• Andrea Torrey Balsara

IWSG: challenges in producing audiobooks

April 6th question: Have any of your books been made into audiobooks? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?

I have a book that is currently in the queue for being produced. I won an audio book award

for my YA novel, The Great & the Small, in the Page Turner Book Awards in 2020. Because of the pandemic and a bunch of other reasons, though, everything has been pushed back. For me, the main challenge has been to be PATIENT with how much longer everything has taken.

As far as production goes, though, it’s a challenge to give my thoughts about character

voices and tone while still being mindful of the actors’ need to add their own creativity and

perspective. I believe that the synergy of the actors’ creativity and my own vision for the

audiobook will create something more powerful than it would be otherwise but finding that

balance is not easy. Clear communication is key.

To help the actors, I wrote out small character sketches and wrote down who would play

the characters on the big screen if it were a movie, or characters they resembled. I wrote

down sections of the book I wanted them to read as part of a sample. Both actors recorded

their parts, and we are now waiting for it to be engineered. Once the engineered sample is

finished, there will be more notes, more adjustments and maybe another sample made.

Once I approve the voices/characterizations, it will be out of my hands and into the hands of

the actors. And then … an audiobook!!

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