I've been meaning to mention this for awhile, and somehow it kept slipping past me.
Alex will be available as an audiobook through Audible.com later this year, hopefully in May. It's been picked up as an official release by Audible (an arm of Amazon) and I'm hopeful any attention they give it will really help jumpstart its sales.
I know quite a few of you have been following my journey as an author from the beginning, so let me go back and talk about how I got here.
I was approached by Jacob Kier of Permuted Press in December about the audio rights for Alex. I assume he found my email address through my website.
I knew there was an option to produce the audio myself, but since my goal for this year is to get at least three books published, I hadn't really felt like I had time to look into it. I had a vague notion that I was missing a revenue stream, but felt (and still feel) like producing new work was more important at this particular phase of the venture.
Permuted offered what I felt was a competitive royalty rate, and a decent advance. I won't deny the idea of receiving an advance and working with a traditional publisher was appealing, even on a strictly intellectual level. I feel like I'm getting the hang of the self-publishing side of things, but I always like to get a broader picture when I can.
On the flip side, licensing the rights meant relinquishing control of the process to a large degree. That control is one of the main reasons I chose to self-publish in the first place.
So the choice came down to a few things:
Royalty rate - The royalty rate would be better if I did it myself, but I had never worked with a publisher before and didn't know what kind of impact their ability to "push" the book would have. A high royalty rate is only as good as your sales volume.
Marketability - This is the place I was hoping for a clear difference working with an established publisher. Permuted has worked with Peter Clines, whose novel 14 reached the #1 bestseller spot on Audible.com last year, and even with David Wong (John Dies at the End). They clearly have access to places I don't.
Control - This is where the most compromise would be required. But ultimately, giving up control on this process would actually be a boon at this stage of the game, because I don't have the time right now to dig into a new process. There is no saying I can't look into doing my own audio on a future project, either - though if things go well with Permuted (and they have so far), I probably wouldn't be opposed to continuing to work with them.
After looking over the contract and weighing all the considerations, I opted to license the rights to Permuted. I have to say that Jacob was extremely approachable and easy to work with, as well. He put me at ease about the whole thing, even going so far as to make some slight modifications to some of the language in the contract that I felt could be phrased more clearly.
A few weeks ago, I found out that Alex was picked up as an official release by Audible, so it is already leagues ahead of what I probably would have accomplished publishing it myself. This will be an interesting experience. I'll keep you posted.