Help me to (maybe) get cast in a Neil Gaiman audiobook!

I gave it a lot of soul-searching thought and after praying on the matter with my pastor and devoting 27 hours to playing “Portal 2″…

(If I’m to be honest, playing “Portal 2” actually had very little to do with the Soul-Searching Thought.)

(It’s the same thing about the deal with my pastor, who’d only turned up at my house because he’d forgotten to pre-order the game and he heard I had it)

…I decided that yes, in fact, I would like to be given a small speaking role in a new tenth-anniversary audiobook edition of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods,” which is to be performed by a full cast.

And as luck would have it, there was actually a way that I could make that happen: by visiting the HarperCollins site, recording a short audition piece, and then browbeating you, o members of my blog, print, podcast, and Twitter audiences, into voting for me. Here…Neil himself explains the scheme on video:

So, you see, it’s much like “American Idol,” only without any chance whatsoever of hearing J. Lo tearfully tell a 19-year-old karaoke singer that his rendition of “She’s Like The Wind” moved her to reconnect with an estranged cousin. Surely you can support my endeavor on that basis alone.

I’ve already posted my audition file. Go ahead and give it a listen. Everybody has to record the same piece.

After the voting closes on May 2, the audiobook’s producers will listen to the audition files of the top twenty vote getters and choose a winner. As of the 20th (the last time the vote totals were updated) the top 20 auditioners have 300 to 500 votes. I reckon I’ll need a lot more than that by the time this is done.

The good news is that you can cast a vote every day.

The bad news is that you must be a registered user of the HarperCollins site in order to vote. I’m sorry that you’ll have to spend twenty or thirty seconds filling out a short online form but if it’s any consolation, you’re only the first of millions of people whom I’m willing to exploit and then abandon in my remorseless drive towards audiobook superstardom.

(Well, again with the truth: no, of course there will be no superstardom. Still, it sounds like it could be fun, doesn’t it? I sat down and recorded the piece on that basis alone.)

Still not moved?

Okay, well, how about this, then: if I’m in the Top Twenty by the time the dust settles, I will record an hourlong audiobook and release it as a free download under Creative Commons. No kidding. I’ve already selected the text: a spiffy artist memoir in the public domain that I’ve re-read about three times since I discovered it on Google Books.

Excellent. Good. Thanks ever so. Once again, you’ll find my audition right here.

What’s that? Oh! Yes, that’s a brilliant idea: you certainly should submit your own entry. Head to this page for all of the necessary information. I assume your goal is to divert votes from the other 1000-2000 people who’ve uploaded auditions, thus in effect increasing my likelihood of a Top 20 slot? Oh, you’re just the best.

17 thoughts on “Help me to (maybe) get cast in a Neil Gaiman audiobook!

  1. GadgetGav

    Happy to vote for you Andy, but annoyed that Harper Collins automatically assign you to their spam, sorry mailing, lists in order to vote. It’s not so bad being spammed about Neil Gaiman, but it’s still spam. Old school media just can’t kick the habit can it..?

  2. Jon Shanahan

    Gladdly voted for you Andy, Not only did I help you potentially help you get cast for this role, but I logged into the Harper Collins site with my Facebook login further extending the giant scary reach that Facebook has into the personal lives of it’s users on the Internet.

  3. Norman


    I’m terribly sorry I have only 7 different email addresses to register under, but I’ll do my best to help you in your Herculean quest to capture audiobook superstardom!

  4. Glubbdrubb

    Thanks Andy…

    I must be one of the few people who has not read this book. I was about to start it when you mentioned this new production on Mac Break Weekly .

    Now I am going to have to wait a few months. (Yes, I’m blaming you.)

  5. punkassjim

    Huh. So, a friend of mine (Melissa H.) has been slowly making her way up the rankings over the past month, and this past week she was ever-so-slowly gaining more votes to edge into first place out of more than 1200 entrants. I’m pretty proud of her, and honestly I think she has surprised herself by doing so well. She, like you, just wants to be in the top 20 to really have a chance at this, but I’m sure it has been a great feeling for her to get so damn many votes. If you check the charts, you’ll see a nice smooth line ( ). Then there’s the other chart, with your numbers ( ).

    I really like your tech writing, Andy, but this is quite the dick move. Some other Joe-or-Jane Schmoe will be bumped out of the top 20 because of the self-proclaimed “devious, scheming, amoral, cheating, stacking the deck” that you mentioned on MBW. Someone who was hoping at least as much as you are that they would get the part, but they entered the fray more than five days ago. I doubt my friend will get bumped, but someone will. Someone who doesn’t write for a major national newspaper, doesn’t have an audience of many thousands of podcast listeners, doesn’t have 50k followers on twitter, etc.

    I applaud you for admitting that you’re “stacking the deck”, but please remember that you’re stacking the deck against one person. Whoever comes in at slot #21 has Andy Ihnatko to blame; they could have maybe won the grand prize, but you took it from them.

  6. Ihnatko Post author

    @Jim – I’ll reply at length after the contest is over. For now, I think you’re the only one on the planet who thinks that using one’s social-media audience to get votes in a contest designed specifically to take advantage of social-media is in any way “Devious, scheming, amoral, cheating” or “stacking the deck.”

  7. punkassjim

    That’s odd. I use quotation marks to actually quote words you said about yourself, and in response you tell me I’m the only one on the planet who feels that way. Fascinating.

  8. scott

    Andy, you are the only reason I still listen to MBW. Leo is becoming senile and Alex suffers from Napoleon syndrome. You are also the only reason why Mr. Gaiman is on my radar or why I would consider purchasing his book. I’d say that you have fulfilled your mission of driving interest and I hope very much that the TWIT army helps you to fulfill your dream of reading for one of your favorite authors.

  9. Alice S.

    @punkassjim is NOT the only one who thinks it’s a dick move, Andy. I think your entry really goes against the spirit of the contest.

  10. Ihnatko Post author

    “Dick move”? Really? It’s hyperbole like this that makes me dismiss these comments as loon-droppings.

    Terminology aside: I asked the people who follow my twitter feed, blog, and podcast to vote for me. As did everyone else in the contest. It was a contest about getting the people in your social-media circle to vote for you and publicize the audiobook. I followed the rules of the contest and the spirit of the contest.

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