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The Audiobook Narrator's Survival-Fun
To APAC-Audies Week In New York
May 2, 2017

(VOXtra) - New York City should declare late May this year as Audiobook Week, when the industry's narrators, publishers and producers are gathering for major events, networking and partying - anchored by APAC - the annual conference of the Audio Publishers Association (APA) on May 31, and the next night's glamorous Audie Awards® Gala. The Audies is the premier awards program in the United States recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment. 
Note: If you don't already have a ticket to APAC, think NEXT year for attending. It's sold out. And the Audie Awards Gala tickets - if still available - are $450 for APA members, $550 non-members. But that doesn't leave you on the streets, since pre- and post-socials - including the infamous Naudies Night - will have you rubbing shoulders and exchanging business cards (print more!) many times over. (Advisory: Your throat will get a workout, so plan your recordings accordingly.)
Tom Dheere has been following APAC for VoiceOverXtra for many years, and treats us to the following "Narrator's Survival-Fun Guide" to where to be in this busy week. (Special thanks to narrator/coach Johnny Heller who laid the foundation for this in a February blog.)

By Tom Dheere
Audiobook Narrator, Voice Actor, Business Coach

The Audio Publishers Association's APAC and Audie Awards Gala week offers much more that two highly anticipated annual events. Much more!

Here is everything you need to navigate and enjoy all the wonderful audiobook events in New York City from May 30 to June 1 - and even further if you attend BookExpo America and BookCon.

BTW: If you have additional tips or tricks to share, please post them in the "Comments" below. Enjoy!


If you haven't found a place to stay yet, the Hudson New York, Central Park Hotel (pictured) is a popular destination for many APAC attendees this year. Here's the address: 358 W 58th Street, New York, NY 10019; click here for details and reservation. Or call 212-554-6000.

FYI:  this is a good time to see what points you've saved up from your various hotel stays over the years and see what you can cash in. Even if you don't have enough points for a free night, some hotels let you cash in points for a discounted rate.

AirBnB is always a fun and relatively inexpensive option. I've used it many times over the years and never had a problem.

There are also many hotels in New Jersey, just a few minutes west of the Lincoln Tunnel. For instance:
  • Hotels in East Rutherford and Secaucus. From there, take a bus to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (check to find the right bus line.
  • Hotels in Weehawken. From there, take the ferry that runs directly behind the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center where APAC is hosted. Check for the ferry into.
  • Hotels in Jersey City and Hoboken. From there, take the PATH train into Manhattan. Check for the PATH info.

If you buy a Metro Card for the NYC subway you can use it on the PATH system, too.

Of course, Uber and Lyft are other popular options. Taxis can get pricey.

But I prefer the subway. If you take the subway, click here to download the MyTransit NYC smartphone app, which shows you subway maps and alerts about delays and shutdowns.

If it's a beautiful day, walk!

A special walking treat on the West Side is the High Line - an elevated railway converted to a walking path festooned with floral life and sculptures. The extra-fun part is that the High Line starts (or ends, depending on your perspective) right next to the Jacob K. Javitts Convention Center (site of APAC).


If your portable recording gear or hotel pillow fort doesn't work for your auditions and  recording jobs during the week, check out Edge Studio at 115 West 45th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues), Floor 8.

The studio is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm ET. To book: email or call 888-321-EDGE (3343).

Studio time there costs $25 per 15 minutes to record an audition; $200 per hour to record a job. Both rates include an engineer.

Tuesday, May 30; 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Baruch College, Engelman Recital Hall
55 Lexington Avenue

Audiobook narrator/coach Johnny Heller's 3rd Annual Splendiferous Workshop is a must!

Johnny's workshop is filled to the brim with top-notch audiobook narrators and producers who share their deepest, darkest secrets about audiobook narration.

It's a day of highly informative panels, and if you're lucky you'll get called up for some live coaching! Click here for details and to register.

The closest subway stop to Baruch College is the #6 (GREEN) train at 23rd Street.

Tuesday, May 30; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
The West 79th Street Boat Basin Cafe

Hosted by the APA, this is a great place to meet your fellow APAC-peeps.

The closest subway stop is the #1 (RED) train stop on 79th Street and Broadway. If you're coming from Johnny's Workshop, walk to 23rd Street and 5th Avenue to take to N or R (YELLOW) train to 42nd Street Times Square, and then transfer to the #1 (RED) train. When you get out of the subway, head for the water, but stop before you fall in. Nobody wants to network with a damp narrator.

Click here for details and registration (scroll down to Upcoming Events).

APAC (Audio Publishers Association Conference 2017) - SOLD OUT
Wednesday, May 31; 8 am - 6 pm
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
655 West 34th Street, New York

If you wanna get technical, the convention center sprawls from 34th Street to 38th Street, between 11th and 12th Avenues.

APAC sessions will be held in Hall E, which is closer to 34th Street. There will be signs once you get inside. Here's a map!

The #7 (PURPLE) train has been extended to 34th Street, right in front of Javits! That will make your commute much easier.

Here's what APA Executive Director Michelle Cobb (pictured) says about this annual sell-out event:
"APAC 2017 sold out in record time, and it's the place to be as the audiobook market continues to grow! With plenty of opportunities to learn from peers, meet publishers and producers and hear about what's new in the industry.
"Keynote speaker Tom Webster from Edison Research will be walking everyone through highlights from our annual Consumer Survey to kick off, and then there are lots of choices in topics throughout the day. Check out all the details and schedule.
"We are in HALL E of the Javits Center this year, and our main room for meals and big events – the River Pavilion - has a great view.
"Audiobooks will also be present at BookExpo America (which runs at the same time at the Javits Center) as part of a panel on consumer data.

"And the APA's Author Tea (a ticketed event at BookExpo, Friday, June 2; 3 - 4 pm) will feature Emmy Award-winning actor and director Alan Alda (If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face?, Penguin Random House Audio) as host, along with James Patterson (Crazy House, Hachette Audio), Marissa Meyer (Renegades, Macmillan Audio) and Daniel José Older (Shadowhouse Fall, Scholastic Audio).
"Plus, note the kick off to June is Audiobook Month with Audiobook Jeopardy on Sunday (June 4) at BookCon.

"Finally, remember that everyone is at APAC to network. Have your 30-second elevator pitch honed to perfection and don't forget to interact with publishers and casting directors on a human level. Anyone who hires narrators is going to get bombarded. They are there to learn and converse with their peers as well, so be professional, prepared and quick to make a positive impression."
From years of APAC experience, here's what I recommend to prepare for the day:
  • Bring a sweater/jacket. Even though it will be late May and plenty warm outside, it can get chilly inside.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Bring protein bars, granola bar, fruit, nuts, etc., to keep you spunky and fresh all day. I like beef jerky! It will make you very popular, at least amongst the carnivores.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Use your phone, tablet, or laptop to take notes. I recommend Google Keep for Android users and Evernote for Mac users.
  • Can't make it to every seminar? Find a Note Buddy whom you can trade notes with at the end of the day.
  • Bring a power cord or portable charger to keep your devices alive all day.
  • Every seminar will be useful, but be absolutely sure to go to the Listening Lounge! It's my favorite part of APAC. Johnny Heller and some of the best narrators in the audiobook industry read short passages of their choice. You will be amazed at how much you will learn just by listening to the best of the best.
Wednesday, May 31
Hudson New York, Central Park Hotel
358 West 58th Street

Johnny Heller hosts. If you're going straight there from Javits, it's a 20-block walk. That's about 35 minutes. If it's a nice day and you wanna stretch your legs after sitting in seminars all day, go for it!

If not, you can take the #7 (PURPLE) train on 34th Street to Times Square and transfer to the (BLUE) A or C or (ORANGE) B or D to the 59th Street station.

Thursday, June 1; 9 am - Noon
NDRI, 71 West 23rd Street, 4th Floor

Looking to brush up your audiobook home studio skills? Then consider this "Deep Dive" workshop with Amanda Rose Smith. Training will include basic acoustics, signal flow, mic technique, software, and mastering techniques. Click here for details and registration.

Thursday, June 1; 6:30 - 11 pm
French Institute Alliance Fran
çaise (FIAF)
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street

This a swanky, black tie-optional affair featuring receptions and presentations of the prestigious 22nd Annual Audie Awards®, including awards for best female and male narrators.

There are 26 categories with four or more finalists in each, so click here for a scorecard to all the finalists.

And click here for details about finalists for the coveted Audiobook of the Year award.

The program is hosted once again by comedian/narrator Paula Poundstone. I was at the Audies last year and she was a riot! You can see the entire 2016 show here. The first 30 minutes are dead air, so I cued it up for ya.

The closest subway station is the (YELLOW) NRW stop at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue.

Click here for details and tickets to the Gala (scroll down to Upcoming Events).


Thursday, June 1; 6:30 pm to whenever
Connolly's Pub & Restaurant
121 West 45th Street

Hosted by Johnny Heller, Jeffrey Kafer and Melissa Exelberth, this is a marginally less swanky affair where everyone who didn't get nominated for an Audie Award goes to commiserate. But you'll find nominees here, too. And it's free to attend! (Cash bar and food, of course.)

There are a bunch of subway stops nearby, so getting there should be easy.


Much of the APAC frivolity takes place in loud, crowded bars. Between that, the traveling in flying virus tubes to get to and from New York City as well as the up-and-down temperatures you'll endure, there is a chance you'll lose your voice, get sick, or both.

Be proactive!
  • Take Airborne before and after you get airborne.
  • Avoid shouting, singing etc.
  • Project from your stomach, not from your throat.
  • I take a Ricola before and after any situation I'm going to speak loudly or at length.     
  • Drink lots of hot tea with honey and lemon.
  • Use Throat Coat!
  • Drink lots of water. I drink coconut water. It's got a lots of electrolytes and I think it's yummy! Keep your alcohol and soda intake to a minimum.
  • Get as much rest as you can.
APAC-AUDIES week is amazing, and I guarantee you will learn a ton about the industry and meet some fabulous people. I hope this survival-fun guide helps.

Over more than two decades, Tom Dheere has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries and voiced more than 50 audiobooks. He is also a voice over business consultant, coach at Edge Studio, was the marketing consultant for the Voice Over Virtual online conference, and is also writer/producer of the new sci-fi action comic book Agent 1.22.

Agent 1.22


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Comments (5)
Talmadge Ragan
5/29/2017 at 10:30 AM
Great advice and tips, Tom. One more- bring a raincoat! See you soon!
Rick Adamson
5/4/2017 at 4:18 PM
Thank you, Tom! Even we local folks love hearing this kind of info!
cat gould
5/3/2017 at 12:43 PM
Thanks Tom, this information filled in a lot of missing address and travel tips for me, I appreciate you putting it all together! I would have been in the wrong hall at APAC! See you there!
Julio Perez
5/2/2017 at 6:43 PM
NOTE TO VISITORS TO THE NYC AREA GOING TO THE CONFERENCE: If you ask for directions related to the subway, contrary to what is inferred in this article, ***DO NOT*** ask about subway lines by color, but by line name. The article above was referring to the 7 line as the purple line. New Yorkers DO NOT refer to subway lines by color and you may be considered as a tourist target for petty theft. VISITOR BEWARE!!!
5/2/2017 at 11:37 AM
Amazing!!! Thanks for putting this together, Tom!
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