1. Which do I need: an ebook, a printed book with CD, or a printed book with streaming audio?

There is little difference in content. It simply depends on which format you prefer. One advantage to the ebooks over the printed materials is you get them immediately and pay no postage, while you have to wait 2-3 days for U.S. delivery of the printed books and up to 10 days for international shipping. Another small advantage of the ebooks is that the photos are in color, while they are in black and white in the printed materials. However, please keep in mind that the printed Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen is still by far the best buy of all products, and it is now available in a brand-new format: printed book with streaming audio. We call this our Deluxe Streaming Edition, as it offers three new dialects that the original version with CDs does not (Birmingham, Estuary, and Jamaican). But please note that this new streaming format is available ONLY for Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen, not individual dialects.

Also bear in mind that all of our individual-dialect-accent ebooks come in two formats: the Windows ebooks (available for purchase here) and the iTunes ebooks (Apple Books), available for purchase through iTunes (Apple Books). The latter ebook format is compatible with iPhone, iPod, iPod touch and Mac computers. (The Windows ebooks are also compatible with Mac computers, but, for Mac users, we recommend the iTunes Apple Book version.) CLICK HERE FOR A FREE VIDEO PREVIEW OF A WINDOWS EBOOK.

2. I want the print book but don’t have a CD player.

Good news! We have just launched a new print version of Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen. It’s called our Deluxe Streaming Edition, as it offers the sound files as streaming audio. So if you want a printed book but don’t have a CD player, that’s your best option. Also keep in mind our products are available as ebooks as well.

3. I’m having trouble viewing my ebook. What should I do?

We’re sorry you’re having trouble viewing your ebook. We rarely get reports of trouble with the iTunes (Apple Book) ebooks, as they rely on the same trusted epub format that all other iTunes ebooks do, but if you are having problems, we suggest contacting iTunes. (Please keep in mind iTunes ebooks are NOT compatible with non-Apple devices, such as Android.) However, if you’re having trouble viewing the Windows ebook you purchased directly from us, we can help!

Downloading the fonts is crucial to successful viewing of your Windows ebook. If you downloaded the Windows version, that should not be a problem, as the fonts are built in. If you downloaded the Mac version, you should have been prompted to install the fonts. If you didn’t download the fonts correctly, you may not be able to see the phonetics in the ebooks, and some visual elements may not display properly. (For instance, text may be too large, text may run off the screen and sound bars may be in odd places.) The font is Charis SIL (regular, bold, italic, and bold italic). After being asked to generate a serial key for your Windows/Mac ebook (which will be e-mailed to you), you should have followed a series of steps, which are necessary to successfully download and view your ebook. The Windows steps are:

  1. Click the Windows link to download the file. If you are prompted to save/run this file, select “save as” and choose a destination. (Or it may go automatically to the “download” folder on your C drive.) You will need to remember that destination to return to it later to unzip the file and open your ebook for the first time.
  2. Depending upon your virus protection, you may get a message saying the software is not trusted. This is common among new ebooks. You should feel perfectly safe about downloading and installing your ebook, as it relies on the trusted LiveCode system.
  3. Follow all the remaining easy steps, and your ebook should install properly.
  4. When opening your ebook for the first time, you will be prompted to enter a registration code. This code has been e-mailed to you.

For the Mac ebook, the steps are:

  1. Click the Mac link to download the file.
  2. When the download is complete, you can usually find the .dmg file by checking your browser’s “downloads” history.
  3. Double-click the .dmg file to open it, and you should see the icon of the disk image appear on your desktop; then simply double-click this icon.
  4. In the window that appears, drag the module file onto the Applications icon. This will copy the file to your Applications folder.
  5. You’ll need to install a font to view the phonetics in your ebook. See the instructions in the disk image window. And for your convenience, we’re provided the following video tutorial: Mac_font_install.
  6. After you’ve installed the module and the fonts, close the window of the disk image. You may then select the disk image on your desktop and, in the Finder, choose File > Eject, or press Command-E to eject the disk image. You may want to keep the disk image file itself in case you need to reinstall the module in the future.
  7. When opening your ebook for the first time, you will be prompted to enter a registration code. This code has been e-mailed to you. Enter it, and enjoy your ebook!

If you’ve followed these steps and still are having problems with your Windows ebook, please make sure you have the latest version of QuickTime. That is crucial for a correct display of the sound bars. (And always remember to reboot your computer after installing QuickTime.) If you’ve tried this and are still having problems, please e-mail Paul.

4. I’m having trouble registering my Windows ebook. What should I do?

You should have been prompted (just after purchasing your ebook) to enter your name and e-mail to generate a serial key, which is unique to your ebook. You should have then received an e-mail with that serial key. Upon first attempting to open your ebook, you should have been prompted to enter that serial key. If one of these steps did not occur, please e-mail Paul and he’ll be happy to provide assistance. Or see question #2 above for more details.

5. I want an ebook for my Android device. (I don’t have a Windows computer or Apple device.)

Good news! Although we don’t currently offer ebooks specifically designed for Android devices, we have just launched a new print product that will deliver the sound files as streaming audio. This will allow you to read your printed book while listening to the audio on your Android, or any internet-connected device.

6. Do I have to pay by credit card on this website?

Credit or debit card is the preferred method of payment for almost all our customers. Rest assured that your payment will be handled on a secure, Pay Pal-supported site. (However, you do NOT need a PayPal account of your own.) If you prefer not to use your credit or debit card online, we can take your credit or debit card over the phone. (See Contact.) For other methods, see Payment Options.

7. What’s the difference between an accent and a dialect?

The terms accent and dialect are almost interchangeable; in popular parlance they mean much the same thing.  But some distinctions may be useful. In its scholarly sense, a dialect is a legitimate variant of a language, telling us about the regional and caste/class origins of the speaker and more. We refer to the Lancashire dialect of English, or the Parisian dialect of French. A dialect has its own vocabulary and grammar, as well as its own distinctive pronunciation. We are all dialect speakers, then, even if we happen to use the prestige “standard” dialect of our own language. For it, too, is a dialect. An accent, on the other hand, is simply a feature or attribute of dialect or language, referring to its pronunciation.

Although the distinction quickly breaks down, I and my fellow North American dialect coaches find it useful to talk about English-language dialects in contrast with foreign-language accents. Though my British colleagues and the linguistic community use the terms differently, we find it useful to emphasize the difference between native speakers, who are speaking their dialect, and people for whom English is not their first language, who are speaking English in the accent of their first language.

8. Do you give discounts for multiple copies of the same book or ebook?

Yes, we’ll be happy to provide you with a discount for multiple purchases of the same book or Windows ebook. Please e-mail Paul for more information. (However, please note that if you’re wanting to purchase an iTunes ebook, iTunes does not currently offer discounts on multiple copies of iTunes ebooks.)

9. How long does it take for my book to be delivered?

If you live in the United States, your book will be shipped priority mail, to arrive in 2-3 days to most locations. (Hawaii and Alaska sometimes take 4 days.) If you prefer express delivery (overnight), that is available for a higher price. For international customers, priority mail international takes up to 10 days while express mail international take 3-5 days. If you need the material right away, please consider purchasing an ebook, which you receive immediately – and don’t have to pay shipping for! If you have purchased Paul’s materials on Amazon, you may experience a slightly longer delivery time, especially if you live outside the United States. (Although we do ship to all international destinations, customers in non-U.S. locations may find it quicker and more cost effective to purchase from a bookstore or website in their own country. See Bookstores for more details.)

10. If I don’t have Skype, can I receive regular phone coaching?

Yes. While Skype is becoming the standard for coaching — and is easy to download and use — Paul now offers coaching via Zoom, a free video conferencing system that is even easier to use than Skype and doesn’t require any type of membership or subscription. (It’s as easy as just clicking a link that Paul will e-mail to you.) But if you still prefer a regular phone session, Paul can do that too. See Skype/Phone Coaching for more information.

11. Can I receive instruction in an accent or dialect that is not among the 27 offered on the “all accents” page?

Yes. While Paul offers printed materials and ebooks in his 27 standard accents and dialects, he is available for coaching in any other accent or dialect. He may even be able to create a custom-made recording just for you, in the dialect or accent you want. And if you’re performing in a well-known play or musical, Paul may already have audio instruction for your role. See Dialect Recordings for Plays/Musicals for details. And please e-mail Paul for more information.

12. Do I need to know phonetics to appreciate Paul Meier Dialect Services’ materials?

Absolutely not. The vast majority of Paul’s clients don’t have any familiarity with phonetics. While a knowledge of phonetics will enhance your experience of Paul’s materials, it is not necessary to know IPA.

13. Why aren’t Accents & Dialects for Stage and Screen and Dialects of the British Isles available as Windows ebooks?

Although Paul’s smaller dialect package Dialects of the United States is available as a Windows ebook, ADSS and DBI are not. The large size of those products makes them difficult fits for the Windows (LiveCode) format. However, both are available in print/CD and also as iTunes ebooks (which is compatible with a Mac). And even better: ADSS is now available as a printed book with streaming audio. See question #2 for details.