I've been working towards this for a while now and it's finally arrived. The £9.99 audio book.
The problem with Audible, iTunes and Amazon is they will not allow the author any form of control over their own work on their sales platforms. Unlike eBooks, audiobooks are handed over to the sales platform and all control is lost. You can't even take them off sale for three years, which is the minimum contract length with ACX even if you supply your own finished audio book on a non-exclusive basis.
Personally, I think between $20-$40 per audio book is a rich experience for everyone concerned, except the author/narrator only gets 25% of the sale price regardless of the investment made. That means ACX and their buddies get 75% (that's $15 -$30 a book). If you happen to sell an eBook via Amazon, the audiobook price plummets to around $4 which means I make a $1 each time an eBook buyer also picks up the audio book. To my mind this is the reverse of what it should be, the audio book at full price should prompt a free copy of the eBook. There is little lost in doing it this way and the author isn't the one losing out.
So, my idea of the £9.99 audio book is that there are no beneficiaries besides the author. As I purchase my audio books on a PFH (Per Finished Hour) basis my narrator is paid upfront before the book even sees the light of day. Which is right and proper, as he works very hard for every 'finished' hour of each book.
Therefore, when you purchase an audio book from my website or participating sites across the internet, you know that you are supporting each and every author in the most positive way possible, ensuring they get the lion's share of income; enabling them to spend more on new audio books, meaning more £9.99 entertainment for you, the listener.
Starting the 1st April, Mutant Hunter will be offered at the £9.99 price on this website followed by the new version of The Pattern Ship later the same month. POD, Nubl Wars and Sky City will all follow in the coming months and will all be priced at £9.99 for the full version. You will be able to download this in the format that your normal audio reader uses and I will provide advice in the FAQ section on how to slipstream an audio book into your mobile phone or tablet.
I welcome your feedback on this and other issues pertaining to sales of my books on this site.
It's taken a while, but I'm now able to sell books directly to you from this website using PayPal (or very securely through your credit card). This is in addition to all the other options out there for buying my books.
Obviously, for you the reader you want the convenience of using your favourite sales channel, one that you're comfortable with and whom you have a longterm relationship. I'm not about to suggest you drop them in favour of buying from me directly, hence the Books2Read link you will see everywhere. Choose your book, select to buy off my site or click the link to go to your preferred sales outlet. Either way a single click of the mouse and you're there. Either way I think you will be pleased at the ease and simplicity of looking here first for your next read.
When I was only selling my books on Amazon, the link from the website was easy to setup and really simple for everyone to use.
Since then, however, I've widened the marketplace for Tobias Roote Books to global levels and am now on virtually every platform that will help me reach new readers which left me with a new problem.
Trying to find a simple and easy user-friendly way to manage all the links, sometimes twenty plus, meant spending all my time juggling with page layouts and link formats. I don't want to spend all day trying to make things line up on a web page when I could be doing something more constructive - like writing. So, obviously something needed to happen.
One of my platforms Draft2Digital has a sister site to manage all the links that it provides as part of its 'aggregator service' (they get to all the large and small sales platforms I can't reach). This site, Books2read.com provides an easy to manage link for me because the aggregator will search EVERY nook and cranny where my books are sold and deliver the direct links to the reader in at most two clicks, but normally only one.
What's more is that it will manage those links and keep them current and upto date. That's a lot of help for a busy writer like me.
So, the end result is you will now see a books2read logo like the one here top-left on every book's sales page, which if you click on it you will be taken to a page with my book on it and offered all the options to buy my book in the online shop you prefer to use for downloading ebooks.
It costs you nothing. It costs me nothing, and Books2Read don't charge anyone for the service.
Once you have selected your preferred platform Books2read remembers your choice (using cookies) and the next time you click a books2read link (anywhere in the world on any book sales website) it will take you directly to your preferred book shop. Not bad eh?
The Books2Read link covers all of these sales platforms all over the world..
I generally ignore such things because I'm not one for following convention, so popular trends like life-changing resolutions tend to be something I do when I feel like it throughout the year. I also only do it when there is good reason, like looking in the mirror after a shower and deciding that too many BBQ's and not enough salads means a steady diet is required.
For me as a writer, resolution is a fundamental work ethic in getting my books started, for finishing them and absolutely essential for ploughing through the final edits before sighing in relief at the satisfying 'clunk' of the keyboard's 'Publish' button.
I thought I'd blog about my writing for a change. It's not that my writing is particularly interesting, just that it's sometimes harder than expected, but almost always, more rewarding than I imagined.
My current work for example, is on the Clone World stories. They develop as I go along and I'm rarely in a situation where my knowledge of the plot or the characters can tell me in advance what is about to occur. The books develop a life of their own. It's the same as writing this blog. I don't know in advance what will result, whether it is going to end up being readworthy enough to go onto the website. My online library is littered with articles that never made it to publish.
In case you didn't already know, we live in a large three-bedroomed villa on a very exposed hillside, surrounded on all sides by olive trees. We have no immediate or visible neighbours. With literally hundreds of acres of olive groves around us dotted with the occasional distant empty holiday villa battened down and shuttered against the winter, we have little to do this time of year except work the land.
It took a long time for me to get over the fact that Pattern Ship wasn't a good 'audio' book, which probably reflected the fact that I had nothing to do with producing any of it, from beginning to end. I was eager, naive and in a hurry so didn't pay attention to matters and as a result left myself with an audio commitment that the US producers wouldn't/couldn't follow through on for the remainder of the series. I think they expected me to stump up the cash for everything from thereon. I continue to get royalties, but the company lacks professionalism and diligence in the admin sector. As a result I'm never truly at ease in dealing with them. Their communication is abysmal and whilst there is little, to no contractual obligation, halting the audio book sales is fraught with problems.
Well, finally here we are. The arrival of Mutant Hunter (Audiobook) is imminent. Only a few more chapters to go before the narrator finishes his work and passes the files across for me to listen to. So far, I'm impressed with Edward's work. He doesn't just 'read' the book out loud, he 'voice acts' the characters and this is backed up with sound effects to help with creating an 'immersive atmosphere'.
As the author there are no surprises in the book for me. Yet, when Edward narrates it I find myself listening to the book as though I'd never read it before. I was spellbound. How can that be?
Anyway, there are thirty-one chapters in all and I'm giving you the chance to listen to the first five of these to help guage people's responses to Edward's style. I think you'll love his British accent and drama-trained voice.
A Sunday morning chat over breakfast produced the discussion of a future world where humanity no longer exists as a biological entity, but rather has evolved into artificial life-forms. The very things we are terrified of will eventually prove to be the preferred descendancy of man
We have come incredibly far with new technology in the last fifty years, yet in the next fifty we will go much, much further. "To the stars and beyond", as some Disney character once said. We won't do it as biological entities though, that's where all the problems lie. If we have to cater for our biological species in space for protracted periods, we wouldn’t make it beyond Mars.
Artificial Intelligence, definition: the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.
Artificial is unreal, man-made, synthetic. Made from a non natural fabric or substance to emulate or copy something real or natural. The dictionary actually defines artificial as: made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural.