Crime, Twist of Mystery and Audie Winner
Quick check-in this week. (We were able to jump through all the COVID hoops to travel, so we’re getting a little sun and sand before dropping two kids at college. The magic of the ocean soothes my soul and refuels the spirit.)
We’re wrapping up July’s selections. Give thought to how each one ranked in terms of Motivation to Move, Quality of Narration and Overall Experience to get ready for Sneaker Ratings next week.
Our next round consists of The Night Swim by Megan Goldin (crime and thriller), Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin (frothy fun with a twist of mystery) and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Audie winner 2017).
As hard as I try to select a variety in genre and availability, my selections may not work for everyone.
Another option is to get started on September’s round — anything by Lisa Wingate.
Lisa is going to be our guest for our third Heart and Soul virtual book chat to benefit Feeding America!
The Walking Book Club is not only good for body and mind, it’s good for the soul, too.
Space will be limited.
Here’s part 2 of my interview with audiobook narrator, Sara Sheckells:
How has audiobook narration changed over the years?
Those who have been narrating longer than I have will note how the boom in home studio recording has altered the way in which audiobook narration works. Especially now, in the midst of COVID-19, narrators who once worked almost exclusively in professional recording studios in publishing and performance hubs like New York and Los Angeles may now be recording from a home setup.
There is the technical piece that grows and changes with both demand and resources. Additionally, the annual sales surveys put out by the Audio Publishers Association show that books are being made into audiobooks at an ever-increasing rate. Improved technology, multiple sales platforms, social media marketing and consumer demand all play into this growth.
Narration trends have changed, too, and there is the advent of work being made exclusively for audio format. Audiobooks are not simply read, they are performed. Titles have been increasingly cast with more than one narrator or even a full cast. Studios are actively aiming to cast books to deliver experiences that will ring true to listeners.
We all listen differently over time, too. What once were books on tape, moved to CD and now digital format. One of my favorite pieces of tech is a Bluetooth headband that allows me to listen while I walk.
Do you pick the books or does the author pick you?
In my case, this answer is “yes” to both. As an independent contractor, I aim to market myself to those who own the audio rights to a book. This can be either an author or a publisher. Some books I have found on my own through research or by attending book events. I then reached out to the authors to gauge their interest in bringing their work to audio.
More frequently, I monitor casting calls and online platforms for opportunities to audition to narrate a book. In all instances, I will consider the book’s cover, content, sales trends, and whether I am a “fit” for the book and its themes.
Do you have a favorite genre?
I am especially fond of memoirs and literary fiction. As a narrator, I have dabbled in genres from cozy mystery to sweet romance and even science fiction. Increasingly, I find myself listening to more psychological thrillers and I am eager to narrate more titles in that genre.
Catch up more next week.
Hope you’re all able to find moments that refuel your spirit and soothe the soul.
The Walking Book Club Update
Complimentary Book Preview
The Walking Book Club is delighted for the opportunity to preview The Night Swim by Megan Goldin before its release. Become an insider for access to this special preview!