My virtual book tour finished mid-March, and as with all marketing things, it’s worth taking a look at it to see what I can learn. And I’m also talking about audiobooks, which is the Question of the Month. And… well, Ninja Captain Alex has a new book out 🙂
This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post, in which we share our successes and failures as writers, our insecurities, in fact. Anyone can join in, just sign up at the IWSG Sign-up page, write a blog post on the first Wednesday of the month, and go back to that sign up page to link with everyone else–or a goodly sample. Our host is Alex J Cavanaugh, and cohosting this month are:
Thoughts on the Virtual Book Tour
My Virtual Book Tour for Zanzibar’s Rings is over. I was left feeling very flat when it ended on March 15th, a month after it started. All the work leading up to it–eight guest posts, and a character interview, and the toing and froing with the organiser to make sure all the covers and links were correct. As always, things were a little screwed up for the start, but we sorted it out. Helps being in a different timezone, sometimes, since I sent the solution to mistakes before she woke up!
But I was disappointed very early on, when I realised that several of the guest posts had gone to sites which appear to have no reader interaction (not even my ‘thank you for having me’ message was posted), and not much social media presence. The tour organiser tweeted like mad, though, with several interesting graphics I hadn’t seen before. Maybe a scifi book with a background of delicately drying roses isn’t quite what I imagined as an appropriate sales image, but still…
But my IWSG buddies really came through for me, and Patricia’s innocent question “Why do I write Science Fiction” must be the best guest post I’ve ever written (although the ones for Princelings Revolution for Denise and Ronel come a very close second!). Thank you all.
I did get two nice reviews out of the tour, but only one has made it to Goodreads so far, and I’m watching online retailers for the others. I’m often slow putting mine up, so I can’t complain.
Will I do another? Well, despite the continued support of this form by some of my writer friends, no. It’s obviously not a good fit for me. If I wrote cosy mysteries I’d use Great Escapes Virtual Tours, but I wouldn’t recommend this one. And maybe scifi and blog tours simply don’t go together?
Audiobooks – the question of the month
Have any of your books been made into audio books? If so, what is the main challenge in producing an audiobook?
The first two of my Princelings books are available as audiobooks – and I have codes for free downloads available if you’d like one to review (leave a comment and I’ll respond to the email you use).
Er, yes. The third.
The third seems to be a victim of covid. I know the narrator is okay, but has had health problems. He finished the first round, but so far has not fit the revisions in among his other projects. I must wave at him and see if he can give me some of his time.
- Even if you know exactly the right voice, and it belongs to an experienced voice artist, and you use the usual contract form, don’t cut corners, go through the routine to find your voice artist online and ask them to bid
- Be clear about the type of accent you’d prefer for each speaking character unless it REALLY doesn’t matter. Make sure your artist knows the basic fallback (and if you want e.g. Ohio, make sure you audition for it)
- Be picky when you review your voice files. Be as picky as you want.
- Go through the voice files with your manuscript or published book in front of you.
- If it’s already in paperback, the audio words have to match the paperback… unless…
- If you’re happy to bring out a new version, then give the artist the new version to record, and then amend your version for any words that are better than yours! Then publish your new edition before the audiobook comes out (Audible, for one, will check against the ebook)
- Be picky. But be nice. And don’t over-apologise. Your voice artist is as professional as you are.
- After all this effort, have a plan for launch and marketing
I hope that helps.
And finally… CASSADARK is out now!
I read it as more-or-less standalone, so don’t worry if you haven’t read the rest of Ninja Captain Alex’s series. See my review here.