Looking for volunteer "proofreaders" (proof listeners?) for an audiobook
November 10, 2014 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Mr. Sixswitch is an award-winning Canadian author. He's worked with a professional audiobook producer to create an audiobook version of his first book. But neither of us ever listen to audiobooks, so we're looking for test listeners. Can you suggest places to find interested people online? Or if you'd be interested, let me know in the thread or by MeMail?
posted by sixswitch to Writing & Language (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You might check iFreelance (and related sites). I used iFreelance once, several years ago, and I found a guy who did some excellent graphics work for me. Your project might be a stretch to be considered relevant to freelancers, but I bet you'd find people willing to bid on it. Note that these would not be volunteers: You would have to pay for their services.
posted by alex1965 at 9:04 AM on November 10, 2014

You could also post to jobs.metafilter.com.
posted by greenish at 9:13 AM on November 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

What are you looking for from a test listener? Are you looking for someone to give a general opinion on it? To provide notes on the overall performance? What would you do with this information?
posted by mskyle at 9:20 AM on November 10, 2014

Best answer: I am in this business.

I'm assuming you are wanting someone to listen to the book and tell you if they like it or not, is that correct? Because if you're asking someone here to voluntarily actively listen to your husband's audiobook and doublecheck it against a manuscript for errors, then you should know what you're asking is unreasonable.

Active listening is hard, particularly over many hours, particularly when comparing what you're listening to to a manuscript. It's skilled work and people get paid to do it.

Also, the producer you worked with should have proofed the final recording as part of the service you paid for.

If you're just looking for feedback on the recording you could easily send sound files to friends and family; presumably you know people who listen to audiobooks who could tell you whether or not they're engaged by the story, if the narration is pleasant to listen to, if characters are tracked easily, if the sound quality is good, etc.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 9:56 AM on November 10, 2014 [11 favorites]

Best answer: I also worked in this industry for a good while, and Tilapia hit it on the head.

The producer should have had this taken care of. At the low end of the spectrum, proofreading can cost you around $20 an hour of the proofer's time, so asking for volunteers is likely a no-go unless your husband is George R R Martin.

That said, though, if all you're asking is whether the production quality is up to snuff with other professional audiobooks, I'd be happy to give a 30 second clip a listen and let you know if it's kosher.
posted by quadbonus at 10:37 AM on November 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Head over to audible.com, sign up for a trial and get a free audiobook. No, this isn't an advertisement, but a suggestion, so that you have something to compare this audiobook to. Try to pick something similar to Mr.'s book, and/or something you also have in print.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:58 AM on November 10, 2014

Response by poster: Hey everybody, thanks for responding! I think my question came off as much more "trying to get people to work for free" than intended — as a freelancer I am really sensitive to that kind of stuff so I apologize. I'm absolutely not looking for people to listen with a manuscript in hand and compare.

My hope was to find a few people who would listen to the book (for as long as held their interest), and email us a short general reaction / sense of how it meets the general good practices of the form. A few sentences or a paragraph, basically. None of our friends or family do the audiobook thing, but I've seen a lot of MeFites who do, so I thought I'd ask on here.

('Producer' is not 100% right, he teamed up with an experienced freelance voice actor / reader.)
posted by sixswitch at 7:03 AM on November 11, 2014

I'd be happy to give it a listen.
posted by thegoldfish at 9:14 PM on November 15, 2014

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