I’ll begin this post by telling you that I’m a huge fan of audio books. My family–and especially my kids–listen to them all the time. It’s always been a dream of mine to have a book on audio and as the rights holder to This Quiet Sky, the opportunity presented itself. After a bit of research and helpful advice from others, I discovered ACX, a platform that connects books with professional narrators. It’s been an incredibly fun and rewarding experience! Here’s an inside peak at the process so far…
The first steps:
The first thing that I had to do was to create a profile for my title which would then go into a feed that narrators could find and audition for if it’s something that interests them. I loaded This Quiet Sky onto ACX and entered in all the details needed. One of these requirements was an audition script. I chose a portion early on in the story that had a good blend of narration and dialogue from the both of the main characters, Sarah and Tucker. That way I could hear all the elements that I needed. I loaded the script, hit submit, and within moments, had a live book profile that was accepting auditions. I was so excited!
ACX recommends that rights holders be proactive and seek out actors or actresses that they like, so I spent a few days digging through samples of narrators. I was able to refine my search to help me find just the right actresses to read the story based on vocal age and accent.
After listening to tons of samples, I landed on several that felt like great fits. Cue pinterest! I was able to save their profiles to a secret board and return later on over the next several days, to give each actress a few more listens. This led me to narrow it down to two ladies that really fit what I was looking for and I contacted them directly. They responded, shared that they would love to audition, and within days, I had the first demo. As a lover of audio books and as an author… it was a dream come true to hear something that I had written, narrated aloud. I was completely smiling from ear to ear when the first sample arrived!
And also, because the novella’s ‘script’ was live for auditions, I had several more demos come in from actresses who had found the project and chose to submit a recording for consideration. This was a fun surprise! Right from the start, there was one narrator that I had sought out directly who had struck me as quite possibly the one. I scoured through her samples and even hopped over to amazon to give her other productions a listen and the more I did that, the more I felt like she was the perfect fit for this project. More on her in a moment… 🙂
I was so impressed and blessed by the work of these ladies. Some asked me if I had any tips on the dialect I had in mind for the different characters so that they could incorporate it into their audition. Another narrator visited my website and read up on the Cadence of Grace series which inspired her to incorporate different vocal elements into her performance that were fun to hear. All in all, this was a delightful process. I enjoyed communicating with the narrators, hearing their thoughts on the story and for their kindness through the audition process. Which all led me to needing to make a decision.
The young woman who had been on my radar from the start was one of the last to submit her audition as she had been away from her studio and wouldn’t be able to record until the weekend after we chatted. When the notification came in that her audition had arrived, I got home, put on my headphones and cued up her sample. Let me tell you… I could hardly sit still in my chair, so perfect was her read through of Sarah and Tucker’s scene. Right then and there, I knew I had found the narrator for This Quiet Sky. I emailed her, she wrote back, and we were a go!
She’s been a delight to work with and in part II, I’ll introduce you to my narrator, Gail, and share more about the production and let you know when the audio book and listening sample will be available! In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts…
Do you listen to books on audio? What do you think about the process?