Despite the lack of frequent posting over here, I have been keeping busy with book stuff. I’ll try not to ramble too long about it all. 🙂
I’m making AI Audiobooks on Google Play
I’m finally getting to this one. It was one of my main goals for 2022. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to accomplish this. I thought I was going to have to buy some fancy software and work on learning it. Thankfully, Google Play opened up the option for authors to convert epubs to audiobooks. The system is slick. The technology is AI, so it’s digital. There is no human reading the book. While some people argue that they “need” a human voice, I don’t. I never did. I have been using the Kindle’s text-to-speech feature since 2010. You can get used to the robotic quality of the AI voice if you open yourself up to it.
The main perk to generating AI audiobooks over on Google Play is that I can now price audiobooks at the same price I have my ebooks at. I wasn’t able to do that before. The reason I can now is that it doesn’t cost me anything to make these audiobooks AND I can make it in 15-30 minutes. This is a huge win-win. It’s a win for me since I can finally get my books into audio format, and it’s a win for those who would like to listen to my audiobooks but haven’t been able to afford them.
At the moment, I’m about halfway through my books. I have almost 100 books, so it takes time to get these converted to audio. I am taking a break with writing to focus on this. I have found if I try to do these “business end” tasks while trying to write, I spread myself too thin and burn out.
I’m working on copyrighting some books.
The US Copyright Office has (again) modified their website, so it took me a little bit of time to navigate my way through it this weekend. Thankfully, I’ve done this enough times where it wasn’t too bad, but I do think if someone has never done this before, they will probably get confused. Yes, I know you own your copyright when you write your book, but there have been too many times when authors have been required to show proof of copyright to a retailer (mostly Amazon, though some author did get hit by Barnes & Noble a couple of months ago). The best way to prove your copyright is to file it with the US Copyright Office.
I realize the $65 standard registration fee is a good chunk of money, but I’m actually in favor of it because that fee will stop a thief from taking my work and trying to copyright it. In a world where theft is rampant, I like safeguards.
To put things in perspective, recently an author in a FB writing group got a false takedown notice on her pre-order. Now, a pre-order has no sample, so you can’t see the text. Yet, someone in another country claimed it was their book. Amazon removed her pre-order and said if she didn’t prove her copyright, they would not re-instate it. Amazon does not care about the specifics of the situation. If someone wrongly accuses you of theft, they will remove your book and tell you 1) prove your copyright OR 2) deal directly with the accuser and get the accuser to tell Amazon they were wrong. Guess what? This accuser isn’t backing down, and she has no US Copyright Registration Number. I’m telling you, that thread is every author’s worst nightmare. Don’t think a lawyer can help you if you get hit. One author spent $24,000 trying to settle things in his favor, but the person he was up against was in another country, and it didn’t work. In the end, he had to rewrite his book so Amazon would take it. Now that $65 to register your copyright doesn’t look so expensive.
I’m not doing pre-orders anymore.
In light of the situation with the author I mentioned above, I’m not going to do any more pre-orders. Instead, as soon as I’m done with the final draft, I will send it to the copyright office and just publish it right away. I don’t know if it’s rare that someone out there will claim copyright infringement on a pre-order, but I see no reason to look for problems. I’ve had enough times in the past of having to fight Amazon. You get hit enough from Amazon, and you don’t mess around anymore. I need to do whatever I can to protect my work.
I did finish the second draft for Daisy’s Prince Charming
And I have sent it off to my editor. I don’t know when I’ll be publishing this. It all depends on when I can get things ready for the copyright office.