Friday, September 14, 2012

A Writer's Week #36: Listen for The Deliverers on Audio Book

We may not realize it, but we live in a great age. Technology has opened up new opportunities in every facet of our culture. This is especially true for all of us who write. When I came up with the idea for The Deliverers: Sharky and the Jewel almost ten years ago, there was one way to get published--try to get an agent or a publisher to notice you, become interested in your manuscript, and publish your book. Or you could go the vanity publisher route. You know, pay thousands of dollars to a company to print hundreds of copies of your book for you so that you could store them in your garage and sell them out of the back of your car.

Well, times have changed. For one thing, I turned my garage into a bedroom and a bathroom. For another, print on demand (POD) came along, meaning you no longer have to lay out any cash at all to have your book published. Then along came Createspace, which gave you an instant sales platform on Amazon and Kindle (oh yeah--e-books were another big development).

Is it a perfect situation for writers? No. But every month new things come down the pike which make it better and better. Like Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX), for example. It gives authors, narrators and producers a chance to connect and produce professional audio books. You can either pay the narrator a negotiated hourly rate or you can partner with a narrator for no initial cost and split all royalties 50-50. Royalties start at 50% of the purchase price, so that means the author and narrator each get 25%. Not a bad deal. You get full creative control. The key is to find a narrator who's talented and easy to work with.

So that's what I decided to do. For the last week and a half, I've been auditioning narrators to produce an audio book version of The Deliverers. I used Chapter 9 of the book as the audition script, and received a number of audition files and they were all good in their way. However, one stood out. I listened to it a bunch of times, had my wife listen to it, had people at work listen to it, and they all liked it. There were a couple little tweaks that I thought needed to be done, so I asked him if he could incorporate those into another audition. He was very accommodating and made the changes.

In fact, Jimm is very easy to communicate with and extremely professional. So, I submitted an offer to him. Before accepting, he wanted to be sure that I was willing to communicate with him--by phone if need be--if he had a question or needed to talk through anything during production. That told me that I had made a good decision. So, the narrator is going to be Jimm Singer, a professional narrator, actor and voice over performer with over 15 years' experience.

Needless to say, this is very cool. I never dreamed that I'd be able to make an audio version of The Deliverers. This gives me access to an entirely new market and revenue stream. This will be the perfect thing for children going on long car rides, for teachers to use as a tool in their class rooms, and for those children who are visually impaired. I am very excited.

The audio book should be out around December and will be available on, Amazon, and iTunes. I'll be giving you updates as I receive them. I should be receiving the first 15 minutes in a couple of weeks, and I'll let you know how it sounds and what the editing process is like.

Oh dear, I've rambled on again. Blogging 101 says that posts should be short and sweet. It's hard, though, when you're writing about something so cool. Anyway, during all this hubbub, I still managed to get some writing done. I did not make my 2,000 word weekly goal, but at 1,800 words I came close. That puts The Deliverers 2 at 46,200 words and 205 pages. This book is going to be more pages than the last one, but will probably be the same number of words, because the chapters are shorter and more numerous--52 right now compared to only 27 for the last one.

The plan is to have this first draft finished by the end of the month, then begin rewriting and editing. I'm shooting to have it out in January some time, but it may not be until March, depending on the artwork. I'll check in next week to let you know how things are going.


  1. Congrats on the audio book! How exciting! I loved hearing about the process and it will be a great way to get the book out there. Reluctant readers may enjoy listening to it while they read along. Also- awesome job on the writing front. I like short chapters- at school when I am reading to my class it helps me get more reading done because I can read a few more pages and it is another chapter. :)

    1. Thanks Stephanie. I'll keep everybody updated on the audio book's progress, and relay my thoughts and observations on the process.

      I have to get you a new copy of The Deliverers for your classroom. Let me know how best to get it to you.