Produce Your Audiobook for iTunes and Audible with ACX for Free

Back in January, Jeremy Marshall and I uploaded Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan to ACX.

Why make an audiobook?

Simple Answer: Audiobooks open new channels of income.

Many people commute to work and listen to more of their literature than actually read it.  I’m the same way with my sci-fi and horror magazines.  (The Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, and Nightmare podcasts are where it’s at!)

More importantly, there is a wide visually-impaired audience who are as interested in entertainment as anyone else.  Audiobooks and podcasts provide that service.

How to Make an Audiobook

Simple Answer:  I have no idea.  ACX handled everything.

The book had already been written and published three years ago.  We just uploaded the manuscript to ACX and waited for auditions.  Once we heard David Stifel, we knew we had found Hook’s voice.

Aside from having an extensive background in narration, David has played a hollywood pirate before.  The first was as one of the live action pirates in the first Spongebob movie.  The other was as a facial and voice capture for a Disneyland audio animatronic on Tom Sawyer’s island.

Stifel Pirate 01Stifel Pirate 03

It all happened pretty quickly after we made the selection, maybe two weeks at most.  David recorded and posted the audio for our approval.  We wrote him back with specifics on how we envisioned certain characters would  behave and speak.  It was a smooth process.

We’re now in the ACX quality review phase.  Once that is done, the book will be priced and posted on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.  It is that simple.

Do you need more information?

The in-depth “technically correct” answer on how to make your audiobook dreams a reality can be found at ACX.

3 Reasons Why King Kong vs Godzilla is a Terrible Idea

There are a ton of rumors about the sequel to the 2014 Godzilla movie, one of which being that King Kong will step up to face him.  As a cynic, I have a few problems with this fight.

Before I say anything, I have to admit that I love all types of monster movies.  I grew up watching the Godzilla movies from the 1960s and 1970s.  The original King Kong movie was amazing.  Even the recent remake was pretty good.  I’m looking forward to more films like those and Pacific Rim in the future.

I just have some issues with this specific fight.

#1 Size Matters

King Kong ranged in height from 18 to 60 feet.  In their first meeting, King Kong had to be swelled to a massive 150 feet just to meet Godzilla eye to eye.  The modern King Kong from Legendary Pictures is back to his 60-foot stature.

The original Godzilla was about 50 meters (approx. 164 feet) tall.  The one from the most recent film is considerably taller, approaching 150 meters (approx. 492 feet) in height.    fb4fe81ffed1bd2f72b91b7d9c89534dKing Kong would have a long way to go if he were going to get that tall.  If not, then the fight would look something like this.GodzillavsKingKong

#2 Abilities

According to Wikizilla, Godzilla’s abilities include:

  1. Atomic Breath
  2. Nuclear Pulse and Magnetic Powers
  3. Durability and Regeneration
  4. Immense Strength
  5. Other powers, such as Flight, Laser Beams, Intelligence, and Amphibiousness (The quote from the page is “Though not an amphibian, Godzilla has an amphibious lifestyle,” whatever that means.) are lesser known but relevant.

Again, according to Wikizilla, King Kong’s abilities are:

  1. Immense Strength
  2. Acute Intelligence
  3. Agility
  4. Immunity to Electricity

Even if they were to be the same height, the comparison still doesn’t seem to line up in King Kong’s favor.

#3 Story

Yeah, I know that I shouldn’t be worried about story in a monster movie, but I’d like to enjoy the action without injuring myself from rolling my eyes too often.  The best way to set this up that I’ve heard came from a YouTube video.  Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Blogging, Tweeting, and posting to Facebook

I want to start off with an apology. I tried to send a tweet about an hour ago. Instead, I posted a short message to this blog, which gets sent to many of your email accounts. That was a mistake that I made within the program I was using. To my credit, it was the first mistake I had made with social media in that way. Even so, it was an unnecessary communication and I’m sorry. Here is how it should have looked for those of you who follow me on Twitter. 
 
I’ll have more on this after Jeremy Marshal and I comb through our audition list tomorrow.  

Thank you again for your understanding. Until next time…

Outsourcing Jobs to Fiverr Leaves More Time for Writing

There comes a point when you have to admit that you cannot do it all.

Writing.  Editing.  Book Cover Design.  Book Interior.  Sales Copy.  Marketing.  Social Engagement.

The more time you spend on one task, the more you ignore the ones that are actually important.  As far as I’ve figured out at this point in my writing career, there are really only two ways out of this hole…

Get Published in the Traditional Way

One of the ways in which I avoid wasting my time is by submitting stories to magazines and contests.  If they accept your work, traditional publishers will create graphics for covers and do all of the formatting for you.  You’ll still have to market yourself and engage socially, but it beats the hell out of learning new programs.

Not only that, but the lag time that it takes for a publisher to review your work is a good window for you to get more writing done.  Even if they reject it, you’ll have more material as well as feedback on your old work.  There’s really no downside, especially considering that you can always self-publish if you get too frustrated.

Fiverr – A Self-Publisher’s Business Partner

Fiverr is an online marketplace for people to offer their services for as little as $5.  There are add-ons and extras that can bump up the price, but these are optional.  I’m not even going to bother mentioning the types of services, because they range from resume writing to graphics to advertising.  There’s even a whole subset of people who do amazing things with puppets.  (I’m not kidding.)

Recently, Jeremy Marshall and I talked about continuing to work on stories in the Captain James Hook series.  This required me to give our current books a facelift.  We needed covers and new sales copy, so I went to Fiverr.

I got two new covers and copy for both book descriptions for a total of $42.50 (that’s including $5 tips for each job).   I used Book Covers by PixelStudio & Sales Copy by Emmaki.  Samples of their work can be found on the updated CaptainHookNovel.com page.

Even if you have a budget of under $100, you can get some serious work done on this site.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Picard is Still Trapped in the Nexus

This is a theory I have held for a while:  Captain Jean-Luc Picard is still trapped in the Nexus from Star Trek: Generations and everything we’ve seen afterward has been a part of his ideal reality.

Background on the Nexus can be found on the always amazing Memory Alpha site.

My Argument

In Star Trek: Generations, Picard was taken by the Nexus before a shockwave destroyed the planet and everyone else on it.  It was said that the Nexus allows whoever is in it will live out their fantasies.  This was initially projected as a family life for Jean-Luc, but that’s not who he is.  He has to save the day.

Instead, he teams up with the iconic Jim Kirk and prevents the disaster from happening in a “redo” type of adventure.  How many of us would want a redo on our biggest failures, especially the one that took all of our closest friends’ lives?

In Star Trek: First Contact, the movie immediately after that, he deals with his unresolved issues with the Borg while playing an integral part in Earth’s history in the galaxy.

Star Trek: Insurrection finds him on a planet that stabilizes and prolongs the aging process, which helps him deal with his thoughts on mortality and companionship, two issues that would rightly affect an unmarried man in his fifties/sixties.

Star Trek: Nemesis is actually one of the better examples.  It literally puts Jean-Luc face-to-face with a younger version (clone) of himself, forcing him to again come to terms with his past and his life choices.

I’m Not Alone

While doing my research for this post, I found a great article on Reddit by WilliamtheV that helps articulate this theory further.  Check it out, because as he wrote: “The Nexus gave Picard what he wanted. A world where his actions have consequences, but he still got to live out his dream life.