Friday, June 1, 2007

A visit to Random House Audio


This is Orli Moscowitz, who's the Executive Producer for the audio versions of Look Me in the Eye.
For those of you that are interested in publishing, here are a few things I learned on my visit:
Random House as a whole publishes several thousand print book titles every year. Most are not made into audio books. The audio book market as a whole is small; it's said to be 8-10% of the print market, so many good print books just are not commercially viable as audio.
The acquiring editor (not pictured) for Random House Audio looks at the catalogs for all the in-house imprints, and also new books from outside publishers. They then choose their targets and acquire audio rights from the print publisher.
Once RH Audio has a book, their Executive Producers choose the books they'd like to do, and Orli chose mine. A Google search on her name will reveal a long list of big titles she's produced. She's won wide acclaim for Harry Potter; I'll leave it to the rest of you to search out her other books and puzzle out why she would choose my story.
Orli will oversee the whole audio process, building upon the work of Rachel Klayman, my print editor. Her first job is making an audio book script from the book. We have a time target to hit - six hours, I think - which will require some cutting and trimming. Orli and I go over that together. Then, she'll assign an in-studio producer who will be my audience-of-one and coach in the studio. I'll actually record the audio at a studio on 9th Avenue here in New York, at the end of June or early in July.
In addition, a professional reader will go into a California studio and record an unabridged book for the library market. So two versions of my audio book will exist, with the one I read being the one sold to the public.
And actually,there may be even more versions. Ebury - my British publisher - could decide to use the RH Audio version, or they could decide to make their own, in which case I might well repeat this whole process in a London studio next year.
After the recording is done, they edit it and make masters. The book will go on sale in CD, cassette, and audio download forms all at once this September.
In addition to audio production, RH Audio does the large print versions of books. If the market calls for a large print edition of Look me in the Eye, they will undertake a whole new editing and production process to create that.
So every version of the book differs in subtle ways. Before embarking on this journey, I never knew that.
And that's today's story on audio books. Thank you for stopping by.

4 comments:

Trish Ryan said...

That's really interesting. As always, your behind the scenes reports are fabulous - much appreciated!

Thanks for writing a book so the rest of us could learn how all this works...very kind of you :)

Michelle O'Neil said...

Fascinating! Thanks for the inside look.

Ms. Moscowitz obviously is one smart cookie.

irene said...

I'm in awe! What an amazing experience.

John Elder Robison said...

It is a remarkable experience, and I am trying to share what happens so other aspiring writers can learn from what I've done and make fewer missteps on the road to their own success.