Today I welcome writer Rachel V. White onto my blog, who is discusses how she got into narrating audiobooks.
Big thanks to Rachel for being today’s guest poster, please make sure to check out her links and details at the end of this post.
A year or so ago, a friend from my writing group named Rachel Huffmire showed me a free audiobook basics class I could take online to get me started as a narrator. Since I’ve wanted to be a narrator since middle school, I jumped on the opportunity.
This class, taught by Krystal Wascher, showed me where I could create a narrator profile and how to find and audition for projects. (The site she recommended was ACX, which posts to iTunes and Audible after completion, but there are other sites people use to connect narrators with rights holders.)
I didn’t have much of a recording space at that point, so I had a session with a coach but didn’t take on any projects. I was prepared and knew what to do when the time came, and that was enough.
It wasn’t until early this year that Rachel Huffmire approached me and asked if I would audition to produce “Shattered Snow,” her Snow White time travel retelling.
A studio I could borrow miraculously fell into my life not long before this, so I utilized my new resources and gave the audition a try. And I got hired!
The Work Begins
I was already close to Rachel, so we were able to message back and forth about character and story details, but figuring those things out usually happens through the rights holder via email.
I made sure I knew what each character’s accent should be, as well as the age of certain characters at varying points in the story. I got their voices just right that way and could record snippets of their dialogue to refer back to as needed.
After sending the first 15 minutes of the book to the rights-holder (the publishing company, in this case) and receiving their approval, it was time to really get started. Recording proved to have a greater learning curve than I expected.
I discovered how crucial a good editor can be, and that I definitely wasn’t one. I decided to focus on my voice and hired someone else to chop out my mistakes and take out the (many) extra noises I made.
The Waiting Game
The waiting time between submitting the finished product and seeing it available for purchase took longer than I expected.
First, it had to be reviewed by the rights holder to make sure all the audio matched the manuscript, and that there weren’t any other glaring things wrong with it.
Next, ACX went through with their own fine-toothed comb. Their requirements are pretty particular, so my audio failed inspection a couple of times.
Each time it did, though, they sent me a list of everything that didn’t fit the specifications and how to fix it. Once those were taken care of, it was only a little over a week before Shattered Snow’s audiobook appeared on Audible!
It’s incredible to have my work out there and to know I’ve made it past a good chunk of the narrating learning curve.
Since recording “Shattered Snow” I’ve ordered a bunch of my own equipment so I won’t have to borrow them anymore, and I can’t wait to start on the second book in the series.
So much more work goes into an audiobook than I knew before, but the reward is well worth the effort.
If you listen to “Shattered Snow” (which I highly recommend), feel free to leave me an honest review. I’d love to know what you think.
For more in-depth information on audiobook production, click here.
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Rachel V. White has lived in Utah all her life and has been writing fiction nearly as long.
“Starsworn” is her debut published work, but as long as her husband, three children, and over-anxious dog cooperate, there will certainly be more to come.
“Shattered Snow,” her first audiobook, is available on Audible now!
In 2069, time-travel is restricted to observation and research. But Keltson Grammar doesn’t mind breaking a few laws. Known only as “The Mirror”, Keltson runs an underground empire that rescues unfortunate souls throughout history. However, a single misstep could send an entire agency to reinstate his clients to their original dismal fates.
Lilia Vaschenko is a Russian mechanic surrounded by cinderblock towers, ladders she cannot climb, and a glass ceiling that holds her down like a casket. She’ll do anything to escape— even work for the world’s most wanted renegade.
Margaretha is a young countess, destined to be poisoned at twenty-one. But when she discovers a mysterious mirror in the woods that transforms the world into shadows and ice, her future shatters. Chased from her familiar home, will she ever find where she truly belongs?
This post was written by a guest writer. Please check out their details above.