If you’re an author like me, you’re probably very familiar with ACX – if you’re not, it’s a really cool site where authors can find narrators to produce their audiobooks! But as awesome as it is to be able to find great vocal talent relatively simply, that doesn’t mean the process is easy. You want your book to sound the way it does in your head, and it’s very hard to match up a real person with your head-voice (at least, it kind of is for me).
With my new book Forgetting What I Couldn’t Remember, this is especially true, because my main character is quite literally, me. Vera Bartlet experiences a lot of the same unpleasant things I have so far in my nearly twenty-three years of existence (my birthday is coming up later this month, and I’m emo about it already). She was bullied throughout elementary and middle school, as was I. Her dating life is, well, nonexistent (at least for the first half or so of the book) and I too, am still working on that aspect of my life as well. Point in case – the person who narrates your book has to match both what you feel and what you imagine your characters would sound like. There’s some technical stuff too that you might want to consider (such as if their recording setup produces quality sound, if their rhythms feel authentic enough, etc.) but what it all comes down to, is how YOU feel about it. Curious about my newest book? Take a peek at it HERE.
It can take a while to find that person. Look at it this way, you set up an audition script, you start asking people to audition, and oftentimes they politely decline for completely understandable reasons (like budgeting needs or time constraints). Regardless of the reason, it can be frustrating to think you aren’t going to even get that many auditions (and honestly, it’s probably better to only have a few anyway. Too much of a good thing, could be a bad thing, after all). But you keep at it, and then it happens – your face lights up as your hear their voice in synch with your book baby, and then you know they’re the person for the job. Kind of like what happened with the finale of my science fiction trilogy – The Upperworld Series. My voice actor for books 1-2 was unable to produce the third book, so I had to find another similar actor to take her place (and that took FOREVER, let me tell ya). But when it works out, it’s just such a relief.
I actually just found someone to voice my latest book, and it’s a great feeling to know that I waited for the right vocal talent to represent my work. She said she’ll be available to start production later this month, which really excites me (and stay tuned for an official announcement once production gets underway). I guess the same virtue could be applied to dating too, but that’s a conversation I don’t totally feel like having at the moment. Besides, what advice could I truly offer? I’ve barely even entered the dating pool myself, ROFL.
Regardless, this collaboration is feeling so good already. Stay tuned for updates on that, and as my imminent twenty-third birthday looms closer, keep an eye out for some great reflective posts and thoughts from a goofy, pink-haired twenty-something who has no idea what she’s doing with her life, but is getting fairly good at winging it these days. And whenever life decides to start getting a move on and I stop feeling stagnant and stuck in this over-grown teenage nightmare, I’ll know that I was on the right track.
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2 thoughts on “Adventures in Narrating… is this thing on?”
I’ve always wondered how an author felt when they hear their work voiced (audition wise).
It’s nerve-wracking from the narrator’s side…or maybe that’s just me.
Best of luck on your book! The colors look amazing ☺
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Yeah it’s always very emotional for the author. Writing a book is just an incredibly private thing (that is, until it’s published obviously) so hearing it outside your own head is always weird but also really cool.
Oh you’re a narrator? How cool! I bet you relate to a lot of this for sure, perhaps just from the other end of it. Thank you so much! This is my most personal book I’ve ever written, and I absolutely love this cover.
Best wishes for your narrating projects as well! 🙂
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