Big Audiobook News re: Distribution!

So I’ve been waiting to get all my ducks in a row before writing this entry (and some of them are still flying around), but there’s been a major development for the Dawn of Destiny audiobook in the realm of distribution. As those who have kept up with the audiobook know, rights were a major issue for me post-audiobook development. I made an unconventional decision in going with CD Baby exclusively, at the cost of widespread distribution, because of the fairness of how they did business. Well, things have changed!

There’s a lot of nitty-gritty in the details, but the short version is that I found a means by which to distribute my audiobook to all major retailers without feeling like I sacrificed my freedom. Yes, the audiobook is still available at CD Baby, but you’ll also be able to find it at a ton of other places, including Audiobooks.com, Audible, and iTunes. If you’ve been waiting for the audiobook to pop up in these spots, that time has finally come.

I definitely want to encourage you guys to give the audiobook a listen if you haven’t already. This was a huge undertaking for Epic and the resulting product is really something special. I would love to do more audiobook adaptations in the future, so getting support for it is a big, big deal!

Enemy One is still steamrolling forward at a whopping 180,000 words, which already makes it the largest book in the series (with a lot more still to write). This is going to be a chunk of reading for you guys. Long time coming, right? Length has pushed this to mid-2016, as it’s just going to take that long to get this behemoth through post-production. Loving this story, though. As is usually the case, you’ll never see some of this coming.

Hope everyone’s holidays are going well!

-Lee

What’s Going On (& why it matters!) + Enemy One Update

Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@epicuniverse) may have noticed some increased activity today in the form of mentions and retweets. That’s because from today to April 10th, Dawn of Destiny will be doing a blog tour to thirty different websites, all of which will be doing their own spotlights and reviews on either the novel or audiobook version of DOD.

Why does this matter to you?

Because attached to this blog tour is a massive giveaway with ten prizes, all of which will be determined in a drawing a week after the blog tour has ended. That means you have a chance to win some pretty awesome swag, such as a Kindle Fire HD 6, just by participating! Details on the tour can be found here, and info on the giveaway (hosted by Rafflecopter) can be found by scrolling down on that same page.

Why does this matter to Epic?

Because this is once again a chance to really get the Epic fan base alive and active during this dreadful in-between-book lull (though I promise, that lull will be coming to a close)! You can increase your chances of winning the giveaway by doing certain things on social media, such as tweeting and following me on Epic. Even liking the Epic Facebook Page counts. But the two biggest bonuses are these: owning the DOD audiobook and participating on the Epic forums.

Once again, if you don’t own the Dawn of Destiny audiobook yet, which you can find here, now is really, really the time to pick up a copy! Owning the audiobook allows the biggest bonus in terms of the giveaway, and look, I mean…this thing is winning awards, guys and gals! DOD just took “Best New Fiction” and “Audiobook of the Year” from the New Apple Literary Awards. If you’re a fan of Epic, this is a MUST-own audiobook. It will change your entire perception of the series, and I’m not just saying it to say it. This thing has changed my perception. It’s the real deal.

Secondly, and always big on my heart, are the Epic Forums, found here. Every day that you start a new thread and reply to someone’s thread on the Epic boards, you get points toward the giveaway. Yes, every single day! That means that between now and the giveaway’s end, you have a chance to really ramp up your chances to win something just by being active on the forum, starting new threads and replying to others’. New members will be joining the discussion on the forum during this giveaway. I want you guys there, too! They’re new to Epic, but you’re not. Show them what this series is all about. You guys are my ambassadors! Let’s get some conversations going. 🙂

Last, but not least…let’s talk some EPIC 5: Enemy One!

As I’ve mentioned before, by leaps and bounds, this has been the most challenging book to write in the Epic series. The good news is this: this monster has found its traction, and it’s going to be one good book. There are a lot of things I’ve never been able to address in the narrative, such as Vector Squad, other worlds, and only-mentioned characters like Todd Kenner, John Mariner, and Mark Remington. Enemy One finally gives me a chance to flesh all of these things out to a degree I’ve never been able to in the previous books. Epics 1-4 and 6-8 are essentially the two “halves” of the Epic Octology. Epic 5 is the bridge that brings them together. This is a book of massive transition.

This is my promise to you guys, my fans, whom I do this for: Enemy One will be the best it can be. You guys have been patient beyond comprehension to me while I battled cancer and brought my first son (and soon my second) into the world. I am eager to get this book in your hands, and 2015 will be that year. But I won’t allow my own impatience to make its quality suffer. Time is of the essence, but this is a book that must be done right. I will not publish a book that is not solid. You guys deserve my absolute best – and that’s what you’ll get.

In the meantime, dive into this giveaway, guys! Get on that forum, start some conversations, and let newcomers to the Epic series know that it’s a series well worth their time. You’ll be reading Epic 5 before you know it.

-LS

The Dawn of Destiny Audiobook

After 4.5 long years, the Dawn of Destiny audiobook is finally available! The nearly ten-hour, eardrum-blasting album can be found on on CD Baby at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/leestephen.

Over thirty actors participated in this project, which includes a full soundtrack and sound effects. The aim was to put you there, and this puts you there. Thank you to everyone who waited so incredibly patiently for this album to be produced. The end result is something I think you’ll find truly special. Now snag some headphones crank up the volume! This beast of an audiobook is ready to roar.

Preview some clips from the audiobook below!

 

 

‘Dawn of Destiny’ Audiobook Coming Oct. 14th!

I am ecstatic to announce that after four-and-a-half years, the Dawn of Destiny audiobook officially has a release date! On October 14th, DOD will go live on CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon under the vocal category of music album.

Because DOD is being uploaded as a music album as opposed to an audiobook, it will not be available on Audible. There are several reasons for this, one of which is that the file quality of Audible uploads is not up to par with the quality of the DOD production. Years were spent making sure the sound quality was top-notch, so it seems a slight to the consumer to have that quality reduced on the market. By going through CD Baby, the audio will be released as intended: with the absolutely highest quality. This actually makes purchasing the audiobook easier, as listeners would be able to purchase it the same way they’d purchase a release from their favorite band. DOD will still be available on Amazon, just not through their Audible platform.

I’m excited to talk more about this as the release draws nearer. Until then, enjoy the official launch trailer below!

 

The Audiobook Progresses

With the Xenonauts novella–something I’ll touch on in another entry–wrapping up, I’ve had more time to sit down and work on the production of the DOD audiobook. I’ve had several people inquire as to why this audiobook project seems to have taken so incredibly long. Being that it’s going on three years in development now, I’ll absolutely agree: yes, this project has taken very, very long. Arduously long. Tortuously long.

The reason for this is pretty straightforward and can best be described by a single word. Beastly. Because that’s what this audiobook is. Outright beastly. Up until this point, the most anyone has heard or seen of the audiobook, beyond a few pitifully short teaser trailers released in years past, has been the “theatrical” style trailer, seen here. While that trailer (which is actually the audiobook’s introduction) will offer an insight as to the approach this thing is taking, listeners won’t fully understand what this audio experience will be like until they start hearing actual clips. Those will be coming in time. But what I can tell you is this…forget everything you ever thought you knew about audiobooks when you consider this one. This is not a person reading the story. This is a summer blockbuster in audio form. I think one of those most telling scenes in this project is from the Battle of Chicago, an iconic Epic mission that spans two chapters in Dawn of Destiny. The first of those two chapters clocks in at over thirty minutes long. That’s thirty minutes of people shooting, running, screaming, fighting. Thirty minutes of the most bombastic soundtrack you have ever heard in an audiobook. Thirty minutes of total dynamic immersion.

It’s just the nature of the beast (no pun intended) that this project is taking as long as it is. Every sound is inserted “by hand.” Everything is timed to happen when it happens, from musical cues to pauses in dialog to that plasma bolt that just took out the window. It just takes time. Thankfully, with the help of the absolutely sensational Natalie van Sistine, who is handling all of the dialogue editing for this thing, the speed at which this audiobook is being produced has increased tenfold. Right now, it’s rocking and rolling. This is good, and it’s why I was confident enough to name 2013 as the year this thing hits the public.

I’m most excited for you guys to hear my voice actors. They do such an outstanding job bringing the Epic characters to life, from Stewart Cummings total ownership of Scott Remington, to Paul Bellantoni’s chilling take on General Thoor, to Gabriel Wolf’s uncanny ability to actually become a Bakma. Not to mention Patrick Quance, who singlehandedly elevated the narration of this project to something so ridiculously good, it almost defies belief. As much as I’m pumped up to share the story of Dawn of Destiny with people in a fresh, new way, I’m even more excited to share these actors with you. Every single one of them, of which there are over two dozen, knocks their role out of the park. It’s awesome to hear.

So sit tight! I know it’s been a long wait (believe me, I know). Every day brings this thing closer and closer to fruition.

I love this job.