Saturday, 19 April 2014

Quarter Finals of ABNA

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

I like to start any discussion of contests with this excellent quote from Ecclesiastes. I've been a contestant and on occasion I've been a judge, so I know just how subjective any selection process is. But I'm still pleased that Ice Diaries has reached the Quarter Finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. 500 novels have made it this far, out of an initial 10,000. Each had its first 3,000-5,000 words assessed by two Amazon Vine reviewers. This is my favourite:

The next stage, which takes two months, is for Publishers Weekly reviewers to read the 500 novels in full, write a review on each and choose 25 to move on to the semi-finals. 25 is 5% of the current 5%, so a hard mark to hit. But I'll have my PW review...

You can see Ice Diaries' ABNA page here - and how odd it looks without its cover.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Contemplating Remix the audio book

Now ACX has opened its doors to UK authors, I've decided to commission an audio version of Remix. It's a big step into the unknown, but an exciting one. Though producing an audio book is expensive, there is a growing demand for them. Of course, there's no guarantee one will make a profit, but any self-publisher is well used to taking risks. I believe in selective extravagance, and am prepared to scrimp in some areas so I can splurge in others.

For those of you unfamiliar with ACX's process, the author puts his book up on the site with details and a brief audition script. (I used a conversation between Ric and Caz, as it's vital they sound right.) Actors, known as producers, who are interested can make a recording of the script and send it to you. Also, you can choose producers whose samples you like the sound of and ask them to audition. It's a good idea to go to Audible, look up the narrator, and if she has recorded audio books, check out her reviews.

You can pay the producer an agreed amount per finished hour, or offer a royalty-split deal. If your book is currently selling well, ACX may offer a stipend to encourage producers to audition.

It's interesting, hearing an actress read your lines. I have a very, very clear idea of what my characters sound like, and would find it impossible to accept anything much different from my conception. It's essential the actress is able to read intelligently, or she will stress the wrong word and change the meaning of a sentence. On the other hand, a good narrator will surprise you with a slightly different interpretation which you may quite like.