Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't Miss Out On The Growing Audio Book Audience + Giveaway

Talking about audiobooks today and giving away one copy of the WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM audiobook to a randomly selected commenter.

People often ask me why I'm so determined to have audiobook versions of my novels and the simple answer is that there's a huge and growing audience out there who enjoys listening to a good story. While many people listen to audiobooks in their car or otherwise commuting, there's an audience which enjoys the experience of hearing a good book while they multitask. Even in the shower!

Last year I had the wonderful experience of making an audiobook version of my award winning WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM with Actor/Narrator Michael Riffle. I've written extensively about the process in a series of posts on my own blog. You can find the first post here which links to the others, if you're interested.

Briefly, I went through Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), which is a division of Audible, so I can only speak to that experience. ACX is wonderfully set up to keep things simple for the author, the actor and the producer, which I appreciated. For my first audiobook I couldn't afford to pay an hourly rate (usually between $200-$400 per "finished hour" - my book runs about 9 hours). ACX offers a contract vehicle whereby author and actor split the royalties 50/50 and no money is paid up front. Of course if it turns out you've created the Harry Potter or 50 Shades of audiobooks and have a runaway hit, your actor will become very wealthy over the life of the distribution contract!  Now WRECK may be an Amazon best seller and award winning, but I wasn't too concerned that I might be signing away millions. (And I appreciate working with Michael so much I might not have minded anyway LOL.)

At first though, I wasn't getting very many quality auditions. Then ACX put my book into their stipend program, where they pay $1500.00 to the actor when the book is completed. I paid nothing, just split future royalties as they come in. Then I got numerous auditions and was fortunate enough to find Michael, who embodied my special forces hero of the future perfectly.

Unless you're a trained actor as well as an author, don't read your own book! First of all, reading is very different from acting and getting all the characters to sound different and believable, and convey the right emotions is a huge challenge. Secondly, there's a definite art involved in the production of the sound quality. Michael put in many hours behind the scenes for every finished hour of the book.

I LOVED listening to the audiobook as he finished each chapter. I found that hearing how a trained actor interpreted the dialog and what he brought to the characters gave me new insights. Of course the book had already been published so we couldn't change anything, but I got a lot of ideas for the sequel. Chapter 7 is my favorite, listened to it three times. Even Michael said he got choked up while narrating that one and had to re-record parts of it. (No spoilers here though!)

This year Michael and I are doing the audio version of ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE, and we've cast an actress to read the heroine and other female characters with him. I think this is going to be an amazing project and can't wait to have the audiobook available.

I'm happy to answer any questions and I am giving away a free copy of WRECK to one randomly selected commenter. I'll pick the winner at 6PM on the 29th.....

Here's the blurb for WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM:
Traveling unexpectedly aboard the luxury liner Nebula Dream on its maiden voyage across the galaxy, Sectors Special Forces Captain Nick Jameson is ready for ten relaxing days, and hoping to forget his last disastrous mission behind enemy lines. He figures he’ll gamble at the casino, take in the shows, maybe even have a shipboard fling with Mara Lyrae, the beautiful but reserved businesswoman he meets.
All his plans vaporize when the ship suffers a wreck of Titanic proportions. Captain and crew abandon ship, leaving the 8000 passengers stranded without enough lifeboats and drifting unarmed in enemy territory. Aided by Mara, Nick must find a way off the doomed ship for himself and several other innocent people before deadly enemy forces reach them or the ship’s malfunctioning engines finish ticking down to self destruction.
But can Nick conquer the demons from his past that tell him he’ll fail these innocent people just as he failed to save his Special Forces team? Will he outpace his own doubts to win this vital race against time?
Available at Amazon in all formats and wherever else eBooks are sold.

5 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the book so much, I'm sure the audio would be great, too. :-)

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  2. I like to listen to audiobooks if I'm not the driver. The reader's voice has to draw me in as much as the story.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  3. Audio books are what kept me reading through my kiddos youngest years. Thank heavens for hands free fiction.
    Your release sounds amazing. The excerpts you've posted on the sneak peek Fridays have been absolutely captivating!
    Best of luck with it.
    :)

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  4. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! The random number generator has selected: Frances!

    ReplyDelete

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