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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jan 26, 2024

Mark interviews author Eric T. Knight about his writing and about the origin of StoryFair. net a platform that seeks to pay authors the highest royalty of any other third party platform for their audiobook sales.

Prior to the interview, Mark reads comments from recent episodes, welcomes new patron Rob Johnson, and shares a word about this episode's sponsor.

This episode is sponsored by ScribeCount (affiliate link). Spend less time logging in to multiple platforms and crunching numbers, and more time writing and marketing your books thanks to ScribeCount's handy all-in-one interface.

In the interview, Mark and Eric talk about:

  • Eric's youth being way off the grid and in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do, which made reading an important aspect
  • How reading became a gateway for access and connection to the rest of the world
  • Understanding that if he were to keep working at it, that he really could make it in writing some day
  • The long and arduous road of submissions of writing to publishers, finding an agent, and pursuing traditional publishing
  • The fantasy series that Erik had worked on starting back in the 80s
  • Deciding to put one of his fantasy novels up on Kindle just for fun and how that led to a colleague's wife discovering the book and loving it
  • Eric's mindset not changing until the year he decided to submit to a total of 50 agents
  • The power of being able to write the series exactly the way he wanted to
  • A bit about The Chaos Legacy universe and the various different linked series that take place within those books
  • The experience of getting his books into audio and beginning to understand some of the barriers that existed within that realm for authors
  • Beta launching StoryFair in the summer of 2023 and then making the site live in November 2023
  • How the payment to authors process at StoryFair works
  • Plans for an affiliate program for authors to send readers to this platform
  • The challenge of having to scale up their infrastructure so early in the process due to huge interest from some major players
  • How the StoryFair app is currently only available in the United States (at least for now until some of the legal stuff can be sorted out)
  • How to set up an account, load your book, and when the monthly payments to authors come in
  • The way that a good narrator can bring characters and stories to life in ways that you might not be able to imagine
  • And more...

After the interview Mark reflects on that pioneering indie author spirit that leads to providing the market with elements that were previously missing but needed, as well as the value that a library brings to a community.

Links of Interest:


Eric T. Knight grew up on a working cattle ranch in the desert thirty miles from Wickenburg, Arizona, which at that time was exactly the middle of nowhere. Work, cactus and heat were plentiful, forms of recreation were not. The TV got two channels when it wanted to, and only in the evening after someone hand cranked the balky diesel generator to life. All of which meant that his primary form of escape was reading.

At 18 he escaped to Tucson where he attended the University of Arizona. A number of fruitless attempts at productive majors followed, none of which stuck. Discovering he liked writing, the author tried journalism two separate times, but had to drop it when he realized that he had no intention of conducting interviews with actual people but preferred simply making them up.

StoryFair is a platform with a mission: Put an end to author exploitation in the audiobook industry

There’s a problem in the audiobook business. A MAJOR problem. Did you know that when you purchase an audiobook on Audible, Amazon keeps as much as 75% of the cover price of the book? The average price of a major publisher/new release audiobook is in the $24 range. That means Amazon keeps at least $18.00… after fees, it’s actually a little bit more.

That leaves very little for the publisher, authors, and narrators to divvy up, and ultimately, it means that readers are by and large paying exorbitant audiobook prices to do one thing above all else… pad Amazon’s pockets.


The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0