A Thought about audiobooks

As a “newbie” to the audio-book world, I have two titles that I’ve completed, ok, well one actually, but the other is awaiting final approval from the author and ACX. But here’s my point on audio books, and this is especially to authors of audio books.  Your book in written form is NOT the same in audio form, you’d like for it to be, but in a lot of cases it’s not. 

Case in point: I’m in the editing process for my second audio-book 

The title itself is probably way too long, but that’s not my concern here. The concern being the way it is written. The target demographic for the book will be Mensa types and those that are academically advanced. What does that have to do with you?.. Good question, here’s the answer. You are not going to buy this book unless you A) are interested in this philosophy B) extremely well educated and have intimate knowledge of the vocabulary that is used throughout this book.

I cannot tell you how many pickups it took for me to conversationally deliver this sentence structure in a way that someone with at least a 11th grade education could understand and comprehend.. Ready?.. here it is: “

Certainly many things can affect the phenotypic expression of religiosity, the existing religions and how they are faring, what’s going on within the belief community, the society, the governments, where the civilization is in its life cycle and the educational levels, the work ethic, the zeitgeist—the influences are myriad.  And yet, none are as significant as one’s own ….”


this was an easy one, they just get more complex as the book evolves. I guess my rant here is that authors need to write like they speak.. if you speak this way fine, but remember who is on the other end of the story. The listener has to be engaged in the story/documentary, it must be compelling and to do that you have to deliver the content, in this case the “story” in a believable, repeatable context. If I’m at a party and someone asks me what I do for a living and I explain that I’m an audio book narrator, they might want to know what I’ve narrated so that they can get a feel for what I create, if the content is not compelling enough for the listener to remain engaged throughout the entire audio-book then I’ve lost a customer.  

As a narrator, I hope you feel my pain, and can share a story of the same type. I would be interested to know how you delivered the final product, did you suggest to the author that it should be re-worded, or ask if you had creative license to “alter” the text to make it sound more conversational, more natural?.. Love to read your thoughts, leave a comment if you would


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s