Richter produces audiobook for Ben Nelson

Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 2:45pm

Two months into starting her job as an assistant professor of practice at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Kaci Richter had her first meeting with the University Nebraska Press.

The Press expressed its growing need to transform its printed books into audiobooks. Richter didn’t have any experience recording audiobooks, but she knew they were growing in popularity and thought this audio skill could be a useful skill for her and her students to learn.

Richter recorded her first audiobook for the Press during the spring of 2019, learning how long it takes, the kinds of expectations she could set for her class and an achievable timeline for her students.

The first audiobook Richter produced and narrated was “Terrorism, Betrayal and Resilience,” by Prudence Bushnell. After it went live, Richter offered her first audiobook narration pop-up class during the fall semester of 2019.

After her audio pop-up, she produced a few more books, “Nebraska” by University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor of English and award-winning author Kwame Dawes and "In the Mouth of the Wolf" by Rose Zar and Eric A. Kimmel.

This leads to one of Richter's favorite audiobook projects yet, producing an audiobook version of Ben Nelson's "Death of the Senate."

"When Leif Milliken from Nebraska Press approached me about producing an audiobook for Ben Nelson, I thought of course I want to work with the senator," Richter said. "I'm a life-long Nebraskan, and Ben Nelson is such a big part of Nebraska politics, I remember touring the governor's mansion in high school when he was governor."

Another connection between Nelson and Richter is that her parents are from the same hometown as Nelson-- McCook. And when Richter was a member of the Lincoln Lancaster Women's Commision, she attended the Nebraska Democratic Party's Morrison-Exon Dinner, which was a fundraiser for Nelson's campaign. It was the first time she and her husband had the chance to really talk with Nelson, and Richter left the event starstruck. 

Over the summer, Richter and Nelson met at the Andersen Hall audio studio to record the book. Then Richter worked her editing and mastering magic to bring it up to the needed audio standard in order to be published on Audible. The 8 hour and 12-minute long audiobook was released with the original text in September 2021.

"Sen. Nelson is such an icon. I've met him a handful of times and of course he'd have no reason to remember me," Richter said. "But now that I've recorded this audiobook with him, I'm excited that the next time we see each other, we'll have that connection because it really was such a memorable experience."

Kaci Headshot
Kaci Richter, assistant professor of practice