When I first got into the storytelling business and began to sell audios long ago, I first made them in Mil’s and my summer camp lodging in a trailer back by the cemetery. Using an Akai boom box that could duplicate cassettes, I’d load the master on the right and load a blank cassette on the left, then hit “duplicate.” I designed labels and glued them on myself, then sold those storytelling cassettes to families.
After the numbers we were selling became too great, I made new recordings of new stories and contracted with mass duplicators in Boston to make bunches of cassettes. We sold thousands of them to discerning parents, through national catalogs and bookstores. Next came CDs. Same thing. Boxes and boxes, stored in warehouses and mailed all over the world. Finally, as CDs were drowned in the rather unhealthy digital floodwaters we all swim in now, we dropped physical products and went to downloads.
But those old products never completely disappeared, it seems. Today––and you may not believe this but it’s true––you can go on Amazon and buy my old Odds Bodkin cassettes in original mint-condition for a mere $978.00 apiece, still in their colorful boxes.
For better or worse, it seems I have become collectible.
You can also go on Spotify and who knows where else and download pirated versions of my storytellings, some put there by supposedly reputable companies that I won’t name in this post.
All this is to say as the Holiday giving season approaches that the only legitimate place you can purchase my storytelling recordings nowadays as mp3s is directly from me at www.oddsbodkin.net/shop. My stories are not streamed legitimately anywhere, except at Tales2Go. Some of my children’s books are still available from publishers like Harcourt/Brace, Little Brown and Houghton. I don’t have a problem with them selling them at all.
Drawing on ancient myths and stories that have nothing to do with today’s woes and forms of popular music, the tales are designed to be timeless. So you can either pay $978 for one title on Amazon or eBay and never open it, hoping it gains value as a collector’s item, or you can download the same thing at my shop for $5.95 and enjoy listening to it. You might not get the colorful cardboard packaging or the shrink wrap, but at least I’ll see the $5.95. And you and your kids get to listen to the stories.