I did a blitz poll on Facebook earlier today, inquiring about if people were only using audible. (It was supposed to be a yes or no question, but as it tends to go, it expanded.)
Most people who follow me know about the audiobook nightmare that is audible. But, I also try to be accessible. And there are many readers who simply use audible and will not use any other platform.
My personal dislike of Audible/ACX and the blatant abuses of creatives there comes second to readers. (However much ACX severely irritates me on a good day.)
So, I’m going to do a limited experiment with the Royal States series. (When I say limited,I say so in terms of total number of books I’m sacrificing for the test.) Assuming ACX can do the repairs to my account required for the books to be uploaded/published through ACX, I will begin with Storm Called and Taken being uploaded into ACX’s system. The unfortunately downsides of this will kick in, as there will be two copies on iTunes, blah blah blah… inconveniences to me I’ll generally just deal with to adhere better to becoming more accessible.
Do I think ACX is a bad deal? Yes.
Do I want readers to be able to access the books? Also yes.
As is often the case, my personal feelings about elements of this business tend to come second to trying to leave readers mostly happy with my books/the experience of reading or listening to my books.
At current, Spotify pays best for my audiobooks. (This is also an irritation, as I’m pretty sour apples over Author’s Direct closing down. I mean, I get why. A lot of readers simply just didn’t LIKE the platform, and once Spotify bought Findaway, it made sense for them to push their platform.)
I know nothing about Spotify, as I don’t listen to audiobooks and rarely do anything out of Apple Music. (My husband works at Apple, so we have Apple Music… And I have like maybe 150 songs, 50-70 of which are World of Warcraft soundtracks. WHAT? What?! I don’t listen to a lot of music.)
A lot of people are starting to request bookfunnel for audiobooks, but I’m dumb, I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m also dumb, I’m a dumb-dumb, and I’m fully intimidated by the bookfunnel thing. See my statement above: I’m a dumb-dumb.
Will I get paid well at ACX? No. Will I like it all that much? Not gonna lie, also no. Do I understand and appreciate the reasons people use audible? Yes.
Which is why this is coming up for discussion.
The next few months are going to be chaotic. One, I will get the Royal States series on audible. (Please note that I do NOT currently own rights to Null and Void, The Captive King, and A Guiding Light. Please note I was not responsible for the recordings, and that I do think Reba Behr is an absolutely stellar narrator. It isn’t her fault the publisher did not select a male narrator (and only gave me a choice of female narrators) for the three books they produced.
That’s a part of why I’m going to start with the Royal States series. Right now, the narrations done by Reba ARE available on Audible, where the rest of the series is not. So it’s a good starting point. (We do not discuss the cover issues with the Royal States series in audible format. That, right there, is a driving reason why I’ll be getting rights back as soon as humanely possible. In that I’ve already notified the publisher they will not be given rights once renewal is up. We’ll see what happens from there.)
Reba did a fabulous job. But I’m still going to aim for series uniformity as much as possible, which means Keira Grace and Cameron Hill.
When the Otters series comes up to bat, I will be pursuing Tracey Rooney as the narrator for those books, just as she’s the primary narrator for the Client series. This, of course, assumes she is still available when it’s time for those books to be written.
Ultimately, accessibility wins.
I suspect I will have a lot of regrets, especially as there are still fraud / return issues over at ACX. Piracy is also an issue. But, hopefully, this will make more readers happy, and at the end of the day, that’s the end goal. (I mean, getting paid and putting food on the table and being able to do fun things is also important. But I do like when people are happy with books.)
Here is the current list of Audiobooks that have been requested for contract or are in production:
For Cameron Hill:
- Hoofin’ It
- Cheetahs Never Win
- No Kitten Around
- Blood Diamond
- Wolf Hunt
- Wild Wolf
- Dead Weight
- The Trickster King
For Keira Grace
- Winter Wolf
- Silver Bullet
- Tales of the Winter Wolf (with a male narrator from the same studio reading the male stories)
- Vampire of Montana
- Shadowed Flame
- Doggone Mess
- 101 Ways to Die
I’m 99% sure I’m missing some titles, but my brain is exhausted along with the rest of me.
7 boxes went out today with the post fairy (aka my spouse.) 4 were for the kickstarter, 2 were giveaway titles (from facebook), and 1 was a charity contribution for an upcoming charity drive.
Apparently, I need to try to get at least 4-8 more boxes (from kickstarter) prepped and ready to be loaded into the car for tomorrow or Saturday post office deposits.
So, I hope this makes some of you happy.
And yes, there is currently an eight month or so lead time for audiobooks produced by Keira, and while Cameron is able to be a little faster (mostly due to the shorter list of books being done), the reality is this: I will not be holding back the ebook and print editions of books while waiting the 8+ months for the audiobook editions to be ready.
I am sorry for that, but I really need the ebook earnings to pay for the audiobook editions, as I generally do not make profits on an audiobook for at least six months following its release.
Ebooks pay the bills.
Audiobook and print editions are about the accessibility of the books.
To keep writing, the ebooks take priority. (Sorry. But I’m also not sorry, as I would rather be able to keep writing than artificially delay the ebooks to make the print/audiobook readers happy.)
I hope you all are having a better day than I am. (I’m seriously considering ordering in some tacos… again. Because it’s been a day.)
Zazzle would like you to know that she rules the world. (Perhaps someday soon, I will have the cats take over the blog again… the human behind the scenes is simply too tired and overwhelmed right now to help the cats operate the keyboard successfully.)