Monday, April 22, 2019

Authors - Your Narrator Needs to Know How to Act

Narrators Need to Know How to Act 
Not Just Read

A little tough love opinion in this post.

Authors need to get better at choosing narrators. Period. End.

Audiobook narrators need to be good actors!

I don't want to listen to a book read by Siri. Or Alexa. 

Have inflection. Personality. 

Attempt to sound like a NORMAL HUMAN BEING.

Go listen to a chapter of any of The Dresden Files Series narrated by James Marsters. THAT's how a narrator should sound from Chapter One. From Word One. You're immediately drawn in like you're sitting at a campfire hearing Harry Dresden tell his story.

If Robot Narrator is the only narrator you can afford, stop doing audio. Stop right now. Better to have no product than a substandard one. 

Make them do it better before you approve the final product. You're paying THOUSANDS of dollars for this! It should KICK ASS.

I've listened to samples from 2 authors recently that rave about the narrators they've chosen and they're so WOODEN. They're ROBOTS.

Like, how do you not HEAR that?

The writers write great characters, so the problem isn't on the page. It's certainly not how they sound in my head when I'm reading those books. But they keep picking these horribly robotic narrators that can't act their way out of a paper bag! PLEASE, go compare your narrator's delivered audio to any of the books James Marsters has narrated (more than Dresden Files btw) and LEARN. 

I cite JM just because I've actually heard those books, but pick any actor! Especially one experienced in theater as they'll know how to embody words without the help of film editing. I'm not saying you have to try to book TV or film actors - only 1% of authors could ever afford that. But every author doing audiobooks should be holding their narrator to that standard or what are we doing?


Hasn't the indie community gotten enough flack for putting out "substandard" and "unedited" ebooks? Now you're going to produce robotic audiobooks and perpetuate that narrative? Be better. 

DEMAND better.

Now I step off my soapbox.