Audiobook Narrator Question

Alice Sabo

Helped Logen count his fingers
#1
I'm planning on putting my Post-apocalyptic series into audiobooks. I think I would like an older man with a gruff voice - more Clint Eastwood than Ron Perlman. I'll be doing it thru ACX, but haven't started the auditioning yet.

However, I don't listen to audiobooks myself. Would a voice like that be too grating? I'd love to hear opinions about narrators from anyone who listens to books regularly.
 

TomTB

The Master Tweeter
Staff member
#2
For me, it really helps when the narration matches the tone of the book. A light hearted book helps to have a quirky voice. A hard hitting type of book can be elevated by a deep, gruff type of voice, potentially.

Download the sample of The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Never before have I come across a narrator so perfectly suited to a book. And it's post apocalyptic!
 

Sparrow

Journeyed there and back again
#4
What you should do is hit Audible.com, and as it were... shop for voices. Do that, and also visit sites like Voices.com and see what strikes your fancy. Once you have three narrators at the top of your list; pick a chapter from your book that you're fond of and let each narrator take a stab at it. It will cost you though. The best talent isn't cheap, believe me I know.

I had an English actress do a test reading of a tricky chapter in my current WIP. It's of a conversation between a 12 year old girl and a French courtesan, and I needed to know if the dialogue worked. The results were fantastic, but at $600 for a single read through with no edits, it had better be!
 

Alice Sabo

Helped Logen count his fingers
#5
Ouch! That's a lot.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't need to shop for voices that way. I just need to know what type I'm looking for going in. Once I figure out what kind of narrator I want, I just load that info into the audition phase - Male, American, gruff voice, etc. Then narrators who are interested load samples for me to listen to.

ACX allows a royalty split with the narrator which means no money upfront. That's probably what I'll do this time around. I've heard that the best won't do that anymore, but I don't think I can afford the rates otherwise. It worked out okay for 2 of my other books. Unfortunately, those books rarely sell, nor do their audio versions. I'm hoping for better luck with a more popular series.
 

Sparrow

Journeyed there and back again
#6
Ouch! That's a lot.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't need to shop for voices that way. I just need to know what type I'm looking for going in. Once I figure out what kind of narrator I want, I just load that info into the audition phase - Male, American, gruff voice, etc. Then narrators who are interested load samples for me to listen to.

ACX allows a royalty split with the narrator which means no money upfront. That's probably what I'll do this time around. I've heard that the best won't do that anymore, but I don't think I can afford the rates otherwise. It worked out okay for 2 of my other books. Unfortunately, those books rarely sell, nor do their audio versions. I'm hoping for better luck with a more popular series.
Here's a better place to find talent... https://www.beeaudio.com
Everything is in-house, very professional and friendly, and at a reasonable cost.
 

Alice Sabo

Helped Logen count his fingers
#8
OK yeah, just checked it out. The problem there is that they don't do distribution. ACX distributes to Audible and maybe iTunes (not sure about that) and allows a royalty split. Findaway Voices distributes to them and a pile of other retailers - Nook, Kobo, and international ones. They don't offer a split, but they do have narrators at various price points. Both can offer narrators at a lower price than Bee Audio. The price is important, but the distribution package trumps it.