Tour presented by Audio Bookworm Promotions
Author: Libby Fischer Hellmann
Narrator: Beth Richmond
Length: 11 hours 54 minutes
Publisher: The Red Herrings Press⎮2016
Genre: Suspense; Mystery
Series: The Georgia Davis P.I. Series, Book 1
Release date: May 25, 2016
Buy Links for Audiobook #1
Buy on Amazon⎮Audible⎮iTunes
MEET THE NARRATOR
MEET THE AUTHOR
She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few. She has been a finalist twice for the Anthony and four times for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. She has also been nominated for the Agatha, the Shamus, the Daphne, and has won the IPPY and the Readers Choice Award multiple times.
Her novels include the now five-volume Ellie Foreman series, which she describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24;” the hard-boiled 5-volume Georgia Davis PI series, and four stand-alone historical thrillers set during Revolutionary Iran, Cuba, the Sixties, and WW2. Her short stories have been published in a dozen anthologies, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ed Gorman’s “25 Criminally Good Short Stories” collection. Her books have been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, and Chinese. All her books are available in print, ebook, and audiobook.
Libby also hosts Second Sunday Crime, a monthly podcast where she interviews bestselling and emerging crime authors. In 2006 she was the National President of Sisters in Crime, a 3500 member organization committed to the advancement of female crime fiction authors.
How to create an Audiobook
I have a background in film and TV, so I am the “executive” producer and director of my audiobooks. Here is my process:
- Choose a narrator. At this point in my audiobook career, I have several narrators whose voices I love and, more importantly, love to work with. They are professionals in the business and deliver an almost finished product. I use them consistently in my two series. I have another narrator whom I use for my historical thrillers. Most are women, but I have found two wonderful and versatile male narrators. (ie different accents and inflections). They include Eva Kaminsky, Nan McNamara, Beth Richmond, Diane Pirone Gelman, Derek Shetterly, and Karyn O’Bryant.
- However, if I was looking for a narrator, I’d use ACX. (That’s how I found all the above.) Most of all, a narrator has to be an actor. They need to throw themselves into several different roles or personas during the course of a novel, so I listen to several of their samples, to make sure they are versatile. They also need to have a solid resume, so I know they have a track record performing different genres and types of books. Finally, their fee per finished hour needs to be within or close to my budget. (It’s not cheap). Finally, they have to be familiar with sound quality (most have their own studios) so they can deliver a quality product that meets the specs of audio distributors.
- If I’m using ACX, narrators will record a 1-2 page audition for me, which helps a lot. If not, I ask them for one. I usually choose a passage that has dialogue, so I have a sense of how they’ll differentiate the characters.
- If I like the sample, we start talking. They need to be willing to check with me about words or expressions (I use Yiddish from time to time) they may not know how to pronounce. We also talk about tone, mood, and how I see the main characters. Most narrators appreciate this type of discussion, and I would never hire someone who does not.
- If they seem amenable to everything, I make them an offer. Usually, I already know their price per finished hour, so I know what my cost will be. Occasionally, we might negotiate, based on the volume of work I’m giving them or the length of the audiobook.
- Once they record chapters, they send them to me either by dropbox, Audacity (free audio software which I use a lot) or sometimes ACX. It’s up to them whether they want to record the entire story or send chapters in batches – I prefer the latter. If there are problems, or there are mis-pronounciations, we can fix them more easily if they send me, say 5 chapters at a time. Sometimes their inflection is off, and they’ll need to re-record a paragraph or so. But I ALWAYS listen to EVERY CHAPTER carefully before I approve it.
- Once I’ve listened to everything and approved it, they send it to their sound engineer for “polishing” (Equalizing audio volume, clarity, and more). If they don’t work with an engineer, I can find one, but I’d prefer to have them use their own. That’s it. Then upload the audio to Findaway Voices or Audible, and wait for their approval. Because I work with professionals, there is rarely a problem. But when there is, I let the narrator know, and he/she fixes it.
The biggest tip I can offer is that unless you are an experienced actor or narrator, do NOT narrate your own book (In order to save money or out of ego.) I do have a lot of film and TV experience, so I offered to narrate one of my short stories for an audiobook collection. I only got through the first paragraph before I knew I wasn’t going to be any good at it.