After signing your audio book talent

This is part 2  to the audio book creation posting.

Part 1: Creating The Audio Book On
Part 2: After Signing your audio book talent
Part 3: Your Audio Book is Live


In the end, 23 talented individuals auditioned for the audio book version of D’mok Revival: Awakening.

During this process I realized how little audition text you need to provide to actually tell if someone is right for the part. My big take-aways included:

  1. Include the introduction to your book
  2. Include sections with multiple characters that interact and converse
  3. Keep it only to about two pages of script

I was blessed that nearly each one of them did 10 minutes of audition time.  This is unheard of and made me feel so foolish, not to mention guilty when they didn’t get selected.

I reviewed each one, then sent the top submissions on to a team I assembled from series fans and friends. After gathering and weighting their feedback Kyle McCarley rose to the top of the list.

I sent a personal message to each and every person that submitted an audition.  I wanted them to know I greatly appreciated their effort. Due to the ACX agreements, they can now use that audition in their portfolio as an example of their work.  I completely understand and support this concept.  They put the work in after-all.

I was shocked when each person that I sent a reply to replied back saying how rare it was for them to hear anything when they were not selected, much less genuine gratitude and thanks. I felt both proud and saddened by this.  Authors–APPRECIATE everyone you work with. It’s part of being a professional (even if you, like me, are just entering this space).

Using I send an offer to Kyle. We discussed a few details and decided not to go the profit sharing approach (that Amazon wanted to contribute $1000 up-front towards). We agreed to a per finished hour rate that works for the union he’s in. Based on our discussions he rejected the initial offer and I drafted the next one based on the agreements we discussed. He accepted the new one and we were off.

Kyle shared his approach and process to doing an audio book. I won’t share in detail but I wanted to offer at least some insight as to how to work with voice talent.

  1. Review of the manuscript
  2. Creation of the character list and samples of the voices for each
  3. Clarifications of how to pronounce names and addressing of any grammar issues found
  4. Sample 15 minutes

This is the stage we’re at today.

He’s been amazing to work with. Also, despite having spent thousands on editing, he’s finding a shocking (and rather embarrassing) number of issues in the book.  I’m thankful for how detail oriented he is, along with his amazing process. I’m going to update both the soft-cover manuscript for future prints and the ebook version on Amazon immediately.

In the next week I’ll get the first 15 minutes.  I’m really looking forward hearing his version of it.  It will be interesting to experience reviewing 10 to 11 hours of audio and providing feedback to him.

More to come!

P.S.  Book 2’s manuscript is in the hands of my internal review team. More soon on that as well!