Book Narrator Explains All & An Audio Book Giveaway!

51WiYMojclL._SL300_

Not quite one year ago, I decided to dip my toe into the world of audiobook narration.  I had been curious about the craft for years and finally thought, “What are you waiting for?? Go! Dive!”

I didn’t come to this idea out of the blue. I’ve been a professional actor for more than 15 years and I have a lifelong passion for storytelling and reading. I had the acting training and experience; and I also sought out additional training in voiceover and audio technology. From there I was a woman on a mission!

Audiobook offers up a strange dichotomy. The narrator, at least most of the time, is recording all by themselves. For me, I’m in a sound-proofed closet in my house. Yet while recording solo, I am abundantly aware that in this act, I am crafting an intimate “theatre-for-one” experience for the listener.

Knowing that the listener, that solo audience member, is out there wanting to hear a story is what makes the entire process so exciting and rewarding.

262176040

When I book a title, I always read the entire book first. I create a character analysis for each character within the book and take copious notes on all of the clues that the author leaves within the pages of the story. For each character in the book, I will note how the author creates them physically and jot down all descriptors of the characters’ voices (tone, cadence, pitch). I ask, “What does the character say and think about themselves?” and “What do the other characters say about them?” Do they have an accent? Of course, there is the question of gender and how do I, as a female, voice non-female characters. From information like this, I begin to create the voice for each character.

Once the book has been read, it’s time to put on the headphones and get to work.  First beginning with a vocal sample track of each character in the book.  This is a helpful first step, as it can get challenging to keep track of an entire cast of voices during the production of a full-length audiobook. Then the chapter-by-chapter, I record the entire book, keeping track of the rise and fall of the story and how the book will unfold for the listener.

I record the romance genre under the name Piper Brown (a mash-up of a name I genuinely like and my maiden name … I also would read a romance about a woman named Piper Brown … she belongs in the romance world!).  I do record as Kerrie Seymour when working on general fiction, non-fiction and YA titles, but most of my work is done as Piper.

I am excited to give away 5 audiobook bundles to some of the readers of the Romance Junkies blog. Comment here to be entered to win. Each winner will receive an audiobook of both Claire Ashby’s When You Make it Home and Jennifer Ellision’s Now and Again.

Feel free to check out my romance titles at http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_search_tseft?advsearchKeywords=piper+brown&filterby=field-keywords&sprefixRefmarker=nb_sb_ss_i_7_5&sprefix=piper

 

For more information about my voiceover work or for contact information visit kerrieseymourvo.com

You can also follow Piper Brown on facebook and twitter (@PiperNarrates)

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 Responses to Book Narrator Explains All & An Audio Book Giveaway!

  1. Dottie

    How interesting! I didn’t realize that so much went into narrating an audio book.

  2. Paty Jager

    I know when I worked with a narrator on one of my books we did a lot of back and forth with her asking questions about the characters and the time period. It was fun. I’ll look you up, I have a mystery series I’d like to get made into audio books. This was a great insight into a narrator’s work. Thanks!

  3. kate curran

    I am so impressed with how great the audio books are and I really enjoy them since I have to travel so much. Thanks for the great post.

  4. Diana McCollum

    Hi Kerrie/Piper!
    Wow, I had no idea what all went into making an audio book! Thanks for posting your process here.

    I wonder, has there ever been a book you’ve turned down for audio recording? and if yes, why?

    I’m off to check out your website!

    Thanks,
    Diana

  5. Sarah Raplee

    Your process is so interesting! I love audiobooks and listen to them while I rtide my exercise bike. Very cool to learn how it’s done. Thanks!

  6. Judith Ashley

    Hi Piper,

    I had no idea how much work went into an audio book although the idea of recording my own books is terrifying! Thanks for the insight. It’s always rewarding to learn more about the various aspects of publishing. I’m keeping your name in my resource book because having my books available as audio books is a goal of mine. My son is legally blind and I think he’d be more likely to listen to a book than read a large print one.

    Judith

  7. Karen Duvall

    “I am crafting an intimate “theatre-for-one” experience for the listener.”

    Wow, that really hit home for me. I’ve always been a huge fan of audiobooks, listening to them on my 1 hour one-way commute to the office (back when I worked in an office). Audiobooks helped me get through the boredom of driving alone on the highway.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Kai Strand

    I love audiobooks and a good narrator makes all the difference in the world. I worked with a narrator on one of my books and it was so much fun to hear my own words read by someone who reads well. Ha ha. Thanks for a peek into your process.

  9. Mary Pax

    I think it’s amazing what a great narrator can do to bring a story to life. That’s an amazing talent you have.

  10. Kerrie

    Thanks for reading, all!

    It was a really fun post to write and thanks to any and all who have visited my site or contacted me!

    Diana, you asked if I’ve ever turned a book down: I have. Usually it is because of time constraints. But I have gotten manuscripts that were so poorly crafted, with grammatical errors and typos that just seemed like a bad move.

    Judith … thank you for keeping my name on file. And as for your son, have you ever heard of Learning Ally? It’s a great resource for students (and adults, too, I believe) who are unable to read a physical book due to being blind, dyslexic, etc. Really great organization. I was lucky to hear their founder speak at an event a few months ago.

    Again, thanks all around!

  11. Trish Wilkinson

    Thanks for the great post, Kerrie. What a great process! I’ve often thought about narrating books as I’ve done some acting and have spent years storytelling to kids, but I’m already a writer and editor. Sinking my fingers into too many pies makes it difficult to do well at anything. You are obviously passionate about your craft. If my clients want to look into turning their novels or memoirs into audio books, I’ll send them your way.

  12. Maggie Lynch

    Great post. I bow to your commitment and obvious love of the work.

    have audiobook development on my plan for this year. Last year, I thought I would do my first book myself. I’ve done some voice over work years ago (more than 30 years ago) for commercial spots and radio spots. I figured I’d save some money.

    After getting four chapters in I decided I MUST pay someone. It is exhausting to stay “up” and consistent with characters and voices throughout a book. My previous work was 30 seconds to 2 minutes top. Not to mention I’m significantly older than I was then and my voice doesn’t hold out as well.

    Off to look at your website and do some sampling. I love your attitude about this work.

  13. Kerrie

    Here are the winners!

    Diana McCullum
    Kai Strand
    Dottie
    Sarah Raplee
    Mary Pax

    Marie has hooked me up with your email addresses … so, keep your eyes peeled for gifts from audible.com!

    Thank you all for reading and commenting! Hope I’ll find my way back to do another blog post!

Leave a Reply

Back to Top