Friday, July 16, 2021

Our Audiobook Story, So Far

 My first audiobook is coming out soon! I've had people ask about the process, so here's a quick sum up about our journey so far:

I decided to try making an audiobook for my standalone book, Mira's Griffin. I figured I would test the waters, if you will, with a standalone before I committed to a whole series.

First, I used acx, which is amazon's audiobook branch. I chose a sample from my book that included dialogue from most of my characters, especially the ones with accents and that needed special effects (mind-to-mind speech, in this case). I put it up for audition. ACX asked me to provide the age, gender, accent, and style of the narration I'd like, and showed my book to those. Two people auditioned within the first week or so. I chose the best one, Talon David, and we exchanged some messages, making sure that we got along and could work well together, before I made it official. 

I chose royalty share for our payment option, which means that the royalties we earn are split 50/50 between the two of us. You can pay a narrator outright, but it will cost many hundreds of dollars, so you'll have to be certain that you can sell enough books to cover the cost. And, of course, you can do it yourself, if you have the equipment and are willing to learn how.

I, as the author, was in charge of setting a date. I looked at my publishing schedule and sent Talon a large range, asking when she thought would be best (communication with your narrator is super important). She told me how long she thought it would take, I added on a couple weeks just in case, and we were ready to go. I sent her a pronunciation guide for some of the words and names unique to my fantasy world. 

While she was recording, I did the cover. I made my own cover for Mira's Griffin, so it was pretty easy to adapt it to audiobook. The cover for audiobooks needs to be a perfect square, and they require that the bottom right corner be left without important information in case they want to stick promotional information there. 

After she submitted, I listened to the whole thing and wrote down a few things that needed to be changed, and sent it back. It's really cool to hear the story come together--and it's also important to remember that it's not going to sound exactly like me, and that's okay.

I put my book up for audition on May 3, 2021, and right now it's being reviewed by acx. It should be available for purchase sometime near the end of the month, so all in all, it took about 3 months. It's been a great experience so far. We'll see how it goes!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Book Recommendations, July 2021


I have two friends with books who just came out. I was privileged to read a review copy of each of these, and really enjoyed them:
Unseen is a historical fantasy published by my cousin (well, second-cousin-once-removed-in-law, or something like that). It's about a girl with magic during the Spanish Inquisition, and the reality of the setting is extremely well done, even the magic parts. The antagonist of the story is truly chilling, even though the violence is not graphic. I highly recommend it!
I've already linked one of the books in this series, which I  loved. This is another adorable romance in the same series. The main character is bubbly, extroverted, and cares about fashion--all things I am not, so I was surprised that I still really related to her and her struggles. Her bad fiance was so awful I wanted to sing country break-up songs at him (the kind that threaten violence). And in contrast, Drake is soft and sweet, respectful, yet willing to step up when needed. It's a great read.
Here's a more few books that I've read, enjoyed, and reviewed over the past few weeks:

A Ceiling Made of Eggshells: This is the newest release of Gail Carson Levine. It's historical fiction (don't go into it expecting a fairytale). It's about a Jewish girl growing up in Spain right before the expulsion in 1492. Lomastruggles with questions about life and religion. I loved the reality in the tale, especially knowing that this is a story very similar to the author's family history.

Timeless: A Sleeping Beauty retelling: This had an interesting twist. When the kiss happens, the fairytale princess trades places with a modern teenager.

Born For Life: A Midwife in Africa: This is a memoir about a missionary who goes to Africa to be a midwife at a village hospital. It's a fascinating look into another life.

The Blessings of Equinox: This was an excellent example of epic fantasy. A witch and a 7-foot-tall dwarf travel through the land of the Fae to gain a sword that would protect her home from a terrifying necromancer. 

Forgotten and Remembered: The Duke's Late Wife: This romance is about strangers who were married for unromantic reasons, yet learn to become a true family.

The Telmaj: Let's go for some sci-fi representation! The telaporting aliens trying to escape slavery as spaceship "engines" were well done, but the characters were the real draw. I loved the camraderie and relationships that grew between the crew/found family.

If you'd like my recommendations spread over the month, you can follow my reviews on twitter under the hastag #CVPReviews.

The Spectra World master maps!

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