Today at Speaking of Audiobooks, we are hosting our first live Narrators Forum. It’s an event structured for narrators to come together and discuss pertinent issues in their industry as well as provide listeners with a glimpse into their world of bringing multiple characters to life. Once the live portion of the forum is over, those involved want to hear from you. Your feedback is important to them.
When I first started writing about audiobooks, I envisioned those reading to me in a studio surrounded by a director, producer, and recording technician. My mind saw the director instructing a narrator to stop occasionally and try a line again or explain a needed change. I guess I imagined something similar to a movie set with only one actor sitting in a sound booth performing all of the characters. However, after visiting with a number of narrators this past year, I understand just how inaccurate that vision was. Now that home studios are becoming more commonplace, narrators often operate alone and in somewhat of a vacuum. There just aren’t that many opportunities to get together and talk about what they do day in and day out.
Meet the Narrators
Our first Speaking of Audiobooks column carried the subtitle, It’s All About the Narrator and was a general discussion of romance audiobooks. It also provided us an opportunity to start sharing with each other, from one column to the next, those narrators that do (and don’t) work for us since we, as audiobook enthusiasts, know with great certainty that the narrator holds the power to make or break an audiobook.
This is our twentieth Speaking of Audiobooks column which means we now have nineteen discussions to look back on and survey trends in narrator recommendations. Who are the most recommended romance audiobook narrators? Well, I decided to not guess or rely on my memory for such a topic and started combing through our previous discussions and recorded each Favorable Mention of a narrator. And what, you may rightly ask, qualifies as a Favorable Mention? It can’t be along the lines of “The narrator did a good job.” No “goods” are included in this tally. A Favorable Mention means that a narrator is someone’s favorite or, as is often the case, is signified with comments such as “I love this narrator.” If I saw a narrator’s performance described with words such as excellent, outstanding, and wonderful, those also made the Favorable Mention list. These are the narrators who, in the eyes of our listeners, did more than just a good job.
Tallying up Favorable Mentions and delivering them for your perusal is an unscientific process. There are no ballots tallied here – no favorites list for you to mark your choice. This is merely a listing of the number of times a narrator has received that Favorable Mention but even that is open for interpretation and not an exact process. Please keep in mind that this is a list of Favorable Mentions from one column to the next with no record of who made the statement. Therefore if one of our listeners has stated three times in separate columns over the last ten months that she “loved Johanna Parker”, then it’s been tallied three times.
Here’s our list of favorite narrators based on your Favorable Mentions here at Speaking of Audiobooks as well as a few book recommendations for each: