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Working with an Audio-book Publisher

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).

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The Bow of Destiny’s Main Character

Today is a continuation last week’s series about The Bow of Destiny. Today, it’s all about the main character and what makes the book go. But first, here’s the book trailer:

Athson is the main character of The Bow of Hart and a rather complex one at that. He suffers from fits over the violent memories surrounding the sack of his home Depenburgh that left him an orphan. These events were precipitated by an attack of trolls who are commanded by Corgren, a wizard in service to Magdronu, a dragon seeking for prime control of the world of Denaria.

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AthsonAfter elves discovered Athson wandering in the Auguron Forest they took him in only to realize later that he suffered the aforementioned fits as well as hallucinations about a Mountain Hound he called Spark. But over the years, these affects have been muted with the help of an elven medicine named Soul-ease.

But Athson also holds a few other secrets that he won’t reveal so easily and this leads him into trouble. As a grown man, he’s become a ranger among the elves and is sent with his mentor, Gweld, into the largely unpopulated western Auguron region. It’s here that events conspire to drag Athson unwillingly into a quest.

Along the way, Athson gains several new friends and companions – some he likes and some he doesn’t. Often, Athson also struggles with what’s real and not since he losses – or forgets – his medicine several times. Other events leave Athson confused and grieving while he struggles to find the Bow of Hart. But along the way, Athson finds his secrets are hard to keep hidden. Additionally, he’ll find himself facing hidden information and danger from Corgren, Magdronu and trolls all of which will test his resolve and grasp on reality.

Book blurb:

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Uncertain what is real.

Athson has seen things that aren’t there and suffered fits since being tragically orphaned as a child at the hands of trolls and Corgren the wizard. When a strange will mentioning a mysterious bow comes into his possession, he’s not sure it’s real. But the trolls that soon pursue him are all too real and dangerous. And what’s worse, these raiders serve Corgren and his master, the hidden dragon, Magdronu, who are responsible for the destruction of his childhood home. Athson is drawn into a quest for the concealed Bow of Hart by the mystic Withling, Hastra, but Athson isn’t always sure what’s real and who his enemies are. With Corgren and Magdronu involved, Athson must face not only frequent danger but his grasp on reality and the reasons behind his tragic past.

TBOD SF ContestCover

The Bow of Destiny has been selected as a semi-finalist in the Authorsdb 2015 Cover Contest (finalist selections are still pending). As such, I’ve left the book at it’s sales price of $2.99 to celebrate!

Reviews

Read samples from Amazon or Goodreads and find out why other people are saying things like this about the book:

“Overall, this has become one of my favorite fantasy books and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.”

– C. P. Bialois

“an excellent read…wittingly told…I love the style”

– E. J. Nate via email response

“I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to step into the magical and special world that you have created. It is a solid and well-crafted work that you should be so thrilled with.”

  • Katie King via email response

To find out more about The Bow of Destiny, click over to one of these online retailers:

Amazon

IMG_4154-EditAbout the Author

P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.

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Interviews With Tordug Part 3: The White Arrow

The following post is a fictitious news report based on events from The White Arrow, Book Three of The Bow of Hart Saga:

The Grendon Bugle/Free-Press
“The clear call of truth with the rising sun.”

Date-line: Auguron City
By Maroch Karkholm, roving reporter on assignment with the Grendonese mission to Auguron on behalf of Princess Limbreth.

Maroch Karkholm here, reporting on events as they unfold in Auguron City. This reporter has been on assignment with the royal emissary sent to find the missing Princess Limbreth. After many days of waiting and filing interest stories about the culture of Auguron and its citizenry, word arrived that an army of trolls marched west toward the city. After several weeks, the main force of Auguron’s eastern garrison arrived by fleet of river-boats.

Among this contingent of rangers were a Withling, a giant, two particular rangers, two dwarves and none other than Princess Limbreth. While this reporter has been unable to interview the princess, I have been able to sit down with one of the dwarves who traveled in her company these last months. What follows are the surprising details:

Maroch: I understand you’ve traveled with Princess Limbreth these last months. Can you tell us more your involvement and who you are?

Dwarf: I’m Tordug of Chokkra and I have been honored to travel and fight in the company of Princess Limbreth of Grendon, Ax-maid of the death-grip, the Silver Lady and Protector of Travelers.

Maroch: Excuse me, Tordug. Did you say you were from Chokkra?

Tordug: Yes, I did say that.

Maroch: Then you were named for the infamous former ruler of that fallen dwarven-realm? Or perhaps, you bare the same name?

Tordug: I am none other than the very same former ruler.

Maroch: My apologies for not recognizing you, sir. I have many questions if you have time to speak with me further. I do not wish to intrude.”

Tordug: I have some time before I must go meet with Captain Sarneth about the defense of the city.

Maroch: Then you must also have knowledge of the troll invasion in which we Grendonese intend to avoid being entangled?

Tordug: I do know much of the events and plans for the defense as a consultant to the captain. However, I’m not at liberty to speak of these details at this time so tread carefully with your questions.

Maroch: I see. And, pardon me for asking, but Captain Sarneth has no qualms about receiving your assistance considering your past history with the fall of your own realm?

Tordug: My past is exactly that, my past. However, who better to consult than someone who has known the tactics of the enemy from the past? I have no authority among these elves but they have accepted my offer of service and knowledge.

Maroch: When did you find out that the trolls were invading?

Tordug: Hmmm, I suppose that’s no secret. We encountered them while traveling through the Troll Heaths. We discovered their movements just after a snowstorm and the wandering star appeared in the eastern night sky. It was just after, well, other events. We hurried to inform the elven garrison so that the contingent might not be overwhelmed by the horde and yet warn travelers on the trade road.

Maroch: You say you and your party were in the Troll Heaths and discovered the invasion. That region is reputed to be rather dangerous. Were you aware that a member of your party was a member of the Grendonese royal family?

Tordug: Yes, but I found out only after we were well into our quest. As far as any of us knew, the princess was someone who chose the company of Withling Hastra.

Maroch: Ah, yes, some on Grendon have insinuated that the Withling abducted or bewitched the princess and-

Tordug: I can assure you that is not the case. Princess Limbreth accompanied Withling Hastra of her own choice. If you wish to know the reasons, you may ask her.

Maroch: I see. Well, there is rumor there was nearly an altercation with the Grendonese emissary, Count Dareth of Tinnewell, just after she arrived with the elven garrison. Do you confirm or deny such events?

Tordug: (He laughed, very hard and long). There was indeed a heated discussion between this Dareth and the princess in the street. They almost came to blows. I fear he would have soon found himself in danger from Princess Limbreth had not Captain Sarneth intervened.

Maroch: Wait, you say between the princess and the count? You do realize they are betrothed, don’t you?

Tordug: (He laughed long and hard again before he answered). If they are, it’s a rather one-sided affair, more on his hapless part, I should think. But what of it?

Maroch: You were there and Count Dareth was sent by King Hamgas to retrieve Princess Limbreth. Why didn’t you hand the princess over at that time?

Tordug: (Again, he laughed very hard before he answered). Princess Limbreth goes where she wants and with whomever she wants. And with I doubt it will ever be with this Count Dareth unless the one she does want doesn’t live through the coming attack.

Maroch: Wait, are you saying that the princes loves another man? Who is he?

Tordug: Oh, enough of these questions of idle gossip. If you want to know more, ask her yourself. All I will say is that she’s entitled to choose whomever she wishes. She is highly honored among my people as an Ax-maid of the death-grip and someone who has proven her bravery many times over in recent months. Good day to you.

This reporter has been unable to gather any other information about all these events or what happened on the adventure of Princess Limbreth’s. None of her companions, including Withling Hastra, have made themselves available even after formal messages were sent to them. However, it is clear that there is another man in her life of whom no one knows, mostly likely someone she met on her travels. That Princess Limbreth has won renown among the dwarves is of great surprise and will certainly please His Majesty. For now, all else remains a mystery to this reporter who leaves this very hour with the Grendonese contingent ahead of the invasion. One can only hope that the princess will see the wisdom of leaving with the well-trained cavalry sent to guard her return to Grendon.

From the endangered city of Auguron, this is Marock Karkholm, roving reporter and still on the trail of the mysteries surrounding Princess Limbreth.

Look for more of these fun reports about the series. If you are interested in The Bow of DestinyAn Arrow Against the Wind or the newly released, final edition, The White Arrow, please click the appropriate link for the book-page. Following is the link to find out more about The White Arrow where it can be downloaded for free via Kindle Unlimited:

Amazon

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