Yeah, I’ve got a system now. The better I get at narrating, the easier it is to edit. And yeah, much as I hate to admit it…it’s the grind of editing that’s made me a better narrator, if only because I’ve learned how to do it in the way that makes for the easiest editing!
Taking a breath and then pausing before speaking, so I can delete the pause and not have to blot/silence it out before cutting. Taking a long breath and minimizing pauses to get as many lines strung together without edits as I can. Listening more carefully for any sufferin’ succotash ess sounds, or “sticky mouth” sounds, and doing the line over. Cutting the worst repeatedly bad takes as I go, rather than having to run through them in production.
And I’m learning editing tricks, too. Running the de-clicker before I start to edit, to remove mouth clicks etc. without my having to silence them by hand. Pounding out the changes at the end that make the ACX-compliance checker go bingo. And so on.
Basically as of Chapter 6 of 10, I’m retaining about 65% of the narrated content. So 30 recorded minutes boils down to 20 final. I’m only now tracking how long said boiling-down takes, but it looks to be about 20 finished minutes per hour. And I never noted how long it takes to record X number of words, either, but…next time.
So yeah. I’m a fuckin’ pro now. The only thing that awaits is…how much money I’m gonna make. I’m worried about “Whispersync” audiobook additions to purchased ebooks, which will equal about 10% of what a sale would net me. So folks, if you can at all afford it, please please please buy the audiobook and not the Whispersync add-on… Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope!
On the bright side. Now that I’ve got a Henry Ford-level production line established, each book will take less time, which means each one will need to earn less to make it worth my while.
“Managing expectations” has been the bane of my existence forever. But then, you know, it’s easier to get up in the morning and think, “Today is the day I conquer the world!” than it is to get up and think, “Today is the day I hope to eke out another nickel.” (I know, that’s the human condition. But still.)
I had a synchronicity moment yesterday when I saw an article by Andy Greenberg, a Wired writer, who put out his own challenge to Craig Wright: that is, “show me the money.” If you’re Satoshi, move the coins. I immediately Tweeted him that I’d said the same thing in Strength in Numbers, just after the Craig Wright thing appeared in the press, a scene I wrote when I had the crisis of confidence in my story that I gave (thanks JR!) to my characters:
“I can’t,” Marc said. “I can’t believe this is him. Satoshi.”
“Just look at him. Listen to him. Come on, Jesse Winchester, inveterate grifter, scammer, criminal element. What do you think when you see him, hear him?”
“I think ‘fucking bullshit guy.’”
“And this,” Marc said, pointing at the news article. “This thing where he structured the whole Hoard to go into this trust, with a sum to be used to show the ‘lies and fraud perpetrated by Adam Westwood of the Australian Tax Office.’ Some Australian government guy who had something to do with a regulatory ruling against one of his companies. Come on. Does that sound like the kind of thing a fucking high-minded genius would do with all that money?”
Jesse paused. “You’re the one who told me to read The Codebreakers. So I’ve been dipping into it. Remember the story of Charles Babbage? One of the Victorian forefathers of the modern computer? How much time did he spend in his war against London’s street musicians? A brilliant man whose mind became occupied with his quest to rid the city of organ grinders. Sometimes, for a genius, what’s a gnat to us is a monster to them.”
“Yes, it’s true…” Marc said. “Oh God, Jesse. What if we’ve been played, all this time? What if there is no ‘Satoshi’? I mean, look at this Craig guy, this…crackpot. He would not give away the Hoard. He wouldn’t. I know it. This is not a guy who’d give away a half billion dollars.”
Marc threw himself on to the couch. “But if he is Satoshi, then…why? Why would someone send us on a quest for…nothing? Put us all on a road to nowhere? It doesn’t make sense.”
Jesse joined him on the couch, put his arm around him, guided Marc’s head to rest on his chest. “It’s all speculation. For all we know, this guy planted the ‘evidence’ to make him look like Satoshi. You know as well as I do that’s easy enough with the right skills. There’s only one thing in the world that would prove it. You know what that is.”
Marc’s brow furrowed. Then his face lit up. “The coins. The Hoard. Everyone knows they’re there, in the blockchain records, they just don’t move. Moving a single Bitcoin out of the Hoard is the only legitimate proof that you’re ‘Satoshi.’ That you have the keys.”
Yeah, that 🙂 And guess what! Andy Greenberg replied and asked for a review copy! Which of course I immediately supplied, along with the NC-17 (okay, X) rating warning about the gay sexin’.
And now of course, here I am again, managing expectations, trying not to let my Delusions of Affect get me again. Wired doesn’t do book reviews, as he reminded me, but he has it, and that’s something… Something could come of it…
As I’ve said before, I’ve never had a “front door” success. I’ve never marched in the front door with the right credentials and attained my goal. It’s always been through the side door. Being a fiction writer got me a gig as a tech writer, which turned into a series of jobs that got me a job as an instructional designer – neither of which I had any “credentials” for. I got into erotica because Aubrey Watt did an AMA on Reddit and I thought, well, I’ll whip up a dirty story and send it to her. And the next thing I knew, I was Brad Vance…
So, it would figure if this did make it happen. If all the promo and marketing and shouting and selling got me nowhere, but one Tweet made it all happen. Not sayin’ it will…but it would just figure.