Thursday, October 21, 2021

How to Review an Audiobook

Finished an audiobook that was fantastic?

Please review it. Like books, authors are eager for reviews - especially well-thought-out reviews that showcase their book in the most positive light possible. 

No audiobook is perfect, even if you give it a five-star rating. There might be a point where you lose track of the story or who is speaking. This is a given with audiobooks. 

Photo by Joyce Busola on Unsplash

This being said, reviewing an audiobook has some similarities with book reviewing and some differences, the obvious difference being you're listening instead of reading. You will be paying attention to the narrator. Is he/she a good fit for the book you are reading? Can you see them in their easy chair reading along? Does their voice reflect the genre? How is their pacing? Do they read too slow or too fast?

More than one reader has asked me if I narrate my own books. My quick answer is no, and I more than likely never will. And that isn't because I can't read [tongue in cheek] but because I haven't learned how to read in front of an audience that needs to be captivated 24/7. And this takes skill.

If you've listened to an audiobook where the author is the narrator, you may notice something right away - background noise. If the narrator is good, they will have a studio with the equipment needed to put out the audiobook professionally, but not all authors have such a set-up. A five-star rating should never be given to an audiobook where the studio presentation is lacking.

He may be cute, but is he right for the book?
Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

The story itself must carry over to an audio format. Unfortunately, even with the right narrator, not all stories convert to audio. A few years ago, I tried to get into an audiobook with a terrific narrator, but not so great a story. Just because a book is read and enjoyed with a four or five-star rating, doesn't necessarily mean it should receive the same rating as the audiobook. The opposite is also true. Some of my so-so book ratings on Amazon have received higher marks as an audiobook. Readers/listeners have enjoyed them better as an audiobook. What does this tell you about releasing an audiobook as well as a paperback?

One more thing. Check your grammar. You will be typing this up for potential future readers, make it your best work. The author, as well as the reader, will appreciate it.

And thank you! 

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