June is audiobook month! This is a great time to try out an audiobook if you haven’t already. Of course, many of you have as Audioåç Publisher’s Association annual report highlighted another year of amazing growth in audiobook sales for 2016, up another 33%.
You may find audiobooks featured in your local library this month and there are lots of activities online, of course. There is an audiobook blog tour going on throughout June. By visiting the links to the blogs featured in the blog tour, you’re sure to find some great listens!
Audiobook narrators are being featured a lot this month too. Warren Adler is doing a narrator feature for audiobook month and I was lucky enough to get interviewed there as the narrator of two books in his Fiona Fitzgerald Mystery Series. As luck would have it, this is also the month I was featured in Pamela Morsi’s newsletter for the release of her new audiobook, Wild Oats.
As for myself, boy do I love audiobooks! I have almost 300 audiobooks in my collection and I’ve been listening for years before I started narrating. I savor the times of the day when I get to listen, like when I’m doing laundry or cleaning or exercising or driving.
The number of awesome audiobooks out there to enjoy can be overwhelming for sure. Especially when you may be learning to listen from your phone at the same time. Let me tell you an easy way to get started. The good news is you can try Audible and get two free audiobooks*. Then download the Audible App to easily listen on your phone, tablet, or computer.
Maybe you will like one of my top five recommendations below and maybe one that I narrated?
#1 Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole
#2 The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin
#3 The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes
#4 Karma by JC Andrijeski
#5 How to Bake Pi
I began narrating books as a result of publishing my own little personal development book in 2016. During the process of making it into an audiobook (which I had to have because I love, love, love audiobooks), I felt inspired to create a narrator profile on ACX. It was something I had been pondering for a while so I took the leap. Since then I’ve had fortunate experiences, studied the craft, and consulted with coaches to accelerate my progress.
When I first decided to give narrating a try, I thought it would be so easy, especially if I would just focus on nonfiction. I figured there was tons of competition for narrators who want to read fiction, plus I thought nonfiction suited my personality and voice better. I’ve been known to take everything so seriously and I also choose to spend very little time on frivolous pursuits so nonfiction seemed like a good match in many ways.
Then, out of the blue just a couple months into narrating, I received an invitation to audition for a fiction title. The invitation was from Warren Adler’s team. He is a prolific and well-established writer. They were looking for ladies to narrate his Fiona Fitzgerald Mystery Series. There were 9 books in the series at the time and some past inklings of it being turned into a TV series. Oh my stars, that all sent me reeling! I followed up on the invitation with an explanation of how I hadn’t narrated fiction before and received encouragement back to give it a go. So I figured, “What the heck?” I did the audition and received an offer back along with more encouragement. Below is what I tweeted.
As it turns out, I do have a friend in acting, so I gave him a call. He had some advice to get me started, and he tapped into his network to help me find a voice acting coach.
Boy did I luck out! Coach Nokes brought me along quickly. After a few coaching sessions not only did I notice big improvement in my understanding of narration and what my voice can do but also my confidence grew. Coach Nokes can interpret a script and nail character traits and how to reflect that in the voice in seconds. He also had numerous dialects at the tip of his tongue. It’s more than a little impressive.
From there, I kept plugging along. I posted new samples to my ACX profile. Nearly weekly I was invited to audition for projects or just given royalty deal offers straight out the gate. I researched each opportunity looking for books that had already done well in paperback or ebook formats. I checked reviews and looked up the web presence of the authors who contacted me. I searched open auditions on ACX periodically and submitted when I found something that I thought would be a good fit.
I learned very quickly to choose carefully because completing an 8-10 hour audiobook project is a marathon that requires many hours and great attention to detail. It’s also risky when agreeing to royalty share deals since you may or may not earn back what you put into it. Maybe I’m a gambler at heart but royalty share deals still appeal to me. Maybe I just don’t know enough. I have been advised in several consultations to get the heck away from royalty share deals asap.