Tag Archives: Legend of the Spider-Prince

Rebel Chapter Two is live on Sound Cloud


I’ve just posted the second preview chapter here. Have a listen!

https://soundcloud.com/margo-ander

Now, I’ve gotta get back to work!

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Audiobook Sneak Preview & Lessons Learned–Part 1


Update to my last post–ah, ignorance IS bliss! (I admit, I spent a few minutes ROFLMAO after re-reading that post.) I knew there would be a learning curve to travel in producing and narrating an audiobook, but failed to comprehend how MUCH of a learning curve–which is why the audiobook will be out in August rather than last Christmas.

In honor of June being Audiobook Month, I’ve decided, with the blessing of my distributor, to post the first three chapters on Sound Cloud. I’ll be posting one chapter a week for the rest of the month. You can hear Legend of the Spider-Prince #1–Rebel, Chapter One here:

http://soundcloud.com/margo-ander/
legend-of-the-spider-prince-book-1-rebel-chapter-one

The first thing I learned was that the time estimates I was reading applied just to the narration–the post-production (editing, engineering, mastering) isn’t included in those “4 hrs per one recorded hour” estimates I was reading about. While I have become faster at all the various functions, my mileage was–and still is–significantly longer. That was the first lesson I learned–stop worrying about production stats and just pay attention to how it sounds. As an author, it is laughable to write a book and then break it down into “hours per finished chapter.” No one would ever start if they honestly logged everything in time and effort that went into writing a book, let alone boil it down into productivity stats! The same thing goes for an author narrating her own book–a listener doesn’t care how long it took (though, yes, I know a lot of people care how long it takes until the next book comes out!).

The next thing I learned was that long-form narration affected me much like when I took up madrigal singing, after not having done serious singing in decades, and went from singing to croaking in about four practice sessions. Everyone’s writing process is different, but it’s probably safe to say that few of us writers talk as we type. When I read an interview with an author about narrating her own book in a professional studio for nearly a week of ten-hour days, I was horrified. With my day job, ten-hour recording sessions don’t even exist except on weekends and holidays, when I record as much as humanly possible–or until my family revolts and begs to turn on the AC! Those marathons take my voice to its limit. To ask an untrained voice to do such a thing for days on end not only guarantees physical misery, but would require a sound wizard to make the result worth hearing. I know when I’m tired, I can hear it in a recording, and I don’t know of any technology that can fix it, except to re-record. It seemed to me that the studio was setting the author up to fail–and to leave her convinced that hiring a “professional voice actor” was the only way to proceed. My own experiences have given me great appreciation for the professionals, especially actors who can do a “one man show.” For an author narrating and producing her own material, the workflow–and mindset–may be very different from that used by professional voice actors whose time is money. What matters is that the LISTENER’S time investment is rewarded. People’s tastes vary, but an audiobook’s production values should be transparent, allowing the material to find its audience.

Despite the challenges, the overall production experience has been exciting, and–dare I say it?–the actual recording has been fun. Channeling my cast of characters has sharpened them and given me deeper insights into their futures over the course of the series–and made me resolve that, in the future, if a character doesn’t warrant a name, they probably don’t need dialogue, either!

 

 

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Surprise Book Birthday!


A funny thing happened on Monday, July 15th.

I had just received my finished book cover and realized that for my book to be available in time for my blog tour that starts August 16th, I was going to have to get it into the distribution system well before that date. I also figured Murphy’s Law was still in force, so I expected surprise problems when I started uploading on Smashwords. (If I have a mantra, it would be, “it’s always something….”)

I uploaded, and sure enough, there was something wonky in the formatting, despite all my precautions to make sure there wasn’t—the known formatting issues stopped with Word 2007, and I’ve got Word 2010, though I saved the files as Word 97-2003 docs. So, I got rid of some surprise XML and hidden text, and tried again. The only change in the error message was the line numbers where the problems were—somewhere in the front matter and Table of Contents, which looked fine in EPUB. I fussed for a couple hours (it was already past my bedtime when I started) and called it a night, then discovered that while I was fussing and re-uploading, I’d had two of my sample pages downloaded!

That was a shock—but not a bad one!

I’d hoped to have the EPUBCHECK problem worked out before anyone discovered my book was out there. Except for this blog and my web site, and the FB author page and Twitter posts that go out whenever I make a post here, no one really knows about my book, so I figure the wonderful cover Kirsi made, and my blurb, were doing their job in those few hours when my book was at the top of the home page of Smashwords.

Long story short, I’d made my first sale on Smashwords in twelve hours, and three more in the next twenty-four hours! Not one for the record books, I’m sure, but I still take it as an encouraging sign.

Since then, I’ve uploaded Legend of the Spider-Prince #1: REBEL on Amazon as an ebook, and in the first twenty-four hours there, I also made four sales!

The score now sits at five sales on Smashwords and four sales on Amazon, with nineteen additional samples downloaded on Smashwords!

As for the mystery error, I rooted it out today, so my ebook is now set to go out to Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc. I also finished my paperback edition’s layout and ordered my proof, so it also should be ready to go when the blog tour kicks off in August. I also posted Chapter 4 on my web site.

After so many years of writing in total obscurity, it has been an amazing week, the more so for this all being completely unexpected. So, a HUGE THANK-YOU to those brave souls who took a chance on a completely unknown author—I hope my book delivered on its promise, and left you entertained and wanting more.

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