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Spotlight: Audiobook Narrator, Henry Marshall

Behind the scenes of the audiobook industry:

An exclusive interview with narrator, Henry Marshall.

Welcome, Henry!  Tell us your audiobook journey.  When and how did you become an audiobook narrator?  

I spent 25 years as a truck driver travelling through all of the USA and Canada. I left trucking to pursue a dream and become a Police Officer. After 10 years in Policing, I became ill and was eventually diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease. I have been struggling with this for over 3 years now, with no relief. I am unable to work, and day-to-day life is a struggle. I always had a passion for reading, and those close to me often said I had a great voice and should do something with it.

Being cooped up and unable to work led me to seek something I could do while trying to beat the Lyme Bug. I remembered all the audiobooks I had listened to when I was driving trucks. ( They were books on tape back then).

Google led me to (an Amazon offshoot which brings together authors and narrators to produce audiobooks), and I dove in.

How did you learn to be a narrator?

I researched a lot, tried different things and taught myself the basics of the audiobook business. It has given me a purpose again!

How do you work around a recording schedule while managing your health issues?

Due to my health issues I often have periods of time when I am unable to get any work done, but I find if I am upfront with the authors and give myself lots of time, I am able to meet my deadlines.

What do you love about being a narrator?  Which parts do you find the most fun, and which are the least?  

I do everything myself; prepping, recording, editing, mastering. Recording is my favorite part; I love to read! Editing and mastering are my least favorites.

What is your favourite genre to narrate and why?

I enjoy mystery, crime thrillers and also westerns.

How do you feel about performing foreign accents?  

Foreign accents are not my thing at all! I stress about them and its just not something I do well.

What do you think has helped you in your narrating career? 

Putting a better narrator profile on ACX was the best thing I did. That led an author to find and approach me, and I have now done several books for the same author. I find there is a different relationship when the author has “found me” and I haven’t really had to sell myself to them.

I have been doing this for almost 2 years now and have completed 15 books. I look at this as a hobby and want to keep it fun. If I had to rely on this to make a living it would be stressful! I like to joke that I have made at least 25 cents an hour! Of course if I get a book that sells really well, that could all change.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of entering the industry as a narrator?

Narrating is not an easy-money, get-rich-quick home business! There are a lot of lonely hours prepping, narrating, etc. before the book is complete.

What do you love about being a narrator?

One big positive for me…. I have read books by authors I would never have been exposed to had I not entered into the narration world. A whole new horizon has opened up. There are so many great, undiscovered authors out there! thanks Henry for making himself available for this exclusive interview.

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