This is all business stuff and readers/listeners should not be worried about all that, but it does affect my ability to pump out stories in audio. So, if you care, here it goes (Plus I like to have stuff to point to when I get asked questions):
The current state of Audible is a mess. For reasons unknown, they have looong approval queues. Everybody is affected. To top it all off, they’ve decided that as opposed to being a businessman that is trying to make an honest living, that I’m somehow the same as those code scammers who try to trick the system for short-term gains.
I am not.
ACX has kept me under review for more than 4 months. They don’t tell me what the problem is other than vague ‘issues.’ I’ve missed my Christmas submission, missed 3 more audiobooks, I can’t test my box set which was supposed to be a very good deal for my readers, I can’t make new audiobooks, I can’t do anything. My Cyberpink series got ruined, I can’t use the same narrator for all the books and I can’t do a box set deal for you guys and girls.
The cherry on top of that is that they’ve decided to remove the financial benefit from review codes. Okay, that one is fair, it was too good to be true to begin with.
What that means is that with the cost of making audiobooks, I can no longer partner up with talented narrators and happily split the profits just like I used to all these years. And the other companies do not have such good profit-sharing options, they suck. My partners love working with me, I do so much promo that it makes reading my gibberish out loud worth their while.
That leaves me with either making my own audiobooks, which is pricey, or by cutting costs and hiring cheap freelancers.
The latter is not really worth it in the end. It takes a lot of back and forth, pronunciation guides, proofreading, checking and rechecking, downloading and uploading and publishing to get an audiobook out. The overhead to do all that just to publish a subpar product simply isn’t worth it.
So, since I’m an early adopter and a sci-fi nerd, I’ve decided that moving forward and until the situation changes, my audiobooks will be digitally narrated. Yes, that’s right. They will be made with Amazon’s cutting-edge neural voice synthesis. It’s not just plain text-to-speech, it’s the very best technology out there that uses machine learning.
I know that’s hard for some to hear, but it’s this way or the highway.
My sales do not recuperate thousands of euros in sunk audio production costs. I don’t do popular stuff, I do not cater to the US market, I do not hit all the beats and make boilerplate stories one after another like Marvel movies.
I make unique stuff (not my words). Seriously, check out my reviews. Every single story has a comment from a reader in shock about how unique this shit is. And it’s not a bestseller. Others can spend thousands of euros and make it back in a month, hitting the bestseller lists. I cannot.
So, this is the way.
Neural voice synthesis.
You can get my current audiobooks wide, meaning on all bookshops around the globe except Audible, and on the Mythography shop.
There are more stories to come. Again, this isn’t a simple process, but it’s doable. See you in the future.