Findaway / Spotify updates to TOU

Victoria Strauss says it way better than I ever could, but Findaway Voices, (now owned by Spotify) the plaform I use for the distribution of my audiobooks, has changed their Terms of Use (which sounded like an egregious rights grab) and has since walked back and modified the language in the contract after backlash.

Here’s the link: Outrage Over New Terms of Use at Findaway Voices Forces Change

For right now, I’m leaving my audiobooks alone, but I’ll probably end up moving to Author’s Republic as a distributor. When Spotify bought Findaway, I braced myself for what was inevitably to come. The little changes that have gone on since, I haven’t really liked.

“I’m an author, not a brand.”

I’m going to leave this here for now as my life is consumed with keeping my cat alive at the moment, but I have a lot of thoughts on this. I love Michelle Schusterman. She’s wise and personable and her thoughts are good and they just happen to align with mine a lot of the time.

Here is the link to the Vox article mentioned in the video:

Worship at the altar that is Izotope RX10

Because I have a limited budget and have the business sense not to throw all my money at non-money making endeavors, I don’t have the latest bells and whistles when it comes to editing audio. To make up for the this, I’ve learned a lot of EQ tricks to do the work that a simple plug-in can do, except I have to apply them to only snippets of audio instead of the whole file. But I did buy myself RX7 Elements years ago when it was on sale just for the de-clicker to get rid of mouth noise. It works, but I would never apply it to the whole audio file as it leaves artifacts and messes with the ending of words.

Every review I’ve read about the standard version of RX has been nothing but praise for the Mouth De-click, with everyone saying it’s worth the price for that alone. Izotope has a lot of sales throughout the year and I’ve been tempted to buy it many times, but held off because of money. I’m also a firm believer that fixing problems at the recording level is the first thing any voice actor should do; however, I have dry mouth and end up with a lot of mouth noise in my recordings. I’ve tried all the tricks to fix it and they simply don’t work. I yam who I yam.

This past Christmas, RX10 Standard went on sale and someone was kind enough to buy it for me as a present. I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first about the Mouth De-click, thinking it couldn’t be any better than the de-click you get with the elements version. Holy shit, yinz guys, was I wrong! It is amazing. For someone who has a dry mouth, this is worth the price of admission. The audio still sounds good if I apply it to a large chunk of it and it doesn’t seem to mess with the words that end in t or d or p. The de-esser is nice too, but I’ve found that my EQ settings are on par with theirs (which actually makes me kind of happy and proud of myself for arriving at that on my own), but I’ll use it more often than not anywya.

So, this was a short review on the fly to tell you that if you have the money, and if it goes on sale, get the full version of RX10 (or whatever number they’re on) because it is worth it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an audiobook to edit.

Link to website:

My review of Reaper as a DAW for voice over

Thanks to Mike DelGaudio aka Booth Junkie, I bought Reaper about five years ago. Not knowing much about audio editing software in the beginning, I didn’t embrace it right away, even after following along with his tutorial videos. I just recently finished up his course for configuring Reaper for voice over. Finally! And for the first time, I feel comfortable with the interface; however, I didn’t do all of Mike’s suggestions. I thought of what I want/need/am familiar with and customized it to my tastes. I even managed to learn how to do some editing techniques where I could see myself actually using Reaper for my voice over work.


Am I going to use it? No, at least not fully, not yet. This DAW is…not easy. After you get it customized to your tastes, it becomes easier to navigate, but that doesn’t make it easier to use. Reaper is not what they call an “out of the box” software program. This is a very deep program with a lot of tentacles to it. In my opinion…for what I do (which is nothing more than editing narration/dialogue and adding sound effects and music occasionally), I’ve come to see that Reaper is too much for my needs. It’s over-the-top. I’m not an audio engineer or a person who makes music so I don’t understand 99% of what is there.

Would I like to use it? Yeah, sort of. I hate feeling defeated by a stupid software program. lol But this feels too much like advanced math or when I learned to code with Java for me. It’s bringing back some bad memories.

Is it a good program? Sure. It’s a good DAW. If you have time, which right now, I don’t because of two geriatric cats, and you want a robust program, I say go for it, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t grasp it. I don’t believe that this DAW is for most everyone.

Why am I not going to use it? I’m still going to tinker with it, but the biggest reason for not going all in is because it’s simply too much for what I need and what I do. Look, if you’re sitting on the fence about this, try it out, but I’m of the camp that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. There are so many little things that I do in Audacity that I haven’t been able to find a command for in Reaper…yet. My Audacity interface is so customized to my workflow that I can use it in my sleep. I hate Audacity because it’s so basic, but it fits my needs for now. Reaper isn’t an industry standard and, even though I hate the subscription model, if I get to a point where I’m making more money at this gig, then I’ll probably give Adobe Audition a go. I’m already familiar with Adobe’s platform as I use photoshop and premiere for publishing related things.

So, not good and not bad. It’s just not for me.

I’ll just leave this here

…for a bit, anyway. Although this can fit with most behemoth stores, this is a short video about just one. Why do I bring this up? As a published author, I sell very, very little on Amazon. The store never liked me. I sell more on Barnes and Noble and through the libraries than I do the Zon. Hell, I don’t know if you can even find my books through a search, which is why I always provide a direct link. The truth is, this happens to a lot of indie authors, not just me. If people can’t see your books, they won’t buy them no matter how good they are, but the harsh truth is (and fanboys/girls of Zon will criticize you if you point these things out, sour grapes and all that rot (like raisins, I guess? lol)) the store uses tactics to make it hard (and it’s gotten harder over the years) to have any kind of organic growth. I don’t hate Amazon, but I’m also not a fan and this video is why. I’ve been complaining about the pay-to-play scheme ever since sponsored ads have been implemented. Have you noticed how many sponsored products there are now compared to just two years ago? It’s awful. Shopping there has become a nightmare. Anyway, have a great day.

What am I doing right now?

The Lacey Stocking mysteries bundle is now available in ebook and audio!

As I’m sitting here, with a nice, hot cup of tea, mulling over which step to take next, I see I have a few options before me.

While I’m expending all my mental and emotional energy on getting this guy’s health under control…

it’s me, hi, i’m the problem it’s me.

I realize that I can’t create…anything. I just don’t have it in me, which kind of sucks because I have three books that need fixed and still want to write more Lacey Stocking scripts for youtube. Unfortunately, until I get my cat’s health under control, I can’t think of anything else. (I haven’t even decorated for Christmas.) This little dude has been through a lot this year and has been having the worst luck with vet visits. Someone tell me what the fuck is going on? lol

Anyway, where was I?

I’m learning Reaper, which is an audio editing software, and for the first time in five years I feel like I might have made some headway. But, let me tell you something about this program… Unlike Audacity, which is a clean, straightforward interface that is pretty much like most software programs we’re familiar with, like Word for example. Want to delete something? Highlight it and hit delete. Want to change how something looks? Highlight it and make the change. Audacity is like that; Reaper is…not. Everyone keeps saying how awesome this program is, but I’ve found it unnecessarily difficult and clunky. For two actions in Audacity, you might have to go through four difficult ones in Reaper, at least that’s how it feels now. Once I get more familiar with it, maybe I’ll think differently. I’m bound and determined to see this through. The only reason I’m learning this now is because of the equalizer. Reaper has powers that Audacity doesn’t have and that’s what I’m after.

While I’m learning, I’ve decided to turn another one of my books into audio. I started it a while ago and stopped to do Lacey Stocking (which I really like doing, by the way) and figured since I don’t have much mental energy for anything else, I’ll finish that up. It requires concentration but not creative energy. I need a distraction, yet I’m too distracted to create new work. I’ll get there, hopefully soon. This has been one messed up years for me and the cats. It took a few wake up calls from the universe before I began to suspect that something was rotten in the state of Denmark. Going to a different vet’s office out of necessity made me realize that he might not have been getting the best care where he was. Fingers crossed that we get back on course.

So that’s all for now. I have a few blog posts stewing in my brain. The one about AI is going to be a tough one to write, but one I need to get off my chest. Ciao!

Finishing strong? lulz!

Here it is, December, that bitch of a month where we take a look back at what we accomplished, where we failed, and feel this sense of urgency to get all the things done. In spite of the craziness that was one sick cat after another this year, I managed to get some stuff done, but as the end of the year is looking like a dead end street, I’ve begun to feel very discouraged with the rise of AI (I’ll probably write about that sometime soon), the fall of social media and wondering if it’s worth a single damn anymore, and the lack of visibility because algorithms. Wheeee!! Don’t ya just love it.

Anyway, I don’t usually like posting goals in a public space, but I might as well since I’m going to be spending more time on my website than in the past. So, let’s see, what do I want to accomplish?

1. Learn Reaper once and for all. Reaper is a DAW (digital audio workstation) that enables you to edit and process audio. A lot of voice actors love it, but it has a very steep learning curve. I currently use Audacity because it’s clean and simple, but I want to play in the big leagues, dammit, and Reaper is major league. Which means that while I’m learning Reaper, I won’t be doing any Lacey Stocking mysteries on youtube.

2. Blog more. There’s a reason and there might even be a post about it. This is bigger than me and it’s about ownership and control over what I do, what we all do, really. Plus, I miss the good ol’ days of LiveJournal and the writing community I was a part of there. I wish we could get back to that. Social media isn’t the same.

3. Answer the question: Am I still a writer? In the face of things, I’ve been struggling to stay positive. I also plan on writing a very lengthy and probably scathing review of what I’ve experienced and witnessed being an indie author over the past decade.

4. That being said, I have a few books in mind, but can I find it in me to write them? I hope.

5. Find hope again. The past three years, we’ve all taken a beating. This year was really rough on me and I didn’t realize it until just a month ago. It’s time to sparkle and shine with rays of hope. *giggles*

That’s all for now.

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A Lacey Stocking mystery bundle coming soon!!

I’m excited to announce the Lacey Stocking mystery bundle. It’ll be released in the next few days, as well as the audio version. Sorry for the abrupt announcement, but my cat was just diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, as well as having some underlying infection, and I’ve been trying to figure out a new routine for a cat who hates change more than most cats. Anyway, here’s the cover. I love it!!

An Almost End of Year Update

I’ve been working really hard at putting out the Lacey Stocking mysteries on my YouTube channel, and I love doing it, but right now, I’m dealing with two very senior cats who’ve been having health issues all year and it’s eating my brain. How I got anything done at all this year is a miracle! Anyway, I’m going to take a step back from putting anymore out for right now until my cats are feeling better. While that is going on, I’m going to put out some public domain stuff and write some more Lacey Stocking scripts which is really the most time consuming part.

Also, if all goes well, I’m going to be making some changes, have a few announcements coming up. Stay Tuned!