New VO Book Review: Making Money In Your PJs

Money-in-PJs-cover1I love not only the title, but the content of Making Money in Your PJs, by Paul Strikwerda. Not that I make money in my PJs… no, I make money in my bathing suit in between dips in the pool! Either way, it is a fun life! But that doesn’t mean everyone is qualified for it.

So often people come into this field because all their lives people told them they have a great voice. VO is not about the voice; it is a skill. I tell people that trying to be a great VO talent because you have a great voice is like trying to be Liberace because you have fingers. It takes both talent and skill.

In this comprehensive volume, Paul explains very well why it’s not realistic to jump into a VO career simply because people tell you that you have a great voice:

“If you want to know if you have potential, go to a pro without a hidden agenda. By that I mean: Find someone who’s not intent on selling something to a sucker. This world is filled with unscrupulous characters who will tell you what you want to hear in order to make a sale.

You need someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear. Someone who has nothing to lose and nothing to gain by being brutally honest.

Once the verdict is in, you have to find another pro and then another, before making a decision that could change your life and the lives of those that are near and dear to you. And if those pros confirm what others have told you, it’s time to do some serious research to really understand what you are getting yourself into.”

Paul’s advice is not intended to be discouraging, but realistic.  Do you really want to know if you can make a career of voice-overs? Go into it with your eyes open. The first step in that process is to read this excellent book. Paul covers so much about the business, how to navigate it, and what potential pitfalls to watch out for. He also outlines how to break into the voice-over business.

A key skill covered in depth in this book is “Serving the Script.” Determine the intents of the client and/or author before lending your voice to it. You may need to study a back story in depth. You may need to get into character.  Paul Strikwerda teaches you how to do this.

Do you have questions about rate setting, or outsourcing, or developing a killer VO website? Paul covers it all, including common mistakes people make.

Much of the content of this book surrounds managing your career as a business—a Godsend to many VOs. A large percentage of “talent types” can do the VO work, but really don’t know how to run their businesses as a business. When they do make money, they don’t know how to manage it. If a client doesn’t pay, they don’t know how to collect it. For other clients, they are unsure how to go about raising their rates. Sound familiar? Then this book is for you.

But perhaps the most valuable skill outlined in Paul’s book, Making Money in Your PJs, is that of how to market your skills.

I cannot say that I agree with everything Paul writes. The fact is, 100 different voice-over coaches will have 100 different opinions on different aspects of the business. But I can say this: if you are considering a career in VO, or you want to expand your business, this book will be very valuable to you. Read it right away, then add it to your collection for future reference.

You can get Making Money In Your PJs at:  http://makingmoneyinyourpjs.com/

 

Julie Williams

About Julie Williams

Julie Williams has voiced thousands of commercials and narrations, and eLearning scripts, as well as many other voice-overs. She is an active audiobook narrator, and was a 2012 Audie Finalist. Julie has also taught at such notable events as VO2013, The VoiceLympics Cruise, and multiple VOICE Conferences. She is a nationally recognized voiceover coach, and has coached hundreds of talent worldwide to reach their full potential. Julie is available for private coaching via Skype for a limited number of students.

Comments

  1. Thanks for an honest review, Julie. Informative!

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