Nov 2 2022
Ep. 126: Behind the Scenes of Producing Audiobooks (with Karen Dziekonski of Penguin Random House Audio) + Audiobook Recommendations
In Episode 126, audiobook producer Karen Dziekonski from Penguin Random House Audio joins me for today’s deep-dive discussion. Karen takes us behind the scenes from the growth of audiobooks in the industry to the ins and outs of how audiobooks are produced. Plus, Karen shares her audiobook recommendations! This post contains affiliate links, through which I make a small commission when you make a purchase (at no cost to you!). Highlights What it means to be an audiobook producer and Karen’s career progression.How the landscape has changed for audiobooks over the past 20 years.The days of abridged audiobooks and the process of editing down a print book.The types of books today that make it to the audiobook format.The process of auditioning an audiobook narrator, including deciding on celebrities or full-cast recordings.How much the author’s relationship has grown to incorporate production input — especially for books in translation or featuring foreign language text.The decisions behind when the author narrates their own audiobook — fiction vs nonfiction.How producers court celebrities to narrate audiobooks.A bit about post-production editing of audiobook performances and checking for errors.How much the audiobook segment has grown over the past decade and the anticipated continued trajectory. Karen’s Audiobook Recommendations [38:12] Two OLD Audiobooks She Loves Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini | Amazon | Bookshop.org | Libro.fm [38:31]The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, narrated by Jayne Entwistle | Amazon | Bookshop.org | Libro.fm [40:25] Two NEW Audiobooks She Loves Bittersweet by Susan Cain, narrated by the author | Amazon | Bookshop.org | Libro.fm [42:42]Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown, narrated by the author | Amazon | Bookshop.org | Libro.fm [44:57] How She Feels About Talking About Books She DOESN’T Love [48:40] One NEW RELEASE She’s Excited About Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor (January 3, 2023) | Amazon | Bookshop.org | Libro.fm [50:25] Last 5-Star Book Karen Read The Maid by Nita Prose | Amazon | Bookshop.org | Libro.fm [52:57] Other Books Mentioned Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng, narrated by Lucy Liu [1:37]41-Love: A Memoir by Scarlett Thomas [8:57]Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez, narrated by Megan McDowell [17:18]The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, narrated by Julia Roberts [28:52]Sparring Partners: Novellas by John Grisham, narrated by Ethan Hawke, Jeff Daniels, and others [32:58]Angels in America by Tony Kushner, narrated by Nathan Lane (and the full Broadway cast) [34:22]What Happened to You? by Oprah Winfrey and Bruce D. Perry, M.D. Ph.D. [36:33]The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley [41:59]Quiet by Susan Cain [43:31]The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece: A Novel by Tom Hanks (May 9, 2023) [48:55]She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey [49:55] Other Links Ep. 81: Behind the Scenes of Narrating Audiobooks with Julia Whelan About Karen Dziekonski Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook Karen Dziekonski, VP, Audio Production for the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, has been an influential member of the audiobook industry for over twenty years. Starting at Random House in 2000, Karen has produced thousands of audiobooks and forged strong collaborations with bestselling and debut authors, celebrities, and professional narrators. An excellent problem-solver and active collaborator, Karen leads a team of elite, award-winning producers in the day-to-day operation of one of the most successful audio publishers in the United States. She lives on Long Island, New York, with her chef husband and two daughters.