This love led me to become the organizer and “first pages” reader at an annual writers’ conference I help organize for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators).
Participants submit only the first page of a manuscript.
I blithely started with ACX in 2011, unaware that an audiobook narrator/producer is competing against most the out-of-work actors in the country. Still, in those six years I’ve narrated and/or produced sixteen audiobooks — some for kids, some for teens, and some for adults.
A few of my favorites have been your books: (which I co-narrated with the amazing Claire Vogel).
I also enjoy it when the project requires an accent or two. No author wants to hear the neighbor’s lawnmower rev up in the middle of chapter five.
It’s not a pet peeve at all, but one of the most challenging scenes I’ve done involved a conversation between a half dozen different women of varied national origin and socio-economic class. Audible/ACX producers run the gamut on how they manage this challenge.Though this has happened only once in my audiobook career, it should have happened twice.I once auditioned to narrate and produce a little-known book by a big-name author who had passed away.That said, about 90% of the audition scripts available to me are in such desperate need of editing I drop them before even giving characters a chance to get their hooks into me.A narrator’s job is to read exactly what’s on the page, and if what’s on the page doesn’t track well, doesn’t make sense, or has any number of other editing/revising needs, I won’t even consider the job.Another project had a very promising first chapter with a spot-on voice, but once I got hold of the full manuscript I could see the author had no idea how to construct a novel. I did my best with it, but I should have asked to back out of the contract.This manuscript wasn’t ready for anyone’s eyes or ears. The author or publisher (known in ACX lingo as the rights holder) determines his /her preferred option before posting the job. I spent many years teaching middle school English, & loved reading to my students. Producer/narrators sometimes work for a royalty, sometimes for a previously determined rate based on the length of the final production, and occasionally for a hybrid deal involving a bit of both.Then the faculty editors and agents listen to each page as I (and another voiceover/narrator pal of mine) read each page.Afterward, the panel members comment on what in that first page might pull them in or give them pause.