I’ve long been a huge fan of the PsyCop series by Jordan Castillo Price. Recently, the books started to be converted to audio. Whereas I seem to be cursed with an inability to pay attention to an audiobook, many people are huge fans and I thought this would be wonderful for both the books and the readers. When Jordan was looking for blogs to help tell readers about the release of Body & Soul on audio I leapt at the chance to host a spot. ~ Faye
Faye posed the question, “What was the process like to have them turned into audio books? What steps did you have to take?”
Indie publishing never ceases to amaze me. Not only is it now possible to write and publish ebooks, paperbacks and hardcovers without the involvement of a traditional publisher, but you can also find actors and producers to bring your work to life at the Audiobook Creation Exchange (www.acx.com).
The book needs to be in the Amazon system before you can “claim” your audio rights at ACX. As the author, you select a small section of the story to serve as your audition script, about ten minutes or so. With check-boxes and drop down menus, you specify what sort of voice you’re looking for. Among the Living’s specs looked like this:
Requires a narrator who can perform:
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Character Age: Adult
Vocal Style: Quirky
Then the author must pitch the story to potential narrators and producers. This was my pitch:
PsyCop is a combination of paranormal thriller and police procedural. It’s a first-person story with a profoundly awkward narrator, Victor Bayne. The story is set in Chicago, so the ability to make the more meathead characters sound like “Da Bears” skit is a plus.
The series’ broader genre is known as M/M or gay romance, meaning the sex scenes are explicit and on-page. Library Journal named the first PsyCop novel as one of ten must-have books for libraries building a core collection of gay romance.
This story was originally published by a small press. Now that the rights have reverted, I’m self-publishing through JCP Books.
My primary marketing is via direct email. My mailing list has over 3,500 subscribers. Among the Living (PsyCop 1) has been translated into French, and a German translation is forthcoming.
Producers have access to my pitch, and the story excerpt itself, plus they are also able to view how many reviews the story has on Amazon and what its sales rank is. Readers, if you don’t realize your reviews are important, here’s yet another example of a way in which your support makes a huge difference. Books with few reviews are less likely to be auditioned for by potential narrators.
I wouldn’t say tons of auditions rolled in, but I did get a few. Some were okay. Some were bizarre. Why anyone with a pronounced southern accent would waste his time doing the audition when I specified I needed a Chicago guy, I have no idea. I liked one actor a lot, and we emailed back and forth, but I heard too much East Coast in his vowels—maybe he wasn’t even aware of it, but PsyCop is so regional, I couldn’t wrap my head around Victor Bayne speaking with Massachusetts vowels.
Since I was traveling abroad for the UK Meet at the time, I didn’t rush into making any decisions. That turned out to be a stroke of luck. When I got back home, I found an audition waiting for me that blew all the others out of the water, by a stage and screen actor, Gomez Pugh.
Among the Living was a getting to know each other process. As we work on subsequent stories, we can do additional prep work together. I pull passages from important characters and we strategize how to make them distinct from one another and sound somewhat like they do in my head. He asks for clarification on oddball words. (And I make up plenty of words, yes I do. Some of which are practically unsayable.) Really, the hard part, for me, is done. I’ve found the voice of Vic. Gomez does all the heavy lifting—he books the studio and the engineer, and then he provides the performance that makes my writing look good!
But don’t just take my word for it, listen to samples from the PsyCop audiobooks yourself:
Stream a sample from each book at the PsyCop site
Among the Living (PsyCop #1):
Criss Cross (PsyCop #2):
Body & Soul (PsyCop #3):
And my gift to all of you, Thaw (PsyCop #1.1)
Jordan is best known as the author of the PsyCop series, an unfolding tale of paranormal mystery and suspense starring Victor Bayne, a gay medium who’s plagued by ghostly visitations. Also check out her new series, Mnevermind, where memories are made…one client at a time.
With her education in fine arts and practical experience as a graphic designer, Jordan set out to create high quality ebooks with lavish cover art, quality editing and gripping content. The result is JCP Books, offering stories you’ll want to read again and again.