What if, just what if we were to rethink the process. Currently, audio books are an after-thought. It’s what you do when you have finally put your pen down and written THE END. You send your child off to the publisher, the publisher prints the copies, distribution delivers them, and then you say to yourself: “Maybe I should make an audio version?” Then straight away to ACX you go and post your audition sides and engage a talented voice actor to help you realize a performance version of the 2D work. (notice I didn’t say audio version)
What if we change the work flow. What if, the audio actor becomes part of the creative team that helps you craft the book from the very first pages.
As an actor, I was regularly engaged in “New Works” programs, where an author/playwright would get to hear their words from the mouths of actors long before the ink dried to permanent. They would work with their dramaturge to change the language, the nuance, the scenery, every element of the work once they actually saw, and felt the work come alive in front of them. So what if we took some of these principals and applied them to the audio-book universe.
I dare ya. That’s right, I double dare ya. OK authors, here’s the dare. Post your new, unfinished, unpublished, unrefined, unexpurgated, blemished work to ACX and contract with voice talent for a rendering. Listen to your dialogue come from the actual brain and mouth of a live human being before you cement the words in place on the page. Engage a voice actor to be part of your creative process from concept to finish. Work with him/her right alongside your editor in helping craft a work that won’t just translate to a brilliant audio-book. It starts off as one.
I suspect that the finished result might just be spectacularly different than what might have gone directly to the page. If a voice actor has difficulty articulating the words or the emotions your characters are expressing, the reader will too.
Just a wild notion and it’s quite possible nobody will be foolhearty enough to give this a shot. But then again….