When the Wild Rose Press announced in late May that they were using ACX Audio to get books on Audible, now owned by Amazon, I almost deleted the message. The sticking point is the necessary seven year extension to existing contracts, a long time to give up the rights to your book. But then I had a think…. I was not going to do very much with three of my books; they are not in a series nor the possible start of one. I am very well aware that the royalties from Audible will be negligible, but in terms of exposure, Audible, with greatly increasing sales, might prove a huge benefit. I thought I’d give it a try on one book, knowing a huge number of authors were also vying to get in on the act. I chose Dearest Darling, an historical western-mail order bride novella of around ninety pages, which has won a number of awards. So, off I went, downloaded the contract extension, sent it off, and received back, in due course, the spec sheet.
The spec sheet asks for things like accent needed, type of voice you’re looking for (they had already inserted “engaging”), phonetic spelling of unusual or foreign words and names, plus the audition excerpt of around 400 words. I got this back to TWRP on June 23rd and by July 14th heard that Dearest Darling was out for audition. You could have knocked me over with a feather when the very next day I was notified someone had auditioned.
We’re warned not to expect the narrator’s voice to sound anything like the voices we heard in our heads when writing the book. No one will read your work exactly the way you want it read. So I listened to the audition with that in mind, had three friends also listen to it—including one who regularly listens to Audible books—and we were all pretty much agreed. He had a nice, engaging voice but the expression just wasn’t there. I wrote back to say what I felt were the problems—not enough differentiation between the H/H and not enough expression. I have a drama background so I was particularly critical about breath stops as well, where punctuation should have you pause. My narrator re-auditioned and it was vastly better. I accepted.
I just recently received back his first fifteen minutes. They were greatly improved over either of the auditions, although the *** pause was not obvious and I’ve asked for a longer stop there. Had I not written the book, I would have been lost because in the first chapter the scene switches at those stars from NYC and the heroine to Wyoming and the hero. That message has been passed on to my reader and I’m now awaiting the full script with much anticipation. I’ve been told I’ll then have to listen to the full read for any corrections and have to mark them on a sheet to send back. And I’ve now sent contract extensions to the two other books I’d like on Audible.
I can’t wait to hear him read my love scenes!
If you still prefer reading a book yourself, Dearest Darling is available for all eReaders at https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/3310-dearest-darling.html?search_query=dearest+darling&results=1 It’s garnered the Golden Quill Award for Best Novella; Favorite Hero at the Maple Leaf Awards along with Honorable Mention as Favorite Heroine, Favorite Short Story and Favorite Novel; placed Third in Historical Short at the International Digital Awards; and Runner-Up for Best Short or Novella at the Chanticleer Awards.