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This week, I’ve taken a bit of a break writing to bring you a post from my long time friend Phil, an author I was once stationed with in Southern Italy. Back in the 90’s (which seem like yesterday to me but happened 25 years ago!) Phil and I hung out while we were on travel throughout the Middle East as we flew around fixing malfunctioning radar and weapon systems for the US Navy.
It was quite a time, but as all military assignments do, that one came to an end and we went our separate ways, we recently reconnected through Facebook. Say what you will about Facebook, but the one thing it is awesome for is reconnecting with old friends and staying in touch.
One of the best parts of being on active duty in the Navy, well, any service really, are the people you meet and with whom you share some, well, “unique” experiences. One of the things I’ve found, as I am sure anyone who served found, is that those shared experiences bring you together in a way other professions don’t, and even after not seeing one another for a couple decades, when you reconnect it’s like the years just slough off and you are right back where you were when you went your separate ways. This was definitely true with Phil, and after a few exchanges “catching up”, we’ve managed to stay in touch through email. For the record, we now live on opposite sides of the planet.
When we were in Italy Phil worked on radar systems, and I worked on weapon systems. Sort of two sides of the same time. He found targets, I shot them down. Ironically we work on two sides of the same coin again; Phil is now an author and I am a narrator. Over time Phil has helped me understand the authors perspective on things, and hopefully I’ve given him insight into the narrators perspective. I’ve asked Phil if he’d like to pen a short guest post for the blog, and the result is below!
Have a read, and take a look at his work, which he has linked to below. I hope you enjoy this guest blog from my friend Phil Gabriel!
Hi Gary fans! This is Phil Gabriel, Gary’s author friend. It’s guest post day on Gary’s blog.
Gary has told me he had positive feedback on my last guest post. I was humbled, then puzzled. Aren’t all of Gary’s fans either Voice Actors or audiobook enthusiasts?
After chatting with Gary, it became obvious where the mental disconnect was. If you guessed between my ears, you’re right. There is a huge amount of overlap between readers, listeners and Voice Over enthusiasts.
Here’s a story about that overlap and how it helped me sell more audiobooks.
I have several pen names. I use them to keep the genres I write separate. Phil Gabriel writes slightly raunchy Urban Fantasy, B E Elmsworth writes thrillers, other names write different types of stories.
My most successful pen name writes Urban Fantasy in a series.
How successful? Well, I still have an everyday job, so it’s not that successful. But I have fans and a small subscriber list of about one thousand. My emails usually go out once a week. I try to make them entertaining and useful by chatting about writing, including snippets of current work, and alerting my subscribers about promos for other books. Even though I had produced audiobook versions of the first three books in the series, in my newsletters I always concentrated on books.
I never thought to push the audiobooks to my subscribers (aren’t they all readers?). But I was running out of ideas and needed a topic. Since the audiobook for volume three had recently been released, I emailed my list about all three books being available and provided purchase links. I didn’t expect much response from my small list, but I received more than twenty sales of my audiobooks. Those are the most audiobook sales I have ever had in one month.
I had made the mistake of ignoring the overlap between my readers and listeners. Just like I can contain multiple writing personalities, consumers can enjoy my stories in both written and spoken format.
Speaking of overlap, if you’re interested in slightly raunchy Urban Fantasy, my first-in-series book Mages in Manhattan, available on Amazon, is a great intro to my style.
Even better, if you subscribe to my newsletter, you can download a copy for free! Here’s the link:
Thanks for taking the time to write this Phil, and thank YOU readers for giving it a read. I think Phil is exactly right that there is significant overlap between readers, listeners and narrators. Certainly between readers and listeners, but honestly we narrators are always looking for great books to produce in audio, and hey, WE LOVE TO READ TOO! Believe it or not we also spend a good deal of time listening to other narrators and enjoying their style. It really IS all tied together.
Thanks for reading! Till next week!