Another 4-Star Review for Stealing Freedom

Another 4-Star Review for Stealing Freedom

Greetings all,

I’m always happy to share reviews, so it’s with great joy that I present this four-star (sort of) review for Stealing Freedom. This was a review by Margaret for the Audible version of the story, so I have to copy-paste it below for you to access.

4/5 for narrators ability, 3/5 for having two

This is the first book I have read/listened to by this author. It is a very poignant, original book. It was written before 2020, but resonates now due to recent government and law enforcement actions. The book constantly reminded me of the recent excessive military responses to peaceful protesting and false, inconsistent and contradictory narratives provided to the public from governmental bodies. In this story, everyone over the age of seven must wear a collar that would punish people for speaking or publicly displaying emotions (hugging, smiling, negative facial expressions). Drones and cameras monitor everyone every moment of their day to ensure no one rests longer than allowed, spends more than allotted time in the bathroom, etc.. Everything was regulated. It was possible to purchase words, a cost that was prohibitive to most people to the point our main character purchased six words to say to her daughter and that is the first she had spoken to her in two years. Knowing this was no way for people to live and believing they had the ability to do something about it, the main character and a few other people attempt to shut down the servers that operate the collars. They do it at extreme risk to their lives. Their plan reminded me of the movies Ocean Eleven and Now You See Me. I really liked the ending part with the main monitor and his final moments.

This is the first book I have listened to by these narrators ( Lisa Negron, J.M. Needham ). They both do well narrating. She narrates the parts that have Laurie and Laurie’s conversations (even if it is with a male) and he narrates the parts from the perspectives of the male characters when they are not having a conversation but just re-counting their thoughts or actions. Since no one can speak, the narrative often switches perspectives many times within the same chapter. This meant the narrator switched many times throughout the chapter. Lisa did a fine job giving voice to both male and female characters and had very nice pacing and cadence. I think it was quite unnecessary to have a second narrator. I found it uncomfortable for the first half of the book until I got a little more used to it. The only reason it was not fully disruptive, was both narrators were good at what they were doing. There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence, or swearing. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review. Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.


As you can see, she would like feedback, so if you have the time and want to help a reviewer, please pop onto her link above and offer your thoughts. Just as I love feedback, some reviewers also seek and desire feedback.

I’m noticing a trend of reviewers be less happy about a team of narrators. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I love having a male for the male POVs and a female for the female POVs. What are your thoughts?

If you’ve read my work, please consider leaving a review on Amazon, Audible, Goodreads, or all three. It really means a lot.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Finally! A Promotion Website That Works! An Endorsement for Audio Book Boom

Finally! A Promotion Website That Works! An Endorsement for Audio Book Boom

If you’ve been visiting this blog for the past few weeks, you may have noticed how many reviews I’ve had lately.

A few months back, I saw a huge spike in my audiobook downloads for Caught. For the longest time, I was baffled (but happy). But I wanted to see what happened. A flash of inspiration led me to google the book, and there I found it on this promotion website for free promo codes.

You see, Shawn Compton, the wonderful narrator who did Caught, has a royalty share with me. When a copy of Caught is sold on Audible, he gets half of the royalty money. I can only assume he posted his promo codes, which all of us get, on this site, and boy did it work!

The site is Audio Book Boom. It has two sort of options. One is where they just post the codes for anyone to use on a certain book. The other, which I prefer, is where the promoter receives a shared form with a listener’s email and Audible review information. The promoter can then look at the person requesting a code and send a code out if they wish.

This is easily the best $12 per title I’ve ever spent on marketing. I think the price is fair since audio book codes for titles published after March 26, 2020 don’t receive royalties. They are still downloads, but the purpose for the ACX promo codes is to generate reviews and interest. At worst, this $12 gets you a number of reviews. At best it gets you reviews and royalties, but that only applies if your title was published before that date.

The first test run I did was for Stealing Freedom. The first run got me at least 15 downloads and at least 5 reviews. That means this was the first promotion website I’ve used where the money I paid was actually less than the money I made.

I did another campaign, this time for five of my six titles. In total, both campaigns earned more than 75 downloads and 15 reviews. Again, best promotion results by far. Those are just the direct numbers. I’m seeing follow-on sales for pages read in KU, purchased ebooks, and Audible.

This image was taken from the website so I could endorse their product.

I’ve never been able to land on a BookBub promotion (I would love to hit that lottery), but this is easily the best promotion because it gives me both downloads and reviews.

So if you are an author with a bunch of audiobook codes you don’t know what to do with, do this!

Thanks for reading,

Matt

A Few More Audible Reviews

A Few More Audible Reviews

Greetings all,

I’m still gathering data on the marketing site I’m using to gain these reviews, but the results are still so encouraging. Why? Because I have two new reviews to share with you this week!

Here is a 4.5-star review for Stealing Freedom from Madeline:

“Good”

“I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.”

“This book represents everything we as a people value. When that freedom is taken from us what else it left to do. Do we stay in submission and obey or do we find a way to stand for what’s right. Many times we misunderstand what people are saying. If we try to understand and keep open minds many problems can be solved without violence. I did enjoy this book and how much it reminded me that freedom isn’t free. I’m grateful for those that risks theirs lives everyday so I can have the life I want.”


The original inspiration for this story came from violence that happened during a protest. I don’t always like or support the things people protest about, but we must allow protest because people must be able to speak, and they must be able to redress grievances. I’m glad this reviewer saw that in the theme. I also appreciate that the goal is to allow problems to be resolved without violence. This review actually makes me very happy because it shows that, to this reader at least, I accomplished what I set out to represent in this story.

Next is a 4.25-star review for The Journals of Bob Drifter from Cindy:

“New Beginnings”

“One of the many reasons I request to review audio’s is discovering new talent to add to my favorites list. This is one. You’ll be glad that you made this choice. This audio was given to me in exchange for an unbiased review.”

It’s my opinion that each thing I publish is sort of like a promise. Every book I write says, “If you like this book, you’ll like the other books I’ve written.” I don’t know about the rest of the world, but if I read something from an author, and I really love it (the most recent example would be Michael G. Manning), I’m probably going to rip through the author’s entire library. I hope this reader does try more of my work, and I hope each book both fulfills and reaffirms the promise this one made.


In a crazy dream-world, I would have to shift these reviews to their own day so I can do other “author news” on Saturdays, but I think I’m a ways away from that. Still, it’s nice to dream now and then. For now, I’ll keep tracking this marketing effort and post my findings probably in the next few weeks.

I just want to offer my thanks to those who reviewed my work and humbly ask that anyone else who’s tried one of my books do the same, even if they didn’t like it. Thank you all again.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Free Audible Download Codes!

Free Audible Download Codes!

Greetings all,

StealingFreedom_ACX
This is my newest audio title, and I love this cover. 

It’s been a while since I spread word about this, so I thought I’d post a friendly reminder. I have a total of six audiobooks available exclusively through Audible. In an effort to generate interest and reviews, Audible has been kind enough to offer me download codes.

I have bunches! So if you like audiobooks, and you want to help an author out at no expense for yourself, please, shoot me an email and let me know which book (or books) you’d like. I’d be happy to give you a copy regardless, but I do hope you’d be kind enough to leave a rating and short review when you finish it.

How it works:

You shoot me an email asking for codes.

I send you the codes.

You redeem those codes at Audible.

You get an audiobook!.

I hope you’ll decide to give my work a try. Regardless, thank you all again so much for all the support you have shown me over the years.

 

Thanks for reading,

M.L.S. Weech

 

 

 

Some Reviews For Various Audiobooks

Some Reviews For Various Audiobooks

Greetings all,

It’s a bit harder to share reviews for audiobooks because there aren’t any direct links to just those reviews (or at least I haven’t figured out the trick). However, I’ve gotten a number of reviews for a lot of these audiobooks, and so I wanted to take a chance to share some of the comments.

Caught_ACX_CoverCaught:  Caught has two ratings and one text review.  It has an average 4.0 rating (again only two ratings) at the moment.  The text review just kindly said that the reader loved the print version so much that they wanted to listen to the audio version while I work on Betrayed.  The reviewer also took a moment to praise the plot twists, which I honestly think is the greatest part of the book.

 

 

The Power of Words: The Power of Words has four ratings for an average of 4.3 overall.  It also has two text reviews.  The most recent reviewer said the stories were entertaining. He appreciated the range of genres, which I was actually concerned would be a problem. He took a moment to praise the narrators on this (and I think Lisa and J.M. are indeed worthy of praise.  This reviewer concluded by acknowledging that short stories don’t have the depth he typically looks for (“…they’re usually over before you can really get into them.”)

The older text review focused again on Lisa and J.M. The reviewer did say the collection “lives up to the title.” I appreciated seeing that.

Repressed_ACX_CoverRepressed: Repressed has one rating and text review.  The reviewer had issue with the tone and target audience of Repressed vs Caught (Repressed, as you may know, is based on Kaitlyn from Caught).  I honestly accept this criticism and respect it. I had to make a choice on what to do here. I wanted so desperately to give Kaitlyn her own short story, but when I did that I had to gauge the content against those most likely to read it. So it’s completely fair and just to have this thought. My hope is, those who love Kaitlyn will appreciate this story. Those who love the darker, more horror driven aspects of Caught, it’s fair to say, won’t enjoy this.

The reviewer also took a moment to compliment Jennifer on her reading. I always felt she had the perfect voice for Kaitlyn, and I’m glad this reader agreed. My hope is Repressed get’s Jennifer plenty more offers.

And I think that has me caught up with the reviews for my work so far.

If you’ve read any of my work, I humbly request you take a few moments to toss up a rating and review on Audible, Goodreads, Amazon, or all of those above. I can’t tell you how much reviews help in so many different ways. Even if you hated it, feel free to spend however many thousands of words  you feel you need to express your discontent. It’s still valuable feedback.

If you’re interested in any of my audiobooks, and you don’t have a credit you want to spend on one, just send me an email, and I’ll send you a free promo code for whichever (or all) you want.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Sojourn in Captivity Is Now Available On Audible!

Sojourn in Captivity Is Now Available On Audible!

Greetings all,

Sojourn_ACX_CoverI’m happy to announce that Sojourn in Captivity is now available on Audible. Courtney Sanello did a fantastic job narrating this story. What I like most about this and the Audible version of Repressed is that it’s just such a quick story.  It’s just under three hours, so if you’re driving around town or heading on a trip, you can finish the whole story on the way.

Pretty soon, I currently have 25 codes good for a free copy of Sojourn. I also have codes for my other Audiobooks.

If you’re interested in one (or all) of them, please feel free to email me.  I hope you decide to give them a try.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

Why I Love Audio Books

Why I Love Audio Books

Greetings all,

HPI love to read. It’s relaxing, and a good book can captivate even a whole generation. Just look at Harry Potter. That series flat out made reading “cool” again, but time is just too short. I read before work. I read before bed. I read in the bath just to give myself time to read.

But I don’t get through my TBR list nearly as quickly as I’d like. This leads me to audio books. The main reason I love audio book is that they let me read more. I listen to audiobooks when I drive to and from work and pretty much whenever I drive around. This gives me about two to three hours of reading more than I would have. I like a good car karaoke on occasion, but I inevitably want to find out what happens next in whatever story I’m reading at the moment. This extra time can help me either blast through a book I’m reading or get through another book I wouldn’t normally have time to read.

Here are a few other reasons audio books really make my day:

1: It lets me re-read books I love: A number of the sagas I love are large. I think the shortest series I like is four (main) books. So audiobooks let me refresh my mind on previous books before the newest book comes out. It also lets me go back and read entire sagas I love.

Eye2: A good narrator can make a story even better: I have favorite narrators. James Marsters, Kate Reading, Michael Kramer, and Wil Wheaton to name a few. They bring the story to life. Now, I have friends who assert the voice actors in their head are better than the other narrators, but I just love hearing a story come to life. Now, when I read Wheel of Time, I hear Michael and Kate’s voices.

2a. A good narrator can make a book I wouldn’t like a book I loved. I did a review on The Chaos Walking Trilogy. It’s written in first-person present tense, which I would have never read (let alone written) in a book. But when a friend recommended the series, I fell in love with it mostly because of the voice actors. I later was inspired by that series to try writing in that style (Sojourn in Captivity).

3. It’s a safe way to try a book you wouldn’t normally try: So one complaint I get with audiobooks is that, “I can’t pay attention to it.” I’ve found that a good one can really hold my attention. But a boring (or even bad) book can be made far less painful in audio form because I can mentally check out here and there. Then there are the other books. I tried the first book in the Demon Cycle because I liked a short story Peter V. Brett did in an anthology. I tried it via audio because if I didn’t like it, I could just tune out here and there, and listen for the highlights. But I loved it!

BobThese are the main reasons I love audiobooks, and, since I didn’t know what else I wanted to ramble about in today’s post, I thought I’d try to convince readers to give them a try. May I humbly suggest The Journals of Bob Drifter, Caught, The Power of Words, or Repressed? If you sign up for Audible, you get a free credit, and I can’t do more than offer you a free book.

Thanks for reading listening.

Matt

The Repressed Audiobook is finished!

The Repressed Audiobook is finished!

Greetings all,

Repressed_ACX_CoverI’m happy to report that the Audiobook for Repressed is in ACX’s review process and will hopefully be available within the next two weeks!

Kenzie worked extremely hard. She took all of my direction with grace and eagerness to match the narration with my imagination. This is all any author can truly ask of an audiobook’s producer. I think she did a fine job. She might not have the best equipment (I don’t actually know her setup, so I truly mean might). However, her drive to get the story read the way I wanted it was wonderful, and I think if more authors give her a shot, she’ll only improve as she gains opportunities.

I’ll post another blog when the title is actually live on Audible and iTunes. At some point, I’ll also have another batch of free books at that point (Audible codes I can use to gift you a copy of the book).

I was joking today that my goal was to write so many books, people would have to read them just to get them out of their way. Only, that’s not actually a joke.  I’m still adjusting to a new life schedule (and loving that), but I work on the craft, and I work to create new stories.

ElelefinalFor example: with Repressed all the way done, I’m going to start working on the text to Hazel (which I’ll talk about next week). I got the first ten or so pages, and I’m astounded at how cool the art looks. So I’ll get issue one prepped for Collin.  Then I actually have to start formatting Sojourn in Captivity and the flip-book featuring Sojourn and Repressed, which will give me a fourth physical book to offer to readers at conventions.

If I just keep churning out titles I believe in, it’s just a matter of time before sales grow more consistent. Pray for me that God blesses me with the strength to endure and the patience to continue.  I still believe this is what he put me on earth to do.

I’ll continue to keep you updated on how things go, and I’m so grateful to you all for your support.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

I’m Making Preparations to Develop the Audio Version of Caught!

I’m Making Preparations to Develop the Audio Version of Caught!

caught-front-coverGreetings all,

In some ways, this post is a tad lazy. If I’m being honest, I’m still recovering from my trip across the country.  Also, other social media issues have put me in a frame of mind where I feel I have to be careful, so this announcement serves that purpose.  It let’s me talk about some good news. It also helps me get word out and build momentum.

That said, I’m happy to announce that I’ve begin listening to auditions for narrators to produce the audio version of Caught.

If you’re a narrator (ACX or otherwise) and you’re interested in a 50/50 royalty share contract, please feel free to send me an audition.

This project has taken longer to get set up and done than I’d like, but it feels good to get things rolling.

I opened auditions a while back (June 4), but right about there is when life got a bit overwhelming. So I’ll probably keep auditions open for another two weeks (June 29), so I can better evaluate them and select the right person for the job.

I’m happy to get that done! I’m nearly done with the Beta Draft of Stealing Freedom, and Sara sent me the final edits on Repressed (with indications that it’s been well developed). That means a lot of my projected release dates are still right on schedule.

Keep stopping by for updates on this project and others.  Until then, have a happy weekend!

Thanks for reading,

Matt