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Vietnam War protestors demonstrate - Wichita, KS, 1967.

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Solingen, Germany after the bombing, November 1944. - Stadtarchiv Solingen

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My grandmother Grete with her sisters in the early 1920s in Germany.

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U.S. Bomber flies above German airfield in WWII. More »


A New Adventure in Audiobooks

Follow my Journey to Publish ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ as an Audiobook

book cover surviving the fatherland by annette oppenlanderIt makes perfect sense that readers have different tastes, not only in books and genres, but also in the formats they prefer. I’d been reading a lot of publishing advice that urges authors to offer audiobooks because more and more readers love to ‘read’ while driving or being otherwise active or unable to read printed versions.

Since my new award-winning novel, ‘Surviving the Fatherland,’ is doing very well, I decided to jump into the unknown and learn about audiobook production. As with eBooks, Amazon is a major player. Their company, ACX, offers a well-organized system through which authors can find professional narrators and vice versa.

Getting Started with the Audiobook

So a week ago, I jumped onto the ACX website to see how it was done. I selected a 2-page sample from my book and determined criteria to narrow down the search for a narrator. One can choose gender, age, accents and of course, price ranges.

Once I had made my selection, I uploaded the sample and wrote up a marketing blurb, describing my novel. The better the blurb, the more likely a narrator will be interested in reading. Within 24 hours I received auditions from eight narrators.

What surprised me the most was how different the voices sounded. Some were upbeat, some slow, one sounded almost angry. Some assumed the different characters in my book effortlessly, others not so much. One thing became clear to me immediately. Unless you’re trained as an actor, you don’t want to attempt this yourself.

After listening to the sample narrations, I pretty much knew right away who I wanted for my novel. Drum roll please…

My Amazing Narrator

headshot of naomi jacobson, actressHer name is Naomi Jacobson and she is an actress living in Maryland. Her voice was engaging and had just the right speed and feel. I loved her impersonation of the different characters and her articulation. After choosing her as my narrator/producer, I provided an offer through ACX. Naomi accepted and we’re on our way.

Next stop is a 15-minute read. Once that’s approved, she’ll finish the book and I hope to have the audiobook on the market by the end of July. I’ll definitely share progress and experiences here. I declined ACX’s exclusive royalty plan, offering the audiobook only through Audible, Amazon and iTunes. It pays a higher royalty, but I feel strongly that I want ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ available through other retail channels.

To be continued soon…

‘Surviving the Fatherland’ Wins Annual ‘National Indie Excellence Award’

***More than 10,000 copies sold since March 15, 2017***

***#1 Amazon Bestseller in German Historical Fiction***

I’m humbled and excited to announce…


Contact: Annette Oppenlander/812.391.6310/


Local Author receives national recognition from the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards!

Los Angeles: — The 11th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards recognized ‘Surviving the Fatherland: A True Coming-of-age Love Story Set in WWII Germany’ by Annette Oppenlander in the category of ‘Faction’ as a winner in this year’s competition.

This prestigious National award is open to all English language books in print from small, medium, university, self and independent publishers.

book cover surviving the fatherland by annette oppenlanderThe National Indie Excellence® Awards exists to help establish independent publishing as a strong and proud facet of the publishing industry. Recognizing authors that put their heart and soul into their work, the NIEA is a champion of self-publishers and the small, independent presses that go the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect. Established in 2007, the NIEA competition is judged by experts from all aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers and professional copywriters.

Winners and finalists are determined based on ‘overall excellence of presentation- a synergy of form and content.’ Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953 and set against the epic panorama of WWII, ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children’s war.

‘Surviving the Fatherland’ tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author’s own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children.

“We are proud to announce the winners & finalists whose books truly embody the excellence that this award was created to celebrate, and we salute you all for your fine work.” –Ellen Reid, Founder NIEA

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