And so you register for Amazon’s audio program and submit a brief audition passage.
So far so good. If you decide on paying hundreds of dollars to an audio producer to record the book, your chances may be good. That is, if you can hook up with a venue with a promising track record. But you still have no idea how effective the recording will be or if you’ll recoup your investment.
If you decide on paying out no money at all and go for a royalty share, this is where it gets tricky. Though you’ve indicated the type of voice and presentation you’re looking for, you never know what you’re going to get.
Waiting to see who picks up on your profile and submits an audition may land you a serviceable audition. But from a mystery reader providing you with no credentials, no photo, no way to tell what you might be getting into. In fact, he or she may not even answer your e-mails. Do you really want to get involved with this kind of partner? Or do you want to keep waiting and see what turns up?
Option Three: You listen to short samples based on the criteria you’ve noted and request a submission. Now you’re really in for it. Perhaps one out of seven who aren’t totally booked will comply. Moreover, what you picked up on in the sample was only a tiny and, more often than not, misleading inkling. Those who do submit may have adequate recording equipment but no feeling for the tone of your material or even what it’s all about. You checked off Southern, you get a slow laconic drawl throughout no matter what’s going on in the story. You asked for a storyteller, you get the sound of a park ranger gathering wide-eyed tourists around the ol’ campfire. The one who seemed promising informs you there can’t be anything immoral lurking in some later chapter, he won’t be free to tackle your project for three months, and even then he’s a stickler for perfection and will need an additional four months till he’s satisfied. And this is just for openers. How do you know that down the road the two of you will keep getting along and produce a marketable product vetted by Amazon?
As the trending cliché goes, “Just saying.”