How many different formats and products do you offer?
In addition to our audiobook CDs, digital download audiobooks on Audible and iTunes, and printed books, we offer products on Playaway Digital Player, Goreader Digital Player, ePub eBook, PDF eBook, Mobi-pocket eBook, and Blio Edition eBook.
Your productions include full casts and numerous high-end sound effects.
When approaching putting the Stories from the Golden Age series on audio,
we wanted to create a full experience that made the Golden Age golden. Pulp fiction and radio were the most popular forms of American entertainment at that time, so there had to be something to radio theater that attracted everyone’s keen interest. And there was‚ it not only told a story but allowed the imagination to run right along with one’s favorite heroes or characters they identified with.
Radio provided the story as an audio experience, which let the mind add the pictures. This is what we have done. By using authentic voices and as realistic sound effects as we can find, it is impossible not to have the imagination kick in with your own video track.
Although downloadable audio is making strides, you said recently that the bandwidth just isn’t quite there.
Until recently, many audiobook outlets only provided the absolute minimum-sized files with compression optimized to reproduce only a single voice. Music, sound effects, and the full range of the human voice, however, cannot be reproduced with that kind of compression. Backgrounds disappear, instruments and arrangements change their sound, voices get thin and strident‚ the whole presentation is altered. We have really endeavored to create a complete sound experience. As soon as the sounds are stripped, the listener is no longer in that Western town with the stagecoach rolling by and the saloon down the street. You really have to hear it to know how dramatic a difference it can make.
As the major online media outlets (iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Audible) have established themselves and grown, the demand for higher resolution files has been met, and each of these outlets has progressively increased its capabilities to provide for this. As the bandwidth available to consumers grows (with 4G networks, etc.), the demand for file resolution will always grow, too, and through that the full experience of our products can be made available to the public.
Tell us about ePulp.
The ePulp is unique to our Stories from the Golden Age. It is an iPod loaded with 80 books containing 153 stories. Releasing these books, one a month, we had already experienced the talent and production people not wanting to wait five years to get their own copies of the CDs, so the idea to load everything onto one iPod for sale to fans evolved. We also have loaded several promotional videos onto ePulp.
What’s coming during the rest of 2012?
We will be releasing another eight pulp fiction volumes as well as the 28th edition of L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future as a paperback and an enhanced ebook. We are also focusing on actions to increase overall listenership of the spoken-word format as a means of growing the industry, which, of course, will help us all.