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Archive for January, 2012

(including a FLASH piece by Matt!)

My awesome & talented colleagues over at Literary Underground released a FREE anthology of short fiction!

Get it here.

For you “old folks” in the audience: you don’t need an ebook reader. Just choose “Online Reading HTML” and enjoy! 🙂  (starts on page 78)

My piece in there relates to the only Christmas song I like (yeah, I’m a Grinch). Yup, gonna write a novel based upon the concept someday… maybe… gotta get through some other, louder ideas first.

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Babylon Cover Revealed!

Bask, people… bask:

Artwork by Axel Torvenius. Cover design by Michael Boucher. All rights reserved.

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Freakin’ hell, already!

Another 20% off over at Lulu (maybe someday Amazon createspace will let me do hardcovers). But, for now, hit the “Matt’s Books” link to find the Lulu link. At checkout, apply this code:

PRICETHAW305

Coupon Expires Jan 20.

What the frak are you waiting for?

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So, you think you want to begin work on that audiobook of yours? Your novel is “out there” and you want to expand your audience into the land of listeners. While you may know how to put pen to paper (or finger to key/screen), you may not necessarily know jack about voice acting, producing an audio work of art or anything else related. As I go through the process, I’ll share and hopefully we can all learn together!

So, I met (in person) the voice actress for Eden last night for the first time. We’d been in contact over email/phone for about a year leading up to this so we weren’t complete strangers. I swear, every time I talk with her I learn something new! The “audio world” is a big, bad place for little girls in red cloaks (like me). So, here’s some “getting started” tips for a fellow audiobook newbie:

  • Work with a trained voice actor/actress. Sure, Uncle Bob can read your book – he’s got a nice, dulcet voice. Right? Wrong. Many fiction audiobooks (like print books) live and die by the quality of the reader/pro reviews. And many of those reviews will judge the quality of the narration. Awful narration will kill a classic and fantastic narration can lift almost any work. There’s a ton more you have still to do beyond Uncle Bob’s recording, so start-off on the right foot for this massive undertaking: work with a pro.
  • Know what you want. There are as many ways to narrate a book as there are ohmygoditssogoodmyheadasplode fans of tween vampire stories. For fiction, I don’t feel a “flat” narration does you any justice. Why would you want your dramatic scenes read the same as the description of a fork? (hopefully you don’t do too much fork-description in your books) While a “flat” reading may be suitable for a non-fiction book, I prefer the expressive form. I want to feel as the characters do, and a great voice actor can get your audience to some special places alongside your words.  On that same point, you might not want a campy “radio show” reading either. Again, this is where a pro will know the difference between proper expression and eye-rolling lameness. A powerful, expressive reading is where I believe most fiction is at. Aim for that and your listener(s) will be engaged and swept into the performance of your professional actor.
  • Get some help. Use the resources on the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) to link-up with a “real” production studio. Talk to friends in the biz. Read some blogs. As a self-publishing man/woman, you’ll likely be the producer. This means you’ll need someone to master the audio (no, it doesn’t come in a single, perfect track from your voice actor). As the producer, you’ll also have to give direction to your voice actor. Listen to early samples and make sure the characters are developing the way you want them to. If there’s something wrong (like he’s taking a deep breath between each sentence), nip it in the bud! Basically, you need to manage this project like you would any other. Stay on top of things, stay communicative and stay involved! If you are expecting to hand someone your manuscript and receive a perfect mp3 6 months later — your expectations might need some adjusting.

So, here begins my journey down the path of audiobook self-publishing. I’m sure I’ll make some mistakes on the way, but you can bet yer panties my team will produce a quality work of art. As I stumble along, I’ll share my thoughts and experiences. Now that we can self-publish to Audible.com, the barriers are gone. It truly is an exciting time to be a writer!

Oh, and one more thing for 2012 or 2013: audiobook launch party in L.A. – go big or go home, kiddies!!  😉

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“My following days are over, now I just gotta follow through.” – Lou Gramm, Midnight Blue

From one of my favorite songs of all time. I was challenged this morning to an impromptu round of Encore! (the word was “Blue”) and I tried to sing this song. My “judges” didn’t believe me. Well, I found the Lou Gramm song and sent a sample off to the disbelievers. I then listened to the song again for the first time in probably a year.

So good. So appropriate as I continue to blaze my own path in 2012 and mentor other storytellers taking their first steps on their own publishing/writing paths. My advice for 2012: “Follow-through.”

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