Follow up on The Boom Effect – Bo-Yah!

I was going through and cleaning out my bookmarks a couple days ago and stumbled across one I had set up for The Boom Effect. You know, that “wee” little project where everyone in the podosphere pulled together to help out Tee Morris take care of Sonic Boom (his daughter) after his wife died unexpectedly. I was a strong participant in the beginning but then ran into some health problems of my own. My road to recovery was fairly long and I never really heard how things turned out when all was said and done.

I’m posting this now just in case there is anyone else who did not get the good news. We exceeded what I thought was an optimistic goal (that I’d set in my head) by more than $5,000. I remain astounded at how generous the podiotribe can be when one of us really needs some help. The article below was originally authored by Philippa Ballantine on May 23, 2010:

So, it is over three months since the community rallied around Tee Morris and his daughter, Sonic Boom. Writers, podcasters, fans, and artisians of all types contributed. I hope you still feel proud of yourself, because you deserve to be. Together we raised over $30,000. An amazing feat in anyone’s books.

Now after all the dust has died down – you the contributors and the buyers deserve to know what happened to all that money. Tee was able to meet the immediate needs of dealing with funeral arrangements, but once things became more settled, he wanted the whole of the Boom Effect Money to go towards Sonic Boom’s future.

To that end he wants you all to know that every cent of the money you contributed has been placed into a College America managed fund, for the sole benefit of Serena. When the time comes for her to choose a college, she will have the one thing we has a community could give her- options. Because of your time, generosity and good will she will be able to go to a good college.

You have made a difference in ways that when I started the Boom Effect I could not possibly imagine. For every negative thing that people say about the internet, I will always be able to present the Boom Effect as an example of what it can achieve when good people stand up and say ‘let’s do something now.’ Thank you so much for that.

I also stumbled across a blog post of Tee’s from back on March 17th, 2010 when I went searching for a pic of Tee & SB to put at the top of this post. I want to thank Tee for sharing his emotional experiences on the interwebs. It was a heart rending read, but I guess I should expect no less from a professional writer. The most valuable piece of information I’m taking away from his post is inspirational rather than depressing, however. I am at the beginning of what could wind up being a long distance relationship. Tee’s story of how he and Natalie met and eventually married leaves me much more optimistic than I was before I read it.


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A community pulls together to help one of their own in a time of need

I knew the podosphere was a tightly knit community. I did not know the extent of how close and supportive we were until the past couple of days. Frankly, I’m a bit awestruck, albeit in a good way. It makes me feel quite proud to be a part of it.

Tee Morris lost his wife, Natalie (pictured below), unexpectedly on Tuesday, January 5th. This tragedy left him with a mountain of unexpected bills. It also left him with the responsibility of raising their daughter, Sonic Boom, alone.

In the early morning hours of Thursday, January 7th, Philippa Ballantine organized a ChipIn account to try and defray some of these costs. Anything that was raised beyond the funerary expenses would be placed in a trust fund to help raise Sonic Boom. It was amazing watching how quickly this ChipIn account swelled. At midday on January 9th the fund has reached $13,326.13

Tee and Sonic Boom have brought me much joy over the past few years. From the Podcasting for Dummies companion episodes to Morevi: Remastered, their talents have made my life richer. I wish them the best in this, their darkest hour.

If you’d like to donate to the ChipIn fund, follow any of the links below (except the obituary). I tried embedding the widgit directly into my blog as they did, but my template does not support it for some reason.

Philippa Ballantine’s “Sonic Boom’s Trust” post

Natalie Morris’ Obituary

Philippa Ballantine’s “Together We Are Mighty” post

Scott Sigler’s “A Death in the Podcast Family” post

Podiobooks.com “A Loss in the Family” post

Evo Terra, you’re my *hero*

Okay, that’s not exactly news or anything, but I haven’t talked about it in this blog, so I figured I should. Evo came up with this brilliant concept. “Why don’t we turn the publishing model on its head? Let’s give audio novels away for free and have the audience decide what they’re worth after they listened to the content.” Frakkin’ genius. Thus was Podiobooks.com hatched from the mind of my mentor and friend Evo Terra.

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First, select a book that looks interesting to you. They currently have over 300 titles to choose from. Download however many chapters of the title you want. You can have the whole thing without paying anything if that’s the way you want to do it. The site will also let you listen to chapters without downloading them, but I rarely utilize that feature. Listen to whatever novel you’ve picked.  If you like what you hear, consider making a donation. The author gets a full 75% of whatever you give. 75%!! A traditional publishing house only gives an author 8-12% of the cover price of a hardcover novel, depending on how good a deal they were able to get. If you thought the book was crap, delete it. Don’t donate.

How much fairer of a distribution model can we ask for? The readers and the authors both win here. The middle man gets cut out because they’re no longer needed. As long as the reader donates when he feels that the author has provided good value, this system works beautifully. Here’s a list of my top ten novels over at Podiobooks.com in alphabetical order:

  1. 7th Son Trilogy by JC Hutchins
  2. Billabub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword by Tee Morris
  3. Brave Men Run by Matthew Wayne Selznick
  4. Chasing the Bard by Philippa Ballantine
  5. Diary of an S & M Romance (ADULT) by Dollie Llama
  6. Immortals, The by Tracy Hickman
  7. Nina Kimberly the Merciless by Christiana Ellis
  8. Playing for Keeps by Mur Lafferty
  9. Rookie, The by Scott Sigler
  10. Singularity by Bill DeSmedt

If you really like the novel you picked, there’s a good chance that it is available in treeware, as an e-book, or both. All ten of the above have been published in a more traditional format after (a couple before) being released as a podiobook. I’ve purchased half of these as treeware or e-books in addition to making donations for the podiobooks. The idea of the author losing sales because they are giving away their content in laughable to me. I *might* have picked up one of those ten books above, and it’s questionable as to whether I would have purchased it. The way Evo has things set up, I bought all ten once, and half of them twice.

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You’re still here? What are you waiting for? Go to Podiobooks.com and see what they’ve got. I’m sure there’s something there which will interest you.