This has been a fairly chill month. Oddly enough, some stuff went better than expected.
THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB
Not much to say except that, as of 3/23/2022, THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB has 3 5-star reviews / ratings between Amazon and Goodreads. I'm just blown away and I'm praying to the Almighty that this streak lasts.
THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB Audiobook
Yes, THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB is now in an audiobook form and will be released on March 31st, 2022.
The narrator I chose was Steve Fortune. I might add he did a fantastic job. As I commonly say, he made me sound like I actually know what I'm doing in this writing gig. His was the first audition to come in and I knew from the first few lines, he was the guy. But, I waited for the auditions to come in, just to give the others a fair shake. While they were all top-notch, what put Steve over the top was his interpretation of Drahm - he nailed it from the start.
After I tried my own hand at narration (a long time ago, well before AlphaProto did my sample chapter), I quickly realized that the way I wrote Drahm made it devilishly difficult to narrate. The fact is, when I wrote Drahm's dialog, I had no genuine idea what type of accent or inflection his words might have. I was really just sort of making his voice up as I went. So, when I went to go narrate him...well...it was a mess.
Steve really brought Drahm alive and his skilled narration, I felt, really breathed life into my work.
We really breezed right through the production process. It felt like Steve churned out the chapters faster than I could keep up. There were some issues here and there, but these got quickly resolved. From start to finish, it took us roughly three weeks.
I'll be releasing an audiobook sample on March 24th. I'm also considering a blog post / video on the cost of making an audiobook.
The Next Book
The next book is done, and I will be starting revisions in April. Revisions is where the magic happens. I've talked about the book enough already.
What I will be doing with the next book, however, is revising my release strategy. I was - literally - flailing in the dark with THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB. I really had no idea what I was doing, and fumbling my way through the process. Next time around, I'll be more meticulous. I want to have the print book, the eBook, and the audiobook release on the same date, as well as get my promo material ready in advance. And now that I have a clearinghouse for my ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and an established Goodreads account, I'll be able to prep those at least a month in advance of the release.
This is all new to me and I've learned a lot of lessons. I want to bring a quality product to the market for a fair price, as well as establish myself as an author. There are lots of advice videos out there on how to self-publish but the reality is that you can study and plan for months, and still fumble the ball...which is what I kinda did. I'm hoping I can avoid the mistakes I made on THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB with this next book.
Actually, I really can't say I fumbled the ball. But the touchdown wasn't a graceful one.
Short Stories / Abandoned Chapters
Things are going slow with these, and I haven't been inspired to write much this month. All in all, I have three short pieces of fiction done or near-done, with a couple half-finished. Part of this is the amount of time I've spent promoting my book and trying to update the paperback (there is a minor error in the book where one page at the end of Chapter 3 is split across 2 pages). I just discovered this a few weeks ago and I'm actively attempting to update the paperback WITHOUT introducing other nasty surprises in the process. I'm sorry to say, it's taking a frustratingly long time.
Bookmarks and Swag
Recently, I commissioned Gary Shipman (Pakkins Land, Titan Mouse of Might) to draw his interpretation of Halsedric's flaming sword. I intended this drawing to be used for my social media banners as well as a bookmark. Well...the bookmark is done and it looks great. Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with them.
My intention is to use the bookmarks as a bit of a business card. I'd like to provide them as a part of a promotion. The problem is that promotions run smack-dab into sales tax issues. The way the book is distributed via Ingram Spark and Draft2Digital makes it impossible to send them along with a purchase. So, I'm going to have to put my thinking cap on and figure something out.
I'm also considering other forms of swag but I'm not 100% sure as to what I'd want to provide.
That's it for now. I'm working on a few videos that I intend to release over the coming weeks. I'll start my revision / editing process in April. I'll take all the lessons I learned from THE REVENANT AND THE TOMB and try to improve my release process.
Until next month...