My author, Patricia A. Knight, has courageously charged ahead in the production of her first audiobook and lives to tell the tale! We got the first 2 days or her documented excursions before illness stabbed her in the throat.
From Wednesday afternoon on, PAK has been down with a severe cold and no matter how she tries, she couldn't duplicate the same voice when she started on Monday.
So, for those following her on her blog, that's why she hasn't given us more.
Now as a publisher, I'm amazed and proud of Patricia for wanting to under-go voicing her own audiobook. I don't think many authors have the ability to make the recording sound professional, but after listening to her short excerpts, I'm confident she can pull it off!
Now, finding a recording studio was easy. Simple ask your VA--I mean, go to Google and search for recording studios in (your city here). Now, if you're close to Seattle, and like your studio in a treehouse, you might want to check out Bear Creek Studios. (See the video below.)
While I had to find a place that was closer to my author, I might have tried to send her to this one if she was in Washington. However, we found Sunfire Studios and the guys there have treated PAK with professionalism and kindness.
But before I hired them, here are the questions I asked:
1. Have you had authors come in for audio recordings before?
2. Are you able to meet the requirements needed by ACX to upload the audio files?
3. What format will I be receiving the audio files in?
4. What is your price per hour for my author to come in and do the recording? Does that include editing?
5. How long will it take you to wrap up and complete the project?
I was also required to give 50% deposit of an estimated amount. I figured it might take Patricia 12 hours to do a 60,000 word recording. Since this is my first audiobook, it was only an estimate. As of Wednesday she had it half completed and she'd been at the microphone for approximately 12 hours.
Patricia will be returning when her voice resumes its usual work. Also, I think the guys at Sunfire Studios want to know how the book ends :)
ACTION ITEM: If interested in seeing the journey of an author make her first audiobook, check out Patricia's blog HERE!
Week 2 of the Snow Blood episodic story of Brogio, the first vampire and his canine demon has been going along very well!
When I suggested a serial to my author I had not known how much work there might be involved. I'd forgotton--Who was going to put up all those books on a weekly basis?
But! I have now gained enough experience to get Smashwords formatting down pat! After stripping and rebuilding 6 episodes, I think I've got it to a science.
Most common things I see authors doing is:
a) using the tab for indents.
b) Putting a space in front of the indented sentence.
c) Using really weird and inconsistent paragraph spacing.
EVERY author does it. It's not that they deliberately change all these things, it's that they are using different methods to get ink on paper. Copy/paste, editing, merging files--all that will cause some kinds of formatting differences which Smashwords doesn't like. But, being able to go through and systematically doing it over and over has given me a new respect for Smashwords. They catch all the glicthy mistakes. Smashwords will tell you when your file isn't perfect and then you have to learn why.
After doing it so many times, I've got a standard that will help me in the future. I can't say my ACTION ITEM would be fun--but if you get the chance to upload more than one book at a time on Smashwords--do it. You'll find out all those tricky mistakes that will make your word document clean.
In my search for new platforms and links to use for social media I came across Payhip: https://payhip.com
Here's the lowdown when I tried pubhip....
1. No hosting fees.
2. Low 5% transaction fee - don't forget PayPal or Stripe's fees, they apply I'm sure. But 8% charge is better than say 30%.
3. Upload your book in several different formats.
4. Mobile accessible.
5. Gives you a different link to promote your book.
6. Authors set any price or if authors want...readers can set the price.
I don't see a whole lot of marketing going on, but the spirit of indies might drive traffic to Payhip and make it a success if they so choose. So, TRP will be putting our books on yet another platform. At the very least it gives us a) exposure and b) another link to send our readers to!!
My Dearest Writer,
I can not say this kindly, so I will get to the point. You are a writer, NOT a formatter.
Please don't f*** with word. I have PhD and am a ninja scholar in word. Please just let me do it. Don't push the tab button... no..,no..,no.,no, no,no,no,no!
.epub laughs at you and .mobi just gets confused to the point that it won't publish your book.
"But it looks great in PDF!"
Okay, but PDF is only good for fix page size. Do you have a kindle? Have you put a PDF on your kindle? Looks like *shit* doesn't it?
I love you, dear writer, so... if you absolutely MUST, give me your word file that you think looks like crappy text and ALSO give me a PDF of how you'd like for it to look.
Just let me do the formatting please. No double spaces because this one line needs to be with the other block of text. No hitting tab, no using bullets! And the bullets/tab combo is really a pain in the ass. Your adorable images at the top of every chapter...THEY AREN'T PART OF THE HEADING! Please just use normal style and click the center button on word after you insert the picture. No, you may not use drop caps. No you may not section break at odd places. NO YOU MAY NOT FORMAT YOUR BOOK!!
Dear Google Play,
I would love to get my catalog on your site. You seem so friendly and awesome. I think you really have something there--being able to buy books on my phone--and well, I'd like to participate as a publisher.
But you make things really kinna hard. I mean, you're no iTunes or B&N but I think you're making it a bit more difficult than it really has to be.
Is it because I'm new? I know I'm fresh meat, but I'd really love a hand here. Reading on mobile is the future (more on that next week) and it's imperative I get on there.
But your help section is not help. Unless help is a spiral into frustration, pleading, hair-pulling, searching over-and-over-and-over-and-over times a billion to find how to fix what you want me to fix in which you don't really say what you want me to fix you just stare at me like Forrest Gump with nothing to say--there's no help.
I have a snickers bar. Can I tempt you with candy? I can't even pull on your shirt sleeve to ask anything. Why, Google, why? You're going to consume eBooks very soon because your on every smart phone in the universe. You going to become the Amazon of eBooks.
But not if we can't get our books on your site.
ACTION ITEM: Throw tomatoes at Google until they respond. :)
I thought of titling this one Ramblings of A Mad Publisher because plans don't always go the way you want, leaving you to scramble.
Uploading my authors books on different platforms is the challenge and fun of my job.
I knew it might take a year, but we've decided to move forward with the audiobook of Patricia Knight's Hers To Command...
Please by all means tell me what you think about the ACX options. Have you had success with the 50/50 split?
A few weeks worth of tedious planning, ignoring the family and author patience, the new TRP website has been rolled out!!
We have new tabs such as Reading Preference, a new beautiful Home page, updated book trailers, and NEW AUTHORS!!
Come take a look at our layout and give me suggestions, comments
With the latest traditional publishing against indie authors disguised as the latest of in the censorship issue, I'd like to explain how a micro-publisher deals with NOT being the distributor and suffering the consequences.
You see, I don't see this latest mass purge of Indie eBooks as *necessarily* a bad thing. Not because I think shutting Indies up is good, not that I think censorship is good--I just know that when these things happen, Indies rise to the occasion.
Being a micro-publisher, I'm no different. We will survive. We will prevail. Because the truth is out there...and Google will find it.
I have yet to find traditional authors screaming they've had their books pulled. Even the ones that sell erotica.
I've collected data and I'm finding that the recent WH Smith freak-out was really a way to get Indie books off the market. What I've seen is it mostly affected Kobo. Please tell me if I'm wrong, though.
But the reason why this is not a bad thing is because it creates opportunity. I can see some companies already sweeping in and taking advantage. Of course there are brave souls that see this for what it is and seek the truth to what some call the Dark Net ~ I feel we are living in Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling Series. How 'bout you?
What rises is the true meaning of Indie. If you pull the merchandise out, sellers are forced to find a way to sell their goods. This means, Indies selling their books through their own websites. It makes sense to me. It's a logical step.
So, what you might find is ~ large publishing retailers not able to quantify how much they're loosing by not having a very large chunk of a growing market. (Okay that made more sense in my head).
What I mean is...if you're selling your book out of your website, how does Amazon know what they're missing? One click buy is an awesome feature. But there are those who would click two buttons for your book. The possibilities have me thinking. All because someone decided that one bad apple means the rest are
ACTION ITEM: How hard would it be to sell off your website and direct traffic there? I'll be exploring that in the coming weeks.
Everyone has their right to their opinion. But nobody has the right to be offended. Point in question ~ Three years ago complaints were made about non-fiction kindle books being too...markety? Is that the right word?
Well, a whole bunch of marketers were producing books of the public domain variety that gave readers no value.
It was regurgitated out-dated information.
Hence when you kindle publish it asks if this is public domain or original work. That's why you have to answer that question, punishable by death if you give the wrong answer.
But also, what I've learned is the books were pulled because of the tags used. So if you want to tag your book as "this may be a little bit hot--read with caution" you got punished for being honest.
Is the answer to lie?
Back to having no right to be offended. Here's what I mean: Everything can be taken as an offense. You can be offended by the mother breast feeding her child. You can be offended by the line cutter or the place holder in line. You can be offended by a joke. You can be offended by a word. But demanding that you NOT BE offended is just not possible. Because offense taken is like opinions. Everyone has one some time.
Have you ever tried to please everyone? It doesn't work. Neither does trying to NOT OFFEND everyone. There's always going to be an Jesse Jackson screaming at you because hell and damnation ~ you offended God.
My goal is not to offend you. It's okay to hate me. I don't mind. I'm going to pay attention to those who love me. I'll be listening to those people. The people who understand that I'm not here to offend them and those not looking to be offended, and those who forgive me and ask me questions as to why I offended them are going to retain my focus.
What does this have to do with the publishing process?
When you publish you will have to take a stand. Even on cookbooks, you have to be able to know what your genre is and where you stand on subjects. Vegans will boycott your Meat Master's Barbeque book. Schools will boycott your YA because somebody kissed a girl on the cheek. Inspirational books will be called "a bunch of metaphysical bull honkey".
Are you going to stop publishing those books? Are you going to try and please everyone? Are you going to back down when someone gets offended?
I'll be publishing another three books by Patricia A. Knight. Anyone who says her stories are just erotica with no substance, didn't read it.
You would think a power such as Amazon has the ability to take a stand. Looks like they fall for anything.
ACTION ITEM: Reassess what you stand for. If you have a back-bone, join us--we have brownies.
Everyone talks about balance of life and work, but I have trouble balancing work.
Mwahhaha...my work is done here.
This is what I mean...I can say when to stop work and now it's play time, but sectioning off what to do at work is difficult for me.
I have no set schedule doing the same routine. It's all different every day.
So I have the 20/40/30 split.
However many hours I have, I split the time up in that ratio.
For example: If I have 3 hours I can spend 36 minutes on Publishing, 72 minutes writing, and 54 minutes on Marketing. If you paying super close attention you'll ask what happened to the other 10%?
Well, much like business, you have to have a "savings" in all things and that includes time. Somewhere over the 3 hours I might dick around, need to go to the bathroom, get interrupted by the dog or whatever for 18 minutes (going with the 3 hour span). So that 18 minutes is my ¡¡whoops!! time.
But this ratio isn't always possible. So I have to budget hours and days. Yesterday I did way more publishing than marketing...so what do I do today? Yep. More time marketing than publishing.
Does running to Office Max for pens go under publishing, writing or marketing time?
Sounds anal? Welcome to my world of publishing--we have cupcakes...and coffee.
It all depends on your organizational skills and attention span.
ACTION ITEM: Time yourself, decide what kind of split you need to be productive!!
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
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