Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Crowdfunding Progress Report

            It’s been over a month since I started my GoFundMe campaign. I’m happy to say I’m 1.6% of the way to reaching my goal. When I look at other artists attempting to fund personal projects that’s a good start, but there is still a long way to go.
            One of the reasons I chose GoFundMe as the crowdfunding option to turn Auteurs,Adaptations and Outsider into an audiobook is because it isn’t an all or nothing fundraiser. As soon as I earn enough to start the recording process, I will book studio time in a recording studio and get the show on the road, one essay at a time. There are ten essays in the book, so I’m estimating that the process will take about ten four hour sessions of recording, editing, and mastering to the strict audiobook standards of Audible and iTunes.
            I’ve started rehearsing the final essay in the book which is the most personal chapter. A portion of the essay called “My Film Odyssey” will be used as a sample for prospective listeners. Once I have the audio sample in the can, I hope to post it to my Soundcloud account. I have been talking to Matt Heilmann at OrganicMedia about directing and engineering the audiobook. We have worked together on many projects. I have faith that he will endeavor to capture my best performance. If there is one thing I’ve learned from listening to hundreds of audiobooks, it’s that the best ones are performed, not just read. In order to live up to the quality I look for in an audiobook, I’ve spent some time reading passages of Auteurs,Adaptations, and Outsiders aloud and recording them to scrutinize my performance. I realize that I’m a bit out of practice. It’s been a while since I read aloud on a regular basis. It may take some time to find the precise voice for each essay.
As I’ve said before, it’s so easy to publish today. You don’t have to wait for a publisher to accept your manuscript. If you have an interest you can blog about it on Blogger or a Wordpress site. If you’re a person of few words, you can make sweet tweets on Twitter or microblog on Tumblr. For those who seek electronic or hardcopy publication, Kindle Direct and CreateSpace have given birth to a self-publishing revolution.
In his book, On Writing, Stephen King recalls the years that he spent collecting rejection slips from publishers, “By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing”. That sort of resilience is rare. Most writers don’t maintain that level of persistence when faced with rejection. When you self-publish, there are no rejection slips to nail to the wall. But now that you are publishing on your own, it’s up to you to find an audience and spread the word. Adding an audiobook to the mix can take your work to a larger audience.
If you would like to help make my audiobook a reality, here is the link to my GoFundMe camapaign: Auteurs, Adaptations, and Outsiders Audiobook Fundraiser


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Crowdfunding to Produce and Market an Audiobook

Auteurs, Adaptations, and Outsiders
            I’ve heard it said, the older you get, the less risk you take. Now, I’ve never been one to risk physical injury, although when I was a teenager, I would wait until I was at the highest point in the air, and then jump off of a swing set.
            The biggest risk that I take nowadays, other than descending the slippery stairs on a snowy day to seek out my favorite coffee shop, is putting myself out there daily on Social Media, posting photos, videos, blogs, and sharing other people’s posts.
On any given day, I juggle multiple personal projects in the hopes that the work will make me smarter. For me, the quest for knowledge is so much finer when you can use what you have learned to make something worth sharing.
            On the agenda this month, besides putting away the reminders of Christmas and Hanukah, is preparation for a talk at the Auburn Library and figuring out my next move to promote my crowdfunding campaign. If you have gotten this far, you have probably figured out that this blog is my next move.
            Why did I decide to do a crowdfunding campaign?
When I discovered that Kindle Direct Publishing offered an option to easily turn my eBook, Auteurs, Adaptations, and Outsiders, into a paperback book, I took it. Turning my movie related blog posts into an eBook was exciting, but turning the eBook into a paperback book would take things to the next level. Then, I discovered an option to make the book into an audiobook. I love audiobooks. I “read” more audiobooks than eBooks and real books.
            My first thought was that I might just record the book on my phone. When I made a video a few years ago, I locked myself in the closet and recorded the narration on my iPhone. It didn’t turn out too bad. You can check it out here.  But then I looked at the audio specifications for iTunes and Audible recordings and I realized that I would need more control over the recording and editing process. If I was going to make a proper audiobook, it would have to be made in a controlled environment and overseen by a Professional Producer/Director/Engineer.
            A great audiobook usually requires opening and closing music, plus transitional music between chapters. You can’t just use whatever music you happen to like. The rights have to be licensed, whether it’s already recorded or you have someone come up with an original score.
            Obviously, this stuff costs money.
            Over the years, I have self-produced hundreds of projects: radio shows, TV shows, photo exhibitions, concerts, and comedy shows. This is something I would love to do, but I’m not in the financial position to produce an audiobook on my own at this time. I need help.
            If you can’t help now, maybe you know someone who can. Share the link to my GoFundMe campaign or share a link to this blog. If you would like to own the eBook or the paperback version of Auteurs, Adaptations, and Outsiders, here’s a link to my Amazon Author Page.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.