I just got the first nine chapters of Catskinner’s Book back from the voice actor who is producing the audiobook version, and I am really impressed.
It was actually a very simple process to post my book on ACX.com ACX is the production arm of Audible.com, which is owned by Amazon. Since my books are on Amazon Kindle, once I set up an account on ACX, I just imported my books straight across.
It prompted me to say what sort of narrator I was looking for, sex, age, accent, any distinguishing characteristics. I wrote in the comments section that the main character of my novels has a duel personality and I needed a voice actor who could do James and Catskinner as distinct voices.
That is what first interested the actor who is doing my books, he liked the challenge. So I would recommend that anyone looking for a narrator on ACX to take some time and write a description of the book that includes anything that makes your work unique and would interest an actor.
You also will upload a file for auditions, which in my case was the first chapter of both of my published novels.
Brandon McKernan sent me an audition for Cannibal Hearts first, because he saw it first. I asked him to take a look at Catskinner’s Book, and he agreed to do them both.
The great part is that there are two different ways to produce and audiobook on ACX, either by paying the narrator upfront, or splitting the royalties. Brandon agreed to work on royalties, which told me that he believed in the project.
He’s a pro, with a long list of projects that he’s done, both audio and video acting. He asked me for a brief description of how I imagined the characters to sound and went to work.
Catskinner himself was the toughest part. Brandon gave me a number of different audio files and asked for my feedback, and together we decided on a concept. (Spoiler Alert: He made Catskinner sound really scary.)
And that was it on my end. Recently he let me know that he had finished recording all of the chapters and send me the first nine, which he had edited.
I’ll admit, there were some surprises. He interpreted the character of Godiva, the romantic lead, quite a bit differently that I had imagined her, and that took a little getting used to. However, the way he read her and James interacting was perfect, and I quickly got used to his take on her.
It has been really fascinating listening to him read my book. He’s not just reading, he’s acting it, doing the voices of the characters, matching his tone to the mood of the scene. I’ve been feeling kind of discouraged about my work, and listening to him has made me excited about the characters and the world again.
Once it’s complete and uploaded to ACX (which should be about the end of the month) it will be available on Audible.com, and also available on Whispersync for voice, which means that anyone who owns the Kindle edition can get the audio at a reduced rate.
All told, it has been an outstanding experience so far, and I strongly recommend registering for ACX.com to anyone who has e-books listed on Amazon.