Career Exploration – Narrator

One of my writer friends has a second career as a narrator. I thought it was a very interesting career. We are always looking for unique careers for our characters where they are semi-self employed and able to control their own schedules. Of course so they have time to play with there love interest between the pages of our books.  Kellie Kamryn was gracious enough to answer some questions for me about her career.

How did you get into this type of work?
Romance Divine published a book of my poetry and he asked me if I wanted to go into print and audio as well as ebook. I said yes, and then he asked me if I would record my own work because I would know where to put in the correct inflection, etc. I thought it was a good opportunity to do try something I’ve never done. He thought I did such a good job on it, that he asked me to record another story I had published with Romance Divine. Then other authors heard my work and requested me to record samples of their books and now I narrate for quite a few Romance Divine authors. I also started working for The Killion Group as a narrator, helping authors with the audio rights to their books, get their books into audio.
Take a moment to describe the business process of narrating. For example Are you private contracted for each title you narrate?
Yes, I’m contracted for each title I narrate.  Does you company have your voice on file to offer to prospective clients who want their book narrated? I do one free short sample to authors to see if my voice fits the vision they have for their book. You do this in your own home studio and send the files in. etc? I have my own recording equipment and software, and send the files back to the companies I work for, for upload. How does the business part of the process works? Living in Canada, I’m fortunate to work for these companies directly. For example, I cannot narrate for ACX which is the largest audiobook distributor because I’m not a US citizen. They assured me they are working on it! LOL, However, I have a lot of work with these two companies, so I’m not worried.
What is the hardest thing about your work as a narrator? Speaking slowly and evenly throughout a piece. As a narrator, you cannot rush through a work even though you’d like to finish by a certain deadline. I hope this is something author’s understand especially when their book isn’t done as quick as they’d like. An 80,000-100,000 word piece takes a long time to record! When I make a mistake, I have to pause, go back, and re-record. The software I use makes it so easy to do that, but it still takes time. I also require authors to provide pronunciation of characters and places, especially if it’s a paranormal or historical – just because it’s obvious to the writer, it isn’t always to me. Sometimes author’s want a certain accent which can be difficult. I study up on them and would like to take voice coaching when I have time and money. Usually, I’ll study it, practice it, and give the author a sample. Then I have to “stay in character” and not work on any other audio until a book is done so I don’t lose the accent for that particular character.
What is the most fun? I get paid to read!! I think that is the most amazing thing. I love to read, always have, and it’s great to read all these fantastic stories, bring them to life, and be introduced to new authors on a regular basis.
So, lets see.There is a lot to this narration work and you are a write too. You mentioned how you have to really ‘get in character’ for the piece you are narrating. How do you balance your narration work with your own writing? Do you have different times of the day etc that separate your focus on the two? I do a lot more narrating than writing these days. Narrating is paying my bills more than writing. I’m hoping it will all spill over into the other as the books I write and the ones I narrate are sold on the same sites. My hope is that people might want to check out my other work if they hear my audio work or vice versa.
Okay, so How much time do you estimate you put into a narration project for say an 80,000 novel. A 120,000K novel is approx. 30+ hours of recording time. I did that one in about a week. Shorter projects take less time. You have research and prep time. Research is talking to the author a bit to make sure we’re on the same page with what they want to see. Then I just read. Contracts are drawn up for the author to sign so that I don’t work on an entire project and then they reject it. That’s not my department, tho! Then the actual narration. Then you do your own editing on the piece? With each company I work for, I do my own editing and quality control check. Then I send them on for upload. After they leave my hands, it’s not up to me anymore. Does the contract give you specific deadlines? Right now, no. I’m given a project and I work on it when I can. All the authors know I have more than one in my queue at any given time. 
Perhaps readers would gain a better understanding if you gave us a brief thumbnail sketch on what one of your typical day’s is like.  Get kids off to school, social media/emails/promotion/, then I either write or record for the day. Recording can be taxing on the voice, so I drink plenty of water or herbal tea and write in between if I feel like I need a break. Then my kids come home from school and it’s all about them until bedtime. Sometimes if I’m not exhausted I’ll join a few fellow writers for a writing sprint before I head to bed, LOL
Kellie Kamryn is also a talented author. What are you working on now Kellie?
ChocolateSexandOtherTastyTreatsfortheSoul_SM - Copy (1)

Marnie Harder wants what her sisters have found – love. One sister found it on-line, so why couldn’t she? Bi-sexual female seeking committed ménage. Rather than view internet porn, she’s determined to use her computer time more wisely, and decides to find a website catering to her sexual orientation where she can place an ad.

Before she gets that far, she discovers her new neighbors, Madison Williams and Drake Ellison, are as attracted to her as she is to them. The night Madison knocks on her door to “borrow” something, turns into a lust-filled evening with the two that Marnie won’t soon forget. Leave it to her family and a meddling monkey to spoil the morning after.

But in the wake of candy wrappers, wild passion, and broken furniture, will Marnie find what she’s been looking for?

Two’s company, but three’s far sweeter.

 Thank you for sharing with us today Kellie
Chocolate, Sex and Other Tasty Treats for the Soul
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5 responses to “Career Exploration – Narrator

  1. Thank you for featuring me and my new career, Eden 🙂

  2. Glad to have you drop by. I think your new career is very interesting. Best of luck
    and come on back anytime to visit.

  3. Kellie, what happens if you’re given a book that doesn’t appeal to you? Do you still narrate it, or do you have the right to reject any books?

    • Molly, good question. I do have the right to refuse a book if it doesn’t appeal to me or my reading tastes. There are other narrators at Romance Divine, so we’re covered. Having said that, I look at it like a job – it’s my job to bring a story to life! From what I’ve heard from authors, they’re happy with the job I’ve done on their books. That makes me happy 🙂