When you receive an email from a Nigerian prince, you probably think, “This so-called prince is just somebody who wants to take my money.”
Other types of emails may cause the same reaction. Authors are inundated every week with solicitations from marketing and web site gurus, proofers, webinar hosts, and more. It could be easy to become jaded to the constant barrage of offers.
However, one email that isn’t a scam is the one from an audiobook narrator who wants to collaborate with you on producing your audiobook. The reaction to that kind of email should be one of giddy excitement, such as, “This is somebody who wants to MAKE me money! What a prince!”
Although narrators routinely work with audio publishers, we are independent, freelance business owners just like you are. We don’t have agents who deal in audiobook work. Each narrator is on her own for ensuring she has a steady workload.
Until recent years, only about 5% of all books were made into audiobooks. Even though audiobooks are the fastest growing segment of publishing and have had double digit growth for the past 3 years, the overall number of audiobooks is still a relatively low percentage of the number of available books.
Consequently, the majority of authors do not have audiobooks of their titles and may not know how to create one. Narrators frequently do outreach with authors to help them learn about the production process. We speak at authors’ conferences and workshops. Some of us (ahem) write articles to share our knowledge and love of this medium.
We also prospect to line up projects on our own. We look for authors who are prolific in writing and releasing their books and treat their writing as a business. Once we find an author of interest, we research her work to find a book that:
- isn’t already available as an audiobook
- is a good fit for our voice, skills, and interests
- contains content suitable for an audiobook in a genre that is successful in audio
- could be expected to sell well in audio
With the research complete, the narrator will contact the author — usually through email — to inquire about the possibility of creating the audiobook.