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Ninc Newsletter

May 2013   •  Vol. 24, No. 5   •  Download pdf version

New World of Best Book Practices

 

CHOOSING A NARRATOR,

Step-By-Step Process


How do you choose a narrator
for your audiobook?

 

BY KAREN ROSE SMITH

I delved into the project of developing some of my novels into audiobooks, never realizing what type of challenge this could be. I listened to hundreds of narrator samples on ACX.com, attempting to decide which voice will best convey my hero or heroine, emotion and multiple characters. This can be a difficult decision to make from a ten-minute audition sample. With two audiobooks for sale, two more “in the can” waiting to go live, as well as four other audiobooks in various stages of production, I’ve developed a set of guidelines that help me. Maybe they will help you.

1. Choose an audition sample with multiple characters and emotion as well as narrative.

I usually upload an audition script that includes three characters so I can tell if I can distinguish voices with the narrator. I also upload a scene containing dialogue, narrative, and emotion. This is a true test of a narrator in a short script. It makes a difference to me if the narrator only reads the minimum required or all the pages I uploaded. That is a sign that shows me if the narrator is willing to go the extra mile. That could be vital in working together, whether for deadlines or editing concerns.

2. All recording equipment is not created equal.

You will have varying levels of expertise in not only the telling of the story but in the equipment narrators use to tell it. The first thing to do is buy a set of studio headphones. (I found mine at Sears.)

Table of Contents

President’s Voice: NINC Legal Matters
NINC News: Nominating Committee Call
Royalty Share or Pay for Production?
Pros, Cons, and Eight Options to Sell e-Books
NINC 2013 Conference: Update III
Are We Badgering Readers?
Writing Is Taxing: Ten Tax Tips for Travel Expenses
Not Your Usual Writing Advice: Recovering from Crazy
The Mad Scribbler: Bad Things

You will have customers who listen on everything from computer speakers at their desktop to ear buds and expensive headsets. You need to know exactly what they will be hearing.

3. When you listen to an audition, you will need to listen on several levels.

First, listen for tone and cadence of voice. Could this person be your hero? Could this narrator be your heroine?

Second, listen to the story itself to see if you’re distracted by the voice or                   Continued on page 5

 

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