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Jeff "jeffnwill" RSS Feed (McKinleyville CA)

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Audiobooks for Indies: The One-Stop Guide for Authors Looking to Make More Money Selling Audiobooks
Audiobooks for Indies: The One-Stop Guide for Authors Looking to Make More Money Selling Audiobooks
Price: $3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Resource for Audiobook Newbie, December 2, 2014
I've been considering bringing some of my books to the audio book marketing and I'm glad I read this before I did. It’s opened my eyes that there’s a lot more to audiobooks than signing up for ACX, clicking a few times and letting the sales begin. As a process it’s easy, but where this book is invaluable is that it highlights the business strategy behind why you should, or should not, produce an audiobook.

"Audiobooks for Indies" is written so it can serve two purposes: as an overall introduction for people new to the idea of audiobook production and as a reference you can return to anytime you need to know more, or have a question, about a particular part of the process. As a newbie, the upfront chapters were packed with much needed information, especially the “Should I Create an Audiobook Chapter?” along with a breakdown of the ACX options for royalty share and paying upfront for production. Whistler packs these chapters with not only his own experience (he voices and produces books himself), but also with authors who have used the various methods to produce audiobooks. There are also links to helpful websites and documents. I loved some of the Excel worksheets that can help you figure out if you’re making the right investment. The marketing and finance sections, as well as how to work with the narrator will be sections I return to when I take the plunge.

While the entire book was informative, some of it didn’t apply to me right now (and may not ever) with topics like audio theatre (usually multiple narrators with sounds effects and music), voicing my own recording (I doubt anyone needs to hear that), and using multiple narrators (so each character has a voice). This was all still good stuff to know.

The timing of this book was spot on for me, giving me the information I needed to make an informed decision (which, for now, is actually not to plunge into the audiobook market). I’ll keep an eye on how the market, and my own author platform, evolves in the coming months and will re-evalaute form time-to-time. I’m sure I’ll be returning to this book for advice when I do.

"Slay me," said the dragon. (A Story from Bennett Bay)
"Slay me," said the dragon. (A Story from Bennett Bay)
Price: $0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars an unexpected delight, May 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I heard Stephen read a portion of this at RainbowCon and had to buy it because it was sexy and funny. I'm glad I read the whole thing as it was unexpected how this love story turned out. It was a quick, wonderful read.

Price: $4.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Debut Novel, April 5, 2012
This review is from: Slipstream (Kindle Edition)
Slipstream focuses on brother and sister Jordan and Kathy Pendragon who live in Salt Lake City. After a car accident, Jordan, a star hockey player on his high school team, starts to exhibit a strange power-it appears as though he can manipulate time and he sees things that look like they're from this world, except their not. He's also being followed by a young British guy. Turns out the British guy, Kolin, is from an alternate Earth (called Avalon), a place that was devastated in 1945 when the first atomic bomb was detonated on Earth. Avalon was saved from complete devastation by an artificial intelligence, which rebuilt civilization giving what remained of the population a safe place to live. Jordan and his sister, along with Kolin, end up on Avalon where Jordan finds out its his destiny to fix the AI's insanity and that he's got more work to do to ensure the continued existence of the sister worlds.

Michael Offutt builds both of his worlds with rich detail. Of course, we know what present day Earth is like, but Avalon is a strange, vicious and overpopulated and he gives us all of the amazing, and sometimes horrific, insight. I envisioned something between "Blade Runner," "The Running Man" and "The Matrix" with a little bit of "Tron." The characters, however, are the core of what makes this book work. Jordan is a typical teenager in some moments and at others supersmart guy spouting off physics (I'm happy I watch the "The Big Bang Theory" because I could reference that I'd heard some of it before). He's also a good hockey player and, of course, what's not to like about a hockey player in a book, especially when the hockey he ends up playing is of the ultra-violent and possibly deadly variety. Kathy is also quite something. Initially she came off as the ditzy, but caring, sister. She quickly evolved in the parallel world to quite the badass. Kolin is another great character as he goes from protector of these two to falling head over heels in love. You can't help but to root for these people.

What makes this book a tremendous read is not knowing where it's going. There are twists from start to finish and, thankfully, they all make sense inside the story. With all the plot threads he introduces, Offutt manages to not lose track of anything. I'll admit, I don't like all the choices the characters made, but to show flawed people the characters do need to make mistakes so.

There is a line at the end of the book that I found quite profound, and oh so true in the world we live in today: "It's difficult to distinguish the voice of the Creator from the falsehoods told by man." Sci-fi often casts a light on the issues facing the world and this is a great example.

"Slipstream" is the first part of the "A Crisis of Two Worlds" series. I'm looking forward to reading part two because I need to know what becomes of Jordan, Kathy, Kolin and the others working to solve the crisis.

The Sweater Book: Hundreds of People...One Common Thread
The Sweater Book: Hundreds of People...One Common Thread
by Stephen Mosher
Edition: Hardcover
59 used & new from $1.52

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply beautiful!, September 30, 2003
What an amazing concept for a book. Every one of these pictures tells a wonderful story, far more than just famous people with the same sweater. From the young cast of the movie "White Squall" considering what they could do with the sweater to two faces of playwright/actor Charles Busch to various shots with cast members of the "Star Trek" series, each picture looks into the private world of these stars to reveal more about their personality than any profile on "Entertainment Tonight" ever could. It's a must have for photography lovers and for star lovers.

Speedway Junky
Speedway Junky
DVD ~ Jesse Bradford
20 used & new from $4.95

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars MEDIOCRE AT BEST, June 14, 2002
This review is from: Speedway Junky (DVD)
... You would think that a movie about hustlers on the streets of Vegas would be gritty and sexy. Well, there's no sex in the movie and the story isn't very gritty, or interesting for that matter. The commentary by the director is kind of nice. Hearing the stories behind the making of this low-budget film is interesting, but his attempt to justify the killing off of the main gay character is flimsy ... I'd only reccomend this movie if you're a DIE HARD fan of Jordan Brower, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, or Darryl Hannah. Otherwise I suggest you skip it.

Uncle Max
Uncle Max
by Chris Kenry
Edition: Hardcover
41 used & new from $0.01

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Read From Chris Kenry, May 8, 2002
This review is from: Uncle Max (Hardcover)
I must get something off my chest...I'm so fed up with critics who dismiss books simply because they aren't "serious" fiction. If a book is fun to read, they write it off as fluff or catagorize it as a good "beach read". Just how many dreary coming out stories and AIDS novels does a gay boy have to read anyway? I really enjoyed this book. It was fun to read, imagine that! If you enjoyed Can't Buy Me Love, then you'll like Uncle Max. Both books share the theme of wacky scheming that gets the lead characters into lots of trouble. The uncle Max of the title is like a gay male version of Auntie Mame, but with a darker edge. Max spends the summer teaching his nephew the finer points of rock climbing, shoplifting, Balzac, and burglery. It didn't end quite like I expected, but life doesn't always go acording to plan, I learned that from uncle Max.

The Watcher in the Woods
The Watcher in the Woods
DVD ~ Bette Davis
19 used & new from $4.56

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good - but not great thriller, May 1, 2002
This review is from: The Watcher in the Woods (DVD)
Some people would have you believe that this is the scariest movie ever's not. That's not to say that there aren't some pretty darn chilling moments though. Anchor Bay has done a really great job on this disc. The widescreen print looks fantastic and the remastered dts/thx likely sounds better than when the film was released in '81. Several trailers are featured on the disc, and I have to say that they nicely put together, they're far creepier than the movie itself. There is a feature length commentary by director John Hough which is self serving at best. He spends the majority of the movie talking about himself, his career, and what Watcher meant to him. Who cares?! When I listen to commentary I want to hear stories from the set, about working with the actors, about the script/story development. Sadly, that's missing from this disc. The crowning glory of the dvd is the chance to finally see the original ending. All I have to say is, they changed it for good reason. The original ending features a giant alien puppet that takes Jan away to an "otherworld" where she rescues Karen. The special effects are mind-bogglingly bad. The reshot "ball of light" ending makes far more sense. Watcher in the Woods is a pretty good movie that's made better by the terrific presentation on this disc.

The Brotherhood / The Brotherhood 2 - Young Warlocks
The Brotherhood / The Brotherhood 2 - Young Warlocks
DVD ~ Sam Page
13 used & new from $2.98

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More beefcake horror hijinks from director David Decoteau, January 4, 2002
It seems low-budget director David DeCoteau has created a new horror sub-genre. Explotation of women in horror films has been an expected part of the genre for decades. But now the tables have been turned. DeCoteau delights in casting hunky young guys and putting them throuh their paces, usually in nothing but a pair of boxerbriefs. DeCoteau has developed quite a following among teenage girls and gay men. His films appeal to both groups for obious reasons.
Brotherhood I and Brotherhood II are both available seperately in a no-frills DVD edition. But the Special Edition Double Feature disc includes both films in their widescreen format (approx. 2:35) and has a commentary track on both films featuring DeCoteau who is joined by actor Bradley Stryker on Brotherhood I. It's fun to hear all the behind-the-scenes secrets on low-budget movies like these. The disc also features a small photo gallery and trailers for both films.
The disc isn't mastered all that well ( digital artifacts are visible in some scenes) Still, it's well worth the price. If you're a fan of Davis DeCoteau's other films (I highly reccomend the lunar edition DVD of Voodoo Academy) you're sure to love these!

Tick, Tick... Boom! (2001 Original Off-Broadway Cast)
Tick, Tick... Boom! (2001 Original Off-Broadway Cast)
Price: $8.69
33 used & new from $3.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly better than "Rent', October 28, 2001
I'm a major RENT fan... have been since the first time I heard it. TICK, TICK... BOOM is another masterpiece by Larson with incredible performances by Raul Esperza and the cast. The songs "Why?" "Johnny Can't Decide" and "Louder Than Words" resonant for anyone trying to figure out if they're doing the right thing with their live. And, in the wake of September 11, they ring true even more than before. If you like RENT, you've got to get this... If you like great music, you've got to get this. Don't believe me? Play the song clips attached to this CDs listing and I'm sure you'll agree.

Sticky Kisses: A Novel
Sticky Kisses: A Novel
by Greg Johnson
Edition: Hardcover
25 used & new from $0.01

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed!, October 28, 2001
This review is from: Sticky Kisses: A Novel (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I loved Johnson's "Pegan Babies" from a few years ago. "Sticky Kisses" however is a major disappointment. It had such potenital to be a great book, and there are plenty of scenes that are quite wonderful. But the story never quite comes together and the ending doesn't wrap up anything. I almost stopped reading it in the middle, but decided it would all have to make sense eventually. Sadly, it never did.

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