ISO a Publisher to Help Me Bring Old Books to New Ears
With extra time at home thanks to social distancing, I've been revisiting my favorite books as audiobooks. I love to see who was chosen to narrate these beloved books and how they performed all the characters...but I started to find that some my favorite books published in the latter half of the 20th century had never been made into audiobooks!
My first reaction was disappointment that good books were falling through the audio publishing cracks. Second, I was upset that these books weren't available to the many for whom audiobooks are necessary. Then...I became a narrator on a mission! I've been chasing a few such books over the last months, deciding that I'll figure out how I can start narrating these lost books. It has proven to be frustrating and difficult so far.
The books I'm talking about won't be in the public domain in my lifetime - one book that I'm chasing was published in 1985, another in 1967. The authors of both have died. I reach out to authors all the time, but when they're gone, who should I contact? Publishers? Family? Yes to both, and sometimes I've heard back from a subsidiary rights department and once from an author's daughter, and often...nothing.
I think there should be a movement to take great older books (maybe not bestsellers or award winners, but excellent stories) and publish them as audiobooks. Publishers could make lists of these books and release them in groups by author or topic or genre...so many options! A system could be put into place to pair narrators with books in a streamlined process. I've got so many profiles on so many forums that I'm sure the framework already exists somewhere... Who's in?