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


Sweet! We won two Founder’s Choice Awards from PB.com!

I was pretty psyched when I saw that Scott and I had won (2) 2009 Founder’s Choice Awards from Podiobooks.com for the novels I produce for him over there. Both Contagious and Nocturnal received 2009 Founder’s Choice Awards.

2009 Podiobooks Founder’s Choice Awards

Evo began awarding Founder’s Choice Awards in 2008, which is when the Sounding Board was created. Scott and I won an award for Infected in 2008.

2008 Podiobooks Founder’s Choice Awards

If you’re not familiar with the Founder’s Choice Awards, here’s how they work:

The Founder’s Choice Awards are given annually — well, they will be given annually — to serialized audiobooks of impeccable quality. There are four criteria for choosing winners:

  1. The final episode* must have been posted within the calendar year
  2. Must have passed our panel of Sounding Board Editors who decide which titles are featured on the site
  3. Evo (that’s me) must have listened to all episodes
  4. Evo says it wins

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.


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.


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.