Audiobooks – the coming thing. With the growing popularity of smart speakers, it seemed the time to get the Princelings books onto audio. I mean, if someone is going to ask the admittedly unlikely question “Alexa, find me a fantasy book where guinea pigs are kings” I want them to find mine!
The procedure for indie publishing audiobooks is well documented elsewhere. The two main sources I’ve found for uploading audio files for publication are ACX (Amazon’s connection with Audible), and Findaway Voices, which recently made arrangements with Smashwords. Both have very good and helpful instructions for asking for auditions, and choosing your narrator. There are also the business things like payment and contracts, and technical aspect of quality, length and uploads.
Naturally I started from a different position.
I was lazing on the sofa one Saturday, watching the auditions for The Voice UK. The next one up was a guy from Norfolk (where I live) who did audiobooks as one of his activities. When I heard him reading, I sat up and said “that’s Fred!” I had found my Fred and George, as far as I was concerned.
Scroll forward to this year, and I decided I’d better get these audiobooks started, with the Princelings of the East as priority. I tracked down my Voice, first through the tv show website, then to his Facebook page. He did some audition tapes – a five minutes extract and a fifteen minute one, and after some more discussions, he got going on them.
Christopher Preece is delightful to work with, comes up with just want I want (sometimes without guidance) for the voices, and surprises me with some of the side characters sometimes. Who knew that Baden has a Sheffield accent? Fred, George, Hugo, Victor, Lupin and Nimrod are just as I hoped. I’ll hear his Lord Smallweed for the first time later today, as that chapter just went up on our working site. The brief: a nasty piece of work, who will become more evil as the series progresses.
The words need to match the kindle ebook exactly, in order to comply with Amazon’s specifications for Whispersynch. So, having given Chris a slightly updated version of book 1, I’m now tweaking bits where word flow is better in the audio version than the reading one.
There’ll be a new edition of Book 1 published before the audio is released. You can update your Kindle, iPad, Nook or Kobo from your purchase site, or get it free from Smashwords as usual, if Amazon isn’t pricematching.
I expect to get the audiobook online in January or February. You’ll probably be the first to know.
And after we finish The Princelings of the East, Chris will be starting on Princelings and the Pirates, followed by Princelings and the Lost City. It’ll depend on sales of those whether we do any more. Chris is excellent value for money, but it gets pricey when you have a ten book series!
And a quick ‘thank you’ to Dani English, who rustled up a revised Princelings cover even though she was packed with pre-Christmas commissions.
Note: I’ve set up a page for the audiobooks, but be warned – there’s a link to Chris’s stupendous rendition of Prince Ali on it!