Words & Bits by E.S. Curry

The Flying Sabuki Audiobook

The Flying Sabuki is now available in audiobook format everywhere audiobooks are sold, narrated by the talented Craig Van Ness.
“So who did you have narrate The Flying Sabuki?” asked one of the authors I work with at Spotify. I could tell they expected me to say I recorded it myself.

“Craig Van Ness, a gentleman that lives in the UK and has a mid-Atlantic accent,” I answer. “I took my own advice I give authors that ask the question, Should I narrate my own audiobook or hire a professional? You should audition yourself just like you do a professional. I actually lost the business to Craig.”

Recording an audiobook version of a book takes talent and knowledge. Both Asmund and I liked Craig's voice more than the four narrators, including myself, that we auditioned. We both enjoyed how Craig didn’t read it like I would. This is not to say I won’t ever narrate an audiobook, just not The Flying Sabuki.

The experience was even more special because the project was a beta test on the Findaway Voices Marketplace platform, where I work which is now owned by Spotify. Marketplace enables indie authors and publishers to find a narrator for their book and takes them through the entire audiobook production from contract to distribution. We found a few bugs along the way.

Craig Van Ness was an absolute professional to work with and the final audiobook turned out great. I sent him clips of how Asmund speaks and he worked on getting it to sound like him, but without too much exposition, which is a very fine line. Both Asmund and I think he nailed it. We especially liked the story of Howlie and the classic fairy tale British accent it’s told in.

The recording was done way before it was released, but there was a really special date I wanted to release the book on—the day Spotify launched audiobooks, September 22, 2023. The artwork for the Spotify launch campaign was really cool showing the shadow of people reading, but really listening to an audiobook.

I hope parents and kids both enjoy listening to the audiobook and find themselves wanting to take a Flying Sabuki and get away together.

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Words & Bits