FridayFix: What? Scott’s not reading his own audiobook?

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.

ScottReadingWe 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?

Scott on the mic

Ah, the good-old days of the long-ago time. Scott on the mic recording ANCESTOR in studio.

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.

The choice for audio: experience Pierre with Phil’s voice, or get no Pierre. No Pierre for you!

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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About The Author


  1. Trisha Lynn

    I’ve been wanting to get onto the Scott Sigler train for a while and now that I’ve taken up knitting, I realized I can “read” his audiobooks and knit at the same time. I started with THE CRYPT Book 1 because the story synopsis had the most appeal to me and I loved Chapters 1 and 2. Then Chapter 3 started and I was immediately drawn out of enjoying the book thanks to Sigler’s voice characterization of the female recruiting officer.

    When I went online to find out if I was the only person who felt this way, I found this post regarding Sigler’s decision to have other voice actors read his books. I’m wondering if there are plans to have Sigler’s other books re-read; if so, I’ll definitely be waiting for the Scott Sigler train pull into my station again.

  2. David Kiefer

    I’m a little late to the discussion, but I’ve only seen this mentioned a little.

    Understand the issue, and I’m willing to give the new guy a break.

    I thought the voice of the Damned Lawyer Clown is a better fit though… are we going to hear more from him anytime?

  3. Pablo Escobar

    I think the best way I can describe the difference is I always felt like Scott was telling me a story. Now, it feels like I’m being read a book.

    …and as previously said by so many, I’ll take it over nothing!

  4. NeilColquhoun

    A – I for one am happy with the reasons for getting Phil onboard. If it means more product from you guys then that’s fine by me.

    Scott – keep on writing sir. It’s all appreciated.

    And, it’s good to be nosing around the site once more. Absence certainly does make the heart grow fonder!

    Kind Regards – Neil

  5. Bradley Henry

    What I don’t get with those complaining is it isn’t like others haven’t read FDO works for him. Just look back at the original Bloodcasts.. I give you the episode…Chuckles Mulrooney, Attorney for the Damned was Awesome. Sadly, somethings just don’t do as well. I am enjoying Nocturnal the remake but nobody does “Pookie” like Scott. Then again I would have never known if I hadn’t heard the original. Keep on writing FDO I will gladly listen to others read your stories if that chrome dome can keep pumping out the awesome fiction I love to read.

  6. Steve Riekeberg

    No matter your opinion of Phil Gigante’s performance, when you think about it, it’s pretty damned impressive how many books Scott has performed.

    ANCESTOR (original)
    INFECTION (original, now INFECTED)
    THE ROOKIE (original)
    NOCTURNAL (original rough draft)
    INFECTED (print re-write)
    ANCESTOR (print re-write)
    THE ROOKIE (re-release, upcoming)

    Plus BLOODCAST: SEASON ONE, KISSYMAN & THE GENTLEMAN, TITLE FIGHT, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting, not to mention a significant chunk of BONES ARE WHITE.

    That’s a lot of audiobooks…

  7. Michael Procopio

    Thank you for your transparency in this matter, very refreshing.

    Personally I liked the readers voices from Bones are White better than Phil’s (sorry Phil, just personal taste). I don’t have any problem with it not being Scott ( I prefer Scott but want him to stay in business more ).

    It would be nice if it was a voice I liked better. But as they say ‘you get what you pay for’. I have a lot of Sigler books (as in multiple copies of each), but I have never had to purchase an audiobook.

    Thanks for all your hard work – both of you.

  8. Heather

    While I agree that Scott has a flare and it’s great to hear a book read by the author I don’t get why anyone has a problem. I would MUCH rather hear the book read by Phil who has a very nice voice and have some chance to finally read the Crypt sequel and find out what the hell is in the Portath Cloud.

      1. Joe Mami

        That is good to know that we will get your sweet voice now and then. I’ve come to expect your ocd talented self in producing the highest quality audiobooks but if it means more production with the pen and paper then I’m on board. Still waiting for the audiobook to be released so I can buy it…

  9. Ben Delano

    I love Phil. I’ve heard him in several other audiobooks and he is an excellent narrator. And quite frankly, THANK YOU! I only listen to audiobooks. I bought the hardcover of NOCTURNAL when it came out. I have read the first 10 pages, then had to put it down to go do something else, and never got back to it. But I really enjoyed the first draft on this podcast, and it’s Scott, so I knew it was worth the buy to get more later.

    The fact that I had to wait a year and a half for the audio so I could actually experience the book I bought? That sucked a lot. And if the option had been buy it with Phil reading or wait for Scott to podcast it for free, I would’ve bought the dam thing.

    And I may still buy it, then listen to the podcast through again. I did that with Mur Lafferty’s Shambling Guide to NYC. It’s fun to pick out the things you missed the first time around.

    And yes, I was a bit disappointed by Phil’s Pookie. However, it makes him more of a real character, so I think it will be better in the long run.

    Point is, I want to hear Scott’s stories. I only buy the physical copies so that when the Zombie apocalypse comes I have a back up. That way when I travel across the continent to find Scott I know he won’t be able to tell me “But I don’t have any copies anymore! They all burned when the Blue Angel monster attacked!”

    1. A Sigler


      Thanks for the input, and the support. We listened to a bunch of other audiobooks looking for readers, and found we really liked Phil’s.

      Another thing that made us think he was a good fit? Phil himself — just like Scott — has legions of his own fans who listen to books simply because he’s the one reading ’em. We can appreciate that kind of dedication. Impressive and a pretty solid recommendation.

  10. Jeff Imig

    Lots of times in Episode One, I thought Phil WAS Scott! Additionally, Phil did a great job all the way through.

    Scott is a hard show to follow. But more writing is a good thing. I don’t care much for the GFL (I said, ducking!), so more room for Scott writing variety is a great thing.

    1. A Sigler

      Jeff, thanks for the support. And you don’t have to duck — not everyone loves the GFL. I mean, it does have space, gangsters, football, slapstick comedy and barf jokes … and that does cover a very large demographic of readers, but if it’s not your cup of tea? Fine with us. We just love that you give Scott a chance to entertain you.

  11. Tom Merritt

    So I’m one of those that has no problem with this. I enjoy hearing new readers as long as they are GOOD– Phil I would suspect is [so far he’s great]. But I just want to check, will Scott do Pandemic himself to finish the series to keep the voices we’ve known for years now? Outside of that, as long as the GFL series keeps Scott, then bring on the great readers who care and love to do this!

    1. A Sigler

      Hey Secret Agent Merritt —

      Nope, Phil is at-this-very-moment at work on PANDEMIC. We thought about Scott reading this one too, but then considered that it’s mostly (not all, but mostly) a new cast of characters who you will never have heard Scott read. Unlike the GFL, where it’s still Quentin and the crew.

      If you’ve never heard Scott read most of these voices, there’s not a legacy to protect. Once that was true, waiting almost two years from January to get the audio for PANDEMIC (like you had to wait this long to get the audio for NOCTURNAL) didn’t seem rational.

  12. ratman19

    Like many on this site, the FDO is my favorite author and the stories read by him are my favorite podcasts. However, one thing that has disappointed me (I don’t know if disappointed is the right word but I couldn’t think of a better one), has been the slow release of new material.

    With that said, I feel A Kovaks and the FDO are making the correct decision here.

    Please keep up the good work you guys.

  13. Nemesis0

    I’d rather have more books written by Scott then more stuff read by him. The more books the better. I haven’t listened to the first episode of Nocturnal completely, but from the bits i heard i didn’t have much of a problem with the new guy reading.

    It was nice having him do the voices and all, but i like the idea that he is going to focus more of his time on writing then recording.

  14. taylorconnie

    I listened to a bit of an audiobook narrated by phil when I read he was going to narrate Nocturnal and was impressed with his voice….then I listened to the first episode and was….disappointed….it’s not his characterisations which I think are great, but his general reading that is a little lacklustre …I don’t think it has anything to do with being used to Scott’s voice as I listen to a tonne of audiobooks with various qualities of voices. I’m thinking that it may be due to the fact that the product is new to him and he will settle in to a more natural rhythm as the story progresses. I certainly am looking forward to more….

    1. scottsigler

      @taylorconnie: Believe it or not, Phil is doing what I call “laying back in the pocket” right now. He’s leaving a lot of headroom to pick up character intensity as the story intensity picks up. When the shit begins to really hit the fan for our protagonists, you’ll hear something different.

  15. Jeremy Pope

    I have to admit that I was initially disappointed when I heard that Scott was not going to read his work any more. He puts so much of himself into his reading and that’s probably because he has such an intimate relationship with the stories. But I enjoyed the reading of this episode, I’m taking this as a new story, so hearing a new story with a new voice is OK with me. It’s still an FDO book.

    Thank goodness he’s still getting John Tweedy to do the GFL stories, that man is truly an awesome voice actor.

    Seriously though Scott, Your FDO-ness, it was as much your own reading that dragged me into the Siglerverse as it was your stories, now as a veteran Junkie of a couple of site moves it’s more about the ‘verse. If this is the way to get more of it, I’m cool with that. Oh, and I’m looking forward to getting a bit more Frederico in The Champion.

  16. Chuck VanT

    Well, after many years, it’s happened for the first time! The FDO has put me to sleep! It wasn’t so much Nocturnal but it was Phil Gigante’s take on reading it.

    I realize that our fearless Leader can’t read them all to us anymore, but I, being a supreme whiner, can’t take it! I’m gonna have to buy the ebook, and imagine the FDO’s dulcet tones.

    So, if this is his secret plan to make more sales, he got me! However, the Nocturnal Podcast will have one less listener, sorry. The next person on the waiting list may have my slot.

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