This week, Sorrowfish went on preorder finally. As an avid audiobook consumer, one of my first priorities is creating a fantastic audiobook version. Rod and I listen to books literally every night together. It’s a family tradition that began when our kids were growing up. We did the Harry Potter series. In high school, the kids got into the Hunger Games books with us. We read and discussed them together years before the movies hit the big screen. The kids left home but our habit remains. We have our favorites. Mark Lawrence and Michael J. Sullivan currently dominate the Audible library.
I want my book on audio asap.
I went to ACX. I was delighted to not have to put money out of pocket and receive auditions. People in my indie author groups said to go hire a narrator, definitely. Okay then. This is fun.
I had my book accept auditions for about two weeks. I received three auditions.
Ok, first you have to know that in my design/marketing career I have worked with several voice actors. Diane, the voice of OnStar, Natalie, an amazing pro voice talent, and Yee Jee, who has been in feature films and is a regular narrator for Dr Who audiobooks. Also. I have listened to a lot of audiobooks. See above.
It quickly became apparent that my expectations were higher than “Royalty Share” would allow for. Truthfully? Royalty Share isn’t a great thing for narrators. Now, a decent narrator, a narrator who will meet my own standards, is going to be Audible approved and likely belong to the union. That’s $200-400 per finished hour. I’m looking at a 13-14 hour audiobook. So yeah. $3-6k. Some authors will do hybrids but the royalty-share-only pickings are slim. They’re new. novice voice actors.
I read a book about how to create an audiobook. It’s a how-to for an author, how to work with a narrator to get the best final product. I recommend reading it. But the upshot for me was, I needed to do a lot of work to get my vision across and help the narrator not waste tons of time. Time is money.
Then I saw this.
Okay. It just so happens I’ve had many years of voice lessons and did drama all through junior high, high school and college. My voice will work and if I do it myself, I can capture what was in my head when I wrote it.
I bought gently used equipment from the ACX wishlist And I’m going to try a hand at this myself. If it doesn’t go well, I can always ask Natalie for some help.