This is something I get asked a lot! So let’s really dive into it!
Narrators are not created equal. Choosing your narrator is going to depend on quite a few things, first being $$$-How much moola are you putting up? If you are looking to get a book narrated for $50-$100 (Yes that category is in ACX) then you may not get great auditions and you won’t be able to be picky. We can’t live on that! I won’t go into it here, but that is just too low for professional quality.
So, lets say you have the pick of the litter! You can get your dream narrator and make this an amazing book! Where do you start? Accents is a good place to start! Maybe your book has a Scottish Lord or is set in New Zealand or maybe the characters are 1800’s Vampires living in New Orleans?! You will need to find someone that can do that accent! Not everyone can do every accent.
Does your book not have multiple accents? Is it just 2 lovers from Illinois that move to Cali to run a vineyard and meet some fun people? (sorry my dream ran away with me haha) No problem! You can start with auditions! You don’t have to seek out a narrator, let them come to you!
Schedule- what schedule are you looking at? Do you want this done next month or can you wait a few months? A lot of professionals have a bit of a waiting list, so know whether you can wait!
Another thing to consider is whether you want Single narration (1 POV throughout the entire book) Dual Narration (Multiple POVs throughout the book and Female reads entire Female chapter, Male reads entire male chapter) or Duet Narration (Where the Female reads every one of her lines in every chapter and the male does the same thing….very expensive) Please ask if you still need clarification on this!
SO, now you have a handful of people you may want to work with, right? Decide from there if you like one performance style over the other. Or have your top 5 read another passage to get a better idea. Research them to learn more about them. They will be your partner for the duration of this project and any others you have them do, so get to know who they are and if they fit with you!