Friday, December 13, 2013

The long and windiing road to audio ...

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Once upon a time, none of my books were in audio.  Then, I made the mistake of selling the rights to my first novel to a tiny recording company.  Not only was the cover abysmal, but the narrator was ALL WRONG.  My hero was 35.  The man reading the book had to be in his 50s.  Not only that, but my compassionate physician character sounded like a bombastic blowhard.  I managed to almost make it through the first CD before I had to give up.  I was that disappointed.

And then ... Penguin decided (with a LOT of nagging on my part) to put the Booktown Mysteries out on audio.  While I did not get an opportunity to approve the narrator, she was absolutely PERFECT for the role.  She even did good male voices.  (By the way, her name is Cassandra Campbell.) I couldn't have been happier ... until the 6th book came out ... and no audio followed.  "Oh, we canceled the audio editions due to lack of sales."

Hmmm.

I will admit, I didn't have a clue how to promote audiobooks, and I'm still pretty clueless.  But, nevertheless, it's now the rage for authors to act on their own to produce audio.  And earlier this year, my first audiobook under the Polaris Press name came out.  Because Murder on the Mind was still tied up with the first company (and I'm pretty sure it sold less than 100 copies because I never made more than $100 if that), I had to start with the second book in the series (Dead In Red).  Not a good thing.  But I was lucky, since the first company never made any money on the book, they were only too happy to give me back my rights.  By then, I was working on Room At The Inn (the third book in the series).  Finally, in July, production began on Murder on the Mind.  The deal was signed and I was supposed to take possession in September.

And then September came and went.  Same with October.  I had agreed to a promotion with nine other authors to begin in early November.  That got postponed until December.  (It was the Don't Text and Drive--Listen to an Audiobook campaign -- we gave away more than 30 audiobooks and gained 145 new LIKES on The Incredible Indie Authors Audio Facebook page.  We'd love for you to LIKE us, too!) And still the audiobook for Murder on the Mind was not available.

Until today.

Honest, it only popped up at midnight, but finally Murder on the Mind is available from Audible.  (It'll be available via Amazon and iTunes ... eventually.)

The rest of the series will be available on audio next year.  In the meantime, I need to figure out how to find audio listeners.  They're out there (I'm one of them), but finding them ... that's going to be difficult.  But then persistent is my middle name. 

I'm not the only Cozy Chick with audiobooks available.  All Leann's Sweeney's books are available in audio, and Deb Baker's first Gertie Johnson adventure (Murder Passes The Buck) is available.  You can find more information at this link.

BTW, if you join Audible, you can get your first audiobook free!  (They also offer discounts on ebooks so you can read AND listen switch to the audio edition for seamless reading/listening pleasure.)

So that's my story.  I'm off to do lots of cool holiday stuff today and guess what I'll be listening to while I do it? An audiobook.  (Garrison Keillor's A Christmas Blizzard. And if there's time, I'll listen to Patrick Stewart narrating (and splendidly so) Dickens' A Christmas Carol.)

Try audiobooks.  You'll like them!