Audiobooks and the art of story telling

Audiobooks and the art of story telling are having a moment; they are in the midst of a boom as they soar in popularity. They are one of the greatest and more recent gifts to life long learners. The beauty of audiobooks is that you don’t have to set aside some quiet time away from everything and everyone in order to read a book anymore.  You can continue to do all the things that you have listed on your to-do-list whilst having someone whispering in your ear a story that you want to hear.

Audiobooks and the art of story telling allow you direct access to a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom.  Books allow the smartest people within every field to share their knowledge and experience with you so that you can learn from them and avoid making the same mistakes. But even for people who love books, finding the opportunity to read can be a challenge. This is where audiobooks come into the frame, they come to the rescue of those who have no time to sit in a quiet corner to read because of their daily commute, their work, their house chores and so many other things that need to be done. For those who are experiencing some decline in their eye sights because of old age, don’t despair, you can still have access to all the information and knowledge that you want, just press the play button and off you go. For those who are dyslexic don’t  be put off by the thought of struggling your way through a book. Do you want to read Harry Potter? Sure you can and please don’t fret and don’t be intimidated by the size of the book. You don’t have to read it, listen to it, instead.

One should not underestimate the power of storytelling. From the beginning of time, knowledge was shared from generation to generation thanks to story tellers who used their artistry to pass on information, knowledge and wisdom to their community.  The rise of audiobooks seems to be a natural progression back to the oral learning tradition that was so common in the olden days.

Audiobooks or the art of story telling

I am a fan of audiobooks; but be aware that I am totally biased on this subject because I just released the audio version of my book ‘This Is Your Quest‘; and right now I would like to invite you to listen to the sweet and smooth voice of Nita Slater, my narrator, who will be whispering in your ear a story you want to hear.

This Is Your quest – A story you want to hear – Audiobook sample

What happens when a storyteller meets a professional singer and voice actress? They create something beautiful that fills the silence that exists when one just sits alone in a quiet corner with a book.  When I became an author, I found my voice, and by doing so I also found my new purpose in life, which is helping others find theirs.  And now, I have found an amazing voice to narrate and bring to life the stories that I wrote in my book. I am delighted to inform all my readers that the audio version of my book This Is Your Quest is now available, and it is my pleasure to introduce you to my narrator Nita Slater.  Nita is an artist with many talents, but her most amazing feature is her voice it is like honey sweet and smooth.

My mission as a storyteller is to weave interesting information into a compelling story that will keep my readers captivated and entertained. Story telling becomes magical when you add a smooth and engaging voice into the equation, making the experience more engaging, memorable and multi-dimensional.  Being read stories aloud is not reserved for children only, adults can also indulge in this pleasure.

I wanted to find out more about this fascinating profession, so, I asked Nita a few questions.  In this blog article I would like to bring to you an artist’s perspective from behind-the-scenes.

The Art of Story telling, backstage story. Meet Nita, my narrator. Can you tell us about you and in particular how did you become a book narrator?

I have been a professional singer most of my life and have also been involved with some musical comedy theatre productions along the way. Along with my experience doing radio commercials and narrating corporate videos, I felt that the combination of these experiences could quite possibly open up some opportunities within the realm of audiobooks. Plus, I love to read, and I love to learn, so narrating This is Your Quest has been a very enjoyable experience!

This Is Your Quest by Joanne Reed
Audiobook and the art of story telling – This Is Your Quest is the audiobook you want to hear – Trust me I am the narrator

How do you select which book to narrate? 

When selecting a book to narrate, I first want to make sure that the content of the book is a good match for my delivery style. While I believe that my acting has provided me some versatility, enabling me to produce different styles across different genres, there are some titles for which I may just not be the best match. I want to make sure that my voice effectively complements the book’s contents. And, of course, I want to make sure that the book is one to which I would be proud to have my name attached.

What drew you to take on ‘This Is Your Quest’ as a project?

I was very intrigued after reading an excerpt from the book and knew it was something that I would actually enjoy reading. I also felt that the tone of the book was something for which my voice was well-suited. I enjoyed how the narrative takes you through history — the lives, the loves, the myths, the controversies. I found it to be not only educational, but thoroughly entertaining as well.

This Is Your Quest by Joanne Reed
Audiobooks and the art of story telling – This Is Your Quest is the audiobook you want to hear. Trust me I am the author

In terms of the production process, this was the first audiobook I produced for ACX as well as one of the first projects I completed in my home studio. The editing process is quite tedious and extremely time-consuming, thereby taking slightly more than 2 months of daily attention to complete this 300+ page manuscript. I’ve learned from some of the more experience professionals that this is the usual amount of time typically required to complete a project of this size. So, while challenging at times, it’s also been quite a learning experienced for which I am very grateful.

What was the most fun chapter to record? Why?

I especially enjoyed Part Four on Love, all 9 chapters! It was not only very interesting, but it allowed me to be a bit more playful with my delivery, a bit less journalistic reporter. In that same vein, I also particularly enjoyed Chapter 3 discussing Fables & Fiction.

What was the most difficult chapter to record? Why?

Chapter 7 – So You Think You Are Free was rather challenging from both a narration and editing perspective due to its length. One of the things that narrators must be particularly aware of is maintaining and communicating a certain tone and energy in order to achieve a consistent sound, especially throughout a particular chapter. Without getting into specifics, there are different factors that can affect these levels. It becomes quite challenging when reading (and editing) 44 pages that you remain cognizant of these levels. And just when you think you’re finished and you’ve mastered the narration, you listen back and say, “Oh no, I sound really tired there, I got a little sloppy with that…Redo!!”

How important is it to get the author’s feedback/input on the recording?

The author’s feedback is everything! This book is your child, and it is my responsibility to make you and your book shine!

This Is Your Quest - Author Joanne Reed
Audiobooks and the art of storytelling

Do you work from your own home studio?

I do work from a home studio. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many of us to think creatively! I’m very fortunate to have a very quiet environment in which to work, and to know lots of musicians and engineers who have provided some great advice along the way.

How do you prepare for a recording session? As a professional voice actor are there special techniques you use to care and condition your voice?

I’m not sure what other actors do to prepare, but I do have a routine. Being a singer, I’ve already developed good health habits, like eating well, drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated, no smoking, no alcohol, and lots of good old-fashioned sleep! Prior to narration, I have a good breakfast, my morning coffee, then typically sing for about 30 minutes just to wake up my vocal cords. That’s really about it…nothing exotic here!

How does the experience of recording an audiobook compare with the experience of recording a voice over commercial?

The biggest difference, of course, is the length of time; the difference between reading a 9-and-a-half-hour book vs. a 30-second radio spot. They both provide a great deal of satisfaction and pride when they’re completed.

What do you love most about being an artist?

I love singing, I love acting, I love reading, I love speaking. I love the versatility and freedom this profession provides in terms of allowing me to choose what I want to work on and when, working from home is a plus, and it’s also allowed me to meet some really fun and interesting people. It’s also very rewarding to know that someone enjoys listening to me read to them! God blessed me with a nice voice, I owe it to Him to put it to good use.

The key message of this blog article is that If you have a voice use!

“Don’t let fear keep you quiet, you have a voice, so use it. Speak up. Raise your hands. Shout your answer. Make yourself heard. Whatever it takes just find your voice and when you do, fill the damn silence”

Unknown Author

For those willing to give it a go use this special Promotion code

And, this my dear friend, is your Quest!

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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

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