Audiobook Reviews: Dragon’s Future by Kandi J. Wyatt

Introduction:

I’ve probably read 5 stories that have dragons in them in my life. Conclusion = dragons are cool.

Summary:

This is a story about dragons and the people who ride them. The dragon population is dwindling. If nothing’s done, the entire colony could cease to exist.

 

Additional Comments:

– It took me a while to get into the story, but the end fits well and is awesome. There’s a lot of setup that needs to happen.

– The names were a tad difficult to follow in audio format. Ruskya and Duskya, Kyn, Wynn (spelling??), etc. It was hard to keep straight who was a dragon and who was a human. I feel like seeing the words would have made that easier somehow. At least there was also a Carol.

  • It’s a series, so I think some of this will be explained in future books.

– The performance was okay. The narrator was good but didn’t have a great range of characters so it was difficult to delineate who was speaking based on voice alone.

– Duskya could have had more page time, but for the most part, there’s decent balance between who gets to be in what scene.

Pros:

– There are a lot of things to love in here: dragons!, the ability to ride them, mental connections, twin bonds, bad guys, and a ton of great characters. (Yes, distinguishing could be difficult, but there were a ton of people who were so down to earth. You just want to spend an afternoon getting to know them.)

– I think the story’s aimed at the middle grade audience, so even though there’s violence you’ll find it scrubbed fairly well.

 

Conclusion:

This is the type of story that would be good on a long car ride. It’s something to share with younger children. If you love dragons, you won’t want to miss Dragon’s Future.

 

Special Treat:

Please note that this book is permafree. You can grab a copy for FREE. Add the audio version at a discount after that. If you want the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author with an audiobook you’d like featured on the weekly list, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

For a limited time, I’m offering a fantasy book to anybody who supports Audiobook Edge.

Audiobook Reviews: Swept Up by Kayla Dawn Thomas

Introduction:

I don’t generally read romance so I can’t compare it to tons of other books. That said, I thought it was pretty good.

Summary:

This is a complicated book. Webster Baker and Kara Deleray meet in a very unusual way and their relationship stays cool, then rocky for a while.

Additional Comments:

– The beginning could be seen as the adventures of Web picks up the pieces of Kara. Every couple meets some way. Web almost runs over Kara with his street sweeper. The introduction of Web takes quite a bit but it’s worth it.
– Kara’s relationship with Darren didn’t exactly put her in a flattering light. Some people are probably going to have issues with her being a professor and him being a grad student.
– Romance isn’t a genre I necessarily gravitate to. That said, I’d categorize it as mild/medium heat level. It wouldn’t land on a “clean” fiction list, but the physical side of the relationship is handled with care.

– I didn’t care for the way Kara’s family was portrayed, (ie. that Christian = judgmental) but there are mitigating circumstances explained later in the story. She was a realistically flawed character.
– A plot point or two could be considered the “expected unexpected” but it works here. You’ll probably find yourself rooting for the couple.

Pros:

– The author includes some pretty heavy-hitting topics. (Alcoholism, need for love/acceptance, mental illness and it’s effects on family, etc.) All of these are also handled with relative grace.
– The main character’s struggle with alcohol is genuine, but I personally got annoyed at her a few times. This tells me that the author has some skill at creating realistic characters. Web’s a little too saint-like to be realistic, but I think that’s fitting. He’s not quite knight-in-shining-armor status, but he’s up there.
– I heard the audiobook. The narrator wasn’t my favorite, but she does a hands-down awesome job at male voices. (It might be the best I’ve ever heard from a female narrator.)
– My favorite scene by far is at the cowboy bar.

Conclusion:

Kara and Web’s journey together is a worthwhile one to watch if you enjoy romance stories.

 

Special Offer:

If you want the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge. Note, this will not be featured on the main list but it is available in the Matchmaker Program.

If you’re an author with an audiobook you’d like featured on the weekly list, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

For a limited time, I’m offering a fantasy book to anybody who supports Audiobook Edge.

Awesome Audiobooks – Hide and Seek by Amy Shojai

For all who love audiobooks …

Welcome to this series of reviews. Since starting Audiobook Edge, I have had the privilege of listening to a slew of wonderful audiobooks. I’m eager to share them with you. These are the books that will be available to you – the reader courtesy of the author or in some cases, the narrator. In this case, that applies to both since the author did the narrator herself.

*I will do my best to keep spoilers to a minimum*

Summary:

September Day’s got a past that’s catching up in a dangerous way.

Random Comments:

– I’ve not read or heard the first in the series.

– There are a few sections in here from Shadow’s (the dog) pov. I’d become familiar with the author’s penchant for such things through her Kindle Worlds story, Born to Love, so it fit fine. It adds a charming element to the work.

– Much of the story is grim as there’s clearly a stalker at work. But there are enough other sideplots to keep it light.

– The narration was decent. I’m super picky about such things and I’ve heard a lot of audios, so I could hear where some of the edit pts weren’t completely clean. They were few enough and far enough between to keep from interfering with the entertainment value.

– There was quite a bit of setup. Things were tied together in the end, but it’s on the long side, so expect to need to wade in to get the full value out of the work.

– The cover makes more sense once the story’s done. I love when that happens.

– There are some authors you would never want to be a character for … this is certainly true for Ms. Shojai. Poor September.

Conclusion:

A great addition to the world of audiobooks. This can be read/listened to without having heard the first, though I’m sure that there’s an added layer of enjoyment for fans familiar with the series already. Check this one out.

Special Treat:

If you want the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge. This book will appear in the May 7, 2017 edition of the program.

If you’re an author with an audiobook you’d like featured on the weekly list, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

For a limited time, I’m offering a fantasy book to anybody who supports Audiobook Edge.

Audiobook Edge Matchmaker Program – for Authors

Introduction:

If you’re an author looking to get more publicity for your audiobook, check out Audiobook Edge for Authors.

Many books won’t be appropriate for the larger list. So, I’d like to start a Matchmaker Program within Audiobook Edge. I will survey the readers and find out what they like. After I gain insight into each person’s tolerance for strong language, adult content, violence, and audiobook length as well as their genre preferences, I will match readers to books. You – the author – will prep a pitch highlighting the wonders of your book. Then, I will send it to them. The readers contact the author if they want to try the book. If the reader chooses not to accept a book, they get in touch with me with the reason and I get back to the author. As such, I fully intend to play middleman.

Pros:

  • You trade numbers and volume of exposure for a more targeted audience. Because of the personal touch, I  expect you’ll have an easier time of getting a reader to review your book, keep in touch, etc.
  • You can do both! Books accepted to the larger list can be relisted privately. Or you can list a second and third book here while one remains on the larger list. I will keep it open for second and third books by the same author to make it to the general list but they do get low priority in the queue.
  • Many more genres will be accepted. (Nonfiction, contemporary romance, historical fiction, true crime, comedy, mythology, poetry, sports fic, western, short story, etc.)

The Catch:

  • This will be a paid service. Initially – $2.00 for 1-5 possible matches. I’m all about making things affordable for authors, but it should help with the overhead of maintaining the list. If all 5 of the first people I query turn it down, I will ask another 5. After that, we can talk. Most likely, I’ll just refund your $2.00. The first 5 will be free as I’ll be using them as experiments to work out the kinks.
  • Please note, you are not paying for a review. You are paying to get your audiobook into the hands of 1-5 reader(s) who will likely enjoy your work. In your personal pitch, you can talk about yourself, the nature of your works, and anything else you think that would “sell” it to the reader. Please include content warnings as appropriate. (There’s nothing worse than connecting with somebody who hates what you write.) Ultimately, it’s their choice to get in contact with you. If nobody contacts you in a few days, email me and I’ll follow up with them to see what’s up.

More Fine Print:

  • It could be a while before your book works its way through this program. I’m going to take it slow at first.
  • Please only include your public email address. I am only making the introduction; the rest is up to you.
  • I cannot guarantee you will have success with this venture, but hopefully, we’ll all get the chance to meet some wonderful readers.
  • I reserve the right to reject certain genres. (ie. erotica, dark horror, and similar genres)

Not a part of Audiobook Edge for Authors? No problem, sign up here.

Questions and comments may be directed to me at devyaschildren @gmail.com.

Audiobook Edge Matchmaker Program – for Readers

Introduction:

I’d like to introduce you to an exciting new opportunity within Audiobook Edge. You can see the full post on that at this blog post. I’m starting a Matchmaker Program. If you’re not a member yet, that’s cool, there’s a direct link below for you to join if it sounds like something you’d enjoy. Long and short of AE – Readers get free/discounted audiobooks.

Pros:

  • Access to many more genres. A book might be “rejected” from the normal Audiobook Edge list for one of several reasons: wrong genre (large list aimed at mystery, thriller, scifi, and fantasy), too much violence, sex, or strong language, too long, etc. Genres I hope to add through this: nonfiction, contemporary romance, historical fiction, and slightly darker mysteries.
  • You get a much better chance of grabbing the audiobook. (competition for it will be much smaller) I will only be sending matchmaker emails to 1-5 people at a time for any particular title.

Details:

  • Most of these books will be those “rejected” from the standard Audiobook Edge list as that will be highly focused on mystery, scifi, thriller, and some YA appropriate fantasy. I will try to be as clear as possible about what you’re getting.
  • That said, I will not have read these books, so it will be based on a proposal from the author. I cannot guarantee that you will love every book I send. The success of a match will depend largely on how well you fill out the interest survey. (Be as thorough and clear about your preferences as possible.)
  • I will still not represent several very dark genres. (ie. erotica, dark horror)

Fine Print:

  • This will involve way more email communication between you and me and you and the author I match you with. As such, you must grant me permission to use the public email address for this purpose. (Consent is implied in your application to this program.) I will not sell your email address to anybody. You will be working through me. The decision to contact the author after you see the pitch is completely yours.
  • You must apply for this. I’m looking for people who love authors, can communicate well, and will review the audiobook if they happen to enjoy it. All readers are welcome to the larger list, but the authors are paying a small fee for this program, so I want to be sure they have a good experience.
  • I reserve the right to remove you from Matchmaker if too many authors report poor experiences. (This is meant to be a great experience for everybody.  If it’s just not working out, it’s best just to part ways.)

Questions and comments may be directed to me at devyaschildren @gmail.com.

Not a part of Audiobook Edge yet? No problem. Go to this page to sign up.

How to Get a Narrator You Love

Introduction:

You’ve worked really hard to get your book ready to good, and now you want to take the next step. There’s something highly gratifying about hearing a talented actor/actress bring the words to life. A few people have the time, talent, and recording devices necessary for doing this themselves. I admire these people, but I’m definitely not one of them. This article is directed to the majority of people who need to search up a narrator. Also, I don’t know much about the traditional publishing world of audiobook creation. I’m going to be speaking about using Audiobook Creation Exchange.

I’ve talked to several authors in various Facebook groups who wonder things like:

  • How do I get a great narrator?
  • How long should I wait once I get a few auditions?

So, how do you find and hire a narrator you’ll love?

The first time I sort of got lucky. The first or second person who posted an audition fit my idea of the character voices perfectly. In hindsight, I might have found somebody even more fitting if I’d gone through the process I’m going to describe below, but I still enjoy the work done with Kristin Condon.

Here’s how I did got the perfect narrator the other 3 times:

  1. I selected the characteristics I was looking for on ACX’s search section. First major choice is male/female. Other things you should consider is budget (more on that later),  style, and accents.
  2. I listened to random samples from people who matched my search parameters. More on pricing later, but I would probably go with people who are in the price bracket above what you think you can afford.
  3. Once I had a list of 10-15ish people I really loved, I wrote a general letter then adapted it for each person. I sent these narrators an invitation to audition for my book. Generally, if you contact 15 people, most will get back to you, a few will be too busy or not interested because of the price you’re offering, but the others will thank you for the invite and post an audition in about a week’s time.
  4. Set a timeframe like 1-2 weeks for when you’ll close auditions. Once everybody who promised an audition comes through, listen to the auditions carefully and choose your favorite.
  5. Privately message everybody as you get auditions to keep them updated on the status of their audition. If you don’t intend to hire somebody, thank them for taking the time to audition and let them know that. Be up front and honest. These people are auditioning for a lot of projects because it’s a tough way to make a living.
  6. Offer a contract to your top choice, but don’t burn bridges with your second and third choice because your top choice might not accept the contract.

Pricing Notes:

Some people have a large budget to put behind the audiobook venture. Others are popular enough to attract a stipend from ACX which will definitely increase the number of auditions you receive. But for the rest of us price is going to be an issue.

Reality – It can easily take about 4-6 (or even more) hours of work to get a finished hour of audiobook ready to go. The narrator needs to read the story, prep the voices, record the chapters, edit, and then re-edit to fix up any mistakes. Keep that in mind moving forward.

Royalty Share: This is the best deal for authors because you’re not taking any of the financial risk. You’re narrator creates the book for you, you approve it, and then once it’s on sale you split any royalties with the narrator.

If you can only do RS, that’s fine, but keep in mind this will likely limit you to those who are just starting out or doing it as a hobby. Most of the people with experience will stick to pfh because of the tremendous amount of work it will take to create the audiobook.

I prefer to put $50 pfh on the table, that’s the lowest paid per finished hour you can use. Most of the really talented people have $100-200 pfh. I privately let people know that I fully intend to give them a private bonus once the project goes live. ACX’s messaging system is pretty clunky but you can get their email addresses and discuss the project privately.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email: devyaschildren @ gmail.com