Audiobook Publisher Interview | Jorie talks with Post Hypnotic Press!

Posted Thursday, 17 August, 2017 by jorielov 0 Comments

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Post Hypnotic Press (@Post_Hypnotic)

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

Today, I am excited to share with you the conversation I had with the owner of Post Hypnotic Press, Ms Craig as this is one of the first audiobook publishers I started to work with last year [2016] when I decided to offset my readings by listening to stories by headphone whilst colouring (to help root me into the worlds being narrated). I was quite impressed by this publisher straight-away not only due to the quality of their publications – especially from their digital audiobook catalogue (as these are the ones I’ve been happily listening whilst reviewing) but due to their depth of choice in Fiction and Non-Fiction audiobook selections!

When I first was approached by Jess @ Audiobookworm Promotions to host for her authors and publishers, I was such a newbie to the audiobook world! I hadn’t had the proper chance to even set-up my OverDrive account which I was given due to my local library’s online resources nor truly to explore audiobooks on CD which are regularly purchased by my library as well. I had started to pick up audiobooks when Katie @ Doing Dewey inspired me with select Non-Fiction stories she was choosing to read through her Non-Fiction Book Club; however, I had a false start in keeping in step with the Club’s choices. The first one I selected was on CD (borrowed from my library) but what was difficult was being able to take notes whilst starting and stopping the CD itself as I only had my dvd player to use to broadcast the audiobook which made it difficult to even ‘zone in’ on the narration as there are always too much ambient noises in our everyday lives to make audiobooks difficult to consume. I honestly threw in the towel before I ever encroached too far into the audiobook (despite enjoying the subject being discussed)!

You could say when Jess approached me, it was good timing on my end as I was growing frustrated with how I could listen to audiobooks – this is even before I learnt through other patrons at my library how listening to the CD catalogue of audiobooks would prove an uphill battle as not all audiobook listeners apparently treat their CDs equally (ie. lots of skips and scratches apparently!). Imagine? So, happily round the time Jess was encouraging me to give hosting for audiobooks a go on my blog Jorie Loves A Story it appealed to me on a few different levels: one I could honestly offset my readings in print by a new medium which had the added bonus of helping me continue to reduce my chronic migraines (win-win!), second I could dig into my library’s e-audiobook catalogue and third I could entreat into sorting out how to bring art back into my life as a way to not only reduce my personal stress by having a creative art outlet but also give me a way to pull deeper into the stories I was listening to in audio format!

Ergo, finding Post Hypnotic Press was a wicked happy surprise for me! They truly wooed me by the MacDonald memoirs which at the time surprised me by my own interest in them as initially I wasn’t sure if they’d be a smashing fit or not. I’ll let you read my reviews to find out my reactions – however, getting to listen to Ms Becker’s autobiography was the perfect capstone on my experience with Betty as it brought everything back to centre! When the tour for Anne of Green Gables came along, I was overly excited because this is a series near and dear to my own bookish heart!

I’ve been talking about my memories of Anne and how re-visiting Anne as an adult has both surprised me and endeared me with wonderful new experiences inside this captivating world of Avonlea! I have had a mind and heart attached to the Canadian Maritimes for such a long while as a result of my inclinations towards finding myself attached to Anne and other stories set in this incredible region of North America but by retracing my own footsteps next to Anne Shirley – this gift of joy and happiness is credit to Post Hypnotic Press for bridging the gaps we all have from girlhood to adulthood in regards to how we find ourselves relating to Anne directly!

They not only found a narrator who captures Anne Shirley so intuitively and authentically, they found a narrator whose performance grants you entrance into Avonlea and Ms Montgomery’s legacy. This dear hearts, is a gift beyond measure and it’s a firm nod towards the dedication the Craig’s have in producing quality over quantity of audiobook selections which fit within the world of 21st Century readers who are seeking what they are providing. For me personally, I felt like I had entered this enchanted world of audio stories simply by immersing myself into the world of Betty MacDonald and Anne Shirley – the narrators help centre your mind and heart but it’s the dedicated persons ‘behind’ the mic and audiobooks themselves who are steering us closer to literary enlightenment simply by how they follow their instincts and navigate how to create an incredibly layered soundscape of audio stories for all of us who cherish reading stories by this platform!

My love of Post Hypnotic Press and their narrators is what drove me to request this interview, even though one was not being offered on the tour. I couldn’t think of a better compliment to hosting two audiobook tours for them than to converse with Ms Craig about her own passion for audiobooks and the joys of being part of the creative team behind the audiobook publisher I know I shall be supporting hereafter for giving me inspiring reads and theatrical narrators who encourage my bookish spirit! I hope dear hearts, after reading this interview – you will be inspired to give Post Hypnotic Press a chance to encourage your own bookish curiosities especially if you’ve been seeking an Indie Audiobook Publisher whose dedicated to their readers and narrators alike by producing incredible productions for the stories which interest them to publish!

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The Anne of Green Gables series by Post Hypnotic Press:

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery, narrated by Colleen Winton produced by Post Hypnotic Press.Anne of Avonlea by LM Montgomery, narrated by Colleen Winton produced by Post Hypnotic Press.Anne of the Island by LM Montgomery, narrated by Colleen Winton produced by Post Hypnotic Press.

The publisher is considering adapting the rest of the series and is looking for feedback on behalf of these adaptations by both the bloggers who are listening to them for the blog tour and the readers who are finding them along the tour route itself – to gauge if the rest of the series would have a readership who would appreciate hearing them. I, for one, am hoping they do produce the rest of the series as these adaptions are great addition for all of us who grew up knowing Anne.

Likewise, if you haven’t yet seen the publisher’s announcement about how their offering a coupon this month on their audiobook catalogue, I encourage you to visit my review of Anne of Green Gables (linked below this review) where I first found out this lovely news myself!

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Previously, I hosted this lovely publisher for the stories about and by Betty MacDonald:

I also shared a lovely convo with the narrator of the MacDonald memoirs Heather Henderson!

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What inspired you to become an Indie Audiobook Publisher during the Renaissance in publishing to off-set it’s focus on ebooks and pick up a resurgence of production in audiobooks? Or was it coincidental?

Carlyn Craig responds: I actually started Post Hypnotic Press in 2009. At that time, there was growth in the audiobook industry, but not like we are seeing today. Audiobooks still represented only a small fraction of the overall publishing market. My inspiration to start Post Hypnotic Press was really more about following a newfound passion.

I personally love how you followed your passion & found a way to take your passion for audiobooks into what paved the road to give wings to Post Hypnotic Press!

I had always been a big reader, but back in 2007, when I “discovered” audiobooks, I was finding it hard to get through a book. With a full time job managing a scholarly journal, a young son, and aging parents who needed assistance, I was so exhausted that when I did find time to read for pleasure, I fell asleep within about two sentences. I learned that it is impossible to get through a book two sentences at a time. A friend encouraged me to try audiobooks, pointing out that I would be able to listen in my car – my commute back and forth to work being one of the few alone times I had at that time. Her job required her to drive from place to place, and so she had been listening to audiobooks in her car for years, first on cassettes, and then on CDs. By 2007, she was a member of audible.com and I think she was using an iPod, or maybe her blackberry, to listen to them. Anyway, she’d been telling me to try audiobooks for years, but I’d always been a snob about it. This time, I took her up on her suggestion. She recommended a couple of titles: Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything and Melvyn Bragg’s The Adventure of English. By the end of Bryson’s book, I was in love with audiobooks, and by the end of Bragg’s book, I was determined to quit my job and start an audiobook publishing company.

What I found so very interesting is something I’ve been noticing by other listeners; we’re all approaching how we listen to audiobooks differently – not just in what originally motivated us to pick up audiobooks but the method in how we’re listening to them as well. I still remember the cassette versions – this goes back to when I couldn’t get my thoughts to curl inside an audio story as I hadn’t yet discovered the art of colouring helps me re-zone my thoughts into a narrator’s narration! The moxie you had to re-direct your life with a newfound passion is very inspiring! We all need to remember to take risks!

This wasn’t really too extreme: I had worked in the entertainment industry in my twenties – in fact, my degree was in Film, and I’d sort of accidentally found myself in publishing. I loved my job with the journal, but by 2007 I was somewhat burned-out and needed a change. So when I “discovered” audiobooks, they were a revelation to me on so many levels. Not only did I simply love listening to actors/narrators reading to me, I found I retained more when I listened, which surprised me. That got me researching reading and learning to read and all the things that can get in the way of someone enjoying books – there are so many thing beyond blindness or dyslexia that can make reading a chore instead of a pleasure. I was excited about the idea of making books available to people who might not read because reading was difficult for them. Plus, audiobooks combined two of my favourite things, books and working with actors. Audiobooks, it seemed, were the change I was looking for.

Not that it happened immediately. First, I had to find the right person to replace me and train them – I had put a lot of my heart and soul into rebuilding the journal I worked for and couldn’t just leave it – but that’s another story…. At the same time, my family’s needs were changing – my mother-in-law’s health was deteriorating and the home we lived in no longer suited her needs, plus, my son had developed a very bad allergy to Birch trees and our neighbourhood was full of them. It was time to move. And I also needed time to research the audiobook industry and learn the technical skills required to produce audiobooks at a professional level. Even after I launched in 2009, I still had so much to learn, plus, my personal life was such that I had to grow slowly and carefully, as I simply had too much on my plate to do anything else. It’s been a lot of work, but I’m very happy – and thankful – that my family was able to support me in my decision to quit a very good fulltime job to take on this venture.

I had to smile – yes, I’ve known about audiobooks for a long while indeed – as when I first learnt I was dyslexic, they were mentioned to me as well as a way to ‘offset’ my own struggles with reading; however, I’ve overcompensated for my dyslexia in so many ways I never found ‘one’ thing which worked for me unless I could find reason for what was suggested to work with where I was on my own path. It’s hard to explain – except to say, I understood how I was learning and even though I carved out my own path towards learning and reading alike, sometimes you have to introduce things in your own time frame rather than the off-handed suggestion of those who are trying to sort out what works for everyone universally.

I can definitely relate to personal stress and strife – what I found most inspiring in your story is how you never gave up trying to find the balance – from being able to give everything you needed to give to your family whilst trying to be self-sufficient at the same time in business. life comes at us hard – the hardest part is not losing our sanity and finding new inspiration when life feels heavily burdensome. I think audiobooks entered your life in such an incredible time-frame to give you more freedom – professionally and personally.

As your publishing a lot of authors and stories which fall into the Classical setting of publishing, how have you found reader response to having these Classics available with new narrators who bring a bit of a fresh take on the stories they already know and love?

Carlyn Craig responds: Well, that’s an interesting question. In so much of what I’ve done with Post Hypnotic Press, I have lead with my heart. I love classics. I’ve been reading the classics since I was a teenager, and for me, summertime reading is always classics – old favourites and authors I have yet to tackle. Since becoming an audiobook addict, I’ve switched to listening, so producing classics is a natural for me, although I didn’t set out to record classics.

I think this gives you a better edge of instinct – by leading with your heart & following your own readerly passions therein, your able to tap into the stories which will have a broader appeal to all of us – especially if we haven’t yet discovered the same authors and/or stories. I oft feel if we’re passionately finding connection with a story, our enthusiasm becomes contagious and thus, stories have a way of winging their way into more readerly hearts due to the organic method of how we start to speak about what gives us the most joy is a joy which others want to share with us; thus stories find new hearts to alight inside each time they are spoken about with the zest of a reader who was lifted up by their presence. There is something quite lovely about spending Summer as a season to explore Classical Lit, this I do agree whole-heartedly! It is why I love participating in Austen in August!

Our first classics were the Montgomery books – and we’d like to add more of this series – and the response to Colleen Winton’s narration was fantastic. I thought she was great, of course, and perfect for these books, but it’s always gratifying when the response from listeners is good. We entered Anne of Green Gables into the YA SYNC program one year. YA SYNC is a wonderful program that pairs a new title with a classic and makes them free to students and teachers across North America for one week. I think it’s over by now – it’s usually in June and runs for five or six weeks, with a new pair of audiobooks offered each week. More copies of our recording of Anne of Green Gables were downloaded than the new title, and I gather that’s not usually the case.

I systematically forget about this SNYC programme every single year – I originally liked to see how they were pairings stories together, except to say, the last few times I’ve caught the tailend of this yearly event, I was more keen on listening to the ‘classic’ or ‘original’ story moreso than the one which was being paired with it! I think it speaks to how my own wanderings in YA are far from popular as I tend to seek out the stories which give me a heap of joy to read but their not always the most talked about stories – sometimes, yes, but more oft than naught, their the ones who I feel are overlooked gems of literary discovery. Ergo I was not a bit surprised your Green Gables tale was the most popular option!!

Our recordings have been popular through libraries. Unfortunately, one large library distributor has taken our recording off of their platform, and that platform serves a lot of libraries in North America. That distributor now only offers one recording of Anne of Green Gables and the other Montgomery books, recordings produced by their own production company, which I think is a shame. Still, our recordings are available in libraries through Overdrive and through distributors like audible, audiobooks.com, Findaway, etc. And they can be bought from our website, of course.

I was disheartened to hear this news but I am thankful you were able to find a way to overcome the hurdles as I do hope more readers find your stories – I am enamored with what your producing and I love the wicked sweet joy of finding unexpected bliss in what your catalogue offers a curious reader of stories through fiction and non-fiction outlets!

In regards directly to the Anne of Green Gables series – as you have published three of the classic stories are there plans to continue the series in audio?

Carlyn Craig responds: I think the answer to that is, we’d love to have feedback from this tour as to whether we should or not!

UPDATE: Shortly after my review for “Anne of Green Gables” posted I saw murmurings online the rest of the series was being green-lighted to continue. I did not see a production schedule for the rest of Anne’s stories but I am definitely going to be ears to the ground to see when this lovely series gets fully completed! I do encourage you if you’ve been following this audio tour to continue to give feedback to Post Hypnotic Press in regards to why you’d like this series to continue!

How did you approach creating the set of Anne of Green Gables stories you have now? Did you first seek out the narrator or someone to adapt the stories to be narrated? How did you bring Anne back to life?

Carlyn Craig responds: Anne, as you know, is a Canadian classic, and so when I decided it was time to start producing some classics, it seemed fitting that we’d start with these iconic books. Often, when publishers are bringing out a classic like this, they might go through and edit it a bit – sometimes they update terms that are obscure today or replace archaic words with more familiar words. I hate that. I love language and I love the way the classics are written. I don’t want to change the language or anything about the original. So, for me, preparing to publish a classic means finding a copy of the original, preferably an early edition, and working from that. From there, it’s just a matter of finding the right narrator.

I, do as well! One of the reasons I fell in love with Classical Lit as a young girl was the old mannerisms and expressions – Old English especially felt like the language of the Romantics and of an age which was just out of view of our modern world! I loved how the expressions themselves were more eloquently capturing the living moment in which they were depicting whilst giving us such a strong sense of presence in a world which had become exchanged for a quicker pace and an evolving struggle to find balance out of innovation and technological advances. I truly love the fact you left Anne to be Anne as Ms Montgomery had envisioned her – as one thing I truly never understood is why abridged versions take so much out of the author’s scope for their own characters and stories – I am sure there is a time and place for abridged variants of stories but for me personally, I am an unabridged girl! Bless you for going the extra mile and giving us the joy of reading the author’s intended version of the story they originally penned for us to find!

When it comes to selecting your narrator to represent Anne – how did you know you had found the right person?

Carlyn Craig responds: There are so many actresses who would do a great job and who would love the chance to narrate these wonderful classics. I considered several actresses here in Vancouver, but I loved Colleen’s voice for these books. I thought her kids voices were great –Anne needed to be the right mix of breathless enthusiasm and solid sensibilities, and I loved Colleen’s take on Anne – plus, she’s good at character voices of all kinds. She was in a stage production of Anne of Green Gables not long after we recorded this, playing Marilla Cuthbert, and I believe she played Anne onstage when she was young, too. And like many, Colleen was a huge fan of the books when she was a girl. It all just seemed to fit.

I definitely agree! What gave my heart such a felicity of joy is re-finding my appreciation for Anne of Green Gables as an adult – a credit I give solely to Ms Winton! As I re-aligned myself back into Green Gables and Avonlea – I was first inclined to feel more of a closeness to Marilla herself rather than Anne; then as the story proceeded to shift forward as Anne started to sprout her own wings and fly past where Green Gables was endearing her to grow into the woman she was meant to become, I noticed myself shifting back into Anne’s shoes – finding I truly love the ebbs and flows of how Anne and Avonlea give us such a rounding of the human experience and how truly timeless these stories are to be read, listened and absorbed into our hearts!

How do you select the stories you want to publish? Are they stories you personally have a fond appreciation for or ones you feel would relate well in today’s audiobook market?

Carlyn Craig responds: Well, like I said above, I tend to go with my heart and sometimes I’m recording a classic because I want to listen to it. Sometimes, I’m looking for a new twist. For instance, I was discussing possible projects with my husband and he mentioned Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey. I’d never read it, myself, but of course, I’d heard of it and was aware of its importance to the western genre. I think my husband might have been thinking about narrating it himself, but as I looked through the exiting recordings something became glaringly obvious to me – not one woman had narrated this classic, even though the central character and story revolves around Jane Witherspoon and her fight with the Morman elders. And I knew immediately who I wanted to narrate it – Anne Richardson, whose soft and sweet voice seemed made to represent the main character, and who is also a wonderful narrator whose character voices I always enjoy.

This is something I think is quite critical when it comes to audiobooks and podcasts – the voice behind the story – the voice which pulls us out of our own context and into the moment where story and the synchronicity of a writer’s muse pull us into their own rhythm. I find the right voice can chart our course to whole new worlds – whether in audiobooks or in listening to podcasts – I think we’re all akin in this regard – it’s similar to how we relate to certain actors who present living and moving stories across a medium where we are inclined to feel transported through their performances to experience those lives – we attach ourselves into an experience but it’s how the story alights on our minds and hearts which counts most of all. What first gives us that portal of experience is what makes or breaks any story to be able to connect to us on a layer of insight individual to us all.

Not all of the classics we’ve published are in the public domain, and some of these projects have been titles that the narrators themselves are keen to read. This idea – dream jobs, I call them – originated with Anne Richardson, who wanted to narrate Greenwillow by BJ Chute – a book she and her mother both loved. I thought this sounded like a fun idea – pairing up narrators with books they were particularly passionate about, and I love Anne’s narration in that book! So then I mentioned this idea to Heather Henderson – who is a wonderful actress/narrator and a very sweet lady. She told me about her longing to narrate The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald and The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet. We ended up recording those two books plus Betty MacDonald’s other three memoirs. MacDonald was hugely popular in the 40s and 50s, but died young and so isn’t as well-remembered as she should be. Her first book, The Egg and I, was a huge hit and has been adapted to radio, stage, and film with Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray in the leads – that film also introduced the world the the Ma and Pa Kettle played by Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbourn, a pairing that led to a hugely popular series of films.

I do love finding out narrators (like actors and sometimes the two are the same! as actors are seeking out more voice over work and narration roles) chose to seek out the stories they feel most resonate with them on a personal level as I think that speaks to how stories are transformative and intrapersonal to each of our own cache of experiences. Sometimes stories simply speak to us for what they can give us as a wholly new experience and sometimes they speak to us for the stories which grant us a new spin on something we already know but not in the way in which the story has been told. Reading is a multi-dimensional experience and I think by fusing narration and narrator performance into the audioscope of how narrated stories are produced is one part of why we all love listening to them – they become intrapersonal in a whole new way – where at first it was through our own imagination as we turnt the pages and now, it’s through how we listen intuitively to how a narrator is speaking to us and guiding us through a world and the life experiences of the characters we almost feel are whispering their stories into our ears. It’s a very clever way to experience stories due to the immersion effect!

As you have a mixture of genres available which ones are you going to be focusing on the most in the next five years and developing your catalogue of selections?

Carlyn Craig responds: I wish I knew. I see myself continuing to pursue the kind of eclectic mix I have developed – classics, memoirs, self-help, psychology, politics, history, sustainability and good business books. These are all genres I love. If I were more familiar with the current fiction market, I’d probably pursue that, as well – I love romantic comedies, for instance. But I am not as familiar with that market as I feel I should be, so for the nonce, I’m sticking with what I know.

I think your instincts are bang-on brilliant – follow your own readerly muse and the stories will find you which need to be told through audiobook soundscapes! I think we’re all particular particular about certain bookish interests (myself included) but if you continue to seek out what inspires you to read and the stories which you feel have merit of being produced into an audio landscape, then those are the stories to produce and give flight! Besides this is one reason being an Indie Publisher has fuller freedom – you don’t have to follow the market and the trends; if anything Indies can re-set the trends by stepping outside the proverbial box!

How long does it take to adapt one of your audiobooks and what is the process the story goes through before it is available to listen too?

Carlyn Craig responds: For the most part, much of the prep falls on the narrator’s shoulders. They go through the book, thinking about character voices, checking any pronunciations they might be unsure of, etc. When needed, we will chip in and help with this research, but most of this prep is done by the narrator. And it’s very important that the narrator takes the time to pre-read the book and do this prep. It may feel like extra work, but it actually makes the narration much more smooth and easy – and avoids costly mistakes. Not every author thinks to mention important character details, like “deep, growly voice” or “upper crust British accent” when we first meet a character, and many a narrator has skipped this part of the process only to learn, about 300 pages into some long novel, a significant detail about a characters voice. When that happens, they have to go back and redo huge swaths of their narration.

I am so very thankful you shared this ‘behind the mic’ insight – as similar to how actors prep for roles on camera and stage, I am simply fascinated by the processes narrators go through to step into the characters and/or the voices of the living persons their narrating – as it speaks to how we seek to give an authentication to what we’re producing. Not to merely step into a shoe for a short moment but to try to step through the shoe into the heart of the spirit we’re embodying so that that voice can be heard as long as the format by which it was recorded is accessible. There is something quite special by how we can find those who can entreat into a role in such a way as to illuminate a story back to us in a format which grants us the most licence to see with our imaginative hearts.

We proof each audiobook, listening for errors in the narration, noises (the occasional bump, say, or stomach noise not noticed by the narrator), and we take care of cleaning up mouth noises and overly loud breaths, etc. We also edit for pacing – although with so many of the narrators we work with, there isn’t really much to do in this regard, we are still listening for that, and performance and clarity. We ask the narrators to record any corrections we need and we take care of cutting them in. My brother and business partner, Carl Craig, does all the final mastering and QC, and he’s very fussy – which is why he’s in charge of this. Once the audio is finished to our satisfaction, then we get it out distributors. We are trying to get to the point where we develop the CD at the same time, but we produce CDs on a print-on-demand basis, so it is often tempting to wait until we receive an order for the CD, and CDs are far less popular today than downloads.

Ooh, I would love to go back through and get the CDs of the audiobooks I am enjoying by listening to the digital releases! Specifically, as I was so charmed by Ms Becker’s capacity to re-organise everything in a digestible fashion about Betty MacDonald – I know her autobiography along with Green Gables are future CD purchases as they are tangible treasures of my joys in being caught up inside these stories! I think it was a good idea for POD CDs – something I hadn’t realised was possible until I started to get interest in CDBaby for Indie Music – I never thought I’d prefer e-audiobooks over CD myself until I noticed how (at least for now) the set-up I have right now to listen to audiobooks is more akin to going digital than listening through traditional means. I still say there is a time and purpose for both formats – similarly to why I know print books still have longevity – if only for those of us who can never read ebooks due to medical reasons (for myself: chronic migraines) or for those who can only connect to stories if the books are in front of us – as we each learn and digest information differently. Hence why there are different platforms.

As foresaid, I love your attention to detail and your dedication to the quality of your audiobooks – this is something I’ve noticed from the first moment I first listened to one of your stories straight through Green Gables!

How did you personally get interested in audiobooks? When did you start to listen to them and what inspired your listening choices?

Carlyn Craig responds: I answered this question above in my reply to your first question. I’m kinda wordy that way.

Laughs with mirth. And, I, like you am a bubbly chatterbox – which I feel is the best quality to have if only to encourage others to seek out what gives us such a wicked sweet joy of our own.

How do you think listening to audiobooks has evolved in today’s book world to be not only more accessible but a bit more enjoyable than in the past? What makes audiobooks more viable, if you will?

Carlyn Craig responds: Technology – specifically, smart phones. The advent of the iPod and other personal MP3 players several years ago was big and did generate more interest in audiobooks, but by far the convenience and ubiquity of smart phones is driving the growth in the market today. And it is fantastic technology. Not only is it easy to purchase audiobooks and download them to your device, but you can be listening to a book and if you get a call, you just answer it. When you do, your audiobook pauses and doesn’t restart until you’ve finished your call. No switching from your audiobook device to your phone device. No having to find the audiobook app and turn it off or pause it. If you have a newer car, you can sync your phone with your car’s audio system. Older cars sometimes have auxiliary plugs where you can plug your device in, but the newer screens are even more convenient.

I was sitting here amazed by this reply as I hadn’t quite realised how technologic audiobook listening has become – as yes, I was aware of apps on smart phones and how portable gadgets were reducing the bulk of what we carry round – but being a bit more of a traditional reader and listener – it hadn’t quite hit me how others listen to their audiobooks – I still remember when I was first finding out people were doing everyday tasks and exercise whilst listening to the stories – that seemed odd to me, as I couldn’t fathom how they could get as attached to the story as I could without the distractions of the ‘task’ at hand. For me, I’d be all a muck trying to sort out what I had heard vs what I was doing to where I think listening then would be a killjoy! I love the introspective self-absorption of finding ways to unwind my mind to where I can Zen out so totally into the story at hand, where the only thing which seems to exist is the story.

There are other technological advances that are probably also important. For instance, I’m not sure if the technology that allows people to switch from reading an ebook to listening and back again, without ever loosing one’s place in the book (audible’s whispersync), is part of this mix, but I’m sure that it must encourage some people to try audiobooks. The fact that audio can be downloaded and stored easily most everywhere is part of this picture, too. Still, I think smart phones are the really big factor stimulating interest in audiobooks.

As most of your audiobooks feature one person narrations (of whom create different variant of voices for characters, as necessary) do you have plans to create multi-cast adaptations? Perhaps of certain Classical books?

Carlyn Craig responds: Yes, we’ve been talking about producing multi-cast audiobooks. We’d also like to produce plays and short skits – radio drama, if you will. As a small company, though, we are slowly working our way towards that.

For a book lover who loves Classical Literature, can you share a sneak peek at which author or stories your focusing on right now to bring to those of us who love listening to Classics?

Carlyn Craig responds:

We have several classics upcoming:

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter, narrated by Heather Henderson
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin, narrated by Ann M. Richardson

Neither of these need any introduction and we’re thrilled to be adding such great recordings. Both Heather and Ann are wonderful narrators (and people!) and have recorded some other great classics with us.

These are the two upcoming releases I have my eye on the most – I grew up loving the film adaptations of Pollyanna – both the major motion picture release everyone has known themselves and the lesser known adaptation* on television Polly starring Phylicia Rashad. I never honestly read the story itself as I watched both adaptations so often in my childhood, it never felt as if Pollyanna was out of my life! Laughs. And, although I’ve known about the adaptation for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm being one of my Mum’s personal favourites by Shirley Temple, I never wanted to see this particular one until I read the book! Ironic or not! You see, I generally liked to read the stories first and then see the adaptions – but similar to my adulthood inclinations, I sometimes make exceptions to where I do the reverse! I was so very overjoyed seeing these are the next ones to come out of Classical Children’s Lit!

*I say ‘lesser known’ as throughout my life, I have yet to find anyone else who even remembers this adaptation to where I felt could I have been one of the few who saw it as it first aired and then, continuously thereafter?

Heather recorded “The Curve of Time” by M. Wylie Blanchet and all of Betty MacDonald’s memoirs, including her hilarious bestseller, “The Egg and I.” Ann has recorded “Greenwillow” by B.J. Chute and “Riders of the Purple Sage” by Zane Grey – there are lots of recordings of “Riders,” but Ann is the only woman to narrate this story whose main character is a woman. You can hear samples of all of these and more on our website. These go nicely with the Anne books, and we’ll continue to produce more of these timeless classics.”

And we’re also recording more recent classics: two books by Frederic E. Wakeman, The Hucksters and Shore Leave; and John Neufeld’s Edgar Allen and Lisa, Bright and Dark. All of these books were significant bestsellers in their day, and many may recognize one or more of them. The Wakeman books are wartime titles that capture the cynicism many felt on returning home after participating in WWII. Edgar Allen and Lisa, Bright and Dark were original in the 1970s and were much more wholesome, but still tackling important topics – racism and mental illness.

All of these titles, with the exception of Edgar Allen, were made into movies. The Hucksters and Shore Leave, retitled Kiss Them for Me, starred Clark Gable and Cary Grant, respectively, but the films were considerably cleaned-up versions of the books. In fact, prior to accepting the role of Victor Norman, Clark Gable had said of the book: “It’s filthy and it isn’t entertainment.” Gable was referring to the then racy sex in The Hucksters – Vic is a confirmed bachelor, but not a virgin, and perhaps even more shocking for the era (1946), he has an affair with a married woman. The Hucksters is also a devastating attack on the advertising industry – the original “Mad Men,” but perhaps more cynical. Shore Leave was also notorious for it’s racy and cynical content. Hal Erickson in Military Comedy Films writes: “Shore Leave was a bitterly funny tirade against the Military’s insistence upon parading war heroes before the public as if they were show horses, and against civilian opportunists who exploit those heroes for their own benefit. …was hugely popular with real-life Navy personnel, who embraced the work for its hilarious accuracy.” We’ll also be bringing these two titles back out in print and as ebooks.

Both Lisa, Bright and Dark and Edgar Allen were New York Times Book Review’s Best Books of the Year, but only Lisa was made into a movie – which is a shame, as the Edgar Allen story would make an excellent film, too. Lisa, Bright and Dark was an immediate sensation when it was first published. It tells the story of the onset of mental illness in a teenage girl through the perspective of her peers – in particular, Betsy Goodman, who chronicles their experiences. As Lisa deteriorates, she and her friends try to get the adults in their world to get Lisa the help she needs, but her parents seem incapable of recognizing the seriousness of Lisa’s situation, and their response governs the reactions of other adults that might be able to help. The music references and jargon in Lisa, Bright and Dark are dated, but the subject matter is, sadly, still current. Mental health issues are still often met with denial and/or misunderstanding today, and many a young person who might become a happy, productive adult doesn’t get that chance because they don’t get the help they need.

The movie version of Lisa Bright and Dark had an all star cast: Kay Lenz, Anne Baxter, John Forsyth, Anne Lockhart, Debralee Scott and a few other notables like Erin Moran. I was excited by the idea of publishing this title in audio, and then when Kay Lenz agreed to narrate it, I was so thrilled. And I’m excited – and a bit nervous – to see what the response will be. I love her reading, but there is no mistaking Kay’s voice for a young girl. Still, her reading is sensitive and nuanced and I hope that people will enjoy it, plus I love the nostalgia angle.

I personally love the name of your publishing company, however, it’s a name which provides it’s own curiosity: can you share how you developed your company’s identity?

Carlyn Craig responds: Okay, I tried to explain my reasoning on this once before and realized it sounded crazy! J I was looking for an unusual company name and I launched this company at a time of personal stress – my mother-in-law, who had late onset Parkinson’s, lived with us until she passed in 2013 and required quite a bit of care. My mother was in care close by – she had dementia, and so we were unable to care for her at home, but as a family we made sure she had visitors on a weekly basis at the very least, but more frequently most of the time. She passed in 2014. I also had a young son – I started really late – who is super bright and wonderful, but who didn’t fit into the school system and so we home schooled. I.e., the stress I alluded to above. (My son is now pursuing ballet in a very serious way and hopes to become a principal dancer and then a ballet teacher.) Living with so much stress in my life, I felt I was in a sort of trance half the time, just working on automatic so I could keep going. I was so exhausted.

So Post Hypnotic Press was partly a private play on words referring to “Post Traumatic Stress,” except that I would be “Post” my trance like state and back to “normal” – whatever that is. And it also referred to taking the plunge and quitting my job as managing editor of BC Studies. That was a great job, with great benefits, but I’d been doing it for a long time and I needed a change. I was burned-out there and so again, in a bit of a trance, going through the motions, or creating projects to keep myself interested (I’d organized recording the top 100 articles from the journal to celebrate it’s 40th Anniversary, for instance, a task my replacement completed beautifully). But like most people, I’d grown-up conditioned that you get a good job and then keep it. I’d avoided taking a full-time permanent job until my early 30s, working contracts and finite positions instead. I knew that my sense of loyalty coupled with the bird in a hand mentality that most of us are brought-up with, would make it very difficult for me to leave a permanent job, and that was most definitely the case for me when thinking about leaving BC Studies.

In the end, when I look back on my reasoning, it sounds a bit suspect, but I was under a lot of stress. If I were naming it now, I might go for something a bit more conventional, or shorter (I didn’t foresee Twitter’s 140 character limit!). I’ve been told many times that I should have included the word “audiobook” in the name, but as I’m now adding print and ebooks (reprints or public domain titles), I’m happy that I didn’t do that. Still, I like Post Hypnotic Press. It’s evocative and while some have questioned it, I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on the name, too.

I love this explanation so very dearly – it speaks to how personal we are with what we choose to create and how what we create becomes personally evocative of our life’s story. I love how you’ve become a champion of stories which serve well in the audio realms but also, how instinctive you are to pair stories with voices which can elevate the story to a new level of insight for the reader whose ears are thankful your insight & passion are bang-on brilliant at deducing what ‘works’ for each story your producing.

The name itself is a self-starting curiosity – it begs you to sit up and take notice of the Indie Audiobook publisher whose creating a different kind of audiobook experience – because the stories themselves are not entirely out of the scope of the mainstream but their not the stories everyone else is talking about regularly either – one reason why I took stock of your catalogue and why I am loving my immersive experiences inside your stories!

We are never defined by our circumstances because they are not vindictive of what we can accomplish rather they endeavour us to draw further empathy for others and to embolden our strength when our courage feels it could fail when life’s adversities draw us to the point where it’s how we set our attitude which matters most in the end. We can tackle anything if we draw strength and breath to find the moments in life which uplift our spirit whilst we honour our spirit to recognise the moments which have such a gravity of challenging us without our faith in ourselves and in what is outside of ourselves inspiring us forward, we would never be able to face anything at all. Humour helps loads but so too, does the ability to recognise what re-lifts us to a state of happiness and the purity of joy – to where even with the difficulties which cross our path, we’re still able to carry on because we’ve found a way to give back joy despite our circumstances. I truly understood your path – I’ve walked a similar one.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Thanks for giving me the opportunity here

to blather on about Post Hypnotic Press and my journey!

Thank you for giving me such a humbled insight into your audiobook company & the passionate way in which you are enriching all of our lives by following your instincts & seeing where the stories inspire you to take us next! I happily caught your bubbly excitement and championed the spirit of the conversation whilst finding I can relate to a lot of what you were sharing – not just from a readerly perspective but from the personal strife angle as well. One thing is for certain, I am especially grateful my path has crossed with yours and I look forward to continuing to find my mind afire and aflame with the stories your bringing into the audiobook world of enlightening fiction and non-fiction for today’s eclectic reader!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

 This interview is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

Audiobookworm Promotions Event Host badge provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

Whilst participating on:

Anne of Green Gables audiobook tour via Audiobookworm PromotionsMy Reviews are forthcoming on:

5th August | Anne of Green Gables (see also Review)

13th August | Anne of Avonlea (see also Review)

17th August | Interview w/ Post Hypnotic Press

18th August | Anne of the Island

+ Two of my bookish friends are also taking part in this audio tour:

Maggie @ Macarons & Paperbacks | Read her Review

Anne of Green Gables @ The Lit Bitch <— this is being featured off-tour! #sohappy

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

 Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Anne of Green Gables”, “Anne of Avonlea” and “Anne of the Island”, book synopsis, author biography, author photo, Audiobookworm Promotions badge and the audiobook tour badge were all provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audio Stories badge and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

“I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen.” – self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 17 August, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer

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