Jumping right into the whole Findaway experience, I must say that the experience has been pretty smooth so far. I’m already signed up, so that’s that out of the way, and I clicked on ‘Make a new Project’. With this, I was asked if I wanted to hire a voice artist or if I had my own audio.
In the previous Paranormology books, I did the audiobooks myself (a lot of hard work) and had the files ready to upload. This time around, because I really want to give Tedrick the very best voice he can get, I clicked on the ‘Hire a Voice Artist’ option. That presented me with two other options.
- I can pay the voice artist their full commission and maintain all right and royalties (minus publisher and distributer cuts) to the finished work or
- I can split the cost of the commission with the artist, and they will earn 20% of the final proceeds.
Now, considering the amount of effort put into audiobooks, I can see the benefits and drawbacks of both arrangements. A voice artist does not want to back a nag. Let’s say they sink their week into a book that ultimately is a flop, they will not be remunerated for their time and effort. Then again, it might be a winner, in which case they’ve done well. It’s a risk they would have to take. On the other hand, paying full commission means the risk is entirely on the author, or the rights holder, and the voice artist is paid fairly.
So there’s an element of risk involved. To make it easier to decide, Findaway ask the author to pitch their prowess, any awards won, reviews or comments that would sway the voice artist’s opinion. In this way, the artist can make an educated guess whether they would like to take up the offer or not.
I decided against the shared-risk deal, since this would be my first audiobook narrated by someone else, and I wanted to keep things simple and fair. That said, if all goes well, I would want the same voice actor for the rest of the series, so there’s a thing to consider.
Anyway, after that selection, the project is created, with name, author, genre, etc. and a manuscript. Then comes the questionnaire: What kind of artists would you like?
Huh? In truth, I hadn’t given that too much thought. Male or female? OK, the narrator is a male, so that’s given. What language? English. What nationality? Bugger. It was written with Australian spelling and terms, but it could just as easily be UK or US. The more I thought about it, the more worried I became. Was this going to be like wandering through a supermarket, reading the bios and listening to samples of every artist out there until I found the one?
Thankfully, no. The point of the questionnaire is for the kind folk at Findaway to narrow down that big ‘ol list and get something suitable. I answered on: Voice? Gritty, cynical. Tone? Fatherly. Feel? Anecdotal. You get the drift. I filled in all the bits as best I could, submitted the form and…
They came back in a few days with a shortlist of about ten faces, flowing down the screen, of who they think might fit the bill. Then came the fun part – choosing!