues.
< Biblical reference: References should be embedded in the text. You should look them up in advance and be ready to read them. This can be done with a printed Bible with numbered bookmarks or with electronic Bible systems such as YouVersion or Bible Gateway. These are for you to read – do not put electronic or narrated voices other than your own into the text. Have these ready to read in context. Rather than stopping the recording, use the pause so as to not embed a click or terminate the file.
< Graphs and Charts: Check for graphs and think through how you might describe them. Some graphs are a visual representation of what appears in the text and can just be read as, “a graph showing the kings and prophets described in the text appears here.” But sometimes it is external information. That might be read as. “a graph showing the five points of Calvinism appears in the text. This is from the reform Baptist.com website. It appears as a Venn diagram of 5 overlapping circles each with a tenant of the doctrine of grace. In the center where they all overlap the word Calvinism appears. The 5 circles spell out the word TULIP. The circle marked T indicates the Total Depravity and reads, ‘After the fall/Genesis 3) man has become darkened or totally depraved…’”
< Footnotes: Footnotes at the bottom of the page when they are cited in the text and should be read where they appear in the text. < Sidebars: Sidebars can be read either before or after the text. < Pronunciation: Be sure you know how to pronounce various Biblical names found in the text. You can use computer programs like BibleSpeak.org or apps such as Biblical Pronunciations. You can also use YouVersion audio Bibles to help with pronunciation. < Photographs and Pictures: Other times, you may need to describe a photograph in the text. Brief descriptions are best. For example, the following picture might be described as, “A stormy sky over the ark, a large wooden structure of many stories, being loaded with pairs of different kinds of animals in a long line.”
Getting Starting and Ending:
Start each book by reading based on the following example:
This recording of the Book “A Faith Beyond Reason” by A. W. Tozer was copyrighted in 1989 by Christian Publications, Camp Hill, PA. This recording is made available through Public Law 104-197, Section 316 for the exclusive use of persons who are blind or physically disabled. This publication is recorded by CARE Ministries, Inc., P. O. Box 1830, Starkville, MS 39760. Telephone number 662-312-1964. Website www.careministries.org. This book is being recorded to the glory of God by CARE Volunteer ______(your name)_____.
Content: Please read everything including table of contents, preface, epilogue, notes by the author. You do not need to read page numbers, but do read chapter titles or numbers. For example, “Chapter 3, The Meaning of Grace.”
Ending: At the end of reading the publication please read the following:
If you are interested in becoming a narrator for CARE Ministries, contact the CARE office at 1-662-323-4999. You will be sent an audition packet or a website link that will include some materials to read and instructions in sending in your demo audition. Both your voice and your equipment will be assessed.
Being a CARE Volunteer Narrator
As much as possible, we try to pair narrators with books they might like to read. The most difficult are the Bible Studies, but since Bible study is challenging for some people who are blind, these are often requested. Sometimes it will be a book that a church is doing in which case there is a time crunch and other times it may be requested by someone leading a Bible Study who is blind.
Unless agreed upon otherwise, CARE will send you the book which should be returned to the office upon completion. We do have a publication committee that will review questionable publications. We try to avoid anything that contains inflammatory or misinformation (“all adopted children are spawn of the devil”), politically motivated materials (4 American Fascists: The Christian Right and War in America”), or books that are critical of other denominations. We also try to select books that will have a wide level of interest. We avoid textbooks and denominational materials unless there may a more universal interest. If you are reading a book and are concerned about the content, please contact the office and someone from the Publication Committee will address this for you.
Once recorded, we have volunteers who will review the book. At times we have been short of volunteers to do this, and it has not been an issue with more experienced narrators, but if you are just beginning, expect that your book will be reviewed before it is made available.
The Publication Committee prepares recording guidelines, helps with the selection of books, quality control, and oversees technical activities associated with recording, materials conversion and distribution.