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Audiobooks: Behind the Scenes


What do famous authors such as Scott Turow, Janet Evanovich, Judy Blume, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Tom Wolfe, Lisa Scottoline and many Massanutten Regional Library patrons have in common? They are frequent users of audiobooks. 

Massanutten Regional Library Main is kicking off June’s celebration of Audiobook Month with its presentation of “Audiobooks: Behind the Scenes” on Thursday, May 31, from 7-8 pm in the Main Library Meeting Room.

National voice over presenters Andi Arndt and Paul Heitsch will speak about their careers with voice recording.  The program will address audiobooks as a genre. The speakers will also demonstrate how to set up a voice studio with a simple computer laptop and microphone. 

Arndt, a Shenandoah Vally resident, has an extensive background in the performing arts and public radio. Her clients include AT&T, Rosetta Stone, California Happy Cows, and New York Newsday.  

Heitsch has worked for over three decades as a pianist, recording engineer, composer, sound designer, director, and producer. Heitsch has also performed with the Second City Touring Company where he has performed with such notables as Steve Carrell, Chris Farley, and Jane Lynch. He has also performed with Rosetta Stone, leading a team that produced all the spoken word content for the launch of the company’s V3 product in 2007. 

Both Arndt and Heitsch work for the Bee Audio Company, located in Ashland, Oregon, which specializes in digital recording of audiobooks, audiomagazines, e-learning, multimedia presentations, voiceovers, podcasts, and voicemail messaging. 

In a recent consumer survey, the Audio Publishers Association learned that 25% of Americans have listened to an audiobook in the last year. Audiobook listeners most frequently utilize car commuting as a time period for listening to audiobooks. Teachers and librarians report that listening to audiobooks helps children build better vocabularies and better speaking skills. 

The May 31 program at MRL Main is free and open to the public. 

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