I was warned. Several people told me that if listeners did not like the voice of the narrator of an audio book, they would take it out on the book itself. My publisher sent out several free copies of my first audio book, Goals for a Sinner, which was also my first published book and the start of the Sinners series. I don't think it is my best book or the best of the Sinners, but has usually been given a solid four stars in reviews. As the reviews rolled in, mostly mehs, three stars or even two, it became apparent they didn't like the reader. I felt she did an okay job and more than that is needed apparently. The chief problem was in a book populated with football players, she did not differentiate the male voices which sometimes led to confusion in the dialog. We are taught as writers not to constantly say he said, she said, but that would have helped in this case.
My romances tend to have more characters and complex plots, perhaps difficult to follow when listening. A couple of reviewers gave me the benefit of the doubt and indicated they thought the book would be better than the audio, and I thank them for that. The audio certainly didn't win me any new fans of the Sinners, and most painful of all, cost me half a star ranking on Amazon. I do take the blame. I chose the reader, maybe too quickly. I should have indicated that they needed to be able to do male voices. Perhaps, I should have selected a different title. Heck, I have twenty-three to choose among.
As for Mardi Gras Madness rejected for the numerous mistakes in the recording and sent back to do over, it remains in limbo. I have no idea if any progress is being made since I have no direct contact with the reader. Communications go through the publisher. Had the first version been acceptable, it would have come out with perfect timing for the Mardi Gras season, and that is obviously not going to happen. Mardi Gras ends in mid-February, a short one this time around. Sometimes, it ends in March, but we don't get extra joy this year. I hope the project will be completed and turn out better than Goals.
However, my current thoughts are that I won't do any more audio books and risk damaging the written versions. I'll pull Trashy Affair and Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball, my favorite books, from consideration and simply go back to writing the best books I can. This has been a deep disappointment for me as I love audio books and always wanted to have mine recorded. I don't know but suppose that New York published authors are given wonderful readers and great actors for their books and don't self-edit. That's not going to happen for me.
Anyone out there have a similar experience with audio production? If so, what did you do about it? I crave some company in my misery..