Where were you when you heard about Amazon’s changes to the Kindle Unlimited policy? I was having the wind knocked out of me after publishing my first serial short story, Grendel Uprising: Proof of Death. Initial reports of the new payment policy upset some authors and caused others to do the happy dance. The version I first received was that the new KU policy was going to punish writers of short fiction.
I thought to myself, “Good job, Moon. Brilliant time to commit to a twelve part serial. Very nice.”
I did a little research. Hugh Howey chimed in with his opinion on the matter, as he is prone to do. In his blog post, Why KU Short Fiction Still Makes Sense, he makes the argument that quality matters in this payment paradigm. If your book, regardless of length, is borrowed and not finished, you don’t get paid. This is either scary or brilliant. The good news is that readers can put the book down, pick it up again much later, and the author is still paid when it is finished. Mr. Howey also argues that books and stories that are finished are more likely to be reviewed.
A six hundred page novel, read to completion, gets rewarded the same as six one-hundred-page novelettes that are read all the way through. This makes the payment scheme literally six of one and a half dozen of another. Chris McMullen offers a nice summary of the changes that begin on July 1st. (15 Questions & Answers about the new Kindle Unlimited policy effective July 1)
I hope that you enjoy reading short fiction and would consider my newest publication, Grendel Uprising: Proof of Death. This stand alone science fiction tale of adventure is episode one of a monthlies series. GU: PoD was professionally edited using the Triangulation services of BZHercules.com.
After July 1st, I will only get reimbursed for my effort if readers like the story enough to read all of it. :)
I hope this new version of Kindle Unlimited really does effectively reward quality writing and serious authors. This has been my dream for thirty-three years. If self publishing crashes and burns, destroying the great opportunities writers of all walks of life currently enjoy, I will still be writing fiction thirty-three years from now!
Thanks for stopping by.
Grendel Uprising: Proof of Death (17, 000 words)
The longest journey begins with a single step, or a high-altitude insertion from the extreme upper atmosphere. What could possibly go wrong? Aefel 70391, a proud member of the First Armored-infantry Lightning Division, must find the Emperor's assassin on a forgotten planet populated by blood thirsty vikings.
Once, long ago when wealthy adventure tourists finally admitted they could not travel back in time, the Grendel Corporation purchased planet 0473829 for cheap and populated it with historical reenactment volunteers. Expenses soared. Bankruptcy followed. Technology went dark. The Earth System Commonwealth Military slowly withdrew protection from the economically and strategically insignificant project.
Seccon 99991, First General and Chief Strongarm of Emperor Dan Uburt-Wesson, disappeared as thoroughly as a myth after committing regicide. A small, but well informed faction of the Earth System Commonwealth Military believe that he has hidden on the primitive — and privately owned — world of Grendel 0473829.
Seccon must die; this is known.
What is the killer seeking in the last corner of human explored space?
Aefel must learn the answer or face permanent exile in the land time pretended to forget.
Episode 2, Grendel Uprising: Blood Royal, is scheduled for a July release date. Seccon betrayed the Emperor of the Earth Systems Commonwealth. Did he make a mistake? Can he keep the Blood Royal alive when modern commandos want them dead?
In the previous post, I discussed the characterization of Uhtred, Son of Uhtred, of Bebbanburg and his tendency to act rashly. Today, I want to switch it up a bit and discuss a topic near and dear to my heart--the audiobook version of The Pale Horseman as narrated by Jonathan Keeble.
I listened to the sample of Jamie Glover reading this book, and thought it sounded good--a style and cadence of speech that I could listen to for a long time. Ultimately, this is the litmus test for audiobook readers.
The version I am listening to, however, is read by Jonathan Keeble, who burst into my favorites list like an axe wielding Viking of the vocal world. He doesn’t just read, he acts. It really sound like he is putting body-English and facial expression into the microphone.
This blog article is particularly meaningful today, to me at least, because I am listening to the final version of one of my own books, Son of Orlan. Most writers dream of seeing their books in print. That definitely gets me jazzed up like a monkey full of Starbucks go-juice, but hearing a talented professional narrate my stories--well, it’s like going to Disney Land after winning the world series.
Many, many times I have blogged about my love of the audiobook medium.
Why so serious?
In the past, I’ve talked about convenience and how great it is to listen to a book on a long drive. Yes, yes, that is true. But there is a lot more to my obsession. I think the spoken word is good for writers; storytelling began as an oral tradition of great importance to the tribe. When done correctly, the rhythm, range, and tension of the narrator brings good (and sometimes bad) things to life.
All of this, I have said before. This morning, it occurs to me that there is a much simpler explanation. When I hear an audiobook, I slide effortlessly into the story world. It relaxes and excites me, encourages visualization, and takes me away like a genre-hopping time machine.
Audiobooks are great. I hope you will try one out, and if you do, look for my top seven list of great narrators (which is kinda-sorta in order by the voice actor, not the actual stories):
The Pale Horseman by Bernard Cornwell (as narrated by Jonathan Keeble) (The Last Kingdom is book one in this series),
The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen (as narrated by Henry Strozier),
Cop Town by Karin Slaughter (as narrated by Kathleen Early),
The Pillars of Earth Ken Follet (as narrated by John Lee),
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (as narrated by Roy Dotrice),
Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian (as narrated by Simon Vance),
Wool by Hugh Howey (as narrated by Amanda Sayle)
If you listen to the above series, I am confident that you will share my deep appreciation for the spoken word! (I have no financial affiliation with any of the above works, just a deep affinity for awesomeness and the need to share what I like with you, dear reader. If they wanted to send me a check, I wouldn't say no, but I ain't holding my breath:)
I also have three audiobooks available thanks to the talented new voice actor and musician, Reece Allan Morse: Dragon Badge, Dragon Attack, and also Enemy of Man. Son of Orlan will be available soon.
The more traditional versions of my science fiction and urban fantasy books are available here. The Kindle editions are available through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime as well.
Thanks for stopping by,
Life is an adventure. I read to expand my horizons and write because I must.
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