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Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: PTQI on July 04, 2018, 07:05:59 pm

Title: ACX: Using a Narrator from a Different Gender?
Post by: PTQI on July 04, 2018, 07:05:59 pm
Hi there,

I am currently auditioning narrators for a non-fiction work (historical in nature). I’m male (and this is clearly evident from my author name). However, one of the best candidates is female. The only thing that is holding me back is that readers/listeners may react negatively to a perceived disconnect between my male identity and her voice.

To be clear there is no disconnect as far as content is concerned (i.e. it is pretty ‘gender neutral’).

Is there anyone out there who commissioned a narrator from a different gender? If so, what kind of feedback did you receive?

Thanks!
Title: Re: ACX: Using a Narrator from a Different Gender?
Post by: C. Gold on July 04, 2018, 07:26:30 pm
I don't see why this would be a problem. Are you concerned the reader would think you, the author, was narrating? I don't expect many authors to narrate their own work.
Title: Re: ACX: Using a Narrator from a Different Gender?
Post by: Kathy Dee on July 05, 2018, 02:33:07 am
I agree with the previous poster: there is no reason, in my mind, that you should not use a reader of the opposite sex to read anything that does not run counter to the feel of the material. So far, I have used, male narrators only, but for works in which the lead is female, I intend to do the opposite.
Title: Re: ACX: Using a Narrator from a Different Gender?
Post by: DarkScribe on July 05, 2018, 04:08:24 am
Hi there,

I am currently auditioning narrators for a non-fiction work (historical in nature). I’m male (and this is clearly evident from my author name). However, one of the best candidates is female. The only thing that is holding me back is that readers/listeners may react negatively to a perceived disconnect between my male identity and her voice.

To be clear there is no disconnect as far as content is concerned (i.e. it is pretty ‘gender neutral’).

Is there anyone out there who commissioned a narrator from a different gender? If so, what kind of feedback did you receive?

Thanks!
Only one question. What POV is the work? A female voice with a first person male narrative might seem odd.
Title: Re: ACX: Using a Narrator from a Different Gender?
Post by: Anarchist on July 05, 2018, 06:33:47 am
I'm male and write non-fiction.

I would never hire a female to do the audio.

If you're willing to pay professional PPH rates, you should be able to find the right male voice.
Title: Re: ACX: Using a Narrator from a Different Gender?
Post by: DarkScribe on July 05, 2018, 10:06:31 am
I'm really curious what your reason for this is and why you feel so strongly about it.
I'm intrigued as well. I am not the sort of person who finds a narrated novel to be as appealing as one I can read, but for those who do - what would be wrong with a female voice? I'd rather listen to a woman than a man in most non story telling instances. Newsreaders for example.
Title: Re: ACX: Using a Narrator from a Different Gender?
Post by: Anarchist on July 05, 2018, 12:38:03 pm
My reasons:

Authority (https://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2012/12/why-we-prefer-masculine-voices-even-in-women/266350/), trustworthiness (https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/movies/trailer-voice-over-work-scarce-for-women.html), and continuity.

Different strokes for different folks.

Title: Re: ACX: Using a Narrator from a Different Gender?
Post by: 555aaa on July 05, 2018, 12:50:31 pm
Go look at the Audible bestsellers in history in non-fiction. You'll see a mix of narration gender but there is a tendency towards male narrators narrating history about male historical figures.  You might note however that Unbroken was written by a woman (Laura Hillenbrand) but has a male narrator.
Title: Re: ACX: Using a Narrator from a Different Gender?
Post by: S.R. on July 05, 2018, 12:53:31 pm
[My posts have been deleted in response to the unannounced KBoards TOS change that was made by the new forum owner (VerticalScope) -- I do not agree to the new terms and have requested that my account be deleted as well]
Title: Re: ACX: Using a Narrator from a Different Gender?
Post by: Vijaya on July 05, 2018, 08:02:48 pm
I prefer the narrator to have the same sex as my POV character. However, if a story is gender neutral, I'd prefer a male narrator. It's the same for my husband and he's a big fan of audiobooks. I've not really questioned why but it's a real preference. I don't know whether this is true in general.