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Saturday, January 12, 2019

You opined, we listened

While we're not always able to be responsive to various peoples' ideas and requests, we do at least try to be amenable to suggestions for improvement. So, here is a partial list of some of the things the various teams have added lately.
  • You can now use Paypal at the Arkhaven store. Please note that we'd still prefer to have you use your credit card because Paypal's transaction cost is 2x higher, but if you're having problems with your card being accepted, Paypal is now a viable option.
  • Castalia House audiobooks sold from the Arkhaven store now come in a high-quality DRM-free single-file MP4 format. The audio quality is approximately 4x that of an Audible audiobook and you can use the file with a broad range of mobile and desktop readers and other media players. We've also added an AUDIOBOOKS link on the black bar on the main page to make them easier to find. We intend to eventually put our new audiobooks on Audible as well, but we are waiting to hear back from them about being able to make our 40+ existing audiobooks available on the Arkhaven store.
  • The Darkstream now accepts superchats. So, if you'd like to support it that way, it is now a viable option. We did an initial test last night and it was considerably more successful than I'd imagined.
  • The Darkstream will soon be available in podcast format on iTunes. You can find a few recent podcasts here.
  • The digital editions of Arkhaven and Dark Legion comics are now available in high-resolution CBZ format. Not all of the previously published comics have been converted yet, but all of the new releases will be.
There is a lot more to come in the near future, but this is what we have already implemented and can announce to date. On the Indiegogo front, things are proceeding according to the process, and there is nothing more to say at the present time except that we are aware of the way in which SJWs are putting pressure on Indiegogo to deplatform other creators of whom they do not approve.

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40 Comments:

Blogger Glaivester January 12, 2019 10:23 AM  

One other suggestion I would make (although I do not know if this is within your control or if AerioBooks is a third party) - I ordered a hardcopy of Flying Sparks through the Arkhaven Comics link https://aerbook.com/maker/productcard-4102793-1875.html and I noticed there was no "continue shopping" button once I got to the cart. To order more than one item at a time requires backtracking or opening new tabs. A "continue shopping" button would make sense, it seems to me.

Blogger VD January 12, 2019 10:26 AM  

It's not under our control, but they're always very open to our suggestions. I'll pass it along, thanks.

Blogger JG January 12, 2019 10:29 AM  

Excellent! Congrats to you and your team on your continuous improvement. Few businesses manage that simple feat.

Blogger Dave January 12, 2019 10:50 AM  

@1 It's not at all obvious but to remove yourself from the shopping cart or the checkout on Aerbook.com hit the white X on the blue bar at the top of the page. That returns you to your last item and from there you can hit the link on the blue bar at the top of the page to the Castalia Direct Bookstore.

For some reason that link to the Castalia Direct Bookstore is not active while in the cart or checkout.

Blogger The Observer January 12, 2019 10:54 AM  

Thank you for the continuous improvements, especially paying by paypal; a not insignificant amount of my supplementary incomes comes via way of it, and it's easier to do things that way.

Also, if I may: is there any news on AH #6 and Avalon #3?

Blogger VD January 12, 2019 10:56 AM  

is there any news on AH #6 and Avalon #3?

Both SHOULD be out, at least in digital format, before the end of the month. A new one from JDA is next, followed by QM#4.

Blogger Dominik K. January 12, 2019 11:00 AM  

Great with the podcasts! Until now I am downloading it from youtube to listen to it in the gym.

Blogger English Tom January 12, 2019 11:04 AM  

Vox you mentioned publishing the full set of there will be war in paperback. When will this happen, and any idea as to cost in UK currency?

Thanks.

Blogger tz January 12, 2019 11:06 AM  

Anxiously awaiting more Arkhaven Audio Books.
Also much thanks for the Podcast Darkstream with RSS.

I recommend TimeShift for Android as a player. Especially the Pro version.
It allows accelerated (or slowed) playback and will play sound from videos in the background.

I mention this because my last player (Astroplayer) would not accelerate m4b files, only mp3s.

Blogger VD January 12, 2019 11:06 AM  

We are working on it now. Should be done with all 10 before Christmas. No idea how much the full set will cost as yet, much less in Pound Sterling.

Blogger Dave January 12, 2019 11:13 AM  

I was happy to contribute to last night's inaugural Superchat Darkstream. I was attempting to be the first but it took me a minute to figure out why Youtube wouldn't accept my intial superchat. Turns out there's a limit on the number of characters you can send dependent on the amount of the superchat. Very sly Youtube.

I did notice all of the superchat currency was in dollars. I guess you're on too late for all of your supporters in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Also, someone mentioned in the Darkstream chat that stream.me doesn't take a cut of the superchats like youtube does. I know you at present cannot see the chat on the stream.me, is that true for superchats there? I would much prefer to go that route and probably many others also if you had access to the superchats there.

Blogger VD January 12, 2019 11:24 AM  

I will be doing some Stream.me-only streams soon.

Blogger jaericho January 12, 2019 11:33 AM  

All excellent news. I love the single file audiobooks option. Thank you.

Blogger Dominik K. January 12, 2019 11:33 AM  

@VD

A quick comment to your last darkstream: Joe Rogan is on tape admitting to being on steroids, so don't admire him too much for being in shape. I would guess your doing as much or more with eating habits and training like he does. If I'm 80 I will also take steroids, but until then it's cheating for me, even when somebody admits to doing it.

Blogger Michael Maier January 12, 2019 11:49 AM  

Will we have to catch the Steam. me stands life or will we be able to watch later?

Blogger Dave January 12, 2019 11:56 AM  

The ultimate kick in the nuts to youtube would be if we could send superchats via stream.me that you could see and read while you're streaming on youtube. Why not have all the functionality and features streaming on youtube, while keeping a window open in stream.me just to check on superchats. I believe most superchatters would like to feel we're getting one over on youtube and at the same time knowing more or all of the superchat money is reaching the creator.

Blogger Xiety January 12, 2019 11:56 AM  

Michael, you can click on the "archive" link at VD's stream.me page to replay past streams.

Blogger James Dixon January 12, 2019 11:56 AM  

> The digital editions of Arkhaven and Dark Legion comics are now available in high-resolution CBZ format.

When I looked at the programs available to read the CBZ format under Linux, I found Qcomicbook and selected it. It just seems appropriate somehow.

Blogger Tacman January 12, 2019 12:51 PM  

Hey Vox, will the Darkstream be available as a podcast on other platforms such as PlayerFM as well, or just iTunes?

Blogger Duke Norfolk January 12, 2019 12:56 PM  

Much thanks for the RSS to the DS podcast mp3s.

Blogger Avalanche January 12, 2019 1:42 PM  

@6 Any news on the "now, with TEXT!" Avalon issue? Still waiting on my (four!) gold logo issues...

Blogger Avalanche January 12, 2019 1:44 PM  

@11 "Turns out there's a limit on the number of characters you can send dependent on the amount of the superchat."

AH! That explains it! I had to finally give up. (Really hard to follow Vox, skim comments, AND fight with the technology!) Esp. cause their stupid box implies 200 characters allowed, period, and gives no reason for refusing it. Thanks!

Blogger Dave January 12, 2019 3:08 PM  

Yes, when typing in the superchat box, the number of characters allowed for the given $ amount is displayed. As soon as you exceed the character limit the "Buy and Send" button subtly becomes inactive. Then you must either increase the $ amount or reduce the number of characters.

Also the larger the superchat $ amount is, the longer it remains a signal at the top of the chat box, or at least until the streamer reads/clicks it, not sure.

Blogger Dave January 12, 2019 3:24 PM  

For those who might have been wondering why some in the Darkstream chat were going off on "Dave", this is the genesis of it that carried over from Owen Benjamin's stream yesterday in which he looked like the fisherman on every box of Gorton's Seafood>

Caution:Language https://youtu.be/fAlJ2VV42dI?t=468

And no, I'm not that Dave.

Blogger Cobblestone January 12, 2019 3:25 PM  

I just gave a copy of Alt*Hero #2 and #3 to a comic book store owner. I gave one of his employees #1 months ago, but this time I spoke with the owner himself. I mentioned that Alt Hero had beat out Marvel and DC for the #1 spot on Amazon, and he remarked with zero sarcasm or humor, "That isn't hard to do."

I laughed, but he was dead serious. That's gotta suck for Marvel and DC that they can't compete in the market they became famous for to begin with.

Oh, and I also mentioned he can get the comics through Ingram, and that you're going to look into different sizes. He remarked that they are smaller than they're used to. I thought they were larger, but comics aren't really my thing anyways.

P.S. Thank you for exposing Jordan Lobsterson. I bought two Kindle copies of Jordanetics- one for me, one for my brother.

Blogger Jefferson Kim January 12, 2019 5:01 PM  

This is the RSS feed for the podcasts: https://voxday.podbean.com/feed.xml

I just submitted it to PlayerFM.

Blogger Glaivester January 12, 2019 5:49 PM  

Is there a place where track how well Alt Hero is selling?

Blogger Markku January 12, 2019 8:33 PM  

If you are using Android, I STRONGLY recommend that you listen to those files with the free "Voice Audiobook Player" by Paul Woitaschek, in Google Play store. If iOS, the free option is obviously iTunes. It appears to have a decent interface for audiobooks. But only decent. If you are willing to pay four bucks, you will be much happier with Bookmobile. If you want to try it, it gives 60 day free trial. It has all the features you'd expect, in an interface designed for listening to audiobooks on the go. Including changing speed.

I'll soon be starting to go through the existing orders and sending them instructions for how they can get the single-file version. Some of the emails may get spam-trapped so if you have ordered before this change, occasionally check your spam. And I probably won't get to it immediately. I should have handled all within the next few days.

Blogger Markku January 12, 2019 8:36 PM  

I am currently investigating what are the most convenient options for PC and Mac. VLC is a tolerable choice, and it understands the chapter marks. You use the skip-icon to skip chapters. The one like fast-forward but only one triangle. I don't like how VLC looks for this, though. Too much clutter. But you can get going with that.

Blogger xavier January 12, 2019 9:24 PM  

Does kindle read the CBZ format?
If not what are everyone's recommendation for Android?
Thanks!

Blogger Markku January 12, 2019 11:57 PM  

Ok, the situation for Windows is amazingly awful. There are several suboptimal solutions and no perfect one. Here are the possibilities:

-VLC. Works out of the box, and can remember where you left off. When you close, and open the next time, it asks at the top whether you want to continue where you left off. You can go directly to the chapter you want with right-click - playback - chapter. The huge problem: Its seek is incredibly inefficient. With a long audiobook, playback takes like a minute to begin, when your position is far along in the book.

-MusicBee. Freeware, not opensource. Otherwise fine, except it doesn't realize the .mp4 is an audio format. You have to rename the extension to .m4b for it to see the file, when you use File->Add files to library. If you plan to use MusicBee right from the start, you can do this already when you "save as" the file from the original link you get when you purchase. Also, slightly odd interface. You get the normal menu bar options like opening files from the top left corner "Musicbee [down arrow]". Apart from this, very convenient to use when you, after installing, go to Edit - Edit Preferences - Player - on startup: resume position. After doing this, when you stop listening, simply close the program. When you launch it again, it will automatically continue where you left off. If you can live with having to rename the files, this is probably the slickest option of the three. VERY quick seek to any position of the book, no matter how long.

-Foobar2000. Free and open source. Also very quick seek to anywhere. Only problem: Cannot read the chapter names from the file. Understands all the chapters, yes, but their names are not showing. Can also be made to remember your position. File - preferences - Playback - Other: Save playback state...
------
Foobar2000 would be the perfect option if it could read the chapter names. If I had enough time, I'd probably code that feature to the project. It appears to have been requested for a long time in bug reports but never implemented.

Blogger Markku January 12, 2019 11:59 PM  

On MusicBee, when you originally open the newly renamed .m4b, drag it to the AUDIOBOOKS in the gray menu at the top. That's how you categorize stuff in it.

Blogger xevious2030 January 13, 2019 12:07 AM  

Very excited about the podcasts, tends to be how I listen to tbings most, these days.

Blogger Markku January 13, 2019 12:17 AM  

Actually, two more things about MusicBee.
1) I remembered wrong. You don't drag to AUDIOBOOKS, you right click, Send to - Audiobooks
2) If you want to keep it .mp4 you can navigate to the correct folder and then manually write the name of the file to the box, then hit open.

Blogger Markku January 13, 2019 12:33 AM  

I'm still waiting for confirmation from Apple users that the way that I think is the most convenient way where you don't need to pay anything, indeed works the way I think. After that, I'll write instructions for each operating system to a page at arkhavencomics.com and include link to that page in the receipt, and the notification that existing orders will soon receive.

Blogger Markku January 13, 2019 1:45 AM  

As for CBZ, if for some reason you are restricted to Kindle - say, it's an actual hardware Kindle device - then there is a way to do it that involves downloading Calibre on a computer. Instructions here. However, this is quite suboptimal. Kindle's interface is designed for books.

A much better experience for Android and iOS is Comics Plus, free from Apple Store and Google Play. It is tied to a comics store, but you can import CBZ files to it.

Blogger jfreddd January 13, 2019 1:58 AM  

CBZ, yeah, baby!

Blogger Gregory the Great January 13, 2019 5:59 AM  

I would love if your website/s could be organised like this:
1. These are all (!!) our publications.
but (if you interested in a particular one):
a. the ebook version is only available on Kindle (click here)
b. the hardcover version can only be ordered through Amazon (.fr, .de, .co.uk if you are in Europe - links here.
c. The audiobook comes directly from us and can be bought by clicking here.
2. If you are only interested in comics click on the Arkhaven logo anytime here. If you are in the Arkhaven website and want to see the Castalia publications click on the Castalia logo anytime here.

I understand that you have a lot of challenges to face with the various fulfilment and payment pathways, still I wish you would arrive at something like this a.s.a.p. All the best!

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2019 7:57 AM  

> A much better experience for Android and iOS is Comics Plus

You can probably side load Comics Plus on the Kindle, but doing so isn't a simple matter.

Blogger electricsheeple January 14, 2019 1:38 PM  

The Super Chat is such a win-win for both Vox and the audience, especially with the chat room getting more crowded as the youtube audience grows.

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