This spring marks 10 years of ACX, and we’re celebrating a decade of authors and narrators telling stories their way by sharing the career journeys of several amazing indie creators. Read this blog series from the beginning, or read on to hear from our next celebrated storyteller—quadruple threat author-publisher-producer-narrator, Tanya Eby.
How did you become a narrator/producer?
That’s a really long story and includes a fair amount of missteps and embarrassment. Once I’d recorded about 300 books at a studio, ACX launched, and I knew I could produce audio on my own. I’d been well-trained by all those previous books, so I became a producer/publisher and created Blunder Woman Productions. Since then, I’ve produced or published over 200 audiobooks, won an Audie, been nominated for 3 Audies, created original audiobooks with large casts, and earned Earphones and SOVAS awards. It’s been a pretty wild ride.
How did you find ACX?
I found ACX pretty early on when it first started. There was a competition for a book I really wanted to record that I’d heard about. I didn’t get the book (it went to a famous actor) but it did get me to jump into producing audiobooks from home instead of always going into a studio.
How has your career grown since first coming to ACX?
When I started ACX, I was primarily a performer. Now I perform, produce, publish, and create original content. It’s a really satisfying career where I have a lot of creative input and control. Plus, audiobooks are now my sole source of income. That’s a pretty great gift.
Are you a full-time narrator?
I am. I’ve been recording audiobooks now for about 20 years, and have been recording from home for about 10.
What’s your favorite thing about being an independent narrator?
I can create my own schedule, control my workflow, work from home, and choose projects that really resonate with me. It’s a dream job come true.
What was your big “I made it” moment?
The first audiobook I published through ACX was The Brink: Stories by Austin Bunn. When they read our name at the Audies for Best Short Story Collection, I know that I’d arrived as a publisher and producer. This gave me the courage to create and produce original content including short story collections and also Nevertheless We Persisted and Nevertheless We Persisted: Me Too, collections of poetry and prose that talk about getting through the hard stuff. These books involved hundreds of writers, narrators, artists, composers, musicians, and a wonderful production team. We were nominated for Audies for both productions, proving that small companies with big ideas and a community working together can have real impact on the industry. I’m so proud of those productions.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about the industry since getting started?
You need to be self-motivated and a real entrepreneur in this career. Don’t wait for people to give you work. Create it.
If you could narrate any book ever, what would it be?
Ooooooh! I love this question! I would love to narrate The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, and anything by Shirley Jackson or Stephen King.
What do you aspire to next?
I’d love to work on some more original content. I have a lot of connections with the writing community and the audiobook community, and it’s a wonderful thing to bring these two worlds together.