Industry-wide, the ‘American Association of Publishers’ found digital audiobook revenue rose 32.1% in the first quarter of 2018. It’s the continuation of a well-documented trend. Audiobook sales grew around 20% year on year across the first eight months of 2017, according to this AAP data. Audiobooks now earn publishers more than mass-market paperbacks.
In such an expanding media landscape, very little is often known about the actors who bring these audiobooks to life. Award winning audio-book narrator and actress, Therese Plummer (The Good Wife, Law and Order SVU), discusses how her life was changed doing voiceover acting, and how the stories directly impact her and so many others.
How does acting out these books change the lives of the actors and the fans who listen to them?
Bringing a character to life, simply by listening, is such a different experience than using your whole body; being both a physical and spoken actor. Very few people understand how much acting out a book can change you and impact your personal life. When you leave the booth you take the characters home with you; for better or for worse.
The magical elements in “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey reinforced my faith in humanity. I was looking at everyone on the train as little kids in grown up bodies. Telling that story allowed my inner child to wake up and play.
I recorded a paranormal romance series with vampires, werewolves, gargoyles, vamplycans, vampgargoyles and LycanGorgoyles and afterwards I was not looking at humanity the same. I will be caught laughing out loud from memories of scenes I recorded and sometimes get very strange looks on the train.
How has a book changed or saved your life?
Recording Robyn Carr’s stories has changed my perspective of the female protagonist in a romance book from being a ‘damsel in distress’ needing to be saved, to a feisty, empowered and kick-ass female who may or may not find romance but ends up finding and loving herself.
Have you heard from a fan and how the book affected their life?
After an event with Charlaine Harris (Aurora Teagarden Series) a gentleman came up to me afterwards and told me, “I am in my truck eleven hours a day and am alone. Finding Audiobooks has changed my life and listening to you telling me stories has made me feel less alone on the road.” I gave him a big hug. That was one of my best nights. I am so grateful to be able to do what I do for a living. I get to walk into that booth and help transport others to worlds yet unknown. To bring characters to life and become more alive myself. Every day is an adventure and a story waiting to be told.
Here, Plummer lends her expressive talents to a Yelp review: