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“Don’t skimp anywhere” if you’re creating your own audiobooks, advises Amy Friedman, whose Los Angeles-based Friedman & Danziger was honored for Tell Me a Story 3: Women of Wonder, the only audiobook from an independent publisher to receive an Audie Award this year.
“Every single aspect of production counts,” Friedman emphasizes, adding that a good story is no guarantee of success if the overall concept isn’t strong, if the mixing is bad, or if the packaging is sloppy.
For her audio products for children, Friedman starts by selecting a variety of stories with the help of her composer and director. “We try to make sure the length of each story and of the entire CD are useful for travel and for bedtime—in other words, that there’s a mix of length in the stories, some only five to six minutes long, others twelve to thirteen, and the whole piece running around an hour.”
As publishers in other genres often do, Friedman then turns to a test market. “The final arbiters of the choice of stories are the composer’s daughters—six and eight when we began, and now ten and twelve, and still our final critics.”
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