recommendations about CD makers?

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    Dear Folks,

    I’ve recorded my long story, Burnt into Memory: How Brownfield Faced the Fire, and I would like to make a small run of CDs (say, 2-300), partly to sell and partly to donate to the Brownfield Maine Historical Society.  I’ve lined up a designer to help with the CD cover, etc., but I need to find a reliable — and reasonably priced— company to produce the CDs.
    Any strong recommendations?
    Thanks in advance,
    Jo Radner
    P.O. Box 145
    Lovell, ME 04051

    From: “Cris Riedel”
    Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:44:21 +0000

    I’ve used Oasis several times-
    Congratulations on your story!


    From: “Megan Hicks”
    Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:11:07 -0500

    I unequivocally recommend DiscMakers, Pennsauken NJ. Always responsive and helpful. And they have a range of packages and price points.



    From: “Michael J Bennett”
    Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2017 14:25:38 -0600

    You’ll be tempted to go with a larger package to reduce your per-piece costs.

    Resist that urge. Make the list of who you will give copies to, then double it for your first order. You can always order more, but you can never order less.

    I say this as the guy who once had a pile of books equal in size to an ambulance sitting on pallets in his garage. No, I hadn’t ordered them.

    Michael J Bennett


    From: “Bettizane Smith”
    Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:22:03 -0800

    I have used Disc Makers, too. They helped produce of my CDs, one in 2000 and the other in 2015. I would contact them to ask about short-runs. As for support, they are quite wonderful.

    There is another company in Portland, OR, that apparently does short-runs a lot. It is Atomic Disc. I researched them for the 2015 CD, and almost went that way. In the end, I fell back on the familiarity of working with tried and true Disc Makers.

    Super good luck!!

    P.S. On my last project, I did an initial run of 1000. Folks are not buying CDs like they used to do. I’m just about finished with paying for our production costs of sound engineering, artwork and then the press & print.


    From: “Jeff Gere”
    Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 12:21:32 +0000

    Hi All,

    I want to bring up a thought or two about CDs & DVDs….
    I live in Hawaii, and YouTube has been an invaluable marketing
    Tool. I am now in Taiwan. Following my 10 days of shadow puppet
    shows, I tracked down & visited a Shadow Puppet Museum. The Director
    & English speaking Coordinator greeted me with enthusiasm.
    “We loved your videos!” It looks like they will be fuming another visit.

    I’ve made 10 CDs & two DVDs for myself & some for others. To me, they
    Are calling cards, records of my creative life. I just ordered a bunch of them all
    Thinking “if I don’t have copies of my recorded work to give out why should
    Anyone else want them?”

    Last month a guy approached me about doing an .APP walking tour of Waikiki-
    I offered him 3 hours, he chose one theme and I went into my bag of recordings.
    It was very pleasant reviewing and hearing them again. Now at the time I recorded
    Them there was no such thing as a Walking Tour .app, but because I went for
    Recording my work, it was easy to pick the best versions of the stories to the theme.

    I urge you & everyone I know to record your/their voice telling stories.
    Some day that may be all there is for your great grandchildren to hear of you.

    Just sayin’….
    Jeff Gere


    From: “Fran Stallings”
    Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 08:04:52 -0600

    On Dec 16, 2017, at 6:21 AM, Jeff Gere (via storytell list) <> wrote:

    I urge you & everyone I know to record your/their voice telling stories.
    Some day that may be all there is for your great grandchildren to hear of you.

    This is a thought-provoking twist in the thread.

    Then the question becomes, via what surviving medium will the great grandchildren be able to hear us? I heard last night on NPR that sound recorded on magnetic tape is actually more durable than digital discs (CD, DVD). But on what will they play?

    We still have mini reels of taped letters sent home by my brother from Vietnam, and the last time we could find a working reel-to-reel player, they still sounded good. I have cassettes from the 1980’s that play just fine on the simple “bread box” player I got when Radio Shack closed. But our CD players don’t last long, let alone the discs!

    What will become of the novel one wrote in a word processing program that is no longer supported? Where will all our photos, videos, and documents go when the Cloud evaporates (or is bought by a corporation that charges exhorbitant fees to maintain your share)?

    There is something to be said for paper.



    From: “Jo Radner”
    Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 14:15:36 +0000

    Fran, It’s great that you have made us more aware of the dangers of loss of electronic/digital recordings. My advice is what I tell every oral history workshop: MIGRATE YOUR RECORDINGS REGULARLY—that is, keep re-recording what you wish to preserve. We don’t know for sure how long different media will last. Good tapes will start to drop data after 10 years, though. CDs and DVDs are even more vulnerable to handling than tapes. The one good thing in the evolution of sound recording is that digital recordings, unlike tapes, lose no quality when they are copied—so copy them frequently! Not only when media change, but just to keep the recordings fresh and accessible. Back up recordings in several ways—in the cloud, on a separate hard drive, on CD/DVDs.

    If we’re careful, then, the great-grandkids will hear our voices. Whew.

    Happy holidays to all,

    Jo Radner
    P.O. Box 145
    Lovell, ME 04051
    (207) 925-6244

    Check out the Northeast Storytelling Conference – March 23-25, 2018


    From: “Patricia Coffie”
    Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 12:23:40 -0600
    Son who has worked successfully in film industry since 1986 just migrated those eight and super eight mm home movies to blu ray and sent a blu ray/DVD Player. I had had the films done on VHS but kept the film. (Yes, I am a librarian and we keep things.) Says film is still the best capture but not so widely accessible.

    Print on paper but good paper and serious ink (not ink jet) are necessary for any hope of print on paper survival.

    Best advice for your personal archives is migrate formats. Next best is to keep the format and the format player. Yes, I have an 8 mm projector.

    Patricia Coffie
    Stories from Home
    203 Emery Drive
    Waverly, IA 50677

    There’s a story for that…


    From: “Laura Simms”
    Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2017 14:42:46 -0500

    Dear All,

    it is so tender to read all of our concerns about cd’s and recording. I suggest recording all or as much of your work as you can .. I have started to use my iphone with a very good little microphone. The quality is suprisingly good. And I can download it. Like so many plans, I have not done anything significant yet, but there are stories that I rarely tell and love that I now have recorded. Perhaps a very special CD recording of your best work or a specific theme or issue will be worth the expense. But for your posterity and for those who love to hear your stories, having something with your voice is still the best next to hearing you live.

    to all a very beautiful and refreshing holiday season and may this new year be filled with GOOD NEWS
    with love and appreciation to this very remarkable and generous group,


    From: “Yvonne Healy”
    Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2017 20:03:15 +0000

    Laura, do you use an external mic for recording? What kind?

    Yvonne Healy


    From: “Mary Garrett (via storytell list)” <>
    Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2017 23:19:08 -0600

    I have a Snowball mic from the Apple Store —

    Stories Make the World Go Around,
    Mary Garrett St. Peters, Missouri

    Frog & Friends and Courage and Wisdom CDs


    From: “Judy Schmidt”
    Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 09:17:47 -0500

    Hi Fran,

    Yes, this is a difficult issue with no easy answers. Last year I attended a Public Library session on this subject with archivists, most of them several decades younger than myself. One woman in her early 30s was saving text messages!

    I have converted cassette recordings to digital formats, but who knows what the future will bring.

    And the main reason I haven’t gotten a new desktop computer since 2008 is that I’ve been making topic lists and converting to pdf years of letters to my daughter that are stuck in AppleWorks! The archivists applauded my efforts, but had no better solutions. (I do have paper copies of the letters as well.)

    The computer folks tend to skew younger and are always moving on to the next thing. They don’t seem too concerned about retaining the past.

    Judy Schmidt


    From: “Richard Marsh”
    Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 17:50:17 -0000

    Put stuff on youtube. It should be accessible there for some time into the future. I have several stories online, but I can’t explain how to do it. All I did was copy links sent by the people who videoed them and insert the links on my website and blog.

    Richard Marsh


    From: “Danni Altman-Newell”
    Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2017 11:32:07 -0600

    If anyone has an interest in adding their stories to YouTube, but has no interest in maintaining their own channels, please contact the National Storytelling Network! We’re working on building a YouTube channel and would
    love to work with interested storytellers to obtain items we can place online. We also have a project in development we’re hoping to start next year where we create an archive of materials at our home base in Kansas City
    which we would like to make available physically and digitally. We have the space, we have the interest and we have the facility support, now we just need YOU! 🙂

    Please contact if you have any interest in assisting NSN with either of these projects.

    Danni Altman-Newell
    Marketing & Membership Manager


    From: “Judy Schmidt”
    Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 09:07:14 -0500

    Hi Jeff,

    “I urge you & everyone I know to record your/their voice telling stories.
    Some day that may be all there is for your great grandchildren to hear of you.”

    Agree with you wholeheartedly. Cost effectiveness is not the only criterion. Our three Guild CDs provide a snapshot in time of our most active tellers. Some folks on the first and second CD have dropped out of membership completely, so it’s nice to hear their voices from time to time.

    In my personal life I taped “oral history” recordings of family members and members of a summer community to which I have belonged since I was two years old. Most of them are on the other side now, but when I listen to their voices it’s like they are right here in the room with me. I have gone back to those recordings, now converted to digital format, and mined them for story material, most recently my colorful Uncle Max, whose destroyer sank in the Mediterranean during World War II. He was the last man rescued.

    I have never been sorry that I taped someone – only that I didn’t get around to taping folks before they passed.

    I also did oral history demos with various 7th grade classes when I was a school librarian. Most of my subjects were their teachers and student teachers. That was another fascinating project!

    Judy Schmidt


    From: “Bettizane Smith”
    Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2017 08:00:22 -0800

    Thanks, Jeff. What a good suggestion. My stumbling block is that I have never liked seeing myself on video (I’m camera-shy, too). Maybe we need to video ourselves more often? This could be a powerful tool to learn more objectivity about our physical presence on stage.

    Since the early days of my own storytelling career, I have recorded most of story repertoire for rehearsal purposes. As a young mom, as the wee bairn napped, I’d put on my little cassette player while I’d wash dishes. It was a perfect time to listen. That way I could take the stories “into my bones,” so to speak.

    Nowadays I record new stories on my phone. Lots of times I listen while I’m driving. This tool has been a lot of help as I’m learning new stories and also as a way to keep in touch with stories that I don’t tell often. This technique also gives me a chance to review and refine the narrative. Yesterday I drove over an hour to a doctor’s appointment. On the trip, I took at least 30 minutes to review stories. During that same drive I heard a wonderful interview with Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish on NPR. The topic was exploring how we speak. Since use of our voices is a core element for all of us, I think this might be worth a listen:

    An actor friend of mine, who does one-person plays, rehearses every day for a minimum of 2 hours. It’s all in his cell-memory. Oh, if only I had that kind of discipline!

    bz smith


    From: “”
    Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 17:34:21 GMT

    Fran et all

    This has been a interesting thread to read. Storytelling has been a major part of my life for thirty some years. After attending my first (of many) Nat’l Storytelling Festival, I began to think about all the CD’s that were for sale there. I decided that I wanted to have a product I could market. I listened to some really good stories that were made almost un-listenable by “kitchen table” productions! I began going out and talking to studios to see what They could do with Storytelling. It was a high cost, $75 an hour, but I felt that I would have a better quality product. I went in the first day and cut my first CD. I took the scratch disk home, put it in my computer and listened. What I heard was probably the worst disk of storytelling I had ever heard. I had stood in the sound booth and watched the technician manipulate the sound. The stories were just DEAD!

    The next day I went back to the studio and told them to scratch the 3 hours of recording. I proceeded to tell my Scary stories with my eyes closed! Big difference. The studio provided musical interludes between stories and I think they made a good product which featured my programs. I did two more CDs, a children’s disk and a general disk with “favorite stories”. I found a production place that did 100 lots at $1.00 each, and ordered my first recordings. You can probably get disks cheaper by buying in more volume, but storage space and initial cost has to come into play. I just reorder in 100 lots, and it works well.

    The thing I found is people who want to hire you can go on my web site and HEAR what I can do. They can decide if I fit their requirements before deciding. I also use CDs as a giveaways at local organizations for ! dollar you get some great advertising.
    I still have some disks left and they still are good promotions. I don’t do as much telling these days, At 81 years, Growing old is Hell!

    Steve Otto

    Storytelling is NOT for Some people
    It’s for ALL people

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