When I decided to be my own narrator on TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE, I had no idea what I was getting into. The process has about worn me out. I thought I’d let you, my loyal followers, know what’s going on.
TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE is now available for sale on Audible! That’s the good news. Really good news. And, if you’re not a current Audible listener, you can listen for free with a 30 day trial. (That sounds like an Audible commercial, but I like my work to be available to everyone, even those who can’t pay).
The bad news is that, at some point along the way, I chose exclusive distribution with ACX. I can’t have exclusive distribution with ACX because I’m using the audio content as Season 1 on the podcast ELLEN’S VERY SOUTHERN VOICE: NOVELS TOLD WRITE.
I confirmed that this use—even though it’s not an audiobook—requires non-exclusive distribution. Fortunately, I realized this mistake within 45 seconds of the book being approved for sale on ACX. (Yes, 45 seconds; the ACX rep, Jessica, said, “I see where it’s just gone up today…right now.”) So, as we speak, sweet, kind Jessica is switching the distribution to non-exclusive, and we will delay the launch of the podcast for a week or two until I get a confirming email from Jessica that all is back to where it should be.
Despite the hype, no podcast launched on Friday. 🙁
TRACKING HAPPINESS: A SOUTHERN CHICKEN ADVENTURE is also still available on Amazon in regular ol’ print book or ebook. You can also get to the audiobook using this link (because ACX/Audible is an Amazon product).
I feel like I have learned soooooo much with this venture. And it is cool to see that audiobook button next to the ebook and paperback buttons on Amazon. But I will be glad when I can go back to writing. 🙂
For those of y’all following my novel(s) saga, I thought you might like an update. Also, I need your support—just getting it out here helps me feel I’m not all alone on this journey!
TRAIN TRIP: LUCINDA MAE’S QUEST FOR LOVE, HONOR AND THE CHICKENS, is being read and considered by four agents. Many queries are still outstanding, and I have about 25 more to submit.
MODEL FOR DECEPTION has been reviewed by my paid editor and, mercifully, she sent a mild revision list. She really liked the story, loved the character, and thought it had great “salability” as a women’s mystery. She now has my draft query letter, and I hope to receive her comments shortly. When I do, I’ll begin sending out that query as well.
I chose to revise IN THE NAME OF MISSISSIPPI next, and I’m now done with the final (God, that is such an iffy word) read. I will send this novel on to the editor as well. Who knows what she will think of it:
a young documentarian returns to the South to film a historic civil rights reparations lawsuit, but when the case begins to fall apart, the mixed-race young man must examine his own place in the world.
The manuscript up next will either be THE BONE TRENCH or JAZZY. THE BONE TRENCH should be a quick revision (famous last words) because I have revised it SO much already. On the other hand, I’m eager to get on to the Hurricane Katrina novel, JAZZY. While JAZZY is “finished,” that’s a mere technicality. I don’t even consider it a first draft—which smart authors say doesn’t exist until at least one outside reader has read it. Returning to the world of this young girl who lost her daddy and awaits the birth of a sibling as Hurricane Katrina approaches would be pure joy, a treat after the many months of revision.
In the meantime, the short story collection CAIN’T DO NOTHING WITH LOVE won an award in an independent publishers’ contest, the 2014 CIPA EVYY Awards in Audio Book! I’m so pleased for the success of this experiment I pretty much made up myself—Hey, why don’t I record a collection of stories, pair the stories with charities, and make the collection available almost exclusively for free online. The podiobooks.com listening site has had over 7000 (!) downloads with some wonderful comments. When you add listeners on YouTube, iTunes and the website, you get over 8000 downloads. I think that’s great for (1) short stories (2) that are literary and (3) very Southern. From this, I’ve learned (among many other things) what I want in a website; that many folks for whom English is not the first language can understand my Southern accent; people like my reading voice. It really has been an informative process.
About the website thing, I’m about to consolidate my web presence. Not to get too philosophical, but I feel the time has come to integrate the various bits of me that now exist on the web. From making crosses to this umbrella blog to the story collection site to my old ellen morris prewitt website—they need to be pieces of an integrated whole. My webmaster tells me I can transfer all of y’all to the new site, and no one will be lost. I certainly hope that’s true.
Thanks again for following my journey. I much appreciate it.
Many years ago, I read excerpts from Write Your Heart Out on the local NPR affiliate. In response, the book’s author, my friend and mentor Rebecca McClanahan, said, “Thank you for sharing my words.” Ever since, I’ve had a very specific goal with my writing: getting my words shared.
Followers of this blog know that, right now, I’m in Phase 2 of an audio experiment. My short story collection, Cain’t Do Nothing with Love, was released on podibooks.com on December 28, 2013 (last year, can you believe it’s no longer 20103?). When the collection was released, podiobooks.com—which has over 4000 followers—tweeted it out.
They also included notification of the new release on their podiobooks blog .
In the next seven days, almost 1300 downloads were recorded.
Honestly, I have no idea how this compares with other new releases. I don’t know if all the recorded downloads are folks actually listening. What I do know is that the chance of my words being heard has increased exponentially. Given my long-term goal, I consider that a success. Thank you, podiobooks.com
If you’ve listened to the stories, would you please to go to iTunes and rate/comment on the podcast? It would be very helpful.
If you’ve found us here through Podiobooks, welcome!
The release on Podiobooks is the latest step in a process that began last December. You can read the background on how I came to record my short story collection, Cain’t Do Nothing with Love, by scrolling over the ABOUT tab above and clicking AUTHOR Q&A. You can read more about the recording/story selection process at IN HER OWN WORDS under the same tab.
Sprinkled here and there on this blog are my plans for the future. My current writing projects, my woes wrestling with editing, and my exploration of life in general are at my EllenMorrisPrewitt blog. Here’s a photo of the creative synthesizer at work:
If you’re a writer on audio, let me know—I’m really interested in this process. If you’re a listener and you’d like to share your comments, I’d welcome that too. It’s a long road, this writing one, and I’m glad to have any companions I can get.
As much as I have promoted the free access to the stories—on this blog, iTunes, YouTube—one of the more popular vehicles for listening has been the $10 CDs. People listen in their cars; they use the CDs in their cars.
If you’d like to give a CD for Christmas, let me know. The CD has 4 stories—”Lucky Critters,” “Rollerblader for Jesus,” “Ain’t No Commies ‘Round Here,” and “Just Now.”
That’s 80 minutes of award-winning fiction.
LMK if you’d like to order one. I’d be glad for you to have it.