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How to Work With Your Audiobook Narrator


The Audiobook Opportunity for Authors

Authors and readers love audiobooks. Many authors are considering publishing audio editions of their book to add to their backlist.

Creating an audiobook has many benefits for independent authors.

  • The audiobook industry is huge. It’s a billion dollar industry and growing. Be part of the action.
  • Book lovers consume audiobooks. Book consumers who read 50+ books a year also use audiobooks. They can’t stop just because they are driving, working out, or cooking. Audiobooks give them a way to consume more books.
  • Audiobooks boost paper and eBook sales. People who love an audiobook go back to buy a copy to have in their library. Plus Amazon’s Whispersync encourages eBook sales.
  • Reach non-readers. Many people who don’t like reading love stories. They will listen to an audiobook. You’ll reach millions of “non-readers.”
  • Your book is easy to find. Although the audiobook market is growing, it is much smaller than the book market. Your book can stand out in a relatively smaller crowd.

With all the great reasons to create an audiobook, you’ll want to know how to work with your narrator.

Interview with Audiobook Narrator Jonathan Waters

Performance artist Jonathan Waters shares tips for authors about keeping your narrator happy. Plus you have an inside pick at a narrator’s recording studio and how he works to produce a finished hour.

Video Time stamp
0:54 What a narrator looks for in an author
2:06 Good communication
5:17 Character comes alive in narration
6:17 Provide a “casting call”
9:20 The Author in the director’s seat
9:45 How to give notes back to the narrator
14:39 The narration recording studio
19:47 What is a finished hour of production?
23:36 Editing author suggestions
24:35 The editing process
28:33 Narrator tip for authors

If you think Jon is right for your book contact him on Facebook at Jonathan.waters.524.

Two Places to Find and Audition Narrators

For years, ACX has been the go-to place to find narrators for your book. With thousands of voices to choose from, you can refine your search with many options for the voice and tone you want for your book. You can pay for the production or find a narrator who agrees to split the royalties. You book will be distributed through Amazon, Audible, iTunes with choices on distribution and royalty rates.

A new option for audiobook creation is Findaway Voices. The process is different. You tell Findaway Voices what you are looking for and they send you selections. You can always ask for more recommendations. Once you choose your narrator, you pay upfront.  Your audiobook will be distributed to many outlets giving your book a much broader reach than ACX. And your royalty is higher.

Practice Professionalism

Once you have selected the right narrator for your book or series, act as a professional in your interactions. You want to let your personality shine through, but treat your narrator with respect. He or she is a professional artist with other clients. Make it easy for your narrator to work with you.

Steps you can take.

  1. Create a character background for all the characters in your novel. A brief description with name pronunciation, age and any personality strengths you want to emphasize. Then give your artist the freedom to interpret the book.
  2. Be precise with any changes you want in the reading samples you receive. If you want a sentence changed or a line of dialogue interpreted with another emphasis, state the change clearly and time stamp the place where it occurs in the audio recording.
  3. Don’t annoy your narrator. As excited as you are, refrain from asking when the next chapter will be finished. Request editorial changes in a factual, polite, and even light-hearted manner.

You and the narrator are partners in the audiobook creation. You selected this performance artist as the right person to tell your story. Think of them as a member of your team. Give them encouragement and praise the work when deserved.

With the right attitude, you and your narrator will be on your way to creating a finished audiobook listeners will love.

Zara Altair

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