I just love it when a narrator and author are able to truly collaborate on a book. It truly is a wonderful and satisfying experience and makes for a better end-product. Having a feel for the author’s intent, knowing how the author pronounces certain words, reassuring the author that the book is in good hands… It’s all good. Sometime the author and narrator become BFFs, which provides all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings for everyone involved 🙂
That said, before a narrator contacts an author, s/he should check with the studio director to make sure it is okay to do so. There are authors who prefer not to be contacted by the narrator for whatever reason or; five minutes after having a very pleasant conversation with the narrator, are on the phone with their agent, outraged that they weren’t able to narrate the books themselves, or that a major movie star wasn’t cast, or even their best friend who has acting experience… Annoyed authors tend to create complications farther on down the line, including, but not limited to, having to have a title re-cast.
And for God’s sake, whatever you as a narrator do, don’t ask the author to re-write a passage to make it more audiobook friendly! The audiobook publishers have a way of dealing with print material, including charts, diagrams and other illustrations that aren’t audio friendly that include, but are not limited to, having a way that the charts are read and, acquiring the rights to publish the materials in a separate pdf. Some audiobook publishers acquire the rights to modify the text to adapt the material specifically for an audiobook production and, that script adaptation is what the narrator will receive to record.
So, all I’m suggesting is that when you pick up that phone or are tempted to shoot off an e-mail to the author’s web-site, call the studio director first to see if it’s okay to contact the author.
Next up on The Pink Chair: