And we're back. As mentioned in the previous blog post, ACX/Audible royally screwed up the release of the audiobook version of Young Blood, and I requested that they take it down. At first they talked like they would, but then they came back and said that they can't (that is, won't) take it down until it's been on sale for 90 days after the initial release. I'm still hoping to find a way around that, but for the moment, I decided to focus on another aspect of this project, getting higher quality, non-crappy-sounding versions for sale on this site.
I'd been planning to do this all along, particularly once I learned about some of the requirements that ACX (and other distributors) have for how things are arranged and produced, these specific, nitpicky things they insist on in terms of how to divide up the chapters, where to include credits, things like that. I'd already produced things the way I wanted them to be and to sound, and guess what, this is my audiobook that I'm self-publishing, so dammit, I should have creative control. I didn't know at the time what the end product would be that would go up for sale on Amazon and Apple, but I suspected that it might be different, so I wanted to give listeners a chance to hear things the way I meant for them to be. And once I found out that what they put out made my voice sound like it was coming out of a badly tuned AM radio from 1978, that made the matter all the more urgent.
The end result is what I've decided to call the Director's Cut of the audiobook, which is now up for sale on the Where to Buy page. There are two versions to choose from depending on your preference: either a standalone M4B file or individual MP3s, offered for the much more reasonable price of $8.99, compared to Amazon and Apple's $19.99. Unlike the horrible 64 kpbs/22 kHz quality they inexplicably chose to use, my M4B is 96 kbps/22 kHz, and the MP3s are 192 kbps/44 kHz. Truth be told, the MP3s don't sound that much better than the M4B; the difference between the two versions I'm releasing is barely noticeable. I just decided to make both formats available to give listeners more options, to go with whatever they're more comfortable with. I personally prefer the M4B version because of the way that M4Bs work, how you can stop playing it, switch to something else, then come back to the M4B later, and it remembers where you left off. You know, like a book. But audio. Wonder if there's a word for that…
These files can be listened to on any device, and if you need some pointers, I've put up some tips and advice on how to download and play them on various mobile devices, including iPhone, iPad, Kindle, and Android. They can of course also be played on a computer (Mac, PC, etc.), plus older standalone players. (Confession: I still use an iPod Nano for this. I'm kind of an old fart that way.) If you run into any problems with your purchase, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll do what I can to help.
So that's where we are now. I plan to move forward with Findaway Voices next, hoping that their service is better than ACX's abysmal one was, to get the audiobook out to more distributors.