Things have been busy around here in the last two weeks or so. First, my publishing company, Sanddiver Books Inc. is entering the world of audiobook production. We’ve just signed a contract with Findaway Voices to engage a narrator who’ll turn Death Comes But Once (Decker’s War Book 1) into an audiobook, with a projected release date sometime around August. If all goes well, the rest of the series will be turned into audiobooks over the coming year or so, followed by the Ghost Squadron series. But what about the remaining Siobhan Dunmoore books you’re no doubt asking. That’s a little trickier. As you might recall, the first three, along with the four Ashes of Empire books were produced by one of the leading audiobook publishers, Tantor Media, and I still hope they’ll pick up the remaining Dunmoore novels. If it becomes clear they won’t, then we’ll go ahead and do them ourselves.
In the meantime, we’re conducting an experiment with the Constabulary Casefiles books in the audio realm. Google, never a company to let innovation escape them, has created a means of auto-generating audiobooks based on ebooks in the Google Play inventory. In other words, the audiobooks thus created are narrated by an Artificial Intelligence. And they’re remarkably good, all things considered, though in my opinion AI narration is best for novels told in the first person, because the AI cannot do different voices in a single recording, unlike a human narrator. As a result, we’re putting out all three Constabulary Casefiles in audio on Google Play and Kobo (the only places that’ll accept AI narrators). The Warrior’s Knife is already available, with A Colonial Murder to follow later this week. The price is less than half that of a human narrated audiobook. Mind you, my editor is spending at least a week per book to make sure all of the AI’s mispronunciations are corrected, so it’s not just a push the button and done deal. If you’re curious, both retailers allow you to listen to a decent sample for free so go see for yourself what this is all about. We may well have them re-done with a human narrator at a later date, now that we’re serious getting into the audiobook business.
Next, I’ve take down the forum. It wasn’t being used as I hoped and instead has been the target for bots and scammers (I’ll let you guess from which part of the world predominantly at the moment). It might return at some later date if I see a better way of using it, or it might be gone for good. Same with the Sanddiver Bookstore. We dealt with a bot-generated credit card scam in February. Fortunately, our credit card processor, Stripe, caught on quickly and the only one out of pocket, by under $20, was me. Since sales were never really phenomenal, we haven’t put it back up, though it’s still there.
Finally, I’m at the 70% completion mark for Ashes of Empire: Imperial Ghosts.
And that is all the news fit to print. Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.