Space Opera With a Twist

Tag: Death Comes But Once

May Flowers

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.

Miscellaneous Updates

A few updates I thought I’d share as a blog post for those not inclined to go delving into the murky depths of my site.

  1. The ‘blurb’ for The Path of Duty (Siobhan Dunmoore – Book 2) has been posted on the book’s page https://ericthomsonblog.wordpress.com/books-by-eric-thomson-2/the-path-of-duty-siobhan-dunmoore-book-2/
  2. You may have noticed that the Zack Decker story Death Comes But Once is now the first book in a series called Decker’s War.  The Amazon product sites have been changed to reflect this.
  3. The ‘blurb’ and cover for Cold Comfort (Decker’s War – Book 2) has been posted on the book’s page https://ericthomsonblog.wordpress.com/books-by-eric-thomson-2/cold-comfort-deckers-war-book-2/
  4. The publication of Death Comes But Once in paperback has finally occurred!  It is the new edition, with all the editorial changes that were recommended, and matches the ebook version.
  5. For those who care about world building notes, I’ve added background on the Shrehari Empire to the Political Structures page and some background for the Decker’s War series on The Marines of Decker’s War page.  As I may have mentioned before these info dumps are as much a means for me to put much of the data required to maintain continuity between books in one place as it is to inform readers who enjoy being sucked into an info vortex.

I expect that the first re-write of The Path of Duty will be done by early May, at which point it goes into my editor’s hands for the red pencil treatment.  When that occurs, I’ll work on the first draft of Cold Comfort, whose opening chapter has already been written.