posted on November 4, 2016 by Jan Moran

The Story Behind the Making of The Winemakers New AudioBook

by Jan Moran

This has been a year of firsts, and I’m excited to add ‘first audiobook’ to that mix with The Winemakers from Ideal Audiobooks, read by award-winning narrator Erin Bennett and directed by Amy Rubinate, who founded Ideal Audiobooks in 2015 with the motto, ‘Stories with Heart.’ It’s available on Amazon, Audible, and other retailers in November, with pre-orders open now. But how Amy and I met is quite a story of synchronicity, of being in the right place at the right time…

The Power of Synchronicity

 Among my year of ‘firsts’ was my first RT Convention in Las Vegas last April. On one whirlwind of a day, I barely had time to pop into the last part of a session on audiobooks. I didn’t want to miss it because I was intrigued with the possibility of creating more accessible forms of my books.img_4665I closed my eyes and listened to the panelists, who were all narrators. Amy’s voice resonated with me, and when the session was over, I approached her and introduced myself. As soon as she heard my name, her eyes widened and she said, ‘I’ve been trying to get the rights to Scent of Triumph forever!’ Actually, unable to get through the Macmillan maze, she’d given up.

Well, you could’ve knocked me over with an Apple earbud.

Amy had been looking for books with uplifting endings, and somehow she’d found Scent of Triumph. After we spoke, I promised to find a way to make the audiobook happen. So, seconds later, leaning against wall as hundreds of people filled the hallway, I called my agent, who immediately started the process.

However, it wasn’t quite as easy as that. It took months of placing many follow-up calls and emails to coordinate the parties before the deal was finally done. But in the end, Amy secured the rights to record Scent of Triumph and The Winemakers.

Had I not attended the RT Convention, had I not decided to cram into the standing-room-only session in the last few minutes, had I not decided to speak to Amy in particular, none of this would have happened. And what are the odds that the author of the book she’d been trying to wrangle the rights for would appear before her in Las Vegas?

This is why one of my favorite quotes is: ‘Chance favors the prepared mind’ (Louis Pasteur). Or, you get lucky when you work hard enough…and dress up and show up.

Left to right: Jan Moran, Erin Bennett, Amy Rubinate

And Then We Did Brunch…

A couple of days before recording began, I had brunch with Amy and Erin—both of whom have recorded hundreds of audiobooks and have huge fan followings. They were as thrilled to sit with me to understand nuances and name pronunciations as I was to hear their view on the books. I learned that it’s a rare opportunity for narrators and authors to meet and talk as we did.

We became fast friends, and I’m pleased to announce more collaboration ahead. With Amy directing and Erin narrating, I can’t imagine a better team for the audiobooks. Erin has a beautiful voice, and as soon as I heard her, I knew she was perfect to bring Caterina and Danielle and the entire cast of characters to life.

Audiobooks & Accessibility

 As many of you now, my mother contributed many of her memories of WWII to Scent of Triumph, and more of everyday life in the 1950s to The Winemakers. At the time, she’d been in an independent living facility, and later, in an assisted living facility. Among these residents, large print editions and audiobooks are very popular and important for accessibility. Years ago, I contributed my book, Fabulous Fragrances, for Braille transcription, so I was especially pleased when the large print editions of my books came out. (Hoping for Braille editions, too.)

Audiobooks are even more exciting. In busy LA traffic, I find myself listening to more audiobooks and podcasts. Another girlfriend listens to audiobooks on her walks. In our busy lives, audio can fill dull gaps with good listening material.

As the season of Thanksgiving approaches, I’m thankful that The Winemakers and Scent of Triumph will soon be accessible to new audiences, and I’m thankful to have made new friends in Amy and Erin.

Jan Moran

Jan Moran

Jan Moran is a USA Today bestselling author of heartwarming fiction, including the feel-good, contemporary beach series of Summer Beach, Coral Cottage, and Love California. Her riveting, immersive historical family sagas include Hepburn's Necklace, The Chocolatier, The Winemakers, and The Perfumer. St. Martin's Press, Goldmann/Penguin Random, and Newton Compton have published her novels, along with her imprint, Sunny Palms Press. Jan's books are also available in large print and audiobook editions. Her work is translated into German, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, Lithuanian, Polish, Bulgarian, and other languages. At present, Jan is working on the next books in her series, adapting The Winemakers for a dramatic television series, expanding her catalog of books and screenplays, and forming partnerships for film and television projects. She has been featured in numerous publications and on television and radio, including CNN, Women's Wear Daily, Allure, InStyle, and O Magazine. As an editor and writer, she has covered fragrance, beauty, and spa travel for various publications from Cosmopolitan to the Costco Connection. Jan is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and the University of Texas at Austin. As an entrepreneur and former CEO and board member, she speaks on entrepreneurship, the business of writing, women in business, and other topics. In her former life, Jan was the founder and creator of Scentsa, a touch-screen software program for retailers and brands. The fragrance and skincare programs (FragranceIQ, SkinIQ) are at Sephora stores in the US, Canada, France, Mexico, Brazil, and Denmark. The Scentsa program was sold to Sephora. As a speaker, consultant, and major brand/retailer spokesperson, Jan has spoken before numerous groups such as libraries, the San Diego State University Writer's Conference, Fashion Group International, The Fragrance Foundation, and The American Society of Perfumers. She has represented brands and retailers in media for several major PR companies, including Edelman and DeVries. Jan lives in San Diego County and is available for select in-person or online consulting, training, and speaking engagements.

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