Welcome to Audiobook Week – Day #2 here at Going Public!
**UPDATE ON GIVEAWAY – WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN AND NOTIFIED**
Recap: Monday through Thursday of this week, I (Xe) will be posting new Going Public content and blog posts in conjunction with the wonderful audiobook promotional effort of Jen at Devourer of Books. Need further info on Audiobook Week? Pop over to here and check out all the wonderful content flowing in from bloggers all over the cyberverse. For Monday’s post, please scroll down, see the side bar, or click HERE.
Tuesday’s discussion topics: Discuss the essentials of audiobook reviewing. What do you make sure to include? What do you want to see when you read other people’s reviews?
Oh here is a topic near and dear to my narrator’s heart! I think I’ll tackle this from the flipside – what a narrator most benefits from when reading a review…and I don’t just mean positive reviews. But before I get to that, I have to offer my thanks to all of you who even bother. You give your time for no other reason than because you wish to share your experience with a book, and I am always grateful that you choose to spend precious time offering your thoughts.
For a rundown of the mechanics of writing an audiobook review, I’ll direct you to two excellent prior posts on this topic, a wonderfully succinct one from reviewer extraordinaire, Beth Fish Reads, and an indepth look at narration as it applies to reviewing from director Paul Alan Ruben.
So the first thing narrators (like authors) must acknowledge is that reviews are not written for them. They are written for other listeners, to give others a feel for what worked/didn’t work in a given audiobook. That said, I believe what I hope to glean from a review is also content that best serves potential listeners.
Because audio can dramatically alter your experience of the read, I’m looking for a separate section specifically on the audio aspects. Within that section, here is what I find most helpful:
- How did the performance affect your experience of the book. Did it elevate the experience or detract from it? Did I get out of the way of the story and author’s intent, or were you always aware of my presence as narrator?
- If you enjoyed the narration, what specifically worked for you and why (if you can get specific)? Was there something in particular that stood out positively for you in the performance?
- If you didn’t enjoy the narration, what specifically detracted – pacing, characterizations, vocal tone, enunciation, etc? Were there specific moments that really pulled you out of the story?
- Did you feel the delivery and tone matched the nature of the book, matched the emotional content?
- How was the audio production? Did you hear too much extraneous noise? Breaths bug you too much? Odd changes in volume or “presence” that detracted from your experience?
- Lastly, it’s also helpful to hear how you listened (your laptop speakers, headphones, MP3 player, etc.).
I suppose that makes it sound like quite a long bit to write, but I don’t think it needs to be. My goal is to continue honing my performance to deliver a the most immersive and engaging delivery for you that I possibly can…so I appreciate every bit of information you can pass along.
For those who haven’t written an audiobook review but want to give it a try with no risk and minimal time outlay, I’m going to make a cheeky suggestion (I wish I had a British accent…makes saying “cheeky” so much more gratifying). I’m offering the classic gothic short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, in serialized format, today through Thursday, as part of the Going Public celebration of #JIAM2012. It will come in around 35 minutes total. I’m game to be your Guinea pig – use this as your test case. The first installment is below.
The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Part 1 of 3
(and if you cannot see the player above, you can access it via the SoundCloud page for The Yellow Wallpaper).
And if you just want something entertaining to listen to – feel free to just enjoy the story 🙂
Now how about you? How do you feel about reviewing audio – does it present specific challenges that print reviews don’t? Have you ever been contacted by a narrator or author after you’ve reviewed their work, or have either ever commented on one of your reviews? If so, what did you think – was it uncomfortable to be directly engaged by the narrator or author?
And remember – each post you comment on enters you another time in the Triple-Threat Giveaway…
The Triple-threat Giveaway: 1 Audio + 1 Print Book + 1 Custom Piece
Leave a comment on any of my Audiobook Week posts before 8PM PST on Friday, 6/29, and you will be entered to win a gift package including:
- 1 Audiobook of mine, from either Tantor (Mp3 CDs or digital download) or Iambik (download only)
- 1 Print book of your choice from the ARCs below**
- I’ll narrate the poem or short story of your choice (some restrictions on length/content)
…and for each post you comment on, you get your name added into the hat another time. Comment on all five posts, and you’ll have five chances to win! Regrettably, if you are outside the US, I can only offer item #3.
If you’ve got a Twitter handle, please list it in your comment so I can more easily notify you.
Winner will be announced here, and via my and Going Public’s Twitter and Facebook feeds. Winner will have until 5PM PST on Saturday, 6/30 to make their print and audiobook selections (more time can be taken for the custom recorded piece ) Please be sure to check one of those sources after the close of the drawing.
**print ARCs to choose from:
- The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce
- The Beautiful Mystery, by Louise Penny
- Gold, by Chris Cleave
- In Search of Lucy, by Lia Fairchild