What do you do to prepare before narrating an audiobook. Do you read the book? Speak with the author?
Nick Podehl, narrator of the Chaos Walking trilogy, Shelter
Therese Plummer, narrator of the Firelight series; The Immortal Rules
Tara Sands, narrator of The Dead-Tossed Waves; Revived
When I first get a manuscript for a new project I read it slowly, creating a list of characters and a pronunciation guide for foreign words. I also highlight all of the dialogue, using different colors for each character. This way when I'm in the studio I have an easy visual cue that tells me which characters are coming up on any given page. If there is particularly tricky narration, or difficult accents, I'll read aloud. Sometimes even without realizing that I am. Which has earned me some strange looks when I prep at a coffee shop!" Luke Daniels, narrator of This Dark Endeavor; Unwind
Some books require a lot of research. I've called Alaska for Inupiaq pronunciation, talked to SciFi/Fantasy authors to confirm pronunciation for languages they've invented, and asked a rural Ohio relative for help with shotgun terminology. It definitely keeps things interesting!" Amy Rubinate, narrator of Shadows on the Moon; The Selection
The second time I look a lot more at HOW the story is told, the order of events. I make a list of all the characters. I make note of the major events in each chapter so that I can know where I am going when I finally record the book. The arc of a whole book is too much for me to keep in my head when I am recording, so it’s helpful when I start each chapter to reacquaint myself with where the author is taking the story next.
The third time I read a book when I am prepping it, I read it out loud. This is when I try out voices, when I notice words that I actually don’t know how to pronounce but skim over when I am reading in my head. And then I go into the studio and we record it." Amanda Ronconi, narrator of How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf; the Soul Screamers series
Caitlin Davies, narrator of Awakened: A House of Night Novel; Little Vampire Women
Carol Monda, narrator of The Seven Realms series; the Cass Neary series
At times I'm lucky enough to have an opportunity to speak with the author during the preparation process or after they've received their recording, which is a really lovely, helpful, and humbling experience." Kate Rudd, narrator of The Fault in Our Stars; Tithe
." Jessica Almasy; narrator of The Summer I Turned Pretty, Unraveled
'Success happens when preparation meets opportunity' No idea who actually said this… but I love it." Khristine Hvam, narrator of Daughter of Smoke and Bone; Iron Fey series
With most books I narrate, I have more time than that, and I can not only do a read through but also spend some time thinking about each character and their point of view. Most of the time narrators are not in touch with authors but, I have had some authors write to me after I narrated their books and told me they were fans..so that's always lovely! I did meet Stephenie Meyer a few times during the recording of Twilight Series and I kept her very much in mind as I narrated her series." Ilyana Kadushin; narrator of the Twilight Saga; Glow