How To Become A Book Coordinator

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See also the fabulous Tips for Book Coordinators (also below)

What is a book coordinator?

A book coordinator (commonly abbreviated BC in the forum) is a volunteer who manages all the other volunteers who will record chapters for a LibriVox recording.

Why does LibriVox need book coordinators?

Everyone involved in LibriVox is a volunteer. Managing book production is fine for one or two books, but if you try managing 10 books it gets tough. So we asked veteran LibriVoxers to help out in coordination and it worked like a charm.

Can anyone be a book coordinator?

We like to see some familiarity with LibriVox systems before becoming a book coordinator. This way you'll have a better idea about the process, what the volunteers need to know, and what needs to be done. Most people gain this familiarity by recording some chapters, or a solo project, some do a lot of proof-listening or help out in other ways. - If you post a new collaborative project and we see that you only have a couple of forum posts 'under your belt' we are likely going to suggest to hold your project until you know more about LibriVox.

Please remember, though, that coordinating a project is in most cases quite a time commitment. A medium-sized novel takes 6-12 months for a group to complete, and the BC is expected to stick with the project day by day. If you are doubtful that you can make this kind of commitment, we'd prefer that you help out in other ways on LibriVox.

What does a book coordinator do?

The following:

  1. Use the Project Template Generator. Post the project in a new topic in the New Projects Launch Pad forum.
  2. Post: [book title], by [author name] as the subject (for non-English books, please see the language section in the FAQ!). Do not insert the abbreviated letters for an MC (eg. - kl) into the title yourself, please. Meta Coordinators (MCs) choose projects according to interest and availability. Let an MC choose your project to coordinate, and they will put their own initials to the subject line.
  3. Before posting your project, please read one of the following documents, which explains our admin system, which you will be using: BC's: How to update the Magic Window or Soloists: How to update the Magic Window
  4. A Meta Coordinator (MC) will be along shortly afterwards to 'claim' your project, set it up in the database and add a Magic Window (MW) to your first post. Once you have filled in the titles and other pertinent info in the MW, your MC will move the into the appropriate Readers Wanted forum. To learn about what a Meta Coordinator does, see: The roles involved in making a LibriVox recording
  5. Keep track of who volunteers to read each section, the date of the claim, and when files are completed. Do this by using the admin system, explained here: BC's: How to update the Magic Window
  6. Define a filename scheme. The filename should be in this format (all lowercase): booktitle_chapter/section number(s)_authorslastname_128kb.mp3 (e.g. divinecomedy_03_dante_128kb.mp3). There are three essential ID3 tags: title/track, artist, and album. These ID3 tags are now automatically added during the cataloging process, and readers are not required to fill them in unless the BC wants them.
  7. Collect the following information for every file: reader's name (how it should appear in the LibriVox catalog), reader's webpage URL (if applicable), runtime. To change information for an existing reader, ask an admin for help.
  8. Collect all the files from a book and make sure files are uploaded to the LibriVox Uploader (unless your MC specifies a different place). When a reader sends you a finished file, check it is complete and that the filename is correct, add the URL into the Magic Window table and change the status to 'Ready for PL'. Also check that the sample rate and bitrate are correct according to our tech specs, and that the volume is okay. You may use the tool Checker for this. See also this post.
  9. Keep track of progress, and remind volunteers as the deadlines approach. (Remember - we're all volunteers, so be nice; but if someone cannot deliver, offer to find another volunteer to do the chapter.)
  10. Once all files are complete, tell your meta coordinator and s/he'll let you know the next steps.

I'm ready, what now?

Are you sure? Being a Book Coordinator requires to handle a lot of questions, often from new volunteers. Take our BC Readiness Quiz to see what can come up. How many questions can you answer?

If I am really ready to be a Book Coordinator, can I just post my book in the Readers Wanted section?

The Readers Wanted forum is for projects that are in progress. To start a new project, please post to the New Projects Launch Pad forum.

Is there anything else a Book Coordinator should do?

Sure. If you are inspired, you could:

  • write a brief description to be included on the catalog page, or ask someone else to write it!
  • contact friends & family to try to get them to record.
  • contact your local library and tell them about the project
  • you could also contact websites with a focus on that book or author and let them know about the recording and LibriVox ... try googling the book title and contact the first three sites, if appropriate.

Do you have any tips for Book Coordinators?

You can find lots of tips here. Please update the tips if you can!