Hello to all the Archer’s Aim fans, P. H. Solomon here today in the continuing series regarding the release of The Bow of Hart Saga: The Bow of Destiny audio-book. I thought I would discuss some elements of working with a traditional audio publisher like Podium Publishing since it’s different than working with ACX or other audio self-publishing services.
A few years ago, I investigated self-publishing an audio-book and soon discovered it was a completely different product altogether as opposed to a book in print. It’s far more expensive to create an audio-book because you have to hire a narrator and pay for studio time. It is possible to do all that on your own and purchase some equipment, but you run the risk of having a product that’s not good enough since it requires more specialization both with the narration and in audio quality. With a low budget mostly focused on e-book content production including editing and cover artwork, I gave up on the idea unless an opportunity presented itself.
As I’ve shared previously, the opportunity did present itself and I almost missed it, thinking Podium was a vanity publisher. After a conversation with another author about audio, I was reminded of the email I had received and re-checked it. To my utter surprise, it was a real contract offer from the publisher to fully create the audio project, publish it and then market it. From there it was a matter of working through the details over several months while I completed The White Arrow.
First of all, I have to say that audio narrators are now my heroes. After I started dictating this past year to complete several rough drafts at a faster pace, I soon realized that narrators are worth every penny they are paid. The reason I realized this is because when I transcribed my rough drafts into Scrivener, I could see all of my mistakes from my inexperienced efforts. Dictation and narration are quite a lot different, but they are similar enough that I realized a professional narrator is a big plus when it comes to audio. For that reason, I was thrilled when Podium Publishing contacted me after I signed the contract with them and they told me who the narrator would be. When I heard samples of Tim Bruce, I knew the narration would be top-notch and the end result did not disappoint me. Tim’s ability was evident from the first few words and I knew he fit my fantasy series well.
But even later on as production moved from initial file-sharing stages, Podium contacted me numerous times for additional information to help in pre-production. I provided them with pronunciation recordings and lists of names which were all custom to the The Bow of Hart Saga. These were important for Tim Bruce so he had exact information to help him do his job precisely and professionally. The more I provided, the more he knew how to perform the story with a variety of accents.
Podium presented me a choice to provide as little or as much information as I wanted for the audio production. But, since they were asking me all these questions I felt like my input as the author was very important and so I chose to be part of that pre-production process as much as possible. Obviously, given today’s digital world, the actual production can be done remotely and shared around between all of the various people involved at Podium.
This information dump was just the start of working with an audio-book publisher. In addition to pronunciation, the narrator needed even more information regarding some of the background details of the world of Denaria in which the The Bow of Hart Saga is set. Tim was already reading much of the work and wanted more information about accents he wanted to include. My interaction was optional but I figured the more information I provided, the better the end result would be. I very eagerly replied to all email queries about details and accents. Tim arrived at several suggestions for character accent from various locations in Denaria. This was a rather surprising development, but once again, I was more convinced than ever that being under contract with audio-book publisher was the best situation for my books.
As pre-production continued, there were a lot of exchanges of emails between myself and the Podium Publishing representatives. There were additional questions about back-stories for the characters to which I provided a number of different character sketches. Additionally, I had a good number of blog posts available about characters and other details of the world of the Denaria which I sent Podium. The publisher welcomed the wealth of information and input to better understand The Bow of Hart Saga.
There were other details which also required my attention. Normally, a print publisher would probably create their own cover-art, but Podium often works with sefl-published science fiction and fantasy authors, so they merely requested original files. We were able to work with my artist to obtain the necessary files and Podium converted the fantastic originals to suit their needs. Everyone who sees these covers are very impressed. I discussed more of how the process worked last week on Story Empire if you are interested in reading more about that topic.
Once production started, my input was not needed as much, so it just became more of a wait and find out what happens proposition. In the end, when I received samples of the work, I was blown away by results. It’s almost unbelievable how far this has all gotten for a first time author like me and one who had no audience three years ago. The books have already sold very well, in the thousands, and I’m looking forward to what comes with these audio-book editions. Working with Podium Publishing has been fun and exciting as I have learned more of how an audio-book is produced. I hope in the future that I will have a similar opportunity and, if so, I will certainly know what to expect from additional audio-books.
Thanks for reading today, I hope you will enjoy my work and I appreciate all the support from the fans of the The Bow of Hart Saga. If you like this fantasy series, please consider sharing about it on social media, following me especially on my Amazon Author Page, BookBub and Goodreads. If you really want to know more about my writing venture, let me know and I’ll add you to my private group on Goodreads where I will be posting exclusive material and news I can’t readily share in public.
Speaking of news, An Arrow Against the Wind is due out on 10/22/2018 and I hope to have pre-order links for the audio-book very soon. In the meantime, you can listen to the incredible performance by Tim Bruce on AudFans where The Bow of Hart Saga: Prequel Pack is free or going to the Audible page for The Bow of Destiny. If you already have The Bow of Destiny in e-book you can view the Amazon page and purchase audio for Whispersync on your Kindle for a fraction of the cost. If you are interested in the book, the e-book is on sale for 99 cents which makes the Whispersync purchase a great deal (Podium really handled this very well).