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Sunday, January 01, 2017

Two questions

Both Selenoth-related. And yes, this is an example of the stuff we discuss at Brainstorm from time to time, but I need more general opinions on these two items.

1. A number of people have been saying they would like to see some sort of summary of the previous book in order to help refresh their memory of A THRONE OF BONES, or even to let them jump right into A SEA OF SKULLS. I really don't like the idea of a conventional "What Has Gone Before", since I don't like intruding on the text, but I can imagine where a letter or two, such as appeared in the first book, might be apt. They would go into the Extended Edition, probably after the Prologue. Yes/No?

2. A few people have encouraged me to crowdfund the two audiobooks, because they are so long that it's hard to find top quality narrators interested in ACX's revenue share option. While we do have one good English volunteer presently tackling the short stories and Summa, it's going to take him a long time just to get through those; I think he's wrapping up Witchking and is moving on to Wardog soon. (We'll put them out together with Summa, just as we're doing with the print.) I'm a little leery about the crowdfunding idea, since you guys are already supporting so many things and this is simply not something I consider a priority on the order of Infogalactic, or even Brainstorm. A top-quality narrator goes for 200 to 400 per hour, and ATOB alone will require 36 hours. Do the math and you can see the problem. Anyhow, share your thoughts on this, if you have any.

To be blunt, I don't listen to audiobooks myself, so it's just never been a priority for me. But, I understand some people love them, and I can understand that fans of epic fantasy probably would enjoy having 72+ hours of Selenoth to listen to. So, I'm open to ideas and suggestions. Please note that I'm not looking for volunteers; we have a good volunteer already and I'm not willing to do anything that isn't going to be both professional and excellent.

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82 Comments:

Blogger Clint January 01, 2017 8:26 PM  

1. No. I think they should just read the book.
2. yes. I would pitch in. I know of some folks that would buy the audiobook of the Selenoth novels.

Blogger Elkanah Haon January 01, 2017 8:33 PM  

1. If some people want it - go for it if there's no added cost or inconvenience.

2. Happy to do the recordings for either (free of charge) and I've done a good amount of radio vox-pops (albeit mostly not English language) and speak English both fluently to native standard AND can speak RP/Queen's English/Public School English quite well.

No doubt you'll have a number of volunteers but happy to 'audition' for the role and happy (as stated) to read freely.

Blogger Fenris Wulf January 01, 2017 8:33 PM  

Castalia needs one of those steampunk talking machines.
http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-slightly-creepy-19th-century-machine-that-spoke-wit-768557068

Blogger The Kurgan January 01, 2017 8:35 PM  

1. Yes. It will give readers a needed introduction and/or alternative book to start with.
This has been useful to me when reading other series as well as when people read my own .
2. No opinion as I don't listen to audio books.

Blogger VD January 01, 2017 8:38 PM  

Happy to do the recordings for either (free of charge) and I've done a good amount of radio vox-pops (albeit mostly not English language) and speak English both fluently to native standard AND can speak RP/Queen's English/Public School English quite well.

I appreciate that very much, but we haven't had reliable results from amateur volunteers. Especially in this case, because the length is brutal. Most people with radio experience are like sprinters, and they're just not ready for this sort of ultra-marathon.

Blogger D. January 01, 2017 8:39 PM  

"A top-quality narrator goes for 200 to 400 per hour, and ATOB alone will require 36 hours. "

suggests working on a text to voice device. intonation to follow.

Blogger Zaklog the Great January 01, 2017 8:44 PM  

You might look into hiring someone off of Librivox.org . I've heard some on there who are professional-quality, but considering they're doing volunteer work, you could also probably get a cheaper rate than usual.

Blogger Zaklog the Great January 01, 2017 8:45 PM  

To clarify, I've heard someone on Librivox do, single-reader, a professional quality recording of Moby Dick, apparently just for the heck of it. They really do have some excellent narrators there. If he can tackle that, he could probably do your book.

Blogger Harsh January 01, 2017 8:51 PM  

1. Yes. The letter idea is a creative and unobtrusive solution.
2. Offer a pre-sale of the audiobook addition with the caveat that if orders don't cover a certain percentage of production costs, it will be canceled and monies refunded in full. Doing so will gauge actual interest without having to front the full cost of production.

Blogger 1337kestrel January 01, 2017 8:51 PM  

Well, I remember the high points. So and so went through the thing and popped out over there, Winter is Coming, and some dwarf got carried off by a dragon. XD

Personally I would begin each viewpoint character's first section with some hints on where they are and how they got there.

Obviously reviewing the previous book via character narration is the most annoying method #rachelgriffin, but it works to a limited extent.

As a reader... I usually read about 1 page of What Has Gone Before and then skip to Chapter 1. It doesn't bother me by being there.

But if you do letters, that would be interesting because they're from the POV of the characters and you can change the details in hilarious fashion.

Blogger macengr January 01, 2017 9:00 PM  

1.) Why not just have summaries on Infogalactic / Wikipedia and let people look it up there? Tolkein, Shannara, Lewis, Clancy, Silva - none of them have summaries in their series books.
2.) Don't listen to audiobooks, so no opinion.

Blogger Reconquista Initiative January 01, 2017 9:02 PM  

Forget the audiobooks, I will pitch in a solid amount of money if we could crowdfund your books into a movie (even just an animated one) or even a web / TV series. Now that would be awesome.

But, in terms of your two questions:

1. Yes; and
2. Yes.

Anonymous Anonymous January 01, 2017 9:03 PM  

1. Yes. I am currently skimming the first one again since it had been so long since I had read it. So I have not had a chance to really get into the 2nd book yet.

Blogger D. January 01, 2017 9:12 PM  

"A top-quality narrator goes for 200 to 400 per hour, and ATOB alone will require 36 hours. "

That's one book. If you're doing production, you'll need to automate. I have no idea on how to write the software but, it should somewhat resemble writing music. "A dark and stormy night" can be read plainly or with a lyricism. Good luck with your endeavor.

Blogger eharmonica January 01, 2017 9:24 PM  

1) A What Has Gone Before (WHGB) would be beneficial. Either that or state flatly, up-front, "You should read Vol 1 before reading this." Richard Stark -- aka Donald Westlake -- would stop mid-novel and have an entire chapter of WHGB. (Yes, I know his stuff was much shorter, blah blah blah...)

2) I'd never listen to a 24-hr audio book. When I listen, I listen to Jonathan Cecil reading Wodehouse and the occasional Harlan Ellison story (his "City On The Edge Of Forever" intro is EPIC).

Anonymous Hesiod January 01, 2017 9:26 PM  

Apparently, the Amor learned their arms guards are called vambrances, not arm greaves. However, their cavalry lost stirrups between books. Alas.

Blogger JaimeInTexas January 01, 2017 9:30 PM  

Lewis, as in CS Lewis, has a summary in Perelandra and That Hideous Strength. They are shoet books, though.

Anonymous Hesiod January 01, 2017 9:33 PM  

Vambraces, not vambrances. *derp!*

Blogger JaimeInTexas January 01, 2017 9:35 PM  

1. No. The infogalactic idea is a good one.
2. No. The only audio books I listen are around 10hrs max. I only listen to audio books when I travel by car,to visit family or vacationing. I want to start and finish the book during travel time.

Blogger Jack Ward January 01, 2017 10:10 PM  

No to #1. Read the first book. Or, reread it.
#2 No opinion as I don't listen to audio books.

Anonymous gxg January 01, 2017 10:18 PM  

Two ideas on the audiobook front:
1. You could produce an abridged version(s), assuming you're willing and interested in creating an abridged manuscript for the two books.

2. You could set it up for a royalty-split, and try to get a stipend from ACX. For those unfamiliar with this, it's where ACX pays the narrator an extra incentive upon completion of the audiobook. So under this scenario, the narrator gets the royalty split plus an up-front payment, courtesy of ACX, not the author. (More info is here: https://www.acx.com/help/production-stipends/200708200.)

Anonymous Matthew McConnagay January 01, 2017 10:23 PM  

1. No. And I haven't even read any of it, but any kind of "previously on" is gay. It's a lose-lose: either you clue people in to what elements will be important forthcoming, thus dulling any surprise; or you give them the wrong expectation about what will be happening in the book. I suppose you could do the latter strategically, deliberately setting up wrong expectations only to scotch them... but how many readers wouldn't understand that, and would just think you weren't playing fair?

It's epic fantasy: it's supposed to be big and complicated and hard to remember. Let people put a summary online if they feel they really need it.

Anonymous eShamus January 01, 2017 10:36 PM  

Ditto both

Blogger Jourdan January 01, 2017 10:58 PM  

I don't think a summary is necessary. The release prompted me to skim the previous volume and that refreshed my memory sufficiently. I don't see how anyone who read it could ever really forget Corvus' last fight or Marcus' command.

Blogger Jourdan January 01, 2017 10:59 PM  

I have a good voice and would be happy to volunteer to help out. I'd be glad to help.

Blogger nt January 01, 2017 11:09 PM  

1. Yes
2. Pre sell on audible (or your vendor of choice) with a future release date (like Dangerous) and if the pre sales cover the cost then make it so. If not, refund and thank everyone for their interest +/- a access to a short previously unpublished story from Selenoth.

Anonymous digger January 01, 2017 11:22 PM  

1. Yes, but this is what plot summaries on infogalactic are for.

Another helpful item would be an online companion text to explain some of the Latin terminology.

Anonymous osprey January 01, 2017 11:38 PM  

As is, A Sea of Skulls works very well without having read A Throne of Bones first.

A Sea of Skulls feels a lot like Turtledove's "Darkness Descending" series, but much better conceived and plotted. ("Darkness Descending" is a straight World War II story with very direct magical equivalents for everything. It has no big picture surprises.) Arts of Dark and Light has an original plot, so the reader does not know what will happen next.

The most important feature of A Throne of Bones is the mystery of the Undying Ones -- Who are they? How many of them are there? Has one reappeared, and why? Are they associated with the rise of great powers? What are the consequences of "killing" one of them?

None of these issues are addressed in A Sea of Skulls. As far as I can tell, only one Undying One is mentioned, and an event involving another from A Throne of Bones is referred to.

I do not know if it is possible to write a synopsis that covers this aspect of A Throne of Bones without spoiling A Throne of Bones.

Anonymous CitizenOutkast January 01, 2017 11:41 PM  

1. Yes, my memory is such that I have Amazon Prime and when packages arrive it's still like Christmas to me because I usually have already forgotten what I ordered. Having a quick little summary of major plot points would be helpful, even if not too detailed. For the average reader, it really depends on how long it's been since they read the first one.

2. No opinion on audiobooks. I don't get a chance to listen to them and while I like the idea of them, again, no time.

Blogger Didact January 01, 2017 11:49 PM  

1. That would be helpful but not essential. I have an excellent memory and was able to recall the major plot points and characters from A Throne of Bones without too much trouble. But some of the past details, like Severus Patronus's machinations, escaped me. So a brief Dramatis Personae of sorts might be useful.

2. Not bothered, I don't use audiobooks at all.

Anonymous osprey January 02, 2017 12:07 AM  

A reader who starts with A Sea of Skulls would benefit from a synopsis of another story arc in A Throne of Bones.

A Sea of Skulls has some interesting scenes with Magnus. It is not clear from the text in A Sea of Skulls that Magnus used to be the leading light of the conservative patrician faction, nor is it clear that he deeply regrets his past conservativism.

When reading A Throne of Bones, it is clear that any faction that would promote warfare between Amorr and its "allied cities" or a critical mass of its provinces is guilty of high treason. It is so clear that most characters cannot even conceive of the possibility. This clarity is not present in A Sea of Skulls. Instead, the actions of the leaders of the two "leagues" seem like a high-stakes game. Furthermore, A Sea of Skulls only shows the connections of one "league" to its originator in A Throne of Bones. It does not show that there are very good reasons for there to be a second league, and that those reasons are related to the second league's connections to its own originator in A Throne of Bones.

Anonymous Smile Of The shadow January 02, 2017 12:17 AM  

1. I think it's unnecessary. Maybe put a link online for people who want a backstory reminder
2. I would gather a crowd fund you would do would be successful.

Blogger Dave January 02, 2017 12:58 AM  

1. No opinion; haven't yet read ATOB
2. Don't use them; no interest

Blogger Boxty January 02, 2017 1:12 AM  

I don't think audible pre-sales audiobooks. I couldn't find it for Dangerous or Coulter's Adios, America! or In Trump We Trust. They were only available the first day the hardcover was out even though Amazon had the audio CD for pre-order. Go figure.

I listen to a lot of Audiobooks. I didn't like the narrators for Cuckservatives, SJW always lie, or 4th Gen Warfare. Their voices aren't strong enough to hold my attention while I'm working or driving. For a novel, I think they would be a disappointment for me.

I only pay $15 for audiobooks as a subscriber to Audible. So that would be around my limit for a crowdfunding campaign unless the narrator was a pro voice actor.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab January 02, 2017 1:13 AM  

I'm rereading A Throne of Bones. It's better than I remembered. Can't wait for the next one.

Anonymous Thad January 02, 2017 1:13 AM  

Consult MILO.

LOL

Blogger S. Thermite January 02, 2017 1:31 AM  

1. Yes, please! Or at least a glossary or characters and places. I've read and loved all your prior Selenoth books, but enough time has elapsed since you released AToB (and I've consumed enough other books, movies, and TV shows since then) that without such a memory-jogger I feel I'd need to re-read all approx. 1,000 pages of ATOB again before starting ASoS so as not to miss anything...and then probably again after your next book in the series.

2. Perhaps not the best use of time and money...IMHO it would be just too long. Audiobooks are great for finishing relatively short books during the commute to and from work, and they're how I "read" Cuckservative, Gorilla Mindset, Ctrl-Alt-Revolt, and Scott Adams's last self-help book. But since I no longer commute 60-miles each way, starting any audiobook over 20-hours in length has to be weighed against the satisfaction of completing several shorter (and perhaps less expensive) audiobooks instead.

Blogger Brian Niemeier January 02, 2017 1:43 AM  

2. ASoS looks like it's selling well enough to justify an audio version. You may as well try to crowdfund the production costs. At worst, the project doesn't get funded and you'll know the demand wasn't there.

Anonymous Scott January 02, 2017 1:57 AM  

Are (((Mike Cernovich))) and (((MILO))) attending the next brainstorming conference. If not consider me a no show.

Anonymous #1037 January 02, 2017 2:21 AM  

1. No. Rehashing is an abomination.
2. Yes. The Audible app says I've listened to 42 DAYS of audio books. One of Ringo and Kratman's clocks in at 24hrs(Yellow Eyes I think, and it didn't drag. Correia's Indian Ninja book is a long beast, 16+hrs. The hardcore Audible demographic is listening in their car and they figure hey, 1 credit is 1 credit, make it a long book.

Anonymous Deadlocked January 02, 2017 2:26 AM  

For #2: It sounds like you're personally not enthusiastic about creating audio book versions of the main Selenoth novels, but you think there might be a market for them. If that's the case, crowdfund but set the price so you're happy whatever the outcome. That means minimizing the effort on your part (no extra bonuses for high-level contributions or the like) and setting a price that includes a fairly generous profit.

Anonymous Wayfaring Stranger January 02, 2017 2:40 AM  

Summary and a map would be great.

Blogger wreckage January 02, 2017 2:43 AM  

I would like a dramatis personae that tells us who everyone is or notes their extreme oddities as at the END of Throne of Bones.

For the most part I could distinguish characters fairly clearly while reading, but by the end I couldn't remember where everyone was up to, or I had a timeline in my head but I couldn't keep the names straight. Ie, I could remember who, or where, but not both, more particularly for characters that were pivotal but only briefly mentioned.

Crowdfunding might be worth a shot; you have a lot of loyal customers, which is better than a huge number of disloyal ones. But I don't currently listen to audiobooks nor do I have any funds to throw in.

Blogger Thanks, J. January 02, 2017 3:50 AM  

Audio books! Yes more please.

Blogger pdwalker January 02, 2017 4:45 AM  

IANAAWA (I am not an award winning author) so take my opinion with a large grain of salt.

I detest rehashes. They annoy the crap out of me. Having said that, if it were done as a series of letters exchanged between two church functionaries in remote parts of the empire, for example, they could discuss events that are happening as they see them to share information. Their rumors and news may not be perfectly correct and accurate, but it might be interesting to see it from their viewpoints about the great events happening around them. This would make the content, if not new, but interesting with a new spin and that I'd happily enjoy reading.

Audiobooks - I could never listen to them. I read much faster than people can talk and I hate waiting to listen to the next word sloooooooowly come out. I am not in the target market, so my opinion doesn't count.

Blogger Kant Leerus January 02, 2017 4:56 AM  

I checked amazon to buy paperback novels of yours to read. I have only seen you speak and read your blogs (also backtracked reading a few years of your content on the web). When the books I want are paper books, then I will buy a few of your novels. I don't read ebooks, because I find I never pause and absorb the content. With paper books I will read 4 pages, pause and absorb, ebooks I plough through but without any satisfaction. Sure some people like audio books, like others that enjoy ebooks.

Just paper is king.. even on a dirty rag.. like the money in my wallet

Blogger Kant Leerus January 02, 2017 5:24 AM  

I checked on the 25th of December... not right now

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit January 02, 2017 6:19 AM  

Hire JCW. He's a brilliant narrator and could be willing to trade up front payment for profit-share.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable January 02, 2017 7:13 AM  

1. Yes. Tolkein, Shannara, Lewis, Clancy, Silva may not, but Stephen Donaldson does, to good effect. You can always skip it if you hate it. (Also, how does Terry Brooks even get on this list?)

2. Don't care, but you're right, it's a huge investment. Priorities.

Blogger Eric Mueller January 02, 2017 7:49 AM  

1) Sort of like "Previously, on The Arts of Dark and Light..."?
2) I rarely do audiobooks myself. My mind is prone to wandering, and I suddenly realize I haven't been paying attention to the book and have to figure out where I mentally left off. Easier to do in print. But crowdfunding seems to work for other efforts, and I'm sure you have enough fans who want the audiobooks to justify it.

I kind of like Amazon's ability to buy the professional narration and switch back and forth between the two, but I haven't used it yet.

Blogger Gordon January 02, 2017 8:03 AM  

1. Yeah, I wouldn't mind a summary of previous stuff, somewhere. I just had an experience with one of Jagi Lamplighter's books where I had to go back and read the older ones again, because it had been so long.

2. I've asked before for audiobooks to come out sooner. And I can see why good narrators cost a lot. I've returned a couple of audiobooks for refund because I just couldn't stand the narrator. Larry Correia seems to choose well. I like all of his narrators, especially Bronson Pinchot.

So, as I like to support certain authors, I would prepay or crowdfund audio versions. It's probably the only way I'll consume them in this decade.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart January 02, 2017 8:21 AM  

1. No

2. I'm not interested in audio books. You're asking to pre gauge demand to determine whether the investment would be worth it. But isn't exactly that gauging the whole point of crowd funding? The worst that happens is that the project fails, (pre) customers get their (pre) purchase price back, and you lose whatever (small amount of) time you invested into standing up the Kickstarter (or some non-converged Alt crowdfund) project, which would likely be a tiny fraction of the full investment cost of actually going through with the project (with your already chosen in-house narrator).

Blogger Josh (the gayest thing here) January 02, 2017 8:23 AM  

I'm a little leery about the crowdfunding idea, since you guys are already supporting so many things and this is simply not something I consider a priority on the order of Infogalactic, or even Brainstorm. A top-quality narrator goes for 200 to 400 per hour, and ATOB alone will require 36 hours. Do the math and you can see the problem. Anyhow, share your thoughts on this, if you have any.

I have no idea about the audio book market, but you only need 750 people to back it at $20 per. If you don't reach it, no one gets charged. Anyone who backs it gets a copy. Maybe kick in a free ebook as well to the backers?

Blogger roundeye January 02, 2017 9:04 AM  

Voice actors are quite cheap until they are known. Home audio studios are cheap. They sit around all day and wait for an email, do a commercial fast as an audition and hope for a check.

Why not a competition? Do a few pages to chapter as an audition. About ten minutes each, with a variety of races to show off range.

Then if they want the work, bargain. $50 an hour is afair wage. Then they get a completed job to show off in the future.

Blogger Mr. B.A.D. January 02, 2017 9:07 AM  

1). No. Suck it up faggots. Read or reread the book before starting ASOS.
Aside from that Vox is realible enough at giving "throw back" text to briefly explain any important event from ATOB as it relates to the current story.

2). I don't care. Just finish ASOS dammit.

Blogger WATYF January 02, 2017 9:19 AM  

I'm in the "Put a synopsis online" camp. I wouldn't make it part of the next book, that would be a little unusual. Just put a summary of each perspective character's events on the Selenoth wikia or whatever for anyone who wants it.

I'm one of the ones who asked for it, but since no such thing exists yet, I decided to just read AToB again. I've forgotten quite a large amount of it and would have been totally lost if I tried to just dive into ASoS. In fact, I forgot almost all of it except for a few key events.

In fairness, it has been over four years. Just sayin'.

WATYF

Blogger Franz Lyonheart January 02, 2017 9:21 AM  

$50 an hour is afair wage.

I was also shocked at first by Vox's claim that professional narrators cost $2-400 per hour. But I figured that 1 hour of output produced surely cannot equate to 1 hour of work. It's probably 2-4 hours worked on such a project, in order to produce 1h of audible narration. Maybe the efficiency ratio is even worse.

Blogger Granddad January 02, 2017 9:40 AM  

I never listen to audio books unless I am traveling by car which I do a lot. They are a wonderful way to pass the time and be entertained and/or educated.

Blogger SouthRon January 02, 2017 9:44 AM  

1. Couldn't care less.

2. Yes and please use professionals for the reading AND production.

I never had a use for audiobooks until 6 months ago when life changed. Since then I have listened to the Bible, 6 of Corriea's beast-sized books, a number of 20+ hour histories and many others in the car. I would love to listen to ATOB.

At night my wife and I have taken to listening together. She's very dyslexic but loves books. I get begged to read or listen to Monster Hunter with her. She makes me pause it to show her the different guns. Good woman.

But a professional voice artist makes all the difference in the world and can be a true joy to listen to. On the other hand readers that can't keep their voices sorted or whose "women" have chronic smoker radio voices are simply painful to listen to. Then there are people like Neil Gaiman and his sneering, I'm-smarter-than-you self-narration on are only fit for their fellow freaks and fetishists.

I also say professional producer because irregular audio levels, changing acoustics and background noises really distract from overall quality and enjoyment.

Thanks for even considering this.

OT I'm wanting to rejoin Brainstorm. Should we still hold off?

Blogger Sapper January 02, 2017 10:11 AM  

1. Not necessary

2. Yes to audiobook versions! I am 200 pages into ATOB and it would be great to listen to it (and ASOS) while traveling. There is a huge market for this.

Blogger Mr. B.A.D. January 02, 2017 10:21 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Mr. B.A.D. January 02, 2017 10:24 AM  

It's stupid not to read ATOB first. It's like going to see Star Wars VII or Rogue One without having first seen the OT, or having a fresh veiwing of them.

Blogger D.J. January 02, 2017 10:46 AM  

It may be stupid not to read ATOB first, but if you have not read it recently, you may forget important details. I ran into similar problems beta-reading The Secret Kings when I had not read Nethereal and Souldancer recently.

That being said, I would not lift things directly from one book to put in a different one (unless it is telling the same events different times a la David Weber). I have seen authors do that (looking at you, Frederick Forsythe), and it irks me.

Anonymous Lana January 02, 2017 10:51 AM  

1) I didn't need it and I don't care one way or the other. As many have noted, just flipping back through ATOB for a quick refresh on several topics was all that was needed.

2) I'd be happy to help crowdfund an audible version of both books because I have to do a great deal of driving in the next 6 months...9 hours round trip twice a month. If you don't reach your goal, heh, at least we tried!

Anonymous Bob Just January 02, 2017 11:11 AM  

Vox,

I was thinking these mega-audiobooks would be nice for long flights (say NY to Australia) or traveling cross-country (rail, bus, car) :

- I wonder if the airlines would be SJW-proof enough to feature Castalia House projects as an option in the In-Flight entertainment?

~ 36 hrs for ATOB would cover the flight to Oz and back, with a little nap-time/bathroom breaks.

Around the world in 80 hrs or 1 listen of ATOB and SOS

http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2013/10/30/around-world-80-hours-introduction/

Some narrators are paid 200-400 per hour of finished product time - so if it takes them 3-4 hrs "unedited" to yield 1 hr of "finished" time. Also, some narrators will edit & "master"/balance the audio - others don't (as #58 points out the importance of minimizing distraction).


@#6 Might be on to something, there are some folks working on adding [emotional tags] to text to speech software-

Doesn't sound quite there yet - https://www.cereproc.com/en/about/randd

Anonymous User January 02, 2017 11:12 AM  

Is there some kind of European or national disability grant that could fund the audio recording? It is an accessibility issue after all.

Blogger Markku January 02, 2017 11:28 AM  

Europe doesn't work like that. It would have to be in Finnish to even get in the game, and even then it wouldn't be automatic, we'd have to specifically persuade a foundation to fund it. There is basically only one thing for which you can get funding in a somewhat automatic way: To provide the finished product to libraries, where demonstrably blind people can get them for free, and the publisher gets compensated per listen. But even then, it would have to be Finnish.

So, in short, the answer is no.

Blogger Doom January 02, 2017 11:48 AM  

1) Yes. Just a hint, sometimes, a whiff, brings it all back.

2) I don't do audio either. No opinion.

Blogger tublecane January 02, 2017 12:34 PM  

I like a good "What Has Gone Before,"and they don't have to intrude on the text, anymore than prefaces or prologues do. Waugh had an informative and hilarious one for the third book of his Sword of Honor trilogy.

Blogger Forge the Sky January 02, 2017 1:00 PM  

1. I'd add it. Wasn't an issue for me as I had just finished ATOB, but after a year a bit of a sketch is helpful. But only if it can be done so as to ADD perspective and content, not just retread - say if the letter or whatever gives us a better idea of some character's perspective.

2. I don't like experiencing fiction as audio. Not sure how big the market is for that, how much it would expand your consumers. Not a big priority.

Anonymous BBGKB January 02, 2017 2:17 PM  

A number of people have been saying they would like to see some sort of summary of the previous book in order to help refresh their memory of A THRONE OF BONES, or even to let them jump right into A SEA OF SKULLS

OK I will do it. There was a goblin named Meerfin Shistergurble who managed to overcome the circumstances of his birth. He became the top frog catcher and spear maker of his tribe. He then found himself a pretty boyfriend. Even after the orcs conscripted his tribe for war, life was still good for noble Meerfin until one day he came back from scouting to find the orcs had taken his boyfriend away as a traitor. Knowing this was not the case he went to the orc side of the camp only to see his boyfriend being cooked. Well I better not give more of the plot away.


So and so went through the thing and popped out over there, Winter is Coming, and some dwarf got carried off by a dragon. XD

Don't forget the Brothel that had 4 dwarves and an elf!

Blogger Thucydides January 02, 2017 5:28 PM  

Frankly, I was never a fan of "summaries" in multi book series, since good authors bring you into the ongoing story and can provide background or backstory as needed. I am also part top books which can act as stand alone stories even if they are part of the series.

What I have read so far makes me confident that I can carry on with the series without any sort of summary.

My $.02

Blogger Thucydides January 02, 2017 5:30 PM  

G-- Damned smartphones! "I am also partial to books which can act as stand along stories even when they are part off a series"

Autocorrect and small screens are inventions of evil powers........

Anonymous Johnny Caustic January 02, 2017 6:40 PM  

I'm curious what you mean by "a letter or two". If it's in the form of a letter written by one of the major characters summarizing a few of the most important events in the first book, with the addition of that character's reactions to them--thereby providing new color, maybe even a surprise or two--then it could satisfy literary objectives as well as jogging the reader's memory. If that's what you have in mind, I think that would make it worthwhile.

Blogger Hen January 02, 2017 8:21 PM  

As to your first question, what I would use would be a document that is organized by chapter, like this, for example:
Chap 1: Sam meets Gloria. They decide to head for Summatra.
Chap 2: Sam finishes packing and leaves Gloria to catch up with him.
Etc.
Simple one or two liners saying what is in the chapter. This could be an appendix to the book, a place that I could either review what happened by key events or locate the chapter that I need to re-read in order to refresh my memory of what has happened. If one were to read the whole appendix, one would have a review of the entire book, not in detail, but by major events, enough to catch on to the big picture. I find that I have a hard time finding where I need to review something in ebooks, probably because I grew up with books printed on paper. I also miss having page numbers as a way to find where something is written. Thank you for asking for input.

Anonymous Kell January 02, 2017 9:26 PM  

Personally, I think a summary is unnecessary, but then I usually have an easy time keeping track of long and complex threads, so I may not be a good gauge of it.

Regarding the audiobook, I would be happy to pre-order it, kickstart it or otherwise contribute money up front for the first one. I spend a fair amount of time listening to books (usually books I've already read)...when commuting, when performing upkeep at home or when performing tasks that don't require me to interact with humans when at work. I know plenty of others who do the same, and personally I don't find a 30+ hour recording to be all that daunting. Frank Herbert, George RR Martin and David Weber all fall into that range, and I know plenty of people that love the audiobooks.

Aside from the direct business aspects I'd say the most critical thing you can do is to find a good narrator and stick with him or her through the series. Switching from, say, Oliver Wyman to Jason Culp to Kevin Collins and back to Oliver Wyman over the course of a mutli-part series can be jarring.

Blogger MeneMene January 03, 2017 2:34 AM  

Audio, yes, though it all hangs on the narrator. An annoying narrator ruins a book.

Some kind of synopsis somewhere would be useful for us old folks.

Blogger epobirs January 03, 2017 4:05 AM  

I've probably consumed at least twice as many books on audio than in print in the last year. I not only listen while driving but also while at the gym and during some gaming, especially if there is level grinding needed.

Blogger Panzerdude January 03, 2017 10:49 AM  

1. What has happened before - Like the letter idea. Don't like the summary idea.

2. Audio Crowdfunding - Isn't the point of crowdfunding to let the contributors decide the merit of a project? Set the amount needed for top notch production and see if it happens. What's to lose?

Blogger AdamD January 03, 2017 2:58 PM  

1. Yes, it's been awhile and it would help me jog my memory.
2. No opinion, don't listen to audio books anymore, so would not look to fund the project.

Anonymous BBGKB January 03, 2017 4:55 PM  

If you do audiobooks would you use a different narrator for each storyline? That way you could have more of a separation of the elf chapters and the dwarves' train song.

Blogger Luke Edwards January 03, 2017 11:32 PM  

"No" on number 1. They can just reread the damn thing. It's good!

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