Why an audiobook?
Only a small percentage of all books are produced as audiobooks. This is a shame, because many of us love having books read to us. The problem often is that with small presses, such as the wonderful Red Hen Press which published Lift, my falconry memoir, there just aren't any funds for production. That's where you come in! Red Hen has agreed to allow me to produce and distribute this book which is very dear to me and I hope you can help!
I have read bits and pieces of Lift to thousands of people in the last few years. I have watched their eyes as they imagine a soaring peregrine and I have felt their tension as they imagine him tucked and falling, a 240mph missive from a vast desert sky. I can't wait to record the entire story and make it available as an audiobook. I want to take as many people as I can out into the field with me with my words, to the tiny slices of wilderness left in California where they can discover the perils, pitfalls and rewards of falling in love with something utterly wild and out of your control. There are still rites of passage and journeys of the soul even in this modern world, but you have to go outside. I want people to listen to Lift and then go outside and look up!
So far Lift has been very well-received:
“Novelist and nature reference author O’Connor (Falcon’s Return) crafts a lyrical tribute to the spiritual connection between humans and birds in this memoir of the excruciating, transformative process of training a peregrine falcon: ‘Falconry is a religion, a way of thinking, a means of experiencing life.’ Indeed, readers will find almost as much spiritual content as natural. Despite O’Connor’s icy-clear voice, her descriptions of training a young male falcon are fascinating for bird lovers and civilians alike: ‘when the falcon connects a high-speed dive… the duck remains a piece of the sky and only its body careens to earth.’ Surprisingly, periodic flashbacks to a troubled childhood—an abusive stepfather, an absentee mother—bolster her story rather than distract, turning a falcon’s ‘serious and unmerciful’ eye back on her own life, and discovering inexplicable wells of generosity and forgiveness for the family who wronged her. O’Connor packs a lot of intelligence, poise and feeling into a few pages, making this a consistently rewarding read.” ~ Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, November 2009
Sounds pretty good, huh? Would you believe that not even 1,000 people have read the book? Maybe I can get a few more to listen instead!
And for those of you who DID read Lift, the audio version will include an update on all the major characters, including what has become of the impossible falcon I forged a friendship with 8 years ago.
Okay, so how much does it really cost?
The cost of producing this book will be in the range of $1100 for time in a professional studio and editing. (Sure I could do it at home on my computer, but outside of the distractions there is the issue of ambient noise. Between the parrots and the juvenile Cooper's hawk I'm rehabbing, silence is a fantasy.) I'll be reading the book myself which hopefully won't be a disaster, but does make the project a little more affordable. And now that the fabulous Audiobook Creation Exchange site has been created, a professionally done audiobook by a proven rights owner can be distributed on Audible, one of my favorite addictions, iTunes and Amazon.
If by some miracle my project is over funded, I will use the money to hire a voice actor to read the intro and outro to the project and pay for some fantastic music to be edited in to the beginning, ending and transitions.
I like you, Rebecca, but I'm broke!
That's okay! Even if you can only afford $1 you'll be one of my favorite people. Your $1 will get you access to all the updates on the project and if you spread the word... maybe it might get a few people you know to read or download the book. Honestly, that's what's most important to me, your help and support! If you CAN afford more though, well, I could just squeeze you.
Thanks everyone. Gah, I'm nervous. I hope a few of you will help me out!
- (30 days)