Hilary is someone that I’ve known for several years now. I love working with her because she’s always so quick to respond to questions, always so positive and upbeat in her emails. But when you work with someone primarily via email, it’s always good to get a picture of what things look like where they are, so of course I had to ask about her desk…
KW: What is your job title and what are your responsibilities?
HR: My job title is Studio Director of Tantor Audio/Tantor Studios. I cast the titles for both divisions of Tantor Media, Inc., and work very heavily with narrators and title production. I tend to see a book into audio fruition once it is licensed by Rights & Acquisitions, and plan for its production. When we produce audio for other publishers, I work with an excellent team to ensure it is of the best quality of production possible.
KW: Can you describe your work zone for us?
HR: My work zone can only be described as a battleground between paranormal and history books, and anything in-between. I have several demos from narrators, audiobooks from established narrators/titles we’ve just produced, production printouts, manuscripts in need of casting, and a nearly-empty French press (it never seems to stay full). Some may call it a bit intense, I call it productive, pleasant chaos.
HR: I had the good fortune of knowing a couple of people already working in this industry, and I hadn’t ever considered it as a prospect initially, to be honest. When an English major graduates from college, the path isn’t determined from the major—so it was very refreshing to step into the publishing industry (my goal in the first place). Currently, I think that most students and graduates starting out now with goals to work in the publishing industry aren’t necessarily well-informed about opportunities in the audiobook industry—usually it revolves around book/magazine/newspaper publishing, which leaves out perhaps the most creative division of publishing.
KW: What do you love most about the work you do?
HR: There is an enormous sense of accomplishment and pride in matching a voice to a book, and seeing that narrator flourish, the book elicit positive feedback, seeing a book in physical form or up for digital distribution that our great team has worked on. Working with books (our own and other publishers’) so closely, and in turn with the narrators is very satisfying.
KW: Do you listen to audiobooks while you’re working?
HR: I don’t usually listen to an audiobook fully at work—I tend to listen to many different snippets of books as I cast, and after the books have gone through production. Right now we are working on June Is Audiobook Month campaigns, trying to engage anyone from authors to narrators to fans. Keep any eye out for audiobooks on the rise—discounts and promos and daily giveaways on Facebook and Twitter will be available!
KW: Do you have a favorite audiobook?
HR: I have many favorite audiobooks, and many I’m looking forward to listening to. I’d have to say the one that is the most memorable is the very first I’d ever listened to—Three Bags Full, by Leonie Swann, narrated by the wonderful Josephine Bailey. I always think back to how hard I laughed and had to skip back tracks just to hear some parts again (for those who haven’t heard of it, it’s a sheep murder mystery).
KW: Well, I guess that about says it all 😉