Talk to Me

When it comes to audiobook narrators, I try to pick one that I want to narrate everything.

And I mean everything. From my to-do list and inner monologue to tonight’s dinner recipe. Their voice has to be smooth like butter and just as delicious.

For this, I need your help.

I’m currently in the process of whittling down the auditions for a narrator for The Dragonmaster Trilogy. #soexciting

These three are my favorite voices so far. Suave and crisp and clean.

Sometimes they pronounce things imperfectly, or read in a different cadence than is comfortable – that’s fine. We can fix that.

What I want to know is who you want in your ears, telling Isadora and Sanna’s stories in The Dragonmaster Trilogy.

Here are the top three auditions in no particular order:

Addison B.
Stefanie K.
Elizabeth K.

Who do you like the best?

Comment down below any and all of your thoughts.

47 Comments
  • MK Eidson
    Posted at 09:05h, 10 June

    Hi, Katie. Hope you’re surviving the world and its woes in top shape.

    I listened to all three auditions. They’re all capable narrators. So how do you choose? The finer points may make all the difference.

    The first thing I’ll mention is the humming sound in the background of the audio from Elizabeth K. You’d want to know from her that the humming wouldn’t be there in the final product. Listening to that for an entire book would be too much for me. I don’t know if Elizabeth recorded her audition in the same environment in which she’d record your book, but in any case, if I were you, I’d require another audition from her proving she can make a recording absent of that dreadful background droning.

    All the narrators have a good cadence and inflection to their voices. I could listen to any of them for the length of an entire book, presuming no droning background noise was present. They all sound good at 1.25x speed too, which is the speed I typically use when listening to audiobooks, because most narrators speak slow to get good enunciation. There were a few phrasings from Stefanie that didn’t feel quite right. I had to play Elizabeth’s audition twice because of being too distracted by the droning the first time through. It was during the second listen to her audition that I realized the word was “haughty,” not “hottie,” 🙂 which could perhaps be attributed to Elizabeth’s enunciation.

    One difficulty for many female narrators is the delivery of male voices. If I recall correctly, your trilogy doesn’t have a ton of different male voices, but the main ones should be distinguishable. Unfortunately, none of these auditions provide a way to compare the voices of two or more male characters. But listening to the single male character present, I preferred Stefanie’s and Elizabeth’s renditions over Addison’s.

    The lengths of the auditions might also have something to say about the potential narrators. Anyone willing to submit a longer sample of their voice might also be willing to spend more time on revisions. Moreover, does the length of the final product matter? Is an audiobook of 12 hours and 45 minutes preferable over one that’s 15 hours, or is the longer one preferable, when the content is the same between the two? Maybe it doesn’t matter. But let’s look at it anyway. If we compare the times it took each narrator to reach the same point as the end of the shortest audition, we see that what took Addison a time of 4:47 to narrate required a time of 4:06 from Stefanie and 4:34 from Elizabeth. That’s a significant difference between Stefanie and the others. Stefanie made her delivery in 86% of the time it took Addison, and 90% of the time it took Elizabeth. So, if the audiobook were narrated by Addison and took 15 hours, for example, then Stefanie’s version, assuming a sustained rate difference of 85% throughout the book, would clock in at 12 hours and 45 minutes. Elizabeth’s, again assuming sustained rate difference, would clock in at 14 hours and 10 minutes. Again, I don’t know if that makes a difference, but I enjoyed doing the math, so there you go. 🙂

    Given all the above, I can see how you’d have a difficult time choosing. Elizabeth’s narration was good except for the droning, and to reiterate, I’d ask for another sample from her without the background noise if you were thinking of choosing her. If it can’t be provided, I’d go with one of the other two. You might have to work a little more with Stefanie, but she might also deliver the initial recording quicker and be willing to spend more time on revisions, plus I liked her rendering of a male voice. You might ask for them each to submit an additional sample with multiple male voices before you make your final decision.

    Whatever you decide, I’m sure it will turn out great. Good luck!

    Your friend and a big fan,

    Mike

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:27h, 11 June

      Mike, this was AMAZING. First, it’s so good to hear from you. You pop into my mind every now and then, so seeing your comment was a special treat this morning. Second, you brought impressive math into this! Amazing! I would never have looked at it at these angles, so thank you for opening my mind to that. It’s going to be a tough pick, but having all this additional input certainly helps. And I really liked Elizabeth, but the droning was definitely a problem.

      Thanks, friend. You’ve given me lots to consider!

  • Laila Kristina Savolainen
    Posted at 06:01h, 11 June

    Omg… they are great.
    After listening 5 times each, with a break to distance myself, i love both Addison and Stefanie.
    But if i need to choose i find Addison more soothing, even when she confronts Maximilian.
    However, i needed to get used to Addison’s rendition of Maximilian, it bothered me a little, only because i imagine him more refined and less nasal.
    Elizabeth was lovely but more child like, for me.
    Good luck!

  • Jonie Meaney
    Posted at 06:59h, 11 June

    I like Allison’s best. I liked how the characters seems to have their own distinct voice. I don’t know, her voice just seemed fitting for the story. I liked Stephanie’s emotion during the telling. But I felt all the characters sounded the same. And I felt she was too upbeat.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:24h, 11 June

      Thanks, Jonie! This is perfect. Appreciate your thoughts.

  • Victoria Smith
    Posted at 09:05h, 11 June

    I liked Stephanie the best. She sounds as excited to read the story as I did reading it. Elizabeth has the best Max and Isadora voices, but she sounded like my GPS and I don’t think I could take that for a whole book. Addison was very buttery. So buttery, I know I would fall asleep. I’ve heard audio books where that ya happened.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:24h, 11 June

      Buttery! I’m giggling. I’ve never heard that word associated with a voice before. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen and let me know what you think. It helps my decision so much.

  • Karen Mueller
    Posted at 09:46h, 11 June

    Hi Katie – this was fun! Let me preface my comments by telling you I don’t have alot of experience with audiobooks. In My limited experience, I’ve found I’m too easily distracted. That said…
    I listened to all 3 a couple times. It was hard for me to choose. I thought Stephanie’s voice was a little more soothing but I liked Elizabeth’s crisp pronunciation. I wasn’t really impressed with any of their male voices but Elizabeth’s seemed the least forced. I liked someone’s suggestion that you have them submit more male voice audio reading. I was least impressed with Addison on first listen but on the secind decided I really liked her the best except her Maximillan voice. That could be worked on. Would love to hear more of her. Elizabeth’s voice was a little grating at times or maybe it was the previously mentioned background noise. I I know this may not be a big help but if I had to choose today, it would be Addison.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:23h, 11 June

      This was so helpful! Thank you Karen. Your time and input is so appreciated.

  • Dorothy Koch
    Posted at 10:14h, 11 June

    I liked Stephanie’s voice and reading style. The energy in her voice would keep me listening. The other 2 readers had me zoning out.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:22h, 11 June

      Thanks, Dorothy! This is just what I wanted to know. *fist bump*

  • Suzanne Serediak
    Posted at 10:28h, 11 June

    Interesting conundrum. Each of these auditions have their strengths. In my eyes it would be between Stephanie and Elizabeth. I felt their depiction of emotions were better than Addison’s. I suffer from tinnitus and so I sometime have a bit of a hard time depicting subtle changes in inflictions. Due to this I would be going with Elizabeth. Also due to this I did not notice the background noise mentioned in a previous comment.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 11:15h, 11 June

      Thanks Suzanne! This was a great perspective to consider and I’ll mark you down as an Elizabeth vote. Appreciate you!

  • Emily
    Posted at 10:55h, 11 June

    I prefer Addison’s voice best. Her voice has the most character and her vowels sound the least “average” — I suppose she sounds more like a professional to me and less like one of my friends reading to me in the car. I don’t love her rendition of the male voice, but that can be coached into something more palatable.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 11:13h, 11 June

      Thanks, Emily! This helps a ton. *fist bump*

  • Jenny McDonald
    Posted at 11:11h, 11 June

    I liked all the readings in varying degrees. Adison’s reading was good, a little bit slower then I’d like but I could put the speed at 1.25 and it would be better. I also liked that we did a very different distinct voice for the male character.
    Stefanie’s reading was a great speed for me. Her voices of all the different characters need work. I like to know who is speaking before his/her name is said. I hope that makes sense.
    Elizabeth’s was great because I liked her speed and energy. But I was still missing the different voices, they all sounded the same.
    Out of all I think I liked Stefanie’s the best because it made me want to listen to more and I didn’t feel like a had to be doing something else while I was listening. I could just listen and feel content doing so.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 11:13h, 11 June

      Thanks Jenny! This is super helpful and I appreciate your insights. I want to make sure to get the right one!

    • Michelle Mason
      Posted at 18:02h, 11 June

      Hi, Ms. Cross,

      I thought all three samples were great in different ways. Addison had the best voice. Stephanie had the best cadence. Elizabeth had the best enunciation.

      I didn’t really like any of the renditions of Max’s voice, thought I found Addison’s 5o be the most distinctive.

      • Katie Cross
        Posted at 10:26h, 12 June

        Thanks Michelle! Max is the tough one here, and I originally wanted to go with a male narrator so that part could really be nailed, but everyone voted for female (and that makes the most sense!) But I am looking into doing a mixed narration with both male and female!

  • Kristine Seitz
    Posted at 11:31h, 11 June

    This is pretty subjective but I liked Addison more than Stefanie or Elizabeth, in general. I liked the cadence of her reading. It felt more natural and I felt that I could listen to it for long periods of time without wanting to turn it off. I also liked her rendition of the male voice better than the other two. It was easily different from Isadora’s voice which makes me think that she will be able to give the additional voices that come in later a good treatment.

    Also, since Isadora is trudging through a forest and musing about whether her headaches are going to go away and she’s worried about the mud etc., I thought Stefani was too…perky? Elizabeth comes a little closer to what I would expect in that situation but I think Addison has the right tone for the scene.

    I hope this helps.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:28h, 12 June

      It helps immensely, thank you so much!!

  • Susan J. Lopardo
    Posted at 11:59h, 11 June

    I liked Stefanie the best. The other two were very clear but to slow to hold my interest.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:27h, 12 June

      Thanks, Susan! Very much appreciated.

  • wendieSpitzer
    Posted at 12:08h, 11 June

    I preferred Addison and Stefanie’s . I found Elizabeth’s annoying like she was trying to hard .but I would prefer to read it myself. I also did not like the background noise I would not listen to this .

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:27h, 12 June

      I would definitely have her re-record to make sure it came through really clean, and I think she was trying a bit too hard and was nervous, but that can be worked on. Regardless, I do think Addison and Stefanie with the stronger of the two.

  • LaDonna
    Posted at 17:56h, 11 June

    Addison

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:26h, 12 June

      Thanks LaD. Miss you, amiga 😉

  • Rhonda Corder
    Posted at 18:33h, 11 June

    I enjoyed Stefanie’s reading. Her voice seems to have a better flow. She pauses slightly at the appropriate places while keeping up a steady speed. She is able to change her voice to give a distinguishable difference in characters. Her voice is more natural without seeming to force the enunciation of the words. It is overall more pleasing. She seems to enjoy what she is reading.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:25h, 12 June

      Thank you, Rhonda! So appreciated.

  • Anita Owen
    Posted at 18:40h, 11 June

    Stefanie…. her voice is pleasing to me.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:25h, 12 June

      Thank you, Anita! This is so helpful. 🙂

  • Terry Gardner
    Posted at 23:57h, 11 June

    So as just about everyone has said the male voices/ different characters could be worked on. Adison’s male voice at least sounded like a man and since she was the first I listened to I found myself liking her version slightly better. However after the 4th time Stephanie’s seemed to have more intonation I just wish her male voice of Maximilian was more aloof and deeper sounding.
    I do have a question if they had read the whole book prior to the audition or just what they spoke? I ask, as none of them seem to understand Maximilian’s mannerisms. My picks would be Adison because you could tell who was who, followed by Stephanie who sounded the best as a reader but you had a hard time figuring out who was who (Mam and Sanna both sounded pretty much the same).

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 10:21h, 12 June

      Thanks, Terry! I’m glad to see so much consistency in what people are thinking, as that makes it much easier to give these narrators feedback. I can definitely see if they’ll read the books first to really grasp the characters.

  • Glenda Walters
    Posted at 22:38h, 12 June

    I like Stefanie the best. They were all fine, but I felt Stefanie had a bit more range (is that the right word?) in her voice, which makes it easier for me to follow and stay attentive.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 21:08h, 14 June

      Awesome, thank you Glenda!!

  • Jeannette Symons
    Posted at 06:08h, 13 June

    Hi Katie,I am a new reader to your books so I am really excited to get started reading them. I have listened to the 3 voices on here, and I am deaf in my left ear and partly deaf in my right ear so listening to these readings were really go for me and I hope this will help you. I think that Stefani was the one that I enjoyed listening to more, I love her voice and the tones as she reads. The next one I who choice was Elizabeth but I did have to strain on some words to hear what she was saying and as for Addison I find the accent was hard to listen too. It would be nice to have another reading from them all with the voices and then see how that turns out. Thank you again and hope this helps you with this on your e-books.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 21:08h, 14 June

      Thanks so much, Jeannette! This was so helpful. I know it can be a pain to listen to all three, but I’m grateful for this feedback 🙂

  • April Enzor
    Posted at 13:31h, 13 June

    I love it being read by Addison B!

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 21:07h, 14 June

      Thanks April! So appreciated.

  • Julie-Ann Amos
    Posted at 06:57h, 14 June

    Please rule out Elizabeth. Her voice just droned and lack of expression was an issue. Either of the others x both were great!

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 21:06h, 14 June

      Thanks for that feedback, Julie-Ann!

  • Janina Herring
    Posted at 16:58h, 14 June

    Ist impression turned me against Addison and I agreed completely with the buttery (to me almost dripping in syrup) description. I liked the upbeat energy of Stephanie; tho u might consider incorporating a male narrator for male characters. Elizabeth did seem a bit less natural and more forced to me. Hope this is a great success for you!

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 21:06h, 14 June

      Thanks, Janina! You’re most appreciated. I will be keeping everyone updated on who we accept 🙂

  • Rebekah Ruth Weissert
    Posted at 22:14h, 14 June

    Hi Katie, what a cool way to get some “pre” feedback on the narration! I am planning to download your books asap, as they look exactly like the kind of books I love. I just saw your facebook ad, that’s how I found you. But I am a fiction writer as well and I read a ton. I’ve recently started listening to fiction on audible. It’s not my favorite because I read fast so listening slows the process down a lot for me. However, I’ve listened to a lot of audio books in the last month so this post was very interesting to me.

    I felt like Stephanie immediately grabbed my attention and I wanted to keep listening. I had listened to some of addison’s first and yet it didn’t pull me in. The same words spoken by Stephanie did. I felt like she was more into the story. The other two just felt too slow for me. But Addison’s might be up my alley if I listened on 1.25. Stephanie seems just perfect as she is, as far as pacing and keeping interest goes.

    Good luck deciding!!

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 09:55h, 15 June

      Hey Rebekah! Always SO amazing to meet another writer, so thanks for downloading and for your comment! I agree with Stefanie. She does phenomenal. I appreciate your insight as this always helps me affirm who I’ve chosen 🙂

      Katie

  • Kimberly Puckett
    Posted at 01:24h, 15 June

    I like Stefanie K the best. Her voice sounds le best reading this book.

    • Katie Cross
      Posted at 09:54h, 15 June

      Thanks Kimberly! You are in consensus with most people that have responded, so I’ve advanced things with her. I appreciate your response!