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Author Topic: Thad's Audiobooks  (Read 3538 times)

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Thad

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Thad's Audiobooks
« on: January 28, 2013, 11:13:45 PM »

EDIT: Figure I oughta add this right at the top:
Here are links to listings of all my audiobooks:
Amazon
Audible
iTunes

Typically Amazon has the best price.

---

So, as you may have figured out from the not-terribly-subtle hints I've been dropping for the past month: I narrate audiobooks now.  Audiobooks are cool.

My first one, Dinosaurs in the Home Depot, written by Bret Wellman, is now available on Audible ($6.95 at the time of this writing) and Amazon ($6.08).  Both URLs contain the string "B00B", which pleases me.  Also, it's supposed to be showing up on iTunes sometime soon; I'll add a link when I've got one.  (If you see it before I update the post, feel free to share with the class.) UPDATE: Available on iTunes; $6.95 as of this posting.

The audiobook is 18 minutes long and delivers what it promises.  There is a Home Depot.  There are dinosaurs in it.  The story does not waste time on details like why there are dinosaurs, why somebody decided to leave them in a Home Depot, or actually bothering to give any of the characters names (unless you count "the ugly giant" as a name).  It's mostly people fighting dinosaurs with power tools.

If you would like to read the story before you decide whether it is worth six of your hard-earned dollars, you can read it in its entirety for free on the author's website.  If you would like to know what it sounds like coming through these beautiful baritone pipes of mine, well, there's supposed to be a three-minute preview if you click the "Sample" button on that Audible page but it doesn't seem to be working for me just at the moment.  If you can't get it to work either, you can try it on my ACX profile page.

EDIT: Or just listen right here:
Audiobook Sample: Dinosaurs in the Home Depot

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So what is this thing, anyway?

I became aware of Amazon/Audible's ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) about a year ago when Neil Gaiman started talking about it on his blog.  It follows a simple premise: audiobooks don't need to be a rarity anymore now that you no longer have to carry around a binder full of tapes or CD's to listen to one and are in fact probably carrying a device that can play them in your pocket right now.

So, ACX -- anyone who's got a book can advertise it and look for a narrator; anyone who wants to narrate a book can audition and look for a book.

---

DRM?

Yes.  Audible uses DRM.  My opinions on DRM have not changed since yesterday, so obviously if you do not want to buy my audiobooks because they have an inconvenient copy protection mechanism on them, I can understand that.

I haven't played around with it much; the only Audible download I've gotten to date is Go the Fuck to Sleep.  I remember it being mildly inconvenient to set up the codec, and I think I had to listen to it in Windows Media Player.  If anybody has a fresher memory of the user experience, feel free to share.

You shouldn't have much trouble getting it to play on a Windows/Mac/iOS/Android/Windows Phone/Blackberry device.  I'm guessing it's a bit more inconvenient under desktop Linux, but probably not much; there are tools for stripping the DRM off if you want to look for them but it's probably best we not link any from here.

If all else fails, there's always the old "burn it to a CD and then rip it from the CD" trick.  Yeah, DRM doesn't fucking work.

---

What's this paying you?

Probably a bit gauche to talk about, but for the curious and since this is all public information anyway:

All the books I've recorded so far have been done on a royalty basis.  I haven't made anything from them yet, and won't until people start buying them.  Yes, that kinda sucks.  (Here are two blog posts about me trying to explain royalties to the unemployment agency.  Spent some more quality time on the phone with them today.  Still have not convinced them that I did not earn any money the week of January 5.)

My royalty share depends on a sliding scale.  At present, for every copy sold, Amazon takes 50%, the author gets 25%, and I get 25%.  The more it sells, the less Amazon takes and the more we get.  If Dinosaurs in the Home Depot becomes some kind of runaway smash hit, those numbers can slide as far as 10/45/45.

Also, if it's one of your first three downloads from Audible, the author and I each get a $12.50 bonus.  (That's right: you spend $6, Amazon pays me $14.)

---

Copyright?

These are work-for-hire deals.  I get royalties but I don't have any ownership of the work.  The three I've done so far are all owned by their respective authors.

---

Three?

Yeah, I've recorded two more so far: Your Average Ordinary Alien, written by Adam Graham, and Dinner on a Flying Saucer, by Dean Wesley Smith.  They should be available in the coming weeks.  They're both short stories, though they're a little bit longer than this one.  I'll talk more about them once they're available; for now you can listen to samples on my profile page.

---

Promotion?

This is the first thing I've written to promote my ACX work, but I'm planning on a blog post, of course, will probably put some links up on my LinkedIn profile, maybe put the samples up on YouTube.  I've also got a second website that's more oriented toward professional projects than saying "fuck" and reposting Frank Zappa videos, so I intend to put some links up there too.  If this looks like something where I can actually attract a fanbase, I might start fucking around with Facebook and Twitter, but that's not a priority at the moment.

---

Thaddeus R R Boyd?

Yeah, I figured what the hell, name like mine, no sense NOT being pretentious with my credit.  Besides, all my favorite fantasy novels are written by guys with those middle initials.  (Also besides: it was already the name on my Amazon account.  But mostly it's the pretension.)

---

Guess that's it for now.  If you want to check this thing out, buy it, review it, that'd be swell.  If not, well, that's cool too.  But if you read all the way down here, I think we both know that means you like listening to me talk for eighteen minutes.
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Thad

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Re: Thad's Audiobooks
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 11:07:39 AM »

My second audiobook, Your Average Ordinary Alien, written by Adam Graham, is now available at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.  As with the other one, prices at the time of this writing are $6.08 on Amazon and $6.95 on the other two.

Description from the page:

Quote
Kirk Picard Skywalker is an unemployed sci-fi fanatic who dreams of being abducted by aliens from outer space. One day his dreams come through and he's horrified to learn that the aliens are all too ordinary.

Yeah, it's about an unemployed computer scientist and his long-suffering girlfriend.  Can't imagine what drew me to it.

Sample:

Audiobook Sample: Your Average Ordinary Alien

This one was a fun read and I got to flex my comedy muscles a bit more.  And shout "I'll never join you!"

Caution for the jaded: this story's from a Christian science fiction anthology; it DOES get a bit preachy in the last half.  Adam Graham and I probably wouldn't have a lot in common if we sat down and talked about politics, but there's really nothing in here that offends my sensibilities -- "Work hard and be kind to people" is a pretty reasonable sentiment for anybody, and frankly I think the most controversial statement the story makes is that Khan and his men represent communism.

Anyhow.  This one's twenty minutes long, I get to play three characters plus the narrator, and there are some good funny scenes in there.  Enjoy!

(And I'm seeing some sales come in on Dinosaurs in the Home Depot; if any of those are you guys, thanks!)
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Thad

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Re: Thad's Audiobooks
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 05:47:46 PM »

Audiobook Sample: Dinner on a Flying Saucer

Dinner on a Flying Saucer, by Dean Wesley Smith:

Quote
Sometimes, when a fella gets to help out with fightin' a war between two alien races, it's just not such a good idea to tell your wife. Sometimes the truth just isn't good enough.

Audible, Amazon, iTunes.  Same pricing as the last two.

This is my favorite so far.  Lots of fun; there are accents and I particularly enjoyed playing the wife as deadpan.
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Büge

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Re: Thad's Audiobooks
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 08:30:59 PM »

Not bad. Judging by the samples, you have some good range.
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Thad

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Re: Thad's Audiobooks
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 09:12:01 PM »

Thanks.  Did an audition today where I really got a chance to show some range -- started out with the journal of an eighteenth-century English mad scientist, finished with a screaming hillbilly and a hoarse fortune-teller.  (Plus the main character's from Jersey, but he only had one speaking line in the audition excerpt.)  It was fun and I really got to cut loose, moreso than even the three rather comic stories I've already done.  Fingers crossed on that one.  (And the other three I auditioned for today, and the others I've put in for.  But especially that one.)

Post updated with iTunes link; iTunes turnaround's getting much faster.

Waiting on approval from the author before I post a video; if I get it I'll post it.
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Niku

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Re: Thad's Audiobooks
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 09:19:47 PM »

I've been in a position to listen to audiobooks lately.  But unfortunately haven't been in a position to throw my cash around willy nilly.  When that changes, I'd like to grab some'athese.
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Thad

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Re: Thad's Audiobooks
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 09:28:05 PM »

No worries; I completely understand if money's tight.  I look forward to your future custom; meantime, if anyone asks for some audiobook recommendations, you can send them some links.
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Niku

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Re: Thad's Audiobooks
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 06:43:24 AM »

Also, random question; do you get anything if people use their free audiobook credit on Audible to grab these?  I already used mine to grab The Name of the Wind (which I'm currently working my way through), but if people haven't checked it out, Audible gives you a free download for signing up and you can go through the rigmarole of removing your subscription immediately after.  Credit card required, though.
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Thad

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Re: Thad's Audiobooks
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 10:48:24 AM »

Not sure, but as far as I know, yes.  It's probably the same as what I'd get from a paying subscriber, which, per the payments page, is:

Quote
Additionally, on Audible.com, consumers can buy your audiobook “a la carte” for the above price, but many Audible customers are AudibleListener members who can purchase the audiobook with an Audible “credit” which they get as part of their Audible membership. These credits are generally for about fifteen dollars per month. For more about AudibleListener membership, please check out the Audible.com store. Yes, AudibleListener members end up paying less per audiobook, but they are voracious audiobook consumers who tend to purchase over seventeen audiobooks per year from Audible.com. This is much higher than other audiobook customers, who generally purchase just one or two books per year.

Again, I'm not 100% that they pay out royalties/bonuses for books downloaded during the free month -- but given that Amazon's business model is and always has been "sell things at a loss until you can build up a customer base and make that money back", it would certainly fit their MO.
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