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With A Little Help from My Friends

Posted: February 27, 2016 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 27, 2016 2:00 a.m.

In the audiobook business, most of us know a voiceover career doesn't usually just take off and start making money. It pretty much started for me when David Lawrence decided to teach voiceover. I was in his first or second class of 16 sessions. He taught about audiobooks in one module. I was adamant, telling him I was not going to do audiobooks, because I would rather make more money and work less doing commercials.

Well, David knew something I didn’t. Audiobooks are actually fun. It's easier to get in. And writing, well it’s addicting. I decided to write a children’s story and narrate it. It's not a money maker yet, but it is fun and I got really good at it. I've got a lot of awards and medals. And the book is number one on Amazon’s 2015 best-selling children's book for ages two through seven in four countries and in three categories. Then, I did it again and again with other books.

But that's not what this article is about. This article is about intellectual property theft. Stealing of audiobooks and free downloads. It happened to me. Seven months ago a stranger took 94 books from Amazon’s Audible, the book covers and the voice samples, and made his own videos. He posted it to a channel on YouTube and probably monetized it.

My son and I are the rights holder(s) on these books. They are U.S. copyrighted. My son illustrated them and I narrated them. They were included in the 94 audiobooks that were stolen. I doubt the other people have any idea that their books were stolen. Anyway, I reported it to YouTube and Amazon.

I didn't want to tell my business all over Facebook. But I did want to warn those 94 people and the other audiobook narrators that this is going on. I only posted it to a couple small Facebook groups. This helped because David Lawrence saw my story. He had the right contacts and majorly assisted in getting this guy shut down.

Having friends that take initiative to help out, not only helped myself and my son, but all of the industry of writing and those 94 audiobooks and narrators.

What I didn't know is there were more complaints. Therefore, the offender’s channel was shut down within two days. This story ends on a very good note. I am proud to be in a close knit industry where we all help each other.

Rev. Dr. Tracy Elman, D.D., D.M. Dream Maker Coach, Multi-Award Winning and Best-Selling Author, Narrator, and Founder of Leap to New Heights. Tracy takes you on a captivating journey while keeping you riveted with every word she speaks. Tracy voiced over 65 recorded characters. Appearances include commercial, VO & ADR, magazines, newspapers and radio interviews Amazon, Audible, iTunes, Kindle and more


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