My audiobook narration career has enjoyed a fortunate trajectory.
Because I’d been involved in publishing and retail book sales for 25 years, my initial foray into the audiobook segment of the industry was unusually smooth. A series of short emails to about 20 publisher friends netted an interview that led to the assignment of a few initial titles.
Very few narrators had the same good fortune at the start. I was in the right place (at the right time), knew the right people, and had a modicum of innate talent to get me started.”
Climbing the ladder
There are definite strata of performance in the audiobook industry. Those with more experience and acquired skill are offered books at higher levels of compensation. But it’s an extremely subjective process, punctuated with networking, self-promotion, and a fair amount of good timing (which some might even refer to as luck).
I have been practicing due diligence in these areas. Working (successfully) hard to improve my skills, networking with the right people, consistently promoting myself, and exercising patience (the hardest part).
This week, after two-years of doing-the-things-that-need-to-be-done I was offered the opportunity to audition for a book that would move me into a new stratum of recognition. It was a small book, but it was with a major audiobook producer. It also carried the added spiff of being a SAG/AFTRA contract – my first union-qualified project.
Winning the gig would mean rearranging my recording schedule and postponing a personal project. It would mean I’d have to engage some sub-contractor help on another project. All of this was worth the effort for the chance to play in a different league.
I accepted the audition on a Wednesday evening; downloaded and marked-up the script; got up super early Thursday morning; recorded (and recorded) the audition (making sure everything was the best I could offer); and uploaded the file around 10am.
Waiting – waiting – waiting
Word came around 1:30 Friday afternoon that the job went to another narrator.
Discouraged? No way. My efforts paid off. I wrote this haiku to describe the feeling:
First HUGE audition.
Did not get the book. But now
I’m on their radar.
And, as my wife said, “There will be others.”
You got THAT right, baby !!!