Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Speaking My Peace

When I was writing my upcoming book My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints (read more about it here), I was looking forward to recording it as my first audiobook.

Several people had requested an audiobook of my first book, The Thrill of the Chaste [that's me at left, signing a copy of The Thrill in 2007], and I had regretted not making one, especially after discovering through family and friends that it is not only the vision-impaired who enjoy audiobooks. People who do a lot of driving like to listen to them during car trips, for example, and frequent flyers enjoy them in flight. What is more, in writing My Peace I Give You, I realized that, given that it is intended not only for adult victims of childhood sexual abuse, but also their family, friends, and pastoral caregivers, it would be good if there were the opportunity for people to listen to it together. In particular, I thought that married readers who were abuse survivors might benefit from listening to it with their spouse, as it could enhance communication.

After carrying these hopes, I learned that, although the publisher of My PeaceAve Maria Press, has many promising plans for enabling the book to reach its audience, an audiobook is not one of them. They do not publish audiobooks and do not have plans to enter that end of the business. Like many publishers, they have found that there is just not sufficient demand.

Disappointed, I thought about recording an audiobook and marketing it myself. But, as a full-time graduate student in theology (currently working towards an STB and STL, so that I may enter a pontifically licensed doctoral program), I have neither the means to invest in ten hours in a recording studio, nor the technology to record at home. So I was very happy yesterday, on the feast of one of my Confirmation saints,* Lucy—patroness of the blind—when I realized that there was another possible solution to making My Peace I Give You available in audiobook format that I had not considered.

I am blessed to know many people in the world of Catholic nonprofits, particularly members of religious orders. Perhaps a nonprofit or religious order that has a means of making recordings (as many do in this digital age) would let me record the book, and would make it available, in exchange for my giving them my entire author's royalty for the audio format. Then they could easily market the audiobook on Amazon and other websites, or through any means they wished, to benefit their own apostolic work.

For my part, I would be delighted to donate my royalty for an audiobook, as well as my time recording it, to support a religious order or other nonprofit. Dawn Patrol readers have been very generous in helping me when I have needed funds for school; it would be nice to be able to likewise help out an apostolate that does good work. (Note that there would remain the need to pay my agent his share of royalties, and my publisher might also assert licensing rights—though I don't foresee either cost being prohibitive, especially if the licensee is a nonprofit.)

As it happened, almost immediately after the idea came to me yesterday, I ran into a friend who has contact with the Xavier Society for the Blind. He said he would approach them with my offer. In case they are not interested, if you represent a Catholic nonprofit or religious order and would be interested in publishing the audiobook of My Peace I Give You, please contact me via my feedback form.

* My Confirmation saint is Lucy; I claim both the Roman martyr and St. Lucy Filippini as patrons.