Finding a Good Narrator
Here’s a question for you. It’s well established that a narrator can make or break how an audiobook is received. Harry Potter’s a good book, but Harry Potter with Jim Dale reading it makes for *great* audiobooks. The question is, how do you use this information?
I don’t know enough about narrators to even really know whether one is good or bad. I mean, “Agenda” which is read by it’s author, is really bad, and it’s because the author has a grating voice. But other than that one, all I really know is whether I like the book. I kind of assume all the narrators are at least ok. Would you ever search for books to listen to by narrator? Or would you do a normal title or genre search, and then want to know if the narrator was any good?
I think all I’d want to know is if people liked the book, when doing a general search. This is important, because we’re always evaluating what information to present to consumers and what information to allow in search parameters. Nobody seems to complain that our narrator fields are now kind of hidden (you have to rollover the title details link on the book details page), but that’s not a great indicator of preferences. The aforementioned “Agenda” has a bad overall rating in addition to the narrator single-handedly driving the stock of “earplugs R us” skyward.
I personally don’t ever care about the narrator, but clearly there are legions of audiobook fans out there who start foaming at the mouth on the subject. It’s second only to ‘reading’ vs ‘listening’ as a topic for rampant rabidity. And I won’t wade into that particular morass, today at least. Maybe conversations about narrators are just a way for audiobook enthusiasts to interact. Kind of like wine enthusiasts talking about legs, or mossiness, or what not. All I care about is whether it tastes good.