Last year I went into a recording studio in north London to read The Good Son. I had to audition (well, do a sound/voice test) beforehand and the powers that be gave me the thumbs up. It wasn’t quite what I expected (me having a laugh reading my book!). It was hard work. I’d recommend trying anything once but I’d have a good long think before doing it again because…
There are definitely pros and cons to reading your own book – for you and the listener. I’d say the main pros are that you feel in control of the material- that you are giving the listener what you intended when you wrote it – and they are getting insights into the text they may not have picked up on.
I think the cons are that quite soon you realise your limitations – not being someone with experience/ability in this platform. If you have 5 characters speaking in one page, are you really good enough to differentiate between them? If not, the listener won’t know which character is speaking until the end of the dialogue when you’ve assigned a name. You don’t want them stumbling, you want them seduced by the story. Also, often an actor can bring something out of the text that you hadn’t seen (just like when you’ve written a play). As writers, we are not always aware of what we are doing. Actors can also add a layer of subtly that you, no matter how good you are as a reader of your work, don’t have the training or talent to do as a performer.
I enjoy reading my work and I think the audio book will really help to bring The Good Son to life. The added bonus for the listener is, as the story is set in Northern Ireland and has some of the vernacular, the delivery can help with the understanding. I can’t wait to hear some feedback. Be gentle. It’s my first time.
You can buy the audio book over at Audible. You can even listen to a free sample. I hope you enjoy it.