We’ve been having a lively discussion in the comments section of the first episode of NOCTURNAL and I thought I’d bring part of that out into the light a little bit more. Since the first guest voice on the BONES ARE WHITE podcast appeared earlier this year, we’ve received lots of feedback on the idea of other readers reading Scott’s work. Some great feedback, some solid support, some wistfulness, and even some entitled “you should remember where you came from” types of responses which, I’ll admit, simply baffle me.
We wrestled with the idea of anyone else reading Scott’s work for a very long time. Some of the reasons that get mentioned frequently: everyone’s come to know and love the ‘cast because it’s Scott; no one knows the characters like Scott does; Scott loves to do the reading himself; or the simple and succinct “it’s just not the same.”
The bottom line for us is that Scott has more stories in his bald head than he can ever get on paper. And for every book he records, that’s fifty to sixty hours of recording time during which he is not writing. Now you might think one week of work isn’t that big of a deal, and you’d be right — if it wasn’t for the fact that Scott is under writing deadlines from Crown, our own writing deadlines, our own editing deadlines, and handling the advertising that is a solid source of revenue for our family. Oh, and also having a life.
We decided Scott would continue read the Galactic Football League novels since they’re our flagship property. He’s already recorded four books (and is re-recording THE ROOKIE for a YA audience, a project he’s been trying to finish for over two years — did I mention lots of deadlines?), so keeping him on the GFL series preserves series continuity. It also makes the Junkies happy, and could anyone else really do the Tweedy brothers?
But outside of the GFL books, NOCTURNAL sat there, finished and ready to record, for over a year. We just couldn’t get to it, and there was no way we could get to it and get GFL V written so it would be out in 2014. With PANDEMIC coming up, we knew we were facing the same situation. So, we ultimately we decided it was better to have the audiobook/podcast available with a different reader, than simply never release an audiobook/podcast again.
That’s right: the decision isn’t if Scott should read his own books or not: Scott no longer has the time to read all his own books and maintain a viable business. We need to pay the bills and try to build a business and have a life. And just like y’all, we only have 24 hours in a day.
So we set out to find a new voice of Siglerism, and we found Phil Gigante.
We love Phil and his engineer Cory. They’re responsive, they’re funny, they’re invested, and they’re fans of the work. They ask questions and make suggestions and work hand-in-hand with Scott to make the work the best possible product. They’re perfectionists who deliver a high-quality product. They are our people, and working with them feels like home. We desperately hope this is the start of a long and fruitful relationship.
But let me circle back once more for clarity: The choice is not between Scott reading or Phil reading. It’s a choice between Phil reading or no audiobook at all.
Think about it — NOCTURNAL is just now coming out in audio, more than a year and a half after the print versions. And the only reason it’s coming out now is that Phil performed it. If we had to wait for Scott, I don’t think it would ever filter up to the top of the to-do list.
At this moment, even with Phil taking the work of reading NOCTURNAL off Scott’s schedule, Scott has two full length novels pending completion of a production quality draft (GFL Book V and FLIER). He’s got three co-written novellas (THE RIDER, THE GANGSTER and THE REEF) waiting for his part of the writing so that they can go into production. And, of course, there’s also endless requests for more CRYPT, more KISSYMAN, the EARTHCORE re-write, MT. FITZROY, DESCENDANT, more HUNTER HUNTERSON & SONS, and even new requests for more Rabbi and Big Ugly. And so on.
Every one of those properties I listed in the paragraph above would come before any audiobook recording, simply because more properties in the store makes for a more viable business. Not more delivery options for each property, but more properties.
We know not everyone will care for the switch. This is not a business where pleasing everyone is a sustainable model. We know folks have fond memories of Scott’s character voices, and I know all of you will miss his female voices especially. That said, while Scott would like to read all his books himself forever, it’s simply not a viable option.
If it’s not an option, we think it’s better to have Phil reading than no audiobook at all.
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