Burlington, VT, February 19, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Mike Luoma began reading his science fiction novels aloud and putting them out as free, downloadable podcasts back in September of 2006, trying to help promote his books. Little did he know he was becoming part of what TIME Magazine recently called "Publishing's Next Wave.”* A year later, discovering that other authors were doing the same thing and congregating at Podiobooks.com, Luoma began offering his first novel "Vatican Assassin" through the site. His second novel "Vatican Ambassador" soon followed. "Vatican Abdicator" began back in August of 2008. Luoma narrates the books himself, recording and editing the episodes on the computer in his Burlington, Vermont kitchen.
A year and a half, 72 episodes, 150,000 plus downloads and counting later (stats below), he's just finished producing, mixing and uploading the final episode of "Vatican Abdicator" - drawing the three book science-fiction series to a close.
The books are free to download and listen to through Podiobooks.com. Thanks to Podiobooks.com, Luoma's books are also available for free download through the ITunes store. Podiobooks.com also gives listeners the chance to donate to the authors and readers if they enjoy what they hear. The site is growing in popularity, and as noted in TIME*, the most successful podcasting authors on Podiobooks.com are now publishing their books with major publishing houses. Luoma is self-publishing his novels. "The free audiobook podcasts through Podiobooks.com continue to help sell my books," Luoma said. "I see continuing books sales, as more and more new people continue to get into the podcast."
Luoma uses the Print-On-Demand site Lulu.com to publish his books, which makes some of them available through Amazon.com and other online retailers. "With print-on-demand there are few up front costs. Books are printed as they're sold," Luoma said. He points out that this has given him the flexibility to offer his books as separate trade paperbacks and as a three-in-one hardcover. "There was an appendix I only included in the hardcover. Seemed unfair to make people buy that if they already had the paperbacks, so I published the appendix as a stand-alone volume over the weekend. After I finished uploading the last podcast episode," Luoma said. "Lulu.com lets me turn something like that around very quickly. I spent Sunday afternoon editing the material for a single volume, designing the cover, uploading the material to Lulu.com and using their software to create the paperback book. By Sunday night it was available for purchase for $9.99, or as a 99 cent download."
The "Vatican Assassin Trilogy" begins in the year 2109. Bernard Campion, aka "BC", works for the Pope of the New catholic Church – as an assassin. The trilogy tells BC's story as he grows from simple assassin to so much more, as it also tells the story of humankind at war with itself until forced to unite in the face of alien threats. BC finds himself at the center of it all, responsible for much more than he ever bargained for. If he is humanity's only hope, the situation must be grim...
Luoma directs his listeners and readers to his site, http://glowinthedarkradio.com for links to his books and free downloads.
Stats as of this writing 2/17/09 (from libsynpro):
Vatican Assassin – 30 episodes, 66,243 downloads
Vatican Ambassador – 24 episodes, 49,484 downloads
Vatican Abdicator – 28 episodes, 34,323 downloads
- 72 episodes, 150,050 Downloads
*TIME Magazine, “Podcasting Your Novel: Publishing's Next Wave?” (January 31, 2009): http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1872381,00.html