I found this great post on how to pick our audio book voice on Nicholas Rossis blog. Thanks for sharing your experience, Nicholas. I’m convinced I’m not the only grateful writer!
As audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment in publishing, I have been researching that market. One thing I realized is that choosing a narrator is probably the most important decision you make when you turn your book into an Audiobook. People who love audiobooks may buy your audiobook because they like your work, your genre, your cover, or your price. When they actually start listening to your audiobook however, one of the most important factors to decide whether they’ll continue listening to the end, is the quality of the reading.
So, how do you choose the right voice? Leaving out the financial aspects (if you can afford to pay the narrator the fee he is asking for or if you choose a royalty scheme), there are a few issues to take into consideration, from “demographics” to acting performance. Here are a few tips.
So. Man or Woman? Younger or Older?
These questions are mostly answered through the characteristics of your book. Obviously, if your book is written in the first person, you need to match the voice to your own narrator. If your narrator is a young woman, so should be your voice. If he is a middle-aged southern cop, you obviously need an older man, possibly with an accent (we will discuss accents in a moment).
The choice is less obvious if your book is not a first-person tale. In this case, there is no rule of thumb, but there are several issues you can take into consideration to form a preference.