Audiobook Boom Provides Big Opportunities for Publishers
Always take your quality assurance seriously. So what's the secret to finding that perfect voice for your project? "Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you might need to ask," Zackman suggests.
She adds that nearly every reputable studio's website has a range of available audio samples. "You can [call] one of the producing houses," she adds, "and say, 'I really loved your production of this book;' or, 'I love the way that quality sounded;' or, 'There was something in this book that I didn't like.'"
Aside from the websites of various production houses and the collection of narrator profiles listed on Audible's ACX, Voice123 is another trusted online database where publishers can listen to audio samples from actors and narrators.
Look to build audio talent in-house. As far as the technical side of the audio business is concerned, Goff claims that the greatest need in the industry is probably for highly-skilled producers and engineers. “We’re looking for new talent every day,” he says, “whether it’s in narration, or whether it’s people who can do production work or editing.”
In other words, many of the most talented free agents are currently being scooped up by your potential future competitors. If you’re thinking of adding to your staff right away, Goff suggests looking to the music industry. “A lot of our producers are musicians or ex-musicians [who] produce audiobooks during the day,” he says, “pretty much to pay the bills.”
Considering joining forces with an audio publisher. According to Goff, Hachette Audio hasn't historically acquired a large number of projects from outside the reaches of its own house. But in those few cases where it has, the resulting yield has been surprisingly rich. "Certainly not everything translates well into audio," Goff says. "But [because] there's so much opportunity out there to produce , we're always all ears if someone comes to us with an opportunity."
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Dan Eldridge is a journalist and guidebook author based in Philadelphia's historic Old City district, where he and his partner own and operate Kaya Aerial Yoga, the city's only aerial yoga studio. A longtime cultural reporter, Eldridge also writes about small business and entrepreneurship, travel, and the publishing industry. Follow him on Twitter at @YoungPioneers.