Melissa Foster’s Chasing Amanda, Audiobooks and the role of the narrator

While I was searching the other day, I noticed that author Melissa Foster had recently published three of her works there.

Melissa is a fine author, an Internet entrepreneur and a great friend of independent writers.

Chasing Amanda by Melissa Foster

The three books on her list are: Megan’s Way, Come Back to Me and Chasing Amanda.

The only one of those I haven’t read is Megan’s Way.  On Caleb and Linda Pirtle earlier this year we ran a serialization of the first half of Come Back to Me.

But it is the audiobook version of Chasing Amanda that made me realize the spectrum of possibilities that audio creates for books.

As it turned out, I read the book in two formats.  I began reading it on my Kindle and finished it by utilizing the Kindle read aloud feature when I was on a long road trip.

So as the say in the courtroom, I have personal knowledge.

Through the magic of, I am also able to listen to a sample of Kate Udall’s narration.  That means I have heard at least part of the book two different ways and read  some of the text without the benefit of any narration.

The spectrum I mentioned earlier has five possibilities, not all of which will exist in every book.  The reader can read the text only, listen to the computer generated narration Kindle provides, listen to a narration by a professional voice talent, listen to a celebrity narration or listen to the author read it.

In the case of Chasing Amanda, I have experienced three of those.

Kate Udall
Kate Udall


Without a doubt a narration performed by professional voice talent brings a whole new vibe to a book, and is far superior to listening to an automated voice.  In the case of Chasing Amanda, we also have a blending of a couple of categories because narrator Kate Udall is a screen celebrity as well.

So really the only format I haven’t experienced with Chasing Amanda is narration by Melissa Foster herself.

This scenario makes me realize why author narration holds a unique spot in audiobooks.

Melissa Foster’s book is a first rate production which will introduce her work to many new fans.  Kate Udall also brings her talent and credentials to the project.  That is another tremendous plus.

But, something in the back of my mind nags at me.

I think it is simply that if the author performs the book, the reader establishes a connection with her, a connection that is not the same as one a listener builds with a person who is reading the work of another.

An author-narrated book is almost like a chance to sit in the same room with the author while he reads.

The chief mantra of social media has always been connectivity.  The closer people can get to personal interaction with each other on social media, the more powerful and satisfying it is.

Audiobooks possess the power to allow the author to reach out to readers, to speak to them in his or her own voice.

I don’t think every author can or should produce a self-narrated audiobook.

But those who are able to do so can bring a unique gift to their readers.




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