Guest Post by Christopher Mannino #Author of School of Deaths @BookPubServices

Welcome, Christopher!

Christopher’s book The Scythe Wielder’s Secret is a thrilling young adult fantasy/adventure series. The first two books in the trilogy, School of Deaths and Sword of Deaths, are out now, with the third book Daughter of Deaths expected to be released next year.

Reviewers have compared The Scythe Wielder’s Secret to Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson. It is recommended for readers who enjoy magical realism, fantasy, paranormal, middle grade, young adult, and/or books with a strong female protagonist.

Making an audiobook from an ebook

As technology continues to impact our daily lives, people are finding different ways to enjoy books. One growing format is audiobooks. With audiobooks, a person can enjoy a full book while on their way to work, or while completing menial tasks. When I was at grad school, I had an hour commute into the city and then another hour back, and all of this after a full day of work. I felt like I was wasting time, so I started listening to audiobooks. My first was I Am America, and So Can You, written and narrated by Stephen Colbert. I thought the book was great, and the performance added something unique as well.

If you’re an American author, making your title available as an audiobook has never been easier. This is thanks to Amazon’s company ACX, or the Audiobook Creation Exchange. My novels are traditionally published through a small press, but the publisher left all audio rights with me. The first step with an audiobook is to make sure you have the rights to make it. If you do, signing up for ACX takes seconds. I signed up, imported the data for the book from Amazon, and then uploaded a few pages for narrators to read as their audition. I did consider narrating myself, and have been praised many times for my voice, but I did not have the time. ACX allows authors the option of self-narrating, or finding a professional, and I chose the latter.

Auditions started coming in, and I selected Joel Froomkin, a voice artist who I really felt captured the spirit of the book well. The novel is a light fantasy, and his descriptions in the fantasy sections of the narration were just what I wanted. I sent him a pdf of the novel, and then he was on his own to record it. One problem we ran into was an email error. He’d asked me how to pronounce the name “Lovethar” which appears many times in the book. I’d missed the email until he’d already recorded the sections, and then, in the final proof had to listen carefully to the full 8.5 hour recording, specifically writing down each instance of that word, so he could re-record it.

Listening to the final proof is actually fun, because you as an author get to hear your own story performed. It won’t be exactly as you pictured it in your head, and that’s part of the organic process that I appreciated. Once the file’s approved, ACX publishes the audiobook to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Unfortunately, for now ACX is only available to Americans. There are other companies who produce audiobooks, but none that I know of that are as easy to use.

View my audiobook on Audible and listen to a sample

School of Deaths Book CoverAbout School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 1):

Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death? 

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail. 

As her year progresses, Suzie suspects her presence isn’t an accident. She uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must also discover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Praise for School of Deaths:

“If you like Harry Potter, you’ll love this!” – Sasha Alsberg, A Book Utopia 

“Wonderful! Addictive! Two thumbs up! The plot itself was beyond intriguing. It definitely took me for a spin. I wasn’t expecting the story to take me where it did, and it definitely kept me guessing all the way toward the end. The author did a wonderful job at keeping me both entertained and fascinated by the world he created. Would recommend School of Deaths to YA lovers everywhere.” – Kristy Centeno, author of The Keeper Witches series and the Secrets of the Moon series. 

“The characters are well developed, the story is complex and non-stop. Lots of surprises along the way. A dash of romance, lots of intrigue, mystery, and fantasy. This was a book I didn’t want to end.” – Montzalee Wittman 

“Loved this book! Suzie is a wonderfully well written and in depth main character. I understood her struggle and appreciated her growth throughout the book.” – Ann Andrews

“Not just a book for young adults, but an imaginative read for everyone who likes something a little bit different. 5 Stars!” – Reader’s Favorite 

About Christopher

bandw HeadshotChristopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance and production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life. 

Christopher’s debut novel School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 1) was published in May 2014 by MuseItUp Publishing. The second book in the trilogy, Sword of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 2), was published in August 2015. The third book Daughter of Deaths is expected to be released in 2016. His series has received rave reviews and been compared to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.

Christopher’s wife Rachel Mannino is also an author. She writes romance books. To learn more, go to  

Readers can connect with Christopher on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.

To learn more, go to

17 thoughts on “Guest Post by Christopher Mannino #Author of School of Deaths @BookPubServices

  1. Just reblogged this on The Write Stuff. Like many, I’ve been thinking about this subject for some time, wondering how difficult it might be. Thanks to Christopher Mannino, I’m not as nervous about it as I have been. It sounds very doable. Great post! (Checking out School of Deaths, as well.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just a clarification. The process is also open to authors in the UK. It wasn’t to begin with but now they also have set it up there and I have used it. (I had had one of my audiobooks made before but for the other two, one just approved, I have used ACX itself).

    Liked by 1 person

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