Things have been progressing slowly. As I mentioned last entry, I've been having to check each and every retailer that Findaway Voices has distributed the audiobook to, basically figuring out which ones did or did not screw it up. And so far, the answer is, sadly, almost every single one of them. At least one or a combination of the following things happens: They dumb the sound down to poor quality and/or mono, they leave out or mess up the chapter names, or their player (web-based or app) sucks. So then I have to get them to take the book down, which can take a while. Findaway talks a big game in terms of how widely they distribute and to so many outlets, but if those outlets wind up doing a shitty job, then there isn't much point. Plus there are some retailers (and libraries) that I can't even figure out; they're damn near incomprehensible and often unsearchable as well. I'm giving things another few weeks to see if they iron out, but if I can't verify that what they're making available isn't crappy, then they'll get taken out of the distribution network as well. Still, one upside to all of this is that by the time I get ready to publish Book 2, I'll know which retailers to avoid, so things will be a lot more streamlined. (Side note: The awful, horrible ACX/Audible version finally got taken down from Amazon last week.)
And yet, there's a piece of good news: Spotify now has the audiobook up for sale, and they actually did a good job with it. The sound quality is good, the chapter titles are intact, and the navigation works well. It even remembers where you left off in the book if you switch between the web player, the desktop app, or the phone app. The only thing I don't like is that there's no way to download a file you can keep and play in whatever you want, but if that's something you're after, you can find that at Apple or download the Director's Cut from this site.
I find it interesting that the only retailers so far that have gotten things right are big-name ones that were previously just music services. (Google Play almost came through, but not quite. I'm hoping that they'll update their services by the time Book 2 comes along.) It's a bit sad that I can't distribute to as many sources as Findaway led me to believe, but at the same time, have you ever even heard of Downpour, Nextory, or 24Symbols? Me neither.