John Marshall Cheary Stops By The Audiobook Speakeasy

If there is one thing that John Marshall Media knows, it’s audiobooks. John Marshall Media’s CEO, Founder and Chairman John Marshall Cheary sat down with Rich Miller and his podcast “Audiobook Speakeasy” to talk all things audiobooks and his thirty years of experience in the industry. Over a Gin Rickey and a glass of Diet Coke, the two discuss how John Marshall Media become the company that it is today.

Starting as a musician at the University of Berklee, he quickly learned that he was able to find success in audio production. “I had a natural affinity to recording,” he tells Rich regarding choosing to major in production and engineering after a year at Berklee. John then went on to work in music production, because as he admits, “it was all I knew”.The transition from music to audiobook, however, simply came from looking in the classified for an audio engineer and meeting Paula Parker and Paul Ruben, who were part of the second wave of books on tape during the early nineties.

From there, a position with engineering and producing audiobooks was able to grow. He employed friends and trusted engineers to create books on tape faster than ever before. Slowly but surely he learned what would then become the John Marshall Media way, by dividing the process into smaller parts. This way, the book can be done faster than it ever has before while still delivering the same quality content as before.

From books on tape to the transition and explosion of audiobooks through faster download speeds on cell phones and computers, John has not only been able to see how his business has grown but has also learned a few tips and tricks for those looking to get into the business. One of the best advice he can give to a narrator just starting out is to work with passion. Be passionate not only about the work of being a narrator, but also be passionate about the story you are telling. “The words are already written,” he says. “You reading the words is not a trick. But you communicating the text? Now that is the interesting part. That is your job, to communicate something to me.”

The hardest subject to narrate? John believes it to be nonfiction because you have to sound enthusiastic about the subject. “One of the main things is passion. When you are talking about the planets, sea life, or whatever it is, do you sound interested? Do you sound engaged?” You will want to be a narrator that makes the listener want to lean in to the story, the subject, and text.

To listen to the entire interview be sure to check out: