I love to serve authors, writers & other creators who need to reach a further audience via audio!
I will partner with you to create a plan and vision for your audiobook and then step into that vision with you to bring it to reality. Working together, we are able to create something more than either of us could accomplish on our own.
Storytelling has been around since sapiens started speaking. From the time I first started reading, there would always be ‘voices’ assigned to certain characters as I read. When I met my wife 20 years ago, part of what drew us together was our love for literature. In the ensuing years, we’ve read aloud to each other and our children hundreds of books.
Before I began narrating books professionally, I was commuting for about 90 minutes a day to work. I’ve listened to narrations by some extreme beginners (as I was just a few years ago), listened to text-to-speech versions of e-books, and on up to some superb professional performers like George Guidall and Ann Larkin. The time saving nature of listening to a book (I can listen anywhere – on my drive to get groceries, on my morning walk, in the middle of doing other tasks – dishes, yardwork etc.) has probably more than quadrupled the amount of books I’m able to read.
What does a professional narrator bring to a book that isn’t there otherwise?
Since I’ve started narrating, I’ve read and heard a couple of times that “audiobook narration will be obsolete in ten years anyway” with better software, and similar comments. That is akin to saying that actors will be out of a job because of computer (or traditional) animation and effects. Sometimes their jobs change a bit, but ultimately, we are still watching new shows that are produced.
A professional narrator brings meaning, emotion, and interpretation to a story that goes beyond, or at least hand in hand with, the author’s initial creation. Pacing, inflection, emotion, characterization and so many other things go into producing an audiobook that makes it a unique and engaging art form. I like to think that when someone listens to my performance of an audiobook, in a way it’s a 3-person creation. The author initiates the creation, I bring characters to life and the world they’ve created, and ultimately, the listener finishes that creation process in their own head, filling the world with detail and emotion that is unique to each listen.
Books that I’ve listened to more than once have this strange capacity of reminding me of not only the story or material in the book, but where I was when I listened to that section before – my commute, my walk, what project I was working on and so forth. Not much makes me much happier than when I hear back from the author after they’ve listened to my performance and being told that I brought them to tears.
What makes an ideal partnership for producing an Audiobook?
First and foremost: Communication. If I’m bringing an author’s creation to life, I owe it to the author to understand where they’re coming from. That’s why I have multiple resources to help my authors describe their characters and the worlds they’ve created. I breathe life into their stories, but I want to make sure the life being breathed into it is as they’ve planned. Right off the bat, I want us both to be clear in what we’re getting into and that we’re going to both benefit from it.
Second, this is a Partnership – regardless of pay structure, royalty share, and any other considerations, producing an audiobook is a partnership. I would have nothing to narrate without an author, and the author would have a substantially different performance without me. The end product is in both of our best interests to be the best we can make it. That means we both look out for each other’s weaknesses and encourage each other’s strengths. If I find a wrong word, or an inconsistency about a character, I’m going to communicate it to you. I also expect the author to actually listen carefully through my performance and if I flub a word, or get the meaning of a sentence way off by my interpretation, I need to know about it so I can fix it.
The third essential element for a successful partnership is Respect. In a 100,000 word novel, the author will have misplaced a comma or misspelled a word. That’s 100,000 opportunities to make an error. The same goes for my performance. I realize an author’s book is their baby. My performance is that for me. Correct things that need fixed and be kind and respectful in the process. Share what you enjoy about my performance along with what needs corrected. I try to do the same with things I find inspirational in an author’s writing. And also, both parties need to recognize that we’re both doing this because one, we want to, and two, we’d like to see some return on our efforts. Both Writing and Narrating are marathon-type sports. It takes daily work and effort to be a success at either.
New to audiobooks & not sure how to go about it? Fill in the contact form below and I'll email you my eBook, Audiobooks for Authors: Where to Start.
My Pipeline is always full, partially because I love so many genres - the main genres I've been focusing on are Inspirational, Sci-fi, Political, Children's (& YA), Romance (Clean), nonfiction, and Fantasy. I'd love to get your project formally in my pipeline too!
In my up & coming list, I try to indicate what genres they fall under for you by sticking the logo for each beside the titles. As I focus a little more each week on Marketing, I'll also include links to authors websites & blogposts related to the production process. If you LOVE the logos, like I do, my daughter designed them & is available for your artistic needs should you be interested. Email me & I'll put you in touch.