Are There Any Listeners in the Audience Tonight?

Today a request for feedback from my fine audience: do any of you listen to audio-books?

I don’t really listen to audio-books; therefore I am looking for insight into what listeners do and don’t want. So, if you are an avid audio-book listener I am interested in your preferences.

Do you want sound-effects? Do they make you twitch?

Do you want each character to have a distinct voice, or are clear speech tags fine?

What makes you stop listening?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.


6 thoughts on “Are There Any Listeners in the Audience Tonight?

  1. To give an example, I have an audiobook of Arthur Clarke’s “Rendezvous With Rama” As much as I love the book, the way that the reader did the voice of the Ship’s Captain was so annoying that I had to quit. Bill Norton is Australian and the reader did a kind of Crocodile Dundee “G’day, mate! Crickie!” voice for him.

    I would also say no to sound effects, and to any background music. The idea is to let the words tell the story.

    For what it’s worth I think Brandon McKernan who has done the audiobooks for my novels is just brilliant. If you listen to the samples on Audible you’ll get a good feel for what I think is ideal.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My favorite audio books are the Harry Potter series, narrated by Jim Dale. He’s simple, but distinct. There’s no music, no flashy sound effects, but he has a great, clear voice with inflections at all the right moments. He’s also fantastic at giving each character their own voice, so it’s obvious who’s talking and never gets confusing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I normally listen to a couple of audiobooks a month while commuting. I hate sound effects; they usually come in WAY TOO LOUD.

    I enjoy character voices; even if they are subtle voice differences, it’s nice to be able to distinguish characters without thinking about it.

    There are a few audiobooks that I’ve decided not to listen to because of the narrator; I’ve noticed the problems by checking out samples on audible. Usually it’s some odd speaking style where the emphasis is on the wrong part of the sentence; I think you’d spot this in your narrator, but apparently some people didn’t. I could try to dig out some examples if you’d like.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Here’s a book I’d like to listen to, but the narration has kept me away from it:

        It’s not the narrator’s accent I dislike (my wife is Asian), rather it’s how she makes every sentence seem like it’s some kind of earth-shattering proclamation.

        Some people don’t like John Lee, the narrator for Pandora’s Star and Revelation Space. It could be slow pace, or it could be starting sentences strong and then trailing off.

        If you’d like an example of good narration, Simon Vance is one of my favorites. I also like some series with accents which may be over-the-top, but fit with the story: the #1 Ladies Detective agency books, and the Vish Puri books.


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