Los Angeles, CA (PressExposure) November 19, 2009 -- The iPod changed music. The iPhone changed chatting. Billy: Messenger of Powers hopes to change the way people listen to books. And it seems to be working: since its launch only a few months ago, the books home website, http://www.whoisbillyjones.com, has garnered almost 90,000 hits from all over the world, from the U.S. to Israel to Australia and beyond.
However, unlike traditional publishing, http://www.whoisbillyjones.com offers Billy: Messenger of Powers only as an audiobook, which can be either downloaded in a variety of formats or listened to streaming over the website.
But perhaps the oddest thing about the way the book is offered is its price: free. Downloaders listen to the book, then are invited to pay what they think it is worth, be it "$1 or $1000."
Billy is the story of a high school freshman - the kind of kid the nerds like to beat up on - who suddenly finds that Powers (you or I would call them wizards) live and move unseen among us. Not only that, but Billy blunders into the middle of a war between two factions of these Powers: one side dedicated to preserving "normal" humanity, the other side to enslaving it. And (of course) Billy may well be the key to victory for one side or another.
Without revealing too much, suffice to say there are the usual staples of YA (young adult) fantasy in Billy: Messenger of Powers, but each comes with a twist: a mermaid made of coral, for example, or a dragon who breathes not fire, but lightning.
The book is rife with humor, particularly as Billy - something of an anti-hero whose panicked inner monologues offer up some of the book's wittiest moments - goes from disaster to disaster without benefit of any Powers of his own... or even the foggiest idea how he got into this mess.
Detractors may say that the book's availability solely in audio format prevents readers from curling up with it in bed or in a comfy armchair.
But then, having it on your iPod makes it much safer to read - er, listen to - in your car. And certainly, no matter what the listener finally decides about the book, the price will be right... because the listener will decide what that price will be.
For more information: http://www.whoisbillyjones.com