I am an avid consumer of audiobooks. I have read the entire Dresden Files (by Jim Butcher) end-to-end at least three times, all though the masterful narration of James Marsters. I have loved listening to many stories. I listened to Andy Weir’s The Martian (excellently narrated by R. C. Bray), Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One as well as Armada, both narrated by the incomparable Wil Wheaton.
A good narrator paired with a good story can be amazing. That’s not to say that an excellent narrator can turn a bad story around; both parts must be good. But an excellent narrator working from a great story can be a thing of wonder. Such a pairing happened with Bronson Pinchot narrating The Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia. This pairing was a thing of beauty. I am old enough to remember watching Perfect Strangers. So seeing that Balki Bartokomous was going to be reading the story made me worry. Turns out, Mr. Pinchot is flipping amazing. I say that without hesitation, his reading of that trilogy was brilliant. So here was a phenomenal pairing of a great reader with a great story. It was fun.
I have considered the option of doing an audiobook of my novel. I have a pretty good speaking voice. A pleasant, resonant baritone (or so I’ve been told). It can’t be that hard to do, right? Oh, how wrong I was. It wasn’t the reading that was the problem; it was a problem of time and equipment. To do a professional-ish audiobook version would require renting time at a sound studio and paying an engineer to handle the board. I don’t have that type of money (or time).
“So why can’t I do this at home?” I asked myself. “I’m smart, I have access to Amazon, surely this is something that I could do over a few weekends at home.” This brings us to the present. To purchase a decent microphone and a small (2 track) mixing board isn’t the issue. I can get both of those for much less than you might imagine. It’s setting up a calm, quiet space in which I can sit, for hours on end, and record my voice. And then comes the hard part. I know this story. I didn’t just write it; I know it. I know all the hidden things, all the backstory – all of it. So how do I make sure not to record any subtext about [REDACTED]? Or, how [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] aren’t really [REDACTED].
I imagine that if there is a call for it, then I may try and see if I can get an audiobook version of the story. At this point, though, I am just happy to have gotten a single review.
Keep plugging away. I have read my book, Canyon Riddle, aloud from start to finish twice, much harder than I expected. Because as you say, you know the story.
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