Audiobook Launch – The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains

Happy news! (and some insights into the mechanics of authoring and publishing a little further down the page)

I’ve just been told that the audiobook version of my book “The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains” is now available for preorder on Audible. It’s a great use of your Audible credits! If you’re not already on Audible, you get your first listen for free when you sign up. Click it!

This means you can upskill on bitcoin, blockchains, payments, and money when you’re out and about (ha)… Or more likely, when you’re inside, trying not to go insane, and wishing you could be out and about. What a great use of lockdown time!

The e-book is also available in Singapore public libraries so you can get it for free if you use the Libby or OverDrive apps. If you can help with getting it in other countries’ libraries, I’d love to know how this works.

Some insights into authoring

I’ve found the authoring process fascinating. Often people ask, how does it work? How did I get this turned into an audiobook? What was the effort required? How did you get it into the bookshops?

My contract is with my publisher, Mango. This is the one single legal relationship in this whole project. Mango and I signed a deal, I gave them a Word doc, and once a quarter they email me a 1 page pdf sales statement, and pay me royalties – a profit share based on the number of books that they tell me have been sold.

Mango pay a printer to print physical books, they manage physical warehousing and storage, and they deal directly with some online bookstores such as Amazon for e-books. If you’ve seen the book in physical bookstores such as Relay in airports (😍), Kinokuniya on the high street, or the INSEAD campus bookshop, it’s because Mango has a relationship with a large global distributor called Ingram who has relationships with the retail outlets, often via a series of local wholesalers or distributors. Mango, a team of about 20 people, doesn’t have enough staff to maintain bilateral relationships with all the retail outlets.

And the audiobook? I had nothing to do with that. Mango made a business decision to pay for the book to be narrated, and they used Podium Audio to do it.

Podium found the right narrator and paid them to read it out to their satisfaction. In this case, they used Sean Pratt, a highly accomplished fiction & nonfiction narrator. I don’t know if Sean gets a flat fee or is incentivised by royalties. I don’t know the economics between Mango and Podium. I have very little insight into the economics and relationships other than that between me and Mango.

This is the same for book translations. In my agreement with Mango, Mango have global rights to distribute the book (though the book remains my intellectual property). If someone wants to translate the book into a different language, they have to make an offer to Mango to do that, and buy distribution rights from Mango for that particular country. This would typically be done by a local publishing house (ie a Mango in a different country), who would need to pay a translator to translate the book.

Needless to say, with this many people in the chain, I don’t make a lot of money from the book. But it has been a fun learning experience! Anyway, you get to listen to it via Audible or read it for free from the libraries, so please enjoy. And if you’ve read it already, please spread the word! 😍

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