The comment that the Gird & Luap omnibus wasn’t available from Audible as an audiobook brought up an issue that I see a lot of in email, so I’m going to mention it here (not, by the way, as a slam at people who ask the questions, Sam in particular this time. They’re reasonable questions to ask.) Maybe this will help (and maybe you can boost the signal about the lesser-known ends of publishing.)
Publishers of all kinds–print, e-book, audiobook, etc.–choose which books to produce. The commonest reason for something not to be available in the format a given reader wants (e.g., not available for i-Pad, but is available for Kindle) is that the publisher did not put it in that format…or the publisher did not choose to produce that book at all.
Unless the author is self-published, the author has very little (often no) control over the format in which a book is produced. Yes, we can choose to license a publisher to produce a book–or choose not to license it–but most of us are sufficiently starved for income that we will license a book in as many formats as publishers are willing to produce. And once we sign that licensing contract, the publisher decides how to proceed from there. Thus the questions I’ve gotten in email (“Why won’t you let your publisher make e-books for my [device of choice]?” etc.) are the wrong questions, addressed to the wrong person. Similar questions used to be aimed at the print edition alone, becuase that’s all there was. “Why is the print so tiny?” “Why didn’t you pick a better cover?” “Why did you use crappy glue to hold cover and book together?” are all questions more properly addressed to the publisher–who made the decisions–than to the writer–who didn’t and couldn’t.
With the proliferation of e-reading devices with proprietary software, this means publishers are nearly always behind in producing e-books that look good on every device out there. As many a self-published author has discovered, just running your raw text through Smashwords does not produce an attractive output on all e-readers. It takes longer and costs more than you might think.
When it comes to audiobooks that are produced with multiple voice actors…that gets really expensive. So it’s understandable that an audiobook company would prefer to publish shorter books with less difficult “foreign” names and words in them unless a writer has a huge readership (huger than mine–George R.R. Martin-and-up HUGE) so they can be sure of selling a huge number of copies. They’re not in this for the fun of it, after all.
The audio rights to all my books that haven’t already been contracted are certainly out there in the marketplace…my agent is active in promoting clients’ work in all formats…but if the companies don’t want them…the audiobooks don’t exist. Movie rights are also languishing on the table, in most cases (there are a few options in play, but nothing that looks particularly likely.) I’m not trying to prevent my fans from listening to audiobooks of the books, or seeing movies of the books–that’s someone else’s lack of interest in the project.
Again–no points deducted for asking…the questions are reasonable, and I hope the answers will make sense and help people understand a writer’s frustration when he or she cannot provide what that reader clearly wants.