So you want to create an audiobook by Diane Marina

Producing my first audiobook (How Still My Love) has been an experience of trial by fire. What started out as a project I was very hesitant to embark upon became a pleasant experience. I have some words of advice for those authors who are on the fence about whether or not to move into the audiobook marketplace.HowStillMyLove-AudibleCover-1

Conquer your fears

Think about what’s stopping you. Don’t let fear of the unknown control you. The audiobook industry is growing exponentially. Sooner or later, if you’re serious about your craft, you’ll want your books to be available on audio. Audiobooks can boost sales of your other versions and your other books. You may also snag a few non-book-reading fans along the way.

Don’t wait for a narrator to come to you

Daniela Acitelli_Black&White

If you choose to produce your book through ACX, you’ll have the option of inviting auditions. Do this and you’ll most likely be waiting a long time. Instead, shop around and listen to narrators who are in your price range. The site allows you to narrow your search based on the type of reading you’re looking for. Have an idea of how you want your characters to sound. Once you’ve found the person you’d like to work with, make an offer. When I was shopping for a narrator, I found the person I wanted to work with almost immediately (Daniela Acitelli narrated How Still My Love, and is in the process of narrating After the Glitter Fades.).


You get what you pay for

If you’re tempted to pinch pennies and opt for the lowest pay scale, don’t. You may have a hard time finding a narrator, and even if you find someone on the low end of the scale – there might be a reason that person is charging so little. You could end up with someone who is just trying to get her foot in the door by charging less, which is fine. But by the same token, you’ll also be getting someone who is less experienced.

It’s a collaboration

Don’t think of your audiobook as your book alone. If you’re fortunate, you’ll have a narrator who can teach you the ropes, help promote the book, and even give you advice on what will work and what won’t. As I completed my newest book, I knew I wanted to use Daniela again, and I asked her for feedback on one of the characters. She recorded some samples so that I could hear how that character would sound as both an Australian, and as a Southern Belle. Hearing the samples helped me decide (and I haven’t regretted the decision for a second!)

Prepare to cringe, laugh, cry, etc.

You wrote the book, but you probably haven’t heard anyone read it out loud to you. You should be overjoyed as you listen to the files provided by your narrator prior to release. While I was reviewing, I had many moments of pride, happiness, and disbelief (did I really write that?), as well as some discomfort (listening to the love scenes can be hard).


This says it all. Once you release your book, find any way you can to promote it and let the world know all the reasons their lives will improve once they’ve bought your new release.

And remember to have fun.

DianeMarina-headshotDiane Marina bides her time in the Washington, DC metro area while plotting her move to a warmer climate. She’s an avid runner, traveler, and craft gin aficionado. When not writing, she spends her waking hours visiting nearby microbreweries and distilleries, hanging out with her wife and dogs, and tearing into good books. When she’s not traveling, she’s dreaming of all of the places she’d like to visit.

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  1. I agree with the author. I love to read but don’t have the time. I have started listening to audio books instead.
    The narrator is a big factor in what books I buy.
    The narrator can make or break a book. I need a narrator who can make the characters come alive and sound ( at least) slightly different from the other characters.
    I have bought books of some of my favorite authors and their audio book is ruined by a narrator.
    I also buy books done by a great narrator even if it is not something I normally like because the narrator is so good.
    Good luck and I will look up your book.


  2. Thanks for sharing your audio book experience, Diane. I found your blog to be very informative.


  3. Thanks LJ – I feel the same way which is why it was so important to me to find a narrator who sounds like I imagine my characters to sound, and to be as passionate about them as I am. I found that in Daniela.


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