Like a phoenix reborn…

As the ashes of  the previous View from Valhalla blog come to a rest around my ankles, I can only hope that a phoenix is about to be reborn.

I’ve moved over most of my old reviews from the days when I covered podcast fiction, and I remember how much fun it was waiting for the next episode of some of my favorite stories to drop.

Well, as they say, all good things are likely to come to an end, and the era of podcast fiction looks to have died. Not saying there isn’t some still out there (Scott Sigler immediately comes to mind), but the community that I was once a part of does not exist as it once did.

Why did the age of the free fiction podcast end? Who knows. Maybe it was the surging popularity of Audible and professionally produced audiobooks. Maybe it was Podiobooks changing it’s format to Scribl. Maybe a majority of the authors figured out that the free model didn’t work for them and didn’t bring the contracts they were hoping for. Maybe the call of Patreon was too hard to resist. I personally believe it was Nathan Lowell’s decision to focus on writing so he could actual make a living and provide for his family, and in doing so would no longer be able to spend time recording his own work. I could be wrong. But as Randy Newman would harmonize.. but I don’t think so. (Say it with me, Monk post.)

Regardless of the reason for the end of podcast fiction, I would like to take a few minutes talking about it heir apparent. The audiobook.

Yes, audiobook’s have been around forever. I remember as a kid shelving Books on Tape where I worked at the local library. Later, I saw the CD version when I would go buy paperbacks at Barnes and Noble. But it wasn’t until they started becoming available as a download that I saw the market explode around me. (I have done no research on this, and I am being purely anecdotal. Your mileage may vary.) Audible changed the game.

For almost everyone but me.

I have been an avid reader since 1st grade. That aforementioned job at the library? Yeah.. I’d been looking for a job all over town. One day I was in the library and the head librarian came up to me and said, “You’re here all the time, would you like a job.” (Seriously) I love to read. I also love to hear stories when I drive. But the problem for me is, I cannot justify the cost of a subscription where I can buy several books for the price of one audiobook. I tried Audible’s trial period, and even played the game and got several months severely discounted, but being somewhat frugal (read that as extremely cheap), I just couldn’t pay the full price.

So I started listening to many “regular” podcasts. Nathan’s TOMMW, Crime Junkies, have considered Office Ladies. But nothing has filled the whole left by the books I loved to listen to as I drive.

And then BookBub sent me an email about Chirp.

Chirp is a non-subscription based audiobook seller that has a much smaller catalog than audible, but it is still fairly robust. The great thing about Chirp is that they have a constantly rotating section of books that are severely discounted. Some as low as 99¢. Yes, they are in a proprietary format and you do need their player (available for both iOS and android), but to be honest, it would surprise me more if you didn’t.

I have purchased quite a few books over the last six months or so. Everything from The Bad Seed by March (99¢) to Long Road to Mercy by Baldacci ($4.99).

I’ve also paid attention and Apple’s Books has a good selection of audiobooks at decent prices (tho you have to look for them).

So, with a plethora of stories at my back, I am going to try to get back to the reviewing game. I hope to focus on many independent authors. Currently I am completing Lindsay Buroker’s Agent of the Crown Series and will likely start with them.

I will state now, as previously, that if you are a content creator and want an honest review, let me know. If you can provide me with a copy of what you want reviewed, I will give you my honest opinion. The backlog of my podcast reviews should be a fair example of what you might expect. I will not promise review dates, but will promise anything submitted. Audiobooks will likely be reviewed well before ebooks.

Outside of creator provided material, I’ll be reviewing whatever I’m currently listening to, and probably more rarely, whatever I’m reading. I hope you’ll join me for the ride!


~ by odin1eye on 16 January, 2020.

2 Responses to “Like a phoenix reborn…”

  1. So good to see you back!

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