It's no secret that some of my readers are very unhappy that Murder on The Half Shelf was not published as a mass market paperback. I say it's no secret because I posted it up on Facebook. (You can't get much more public than that.) And, my very good friend Julie Hyzy wrote a blog called "What Readers May Not Know About Book Publishing," which is very thoughtful. (Bet you didn't now how little control authors actually have over their work when they sign that coveted publisher contract.)
I'm not badmouthing my publisher. Far from it. They delivered a beautiful hardcover, they hired a fantastic cover artist (who has done all my Booktown mysteries--and right now is in the process of creating another wonderful painting for Booktown #7 "The Chamber Plot"), and they have treated me very well indeed. I have a marvelous editor, and the staff at Berkley Prime Crime has worked very hard on my behalf.
So what's the point of this blog post? As if the whole hardcover vs. paperback debate wasn't enough, and as three of my readers have already asked and discovered ... there will be no audio edition of Murder On The Half Shelf. Why? Not enough people downloaded the audio versions of the previous five books.
Am I heartbroken by this turn of events? No, but I am quite disappointed. Can I blame my publisher? No way. I'm extremely grateful that they took a chance and made the first five books available as audiobooks. I do wish they'd made the books available on CD, too, because I know a LOT of people don't have an MP3 player. Hey, until Christmas, neither did I. I still prefer to listen to audiobooks via CD ... but then, that might be because I haven't tried it on my MP3 player. (I think I'd have to get a second one. Mine's all clogged up with music.)
I was soooo looking forward to hearing what the narrator (Cassandra Campbell) would have done with one of my newest characters, Pixie. In fact, when I was writing her part of the story, I had Ms. Campbell's voice in my head as Pixie delivered her lines.
Do I think audiobooks were expensive? Yes. If publishers priced them cheaper, the audio market would explode and authors and the publishers alike would make scads of money and our audio listeners would be ecstatic (the same with e books). J.A. Konrath agrees, and recently wrote a blog post on the same subject.
Will my publisher ever put the rest of the books on audio? My guess is no. Not ever. Don't even think about it. That is ... unless there's a huge spike in sales of the first five books.
Well, a girl can dream, can't she?