LIVE! Narrators Chat – Charting a Path to Success

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  1. Lea

    Many, many thanks to all who have commented. Please continue your discussion here. Eventually we will combine the chat and your comments with our introduction article from today.

  2. Vic

    I thought this was a fabulous and fascinating discussion. As an audio-a-holic, I have appreciated/laughed/cried though performances by the entire panel. As Lea has stated, the glut of new audiobooks with untrained narrators has made me much more cautious on my purchases. We have all been clamoring for more of our authors and their back lists to come out in audio and the severe disappointment felt when the narrator ruins the experience is a heart breaker. There have been some fabulous new to me narrators (Kaleo Griffith comes to mind) but more often I’d rather just read it than listen to what got released.

    @Holter – I agree absolutely on the fabulous split rating for the story and narration that now exists on audible. I don’t write a lot of actual reviews but I rate ALL of the audiobooks on both and even went back to my previous purchases before that went into effect to separate out narrator rating.

    Thank you all for your dedication to this craft and your desire to provide guidance to those trying to break into the field.

  3. Laura Kinsale

    THANK YOU! That was amazing, I wasn’t here for live chat but the transcript is awesome. This is all so informative and apropos for me right this very moment, but fascinating even beyond that to hear the depth of commitment and professionalism from these narrators. It kinda brings tears to my eyes, because you guys are artists, and it just seems like we are losing that kind of passion and craft everywhere, in every aspect of performance, writing and entertainment, pressed on every side to forget about all that and meet this vast demand with output, no matter what it is.

    Lea, you deserve all the kudos in the world for creating this place and not only reviewing audiobooks, but bringing the narrators on the stage where they belong. I agree, it’s the story that’s the center, bringing it to life and not overwhelming it, but the narrators are truly creators, right along with the author.

    One of the things that’s really striking to me, listening to the narration of my first audiobook, is that the characters are even more intensely alive than I wrote them–the main characters, of course, but even the secondary toss-away stableboy comes into existence, becomes concrete in a way that he wasn’t before.

    To realize that, and then to find out about all the technical issues that go along with the performance–not moving, for heaven’s sake!–it just blows my mind.

    But, enough of that, just let me say–Holter, you rock. ;) I will never look at a garden gnome again without remembering your name!

  4. Dave Courvoisier

    ‘Read every word. Invigorating! Thanks to you all.

    I struggle with where I fit in. At 60, and a broadcast news veteran of 30+ years, I am NOT a newbie.

    It’s easy to discount DJ’s and voice over artists, and news people as inappropriate for audiobooks. I have some acting in my background too, but that’s not what I draw on for narrating audiobooks; it’s growing up on an Illinois farm, being married for 30 years, and having 3 daughters. It’s the years and years of articulating the pathos of horrid, inspiring, frustrating, and sometimes mind-numbing life stories on the news 3 times a day, 5 days a week., year after year. Talk about practice! I get it every day, 3 times a day, then go home and narrate for 3-4 hours.

    Because of my “first career”, anything non-fiction is my strength. Narratives are delightful to me.

    I’m also an expert cold-reader. I prep…but sometimes when the demands of deadlines require I go in cold…I’m in comfortably familiar territory. Bad news writers give you that strength. :)

    After my last painful review in AudioFile magazine, though, I think my greatest challenge will always be pacing, pauses, and patience with the manuscript.

    You all make me want to be better, and that was your gift in this chat.

    Excellence in all I do. Why stop now?

    Dave Courvoisier

  5. Marie

    I too am an audio- a- holic and very much appreciate great narration. I often will seek out other works by a narrator to “LIsten” to as one would seek out or follow a favourite author. The narrator is as important to me as the author. I have listened to books where the narrator saved the book and vice versa has reduced the enjoyment of the book. I have returned books to audible with this as the reason. I very much enjoyed reading the transcript and enjoyed the conversation. i have listened to all of you read and you all all amazing!!

    Keep up the great work!

  6. Nancy

    Just adding my thanks to all for the lively discussion and to “The Gals” for pulling this together!

  7. Denice Stradling

    Thanks so much for this conversation … as a fairly new narrator, I can’t tell you how very helpful it was — major take-aways: Holter’s “Down with rubbish” … and Karen’s take on meditation/yoga. I have the yoga thing going, but the meditation has been nudging from a different ‘voice’ …time to listen!
    Denice (Stradling)

  8. Carrie

    I’m very late responding but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading the transcript! And I especially wanted to say “Bravo” to Holter for bringing up the fact that we don’t need falsettos for female voices when narrated by men. The best male narrators don’t pitch their voices higher so much as “soften” it. I find myself “hearing” a female voice. Sometimes I can get so into it that it surprises me when I remember the narrator is male. That goes for female narrators as well. I remember wondering how Anna Fields could make me “hear” men when she narrated! She was so amazing.

    Thank you all again for caring so much about your craft and giving us so many hours of enjoyment while listening to the books you’ve narrated!

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