The Parsec committee is currently soliciting opinions on the definition of Full Cast Audiobooks in order to see whether it would be practical to add another category–and, if it is, what would the definition be?
The following was my response to the committee. If this is something that interests you, please take the time to send your own take on the issue to them, or chime in on the comments, as I have it on good authority that some members of the committee occasionally enjoy subjecting themselves to my particular flavor of psychosis
The following is the relevant text of my email to them in reply to their question about what differentiates a Full-Cast production from an Audio Drama and an Audiobook:
Leaving aside the issue of abridgements or the occasional ad-libs, the
full-cast audio I’ve seen (and produced) tends to be pretty slavish in
terms of its loyalty to the text. If you’re looking for a number, I’d
say “less than 5% of the text can be changed,” but I think the issue is
more the character of the change than the amount.
If I were writing the definition of full-cast audio I would define it
something like as follows:
“A Full-cast audio production is an audiobook that uses multiple readers
to play different roles. While the form may incorporate incidental
and/or theme music and sound effects to heighten the listening
experience, the text of the novel remains essentially unchanged.
Small deviations from the original text are permissible (such as the
substitution of sound effects for onomatopoetic words–such as the sound
of a slap instead of the word “SMACK!” standing alone as its own
sentence–or omission of dialogue tags to facilitate flow) are
permissible. However, if the text of the novel is adapted to dramatic
form (ex: substituting dialogue and foley for chunks of narration), the
production will be considered a dramatic adaptation and treated as a
radio drama for purposes of the awards.
When submitting your sample audio, please include the text of at least
one full clip in-line with the email so that we may verify that your
production is a full-cast audiobook rather than a radio drama.”
For what it’s worth