Whatever you do to earn wages, chances are very good that other people think they could do what you do. Narrating audiobooks is no exception.
“Heck! It can’t be that hard. All they do is sit in a room and read a book.”
I was actually part of the “how hard can it be” club when I landed my first* narration gig. All my life people had told me I had “a great speaking voice.” I’d done my time as a radio news anchor and talk show host. Reading a book someone else wrote would be cake.
Imagine my frustration when I couldn’t even get through one stinking page without having to stop, mark the spot, and start again. I remember telling my wife that my goal for one session was to “do ONE page without screwing up.”
I won’t bore you with details (because it would sound like whining). Let it be sufficient to say there’s so much more to narrating audiobooks than simply reading the words.
Now, after almost 30 books (in just over two years) I can honestly say that I often go for a full page (or two) without having to stop. Truth be told, I’ve gotten much pickier about my performance and quite often the re-take is a matter of “I can do that line better.”
Anyway. I posted a video on Facebook that made people laugh and I thought I’d share it here, as well. Audiofile Magazine recently referred to my narration as “a polished diamond with its multiple facets.” Perhaps they meant to say multiple TAKES.
* My first narrating gig was a fluke. I’d written a book for Tyndale House in 2007. They sold the audio rights to Oasis Audio in 2010 and Oasis asked me to record it. At the time, I had no idea that, six years later, it would become a full-time vocation.