This month I’m taking a pause from Let’s Deconstruct a Story to launch my audiobook I Have the Answer.
The print edition of my short story collection, I Have the Answer, came out from Wayne State University Press (@WSUPress) in April 2020.
Not an auspicious time for a launch.
It was tough, even though I had a fantastic publicist, Gregory Henry, who landed many online gigs. I was very grateful to him, but it was not the same as launching a book in the real world.
In 2022, I decided I wanted to give the book a second shot at life, and WSUP generously offered me the rights to the audiobook. Now I have some intel on the process, and I’d love to share a little bit for the other writers out there who may be considering this route.
First, I have to say that with very limited funding–I had already paid for a publicist–I had to rely on ACX, which is an affiliate of Amazon (audible). I would have preferred to offer the book on libro.fm or through another independent venue, but honestly, for financial reasons, I had no choice. Signing an exclusive contract with Audible was by far the cheapest option.
On ACX, narrators post auditions and you can choose the narrator for your audiobook. Luckily I have a friend (shout out to Robin Martin) who introduced me to @DeniceStradling and she kindly narrated three stories. I met @GriffinPuatu, Simone Brooks and Tom Fria through the ACX auditions. I contacted Stacey Glemboski after listening to her reading a story from Lily King’s short story collection, Five Tuesdays in Winter (@lilybooks), and I recorded four of the stories myself.
The most important component? My new friend and sound engineer extraordinaire, Elliot Bancel! I was very fortunate that Paul Bancel, a fantastic writer I met at the Springfed Arts conference last fall, introduced me to his son, Elliot. Elliot had just moved home from Chicago and was willing to help me. He was kind and patient as I attempted to read the stories myself–yikes. He also sound edited and uploaded the entire collection and advised me on the purchase of a reasonable microphone and headset . In other words, without his help, the book would not exist.
If you are in need of any sound engineering help at all, I am including Elliot’s contact information below as well as samples of three of the narrators (more samples will follow in the June 1st newsletter) as well as the ACX link.
Here’s the scary part about this….
I hope after all of this, someone will purchase the book. As most writers know, we barely break even in this business, and if we do, we often consider that success. My goal is to just break even. In order to do that, I will have to sell at least 100 copies of this audiobook, which is a lot for an independent author.
Links to more information and three clips from I Have the Answer below. I’ll post the rest of the clips in June.
Let’s Deconstruct a Story returns on June 1st with a visit from Anna Caritj. We will be discussing her @sewaneereview story, “Ugly Sister.”
Purchase the audiobook here.
You can reach sound engineer, Elliot Bancel at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reach out to Denice Stradling here.