As I approach that special moment of sending The Black: Outbreak to my publisher, it’s time I owned up to something. I have in the past few weeks mentioned that I was hard at work on a secret audio project. Well, it’s time to reveal that secret, especially since it won’t be finished in time anyway.
Last year, I mentioned that The Black: Arrival was probably the last audiobook I would ever narrate. It was supposed to be the last, the very last, except for anything having to do with The Street. However, circumstances have forced my hand.
When I released The Black on audible, it quickly made a lot of money. “A lot” being commensurate with “more than a few bucks.” It didn’t seem to matter that the audiobook was released long after the actual book came out. Listeners flocked to it and I was both surprised and elated by its sales. I considered hiring someone to narrate The Black: Arrival for me, but I was trying to make a deadline and it would have been impossible. Turned out I needn’t have bothered. Arrival took a long time to finish and put on the Audible store. I swore to myself I’d hire a pro for the third book. And then I looked at the sales.
Arrival hasn’t sold nearly as well as The Black. In fact, its sales are downright dismal by comparison. Based on that data, I decided that instead of spending $1500-2000 to have Outbreak narrated, and lose money on it in the process, it would be better if I sat my fat ass in the chair again and babbled into the microphone. Thus, here we are.
So I’m back to narrating. Back to audio. And that is affecting my writing. As per usual. While I expect Outbreak will sell better than Arrival, I’m not convinced it will do well enough to pay for professional narration. The Black series, fortunately or unfortunately, is the cash cow that helps pay for my, um, less popular works. So losing money on The Black affects the production of works like Closet Treats and Garaaga’s Children.
It’s a dilemma. I’d rather be writing, creating new worlds, and inflicting horror on a new set of characters than recording something. Especially since it’ll be the fifth or sixth time I’ve read this particular manuscript. But this is a business. The audio for Outbreak, even if it sells as dismally as Arrival did, will still make enough money to cover many business expenses. From a financial point of view, I’d be foolish not to focus on recording the audio for both Audible and the podcast.
What does this mean? It means I’m writing much slower than I was. It means it will be some time before I refocus myself on creating more fiction. It means fewer releases this year.
Many of you sent emails begging me to continue narrating The Black series. Well, you now have your wish. As always, I’ll do the best job I can to create a quality product. Just know that both the TPB and ebook will be released long before the audio.
That’s that. I shall now go back to the day job and focus tonight’s after hours on finishing the edits for the manuscript so I can kick them out to Severed Press. Hopefully you’re as excited as I am to see this book finally get out into the world.