Book Planning

I have habitually kept a wish-list of public domain books to narrate as I think of them or discover them. (There's over 90 on the list at the present!) I normally make an attempt at ranking my wish list - at least for the top one to three books - so that I can forecast my activities ahead for a few months. I keep a spreadsheet of my readings, with a planning page that plumbs in my expected time commitment each day in order to fix a target for each book's completion.  Both of these I update upon completion so I can look back and see how well my planning process fared against Real Life.

That process has gotten more complicated by my shift to professional recordings. Since for the most part those narrations are the result of successful auditions and a negotiated contract for production, they must take priority over my LibriVox work. In a recent case, my audition was submitted a full year before the publisher awarded the book to me, and then they gave me 5 weeks to produce it.

So now when I slot time for a LibriVox recording, I go to the wish list and feel for which title is calling me the loudest. It's frequently not the one I had nominally placed at the top of the list.

In mid-June I had a pause between projects and I wanted to do something fun, with character voice work.  "The Adventures of Pinocchio" wasn't even on my list, but when I ran across it somewhere on the Web, it was an "ah-ha" moment - I knew I wanted to do it, and soon. I started it the day after finishing "The Enchanted Island" for Audiobooks by Mike Vendetti, had one week clear, and then had to share time with my next pro project, "A User's Guide to the Universe" (which is now in final approval); still, I finished it in three weeks.

I started my formal book planning process in 2008. I finished ten books that year, 11 in 2009, 15 in 2010, 16 last year, and this year I've done 9 through July.


  1. Duuuude! You are a great reader, I'm reading the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes now and am enjoying it greatly. I love how you give different characters different voices. It's almost like listening to an old radio show. Not a lot of readers do that.. Keep up the great work!

  2. I have just listened to "Sense and sensibility" read by you. Thank you for it. I could listen to you for hours (as I already have:)).
    Take care of your voice.
    Best from Poland

  3. Brent Adams9/26/2012

    Thanks for the great readings. My wife and I just go through your recordings to find books we like instead of taking our chances....

    I have listened to Tarzan of the Apes and Lost World more times than I can count.

    Listening to Great Expectations now.

    Brent Adams
    San Pedro, CA

  4. Hi Mark,
    I came to your blog from Librivox. I teach high school and we used your recording of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Thanks for making such a great recording!

  5. Just wanted to say Thanks. I just finished "Great Expectations" on Librivox and it was a great experience, the book plus teh way you read. Thanks!