Earlier this month, Small Publishing in a Big Universe interviewed audiobook producer and narrator Jenn Broda. She has produced many titles in the Paper Angel Press catalog, including the Shelby McDougall series as well as the Shelby McDougall short story Treasure Hunt. I couldn’t have been happier with how she brought my characters to life.
I knew that narrating and producing an audio book was much more than just reading the book out loud. But I didn’t know how much more! In the podcast, Ms. Broda goes into detail about what’s involved: the preparation, the narrating, the editing, the re-editing, the technical requirements.
One piece that I never thought about was the emotional impact of being an audiobook narrator: what if you don’t like a character? Or the story? Or what if some aspect of the story resonates deep within, touching on something personal? As a reader, you can just put the book down and let it go. But as a narrator, you have to stick with it, put your own feelings aside, and continue with the job ahead.
Another thing I didn’t know was that each hour of audiobook can take six to eight hours of production time. Wow! And I thought writing required a lot of editing and re-dos! First, the producer has to study the novel to understand the characters, plot, and setting, likely taking a lot of notes about a character’s age, vocal tone, and how a character acts in relationship to other characters. Once the initial narration is complete, the producer has to review the audio, listening for glitches or external noises or mispronounced words. Then, there’s the review by the rights holder, followed by narration changes and a second round of review. And finally , the producer has to actually create the audiobook, conforming to required technical specifications for each platform the audiobook will be distributed on.
I was astonished by the the amount of work involved and the number of roles an audiobook narrator and producer has. I also loved the backstory of how Ms. Broda got into the audiobooks narration and production business. Listen to the interview here to find out for yourself.
I’ll be interviewed in an upcoming podcast, so keep your eye on Small Publishing in a Big Universe to find out more.
Until next time,