The Box in Audiobook, at last
I’m happy to report that The Box is finally available as an audiobook. Making it was a great adventure, one that taught me about an innovative piece of the publishing business about which I knew nothing.
For this, I need to give credit to an audiobook fan who wanted to know why he couldn’t listen to The Box. He introduced me to ACX, a web-based audiobook production service run by Audible, which in turn is owned by Amazon.com. Once I affirmed that I hold the audio rights to The Box, ACX let me search for a reader by proposing a method of compensation and selecting the characteristics of the ideal reading voice from pull-down menus. (My one complaint: ACX required me to solicit either a male or female reader; I would have been open to either, but did not have that option.) I uploaded a couple of pages of text to the ACX website, and within a day 11 people had auditioned to produce my book by uploading trial recordings. I selected a producer named Adam Lofbomm, based strictly on his audition, and we agreed to do business. Two weeks later, Adam had recorded and edited 11 hours of The Box. It took a couple more days to fix errors and come up with a cover design, and then the audiobook went on sale at Audible, Amazon.com, and the iTunes store.
It’s clear that Audible has given great thought to the publishing process. The contacts between Adam and myself ran through the ACX website, so Audible has a formal record of our dealings and agreement. Audible also keeps track of sales on these three outlets and will pay Adam and me directly, so he doesn’t have to worry about being treated fairly by me. If I ever want to know how many audiobooks have been sold, I can log on to the ACX website and find out. Try that with a book publisher!
So if you know people who love audiobooks, please pass the word: The Box is there for the listening. Many thanks to the people — there were several of them — who prodded me to arrange it. And thanks to Adam Lofbomm for producing it so quickly and so well.