Testing, Testing: Need Audiobook Help

If you read this blog, you probably know I’m in the process of making my first book, A Reason to Live, into an audio book through the Amazon site ACX.com. I’ve gotten several fantastic auditions from voice actors, and am a little stuck on how to proceed.

Got ten minutes? Listen to these voice samples from A Reason to Live, vote for your favorite and, if you want, give me a couple comments at the bottom of the page. It would be a huge help for me in making my decision (which I need to do before May 15 or so).

Some Background

  • Section #1 is the killer, so if it sounds kind of creepy, don’t assume it’s the whole book, just skip ahead a “page.”
    [I wanted to hear how they did with a different mindset/character]
  • Section #2 was action–a knife fight.
    [I wanted to hear how they did action.]
  • Section #3 was dialogue between Amanda and Marty.
    [I wanted to hear how they did female voices and dialogue.]

Not all actors did all sections. I asked  them to at least do Section #3 so that I could get a feel for dialogue (of which there’s more than the other two, obviously).

The Voices
Voice AH

Voice BB

Voice CK

Voice LS

Voice RE

Thanks for your help!


Writer of crime fiction, psychological drama, and dark humor.

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Posted in My Books & Titles
16 comments on “Testing, Testing: Need Audiobook Help
  1. Michele H says:

    I liked LS and RE best out of the choices given. The voices fit with the story and they both had nice voice inflection.

  2. Nice idea, asking for reader feedback! I did the same thing for The Painted Darkness audiobook, but it was in a more private forum. Of course, doing this on your blog only helps raise awareness of the forthcoming audio edition, which is pretty clever. (If you have any ACX questions you want to ask privately, send me an email. I’m working on audiobooks 2, 3, 4, and 5 right now.)

    • Matthew Iden says:

      I think you’re on to something, Brian. 🙂

      Thanks for the offer of help…I’ll probably send you something later today about the logistics of recording more than one book, or doing more than one fairly quickly.

  3. butchanton says:

    To be honest, I can’t say that I like any of them a ton, but probably my two favorites are LS and RE. I don’t think any of them handled descriptive text particularly well — for example, the description of the fight participants or the linoleum knife. None of the readers really handled Amanda very well.

    One thing I wondered about when listening to the excerpts was whether or not I’d be able to listen to them read the entire book, let alone enjoy it. I’m not convinced any of them succeed in that regard.

    Sorry for not being very much help. 😦

  4. I enjoyed this, Matthew. The book is fresh in my mind, so it was easy to “see” who was speaking. I didn’t look at any comments beforehand, and I made a few notes.
    AH – Seemed too dramatic; overacting
    BB – Had a more gritty, kind of a detective noir vibe; sounded at times like Jack Nicholson
    CK – I liked his deep voice, but it reminded me too much of a radio announcer
    RE – Rod Serling; halting way of speaking
    LS – I voted for LS. His voice is more generic and conducive to the reader using their own imagination. He reads a little faster and sounds more “everyday” realistic. Plus, he didn’t sound like anybody else (like the others reminding me of Nicholson and Serling); he sounded like a nice man and a cop. 🙂

    My blog post sold a book for you today! One of my readers left a comment that they bought A Reason to Live. Yay!

  5. Julie Schlutow Saffold says:

    I felt CK had the parts of narration and Marty done pretty well, but like the others excluding RE, didn’t do Amanda any favors. RE voice still sounds a bit to young for Marty. You find yourself a RE & CK blend and you’ll be well on your way. Hope this helps.

  6. For me it was between LS and CK. CK’s voice had so much presence but I really liked LS’s style and manner and somehow I could just envision him as Marty because in my mind Marty is not a particularly tall man and maybe even slight in stature – so this voice matches to me. RE I didn’t care for at all and AH and BB I didn’t like how they read. I just thought LS was more natural and I could actually believe he was Marty talking I’m in agreement with Maddie….

  7. Misha Crews says:

    For me it was far and away LS! I agree with the earlier commenter that he was easy to envision as Marty. I also liked AH, although from the poll results I think I may be the only one. 🙂 This is very exciting! Can’t wait to hear the whole book on audio!

  8. Did you pick a winner or go back to the drawing board? 🙂

    • Matthew Iden says:

      Hey Brian – I’m pretty set on one of them, but I’m trying to get his future schedule…I believe he’s in pretty high demand and don’t want to commit to someone who can’t do the three books (plus more on the way) in the next 9 months or so. Once I get that answer, I’ll know fer sure.

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