“Retail Sample” – The Box Under The Bed. Thoughts?

51eRlHYLzJL._SY346_.jpgAs part of creating your audio book, you get to audition and choose a narrator, review each chapter and give them notes, and have final approval on everything.

One other thing you have to do is decide what the 5 minute retail sample ought to be.

Go with your strongest scene? Start at the opening of the story? Something else?

Here, we have what the narrator chose for the retail sample, the opening prologue to The Box Under The Bed. Is this how we should advertise our anthology?

Give me your thoughts.

18 thoughts on ““Retail Sample” – The Box Under The Bed. Thoughts?

  1. Not sure. Does it sell the book? But I don’t have an alternative suggestion. I have no experience of this process. Will the potential customer have already heard the blurb or is this intended to fulfill the function of a blurb?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rhetoric 101. Who’s your audience? Because it appears I will be the dissenting vote here. It’s too long, and too slow. First – Spoken word and A/V as mediums obviate the need for certain dialogue and/or action descriptives. Saying “she coughed” and coughing is redundant. She got a tickle in her throat, coughing dialogue, sold.
    It’s a bit stilted, in a charming way, for a younger audience. It could start a bit further in with action/dialogue and the question, not crawling about the house. I’m not being devil’s advocate here to be a jerk, but BAM. You have twenty seconds, tops, to hook me. And yes, it should be a strong scene, but not like a movie trailer where they give you the best 30 seconds of the entire movie pasted together. Hearing this blind I would assume it’s juvey and move on, unless I was a parent interested in material for that age group. Again, rhetorical position. Who is the audience? Who cares what’s in grampa’s box, it took too long to get there for a media driven culture. Us old farts, we can hang and say yeah yeah yeah, but that’s a lie. Prsonally, I’d find forty-five seconds of characters dealing with surprise, or chairs flying around the room or whatever the box conjurs up that made me want to read the story to find out what’s going on. If you’re Van Halen or the next big DJ you can sell it with the first eight bars. With a story, unless a bomb of some kind goes off in the first four lines, it’s difficult. My .02. And please consider it constructive and in no way derogatory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think those are valid points, Phil. See my earlier comment where I asked, rhetorically, does it sell the book? If that’s the intention it fails for all the reasons you’ve stated. I was prepared to hold my fire as I thought maybe that was not the intention – it’s why I asked about the blurb. Dan responded that customers will have seen the blurb before they get to this. I still share your unease about it as a hook though.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That depends on the customer, too. But I don’t know why they click on something if they didn’t read at least a little bit in the blurb.

        That said, I don’t pretend to know how audio book buyers shop.

        So again the question becomes: how do you properly represent an anthology of 27 stories written by 20 different people in only a five minute sample?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Maybe five minutes is too long – as Phil says, we need to grab the listener within a few seconds. Do you know anything about book trailers? I know a lot of writers use these to introduce their e-books/print books. via Youtube. I’ve not seen one, but I’m guessing they are short. The ‘hook’ part of the prologue is in the list of stuff the folks in the attic find at the end. Maybe there’s a need to expand on that a little and leave out most of what precedes it. Watch this space – I might have a go at jotting down a suggested script.

          Liked by 1 person

      • The audition that I gave the narrators to read was the first five minutes of Jenifer’s story, “Passion.”

        The prologue is not really the stories, per se; it’s an easing into the stories and an explanation of where the title came from.

        Maybe Jenifer’s story represents the overall book better. Maybe not.

        Liked by 1 person

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