When things are in flux, when disruptive technologies appear, when everything, to use Red Dwarf parlance, has gone a bit wibbly wobbly, I really feel in my element.
It is the one advantage I have over my formally educated or well-established peers. I have always lived in a world where everything is a bit unclear, I’ve stumbled through life in a bit of a fug, so when the rest of the established world gets messy I feel quite comfortable.
This messiness hit the music industry first, although I wasn’t involved in the business I did observe the seismic fluctuations with interest.
I realised a long time ago that if this kind of change could destabilize the massive corporate machine that was the record industry, it could do the same to radio, TV, newspapers, magazines and book publishing.
Well it has, the fact that I have been effectively running two TV series (Carpool and Fully Charged) which have bypassed the traditional TV commissioning system, have been seen by millions and have been produced with a combined budget of less than kitchen extension in Macclesfield says it all.
The technology that’s made this possible is disruptive. When I first worked in telly in the mid 1980’s an edit suit cost more than a family house in a neighborhood with good schools. Now you can use your phone.
Back then there was no way of distributing the resultant output other than through the gatekeepers of the broadcasting industry. Now there is.
I think I like disruptive technology because it makes the whole world a bit fuzzy, my normal state of mind.
The great thing is, no one, truly no one knows how to do deal with these changes. I mean no one in the established system.
When a lot of that old model is clearly not working, I find I am in a position to try a different tack without having to shed a lot of habitual baggage.
Hence my slightly hair brained schemes with books.
Personally I love audiobooks, I subscribe to Audible.co.uk and download a new book once a month. I’ve got 27 of them on my phone.
I’ve also have recorded something like 20 audiobooks for the BBC, so I’ve had a bit of practice. However I'm not using Audible, I'm using my wonderful pals at Audioboo.fm, the link is below. It will be for sale but at the knock down, super cheap price of £4.99.
So in the last few months I’ve recorded The Man in the Rubber Mask as an audiobook.
I don’t know if it’s going to work, but it’s worth a try. You never know.
The longer term plan with the project is to write the next section next year, when we’ve finished the new Red Dwarf series, and then release it as an e-book and audio book around the time the series is broadcast.
I’m going to follow the Scott Sigler model and release chapters for nothing, finally making a small charge for the complete audiobook and e-book when it’s all done and dusted.
So, if you’ve listened to the first 3 chapters, I hope you’ll buy the whole book, and if you do, you’ll be first to hear the new chapters for free.
That’s the plan, but as with all fuzzy, disruptive technology plans, it could get a bit wibbly wobbly.