When we were looking at selling audio rights to Elantris, my agent approached me with an interesting suggestion. Instead of one edition, he thought we could get two separate ones made. The reason was he had two companies interested, both of which were willing to let the other also do an edition.
One was wanting to produce a traditional audio edition, unabridged, read word for word. The other wanted to do what is called a performed abridged edition.
In short, this company—Graphic Audio—wanted to do a version like an old-time radio drama. It would be ‘abridged’ only in that they would cut out the dialogue tags—since different actors would be playing each character—and some of the blocking. (For instance, where I wrote that a door opened, they’d replace this with the sound of a door opening.)
I was intrigued, and more than a little excited, particularly after I met with the folks from Graphic Audio. They had a very good vibe to them. It’s hard to explain, but I just liked them, and liked what they were doing.
Well, Elantris is finally out from Graphic Audio, and I suggest you give their demo a listen. It’s a completely new way to experience the book. I’m hoping it will do well, since I’d like to see a similar treatment for some of my future books. The stand alone novels—Elantris and Warbreaker—are what I’m most eager to see done this way, as I think they lend themselves very well to this format.
They’re doing it in three parts, and the price looks very good. All three parts bought on sale will cost about the same as a hardcover edition, which is very good for an audio book. Part one is out now; the second two parts will come soon.
Enjoy! (And Graphic Audio, my hat is off to you.)