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The captivating Audiobook edition of A Facet for the Gem went live about 4 months after I signed with Podium! Find it here

Last week I was intrigued to receive an e-mail through my homepage from Podium Publishing, expressing interest in talking with me about the audiobook edition of A Facet for the Gem. I hadn’t heard of that particular house before, and when they claimed in their message, “We’ve had lots of audiobook award nominations, and wins, as well we’ve created massive bestsellers for debut authors with Top 10 Bestsellers across ALL titles on Audible including Andy Weir’s The Martian,” I scheduled a phone conference and did as much research as I could.

In the back of my mind I knew it made sense to eventually produce my book in audio format, as audiobooks are rapidly growing in popularity and demand, but realistically I don’t think I would have taken action to achieve that on my own until years from now. My biggest priority has been to finish writing Book 2 and turn it in to my editor by February; I’ve already paid her to reserve that month. I invested $3,000 just in the production of my ebook and paperback, and plan to do the same for Book 2, so investing thousands more in creating an audiobook when I have no experience in that area was never a plan.

But when a legitimate publishing house that’s won the Audie (the most prestigious audiobook award) stepped forward and showed enough confidence in my work to invest their own resources, I read everything Google could provide about them and found only good things in author testimonials, message boards, and press releases. The first author testimonial that popped up on Google was from Edward Robertson, and his reasoning stuck with me as far as the benefit of starting to earn money and publicity now if an award-winning house is willing to foot the bill, as opposed to waiting until years from now to start earning a bigger cut.

ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) is the service analogous to Kindle Direct Publishing in the realm of self-published audio. It provides channels for authors to contract with narrators and produce their own audiobooks, and the author gets a 40% royalty of all sales for exclusive distribution. But as I mentioned above, the commitment of my own resources this would entail precluded me from considering it any time soon. And after everything I read about Podium’s pedigree, accolades and reputation, I felt comfortable forgoing the profits (if any) I might gain from handling the audio production myself and instead entrusting the responsibility to experts who were asking nothing from me except just that: trust.

Plus, after investing at least $1,200 in marketing Facet over the five months since its debut, I hoped that the promotional aspect of its audio edition appearing on Podium’s list of high-quality works could pay major dividends in future sales across all formats. With all of these considerations in mind, I went into the phone call hopeful that I could strike a deal with Podium’s acquisitions department, and the Author Liaison Victoria helped to make that an exciting reality. I signed over the audiobook rights for the entire Tale of Eaglefriend series just a couple hours later.

She did explain that the audio length of Facet, based on its word count, would be a few hours shy of the norm for a standalone Epic Fantasy, and that Podium might want to wait for the completion of Book 2 and produce an omnibus audiobook. I asked them to give A Facet for the Gem a chance as a standalone, especially since its release would capitalize on the popularity it’s enjoyed right out of the gate, not to mention coincide with all the buzz generated by Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off #SPFBO (more on that contest soon). I’m currently awaiting their decision on the matter, and am happy to defer to Podium’s expertise in audiobook production.

And now that the ink on our contract is dry, I’m truly thrilled at the opportunity to work with them over the coming months.