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Something is in the Works - Part III

Here is the rest of the story:

In the email titled "Questions about audiobooks," this former student shared the following:

"You may already have voice-over work done for your books, but on the off-chance you don't or if you'd like to consider it for your future projects, I wanted to extend an offer from me to do the voice-over. Totally up to you, though."

My first response was "No." For good or bad, I have heard some great books have bad narration, and it ruins the story in my opinion. I almost had a book narrator for one of my books, and it was not a good fit. It left me putting this type of project on hold indefinitely.

But this former student had become a great fan of my work and a strong supporter, and I needed to frame my "No" in the best possible way. Since we were both new to the audiobook industry, I figured I would share with him the education I had gathered about the process.

Here was my response back:

"Funny you would mention audiobooks. It's something I've explored at different points and then tabled for a variety of reasons.

If I remember correctly, you participated in acting during your time at Venture. Is that correct? Please share any other details.

I have an audiobook contract that is set to run out with ACX in June. It's a long story, but I had a narrator that didn't work out, so the project has been tabled, and I have been waiting for the contract to run out. Are you familiar with ACX? I have heard over the years that ACX has modified their contracts, making them not as favorable for either the author or the narrator. It is a bit frustrating for both partners. However, my alternative approach of doing nothing with audiobooks isn't really doing anything for me either...

If you are interested in applying for one of my books, let me know. I can pull out the previous script used in the former audition. I can even share the audition of the narrator I loved, as well as some of the other auditions if you are interested. Due to the current contract expiring soon, I had planned to revisit all this after June.

If you have any samples of your voice work, please share."

His response:

"Yes, I did participate in theatre at Venture, and amazingly enough, I was cast for the part of Solomon Wagner in Legends of Sleepy Hollow because of my voice. The playwright even commended me on my voice, can you believe?!

...I would be delighted to show you what I can do in an audition setting."

My response back:

"Due to my contract, I can't explore this until the summer. But in the meantime, if you want to send me an audio sample, I will take a listen. It would be very fun to work with you on this project. I just continue to delay diving in because I have heard the challenges of the time investment that goes into the project is frustrating since there is little monetary return. But great exposure for both the author and narrator....No harm if you aren't interested. If you are, feel free to send me an audition."

Then I gave him a script as well as an audition clip from my favorite audition during a former time, but I could not afford that narrator. I sent that sample to illustrate what type of work I was looking for. I really did not expect this former student to have the narrating voice I was looking for. Instead, he sent me his sample, and I was blown away. His audition was even better than the professional's sample.

It was a happy surprise.

Whereas I had been cautious before, after listening to his audition, my response was:

"I just listened this morning, and this blew me away. I honestly was not expecting this.

Your voice is incredible! And you have audible and narration skills that others often struggle with. I am very impressed.

Let's definitely connect!"

Even then, on March 11, 2021, when I said, "let's connect," I would have never imagined that exchange would lead to this:

Learn more about James Davidson here.


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