ACX author Sharon Hamilton and producer J.D. Hart are a match made in heaven, and it all started with a breathtaking audition. Learn why they work so well together, and how their partnership has lead Sharon to not only recoup, but exceed her $30,000 investment in 10 short months.
I’ve enjoyed writing my whole life. There is something about the process that touches the best parts of my soul and makes me want to open up to my reading audience. What I didn’t realize until a year ago, was the effect hearing my stories in audio format would have on me. Just as I am so sated and satisfied when I sit down and create a compelling story, hearing those words spoken dramatically by a professional storyteller brings a whole new dimension to the experience. He literally breathes life into my characters, and they become real.
When I heard J.D. Hart’s voice, it was like magic, the kind of magic I feel when I write. And when he accepted my offer, I was beyond thrilled. I was literally dancing around the room, jumping on beds and celebrating down the hallway.
I am happy to report that excitement has remained to this day. If anything, it’s gotten stronger, after working on eleven books together.He doesn’t just read my stories, he performs them. He has become another character, and his narration is through his eyes, his heart.
A decision I made early on has proven to be one I’m still happy with. I decided to offer J.D. pay for production deals rather than royalty shares. I had faith in my own writing and in the process of creating the audiobooks. I planned to have an initial expense to this project, but I’m happy to report the returns have been much better than I had expected, and the investment well worth it. I have invested over $30,000 of my own money and have gotten every penny back, plus a profit. To have done this just 10 months into a 7 year contract is wonderful. I plan on releasing a new audio book every 60 days or so, and I’m confident that every dollar spent will bring me back much more.
One reason for my confidence is that J.D. also helps me market my books. We create “audio trailers” so listeners can hear what he will sound like in the recording. This assists in the promotion the audiobook, but sells my other formats as well. Now I’m getting reviews and comments from people who can’t decide which format they love best. People who have read my stories are buying the audio as well – sometimes over two years after the initial print or eBook sale – wanting to experience the story all over again through J.D. I think this has converted many readers to audiophiles.
Having listened to so many hours of J.D.’s storytelling, I hear his voice in my head while I’m writing. I think it has made me a better writer to have my books in audio format. I choose words carefully, or adjust words to those that I know will sound better when my audio version comes out. My dialogue has become crisper because I trust that he will bring the voice of the character to the book. I’m writing faster, more efficiently. I feel the story on a deeper level, and that is always good for a writer. I notice my speech patterns, flow of words and uses of descriptors. We have a fantastic working relationship, made even better by the fact that he gets paid for his work, and I get to keep all the profits.
NYT, USA Today and Amazon Top 100 Bestselling Author Sharon Hamilton’s SEAL Brotherhood series have earned her Amazon author rankings of #1 in Romantic Suspense, Military Romance, and Contemporary Romance. A lifelong organic vegetable and flower gardener, Sharon and her husband live in the Wine Country of Northern California, where most of her stories take place.
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