Audiobooks discussion

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message 1: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Let's use this area to post links and/or complete stories about interesting articles found about audio books.

message 2: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Audio books give new life to literature


message 3: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:53AM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Road readers brake for gas


message 4: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:53AM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Listen and soothe the soul


message 5: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Audiobooks in the classroom

message 6: by Neuromanced (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Neuromanced | 6 comments LibriVox (free audio books recorded by volunteers):

message 7: by John, Moderator (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

John | 3790 comments Not current, but newsworthy to this group:

message 8: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Audiobooks let listener catch up on reading without turning page


message 9: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:14PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments XM radio to air readings of classic books


message 10: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Remember Balki Bartokomous?


message 11: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Cassettes preferred format for audiobooks?

When compared to CDs...I prefer MP3. Probably lots of stuff here you already knew.


message 12: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:26PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Adults are reading much any more?


message 13: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:27PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments New Jeffrey Deaver book written specifically for audio


message 14: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:40PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments The history of audio books


message 15: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments A second book made specifically for audio

This book will be released for audio first and then later in print. The Chopin Manuscript is audio only as far as I know.


message 16: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Career Spotlight: Audio book producer


message 17: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Standoff over audiobook rights

Interesting debate...


message 18: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:53PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Audio book can be family fun


message 19: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:56PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments You're never too old to have someone read to you


message 20: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:05PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Best companion for road trips


message 21: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Hey, publishers, don't dis our traffic jams!

Random House chooses Atlanta to launch new campaign to get drivers to listen to audio books.


message 22: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Jan 26, 2008 04:47AM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments A good book beats the back of a cereal box


message 23: by Susan (new)

Susan | 36 comments Amazon is buying Audible - below is the announcement. This could make things interesting! to Acquire

SEATTLE, WA and NEWARK, NJ (BUSINESS WIRE)– January 31, 2008 –, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Audible Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBL). is the leading online provider of premium digital spoken word audio content, specializing in digital audio editions of books, newspapers and magazines, television and radio programs and original programming. Through its web sites in the US and UK and alliances in Germany and France, offers over 80,000 programs, including audiobooks from well-known authors such as Stephen King, Thomas Friedman, and Jane Austen, and spoken word audio content from sources including, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Fresh Air and Charlie Rose.

“ offers the best customer experience, the widest content selection and the broadest device compatibility in the industry,” said Steve Kessel,’s senior vice president for worldwide digital media. “Working together, we can introduce more innovations and bring this format to an even wider audience.”

“This deal brings together two pioneering companies that share a long history of ceaseless focus on improving the customer experience,” said Donald Katz, founder and chief executive of “We are very excited to be joining a company as innovative as”

In recent months, Amazon has announced a number of innovations in the digital space, including Amazon Kindle, a revolutionary wireless portable reader that provides instant wireless downloads of more than 90,000 books, blogs, magazines and newspapers to a crisp, high-resolution electronic paper display.

Under the terms of the agreement, will commence a cash tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of for $11.50 per share and will assume’s outstanding stock-based awards, for an aggregate transaction value of approximately $300 million which includes’s cash and short-term investments at closing.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close by the second quarter of 2008.

message 24: by Jenny (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:44AM) (new)

Jenny This essay was in the June 2008 issue of "BookPage - America's Book Review" - a free paper given out at public libraries.

"Once skeptical author confesses her love affair with audiobooks" by Lauren Groff

Once skeptical author confesses her love affair with audiobooks


I'm such a fetishist for the physical object of a book that I was bushwacked to find myself falling in love with audiobooks. When I was little, most of my book collection was supplied to me every summer by the Cooperstown New York Friends of the Library sale, when I'd take two paper grocery bags and my pocket money and wait in the chilly predawn with a ragged horde of other bibliophiles. When the doors opened: utter bliss. I'd swim for hours in those beaten, dog-eared tomes, rich with dust and must and silverfish, scrawled in by forgotten readers and filled with curiosities: postcards, love letters, grocery lists. I'm still fiercely attached to most of those old books, and whenever I read a new book I absolutely love, I have to buy it. With actual books you can remember the first and last time you read it just by opening the cover, press it onto unsuspecting dinner guests, take it into the bathtub with you, or even leave it as a gift for the next lonely guest in a foreign hostel. They are miraculous objects, books. Author Photo

That's why, when I took my first solo cross-country drive and borrowed the unabridged audio version of Anna Karenina from the library, I felt sheepish, as if I were committing some sort of reading adultery. That day, though, the audiobook was a revelation: the actor was passionate, precise and able to paint subtle differences between the characters' voices. He had the opposite of my own internal reading voice, which resembles an old-lady auctioneer, and because he had read and understood the book differently than I had, he emphasized different aspects of it that I'd never dreamt existed. I ended up driving below the speed limit for the last six hours of the trip and lollygagging in the driveway when I finally arrived. He had handed me a new version of the book I knew and loved, and I adored him for it.

I tend to only read audiobooks when I'm driving: this has worked out well because for the last eight years I've lived in six cities at the very edges of America, and have taken countless, endless car trips. Though it's exciting to hear a new book from a writer I'd never read before—I heard Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants this way, and Ian McEwan's Enduring Love—I far prefer to listen to books I've already read. Huckleberry Finn unfolded itself into a more poignant love story and more blistering anti-slavery screed in the verbal rendition than it had been in my own silent reading; when I heard Fahrenheit 451 aloud, I heard a devastating condemnation of our current way of life that I hadn't when I read it in high school. There is something about an audiobook that feels ancient to me, a connection to a very early form of storytelling, when a Mother Goose or French jongleur or Nordic skald sat down at the fireside and unfolded a story into the laps of a community of listeners.

Now that my book, The Monsters of Templeton, has been born into the world, I find myself balking at the prospect of listening to the audiobook, even though I hear nice things about it. This is partially because I can hardly bear to read my own writing whenever it happens to be published (for me, journals and anthologies have enormous black holes in them where my work is), partly because I'm a little afraid of the actor-effect of the audiobook. Because I worked on the book for so long, and invested so much of my heart into it, I'm not yet sure I want to read it any other way: I'm not sure I'm ready to give it up to another voice yet.

Someday, though, maybe I'll slide into the car for another long trip and will find the audio version of Monsters and feel ready to put it in. The magic of audiobooks is the magic of surprise, of discovering something thrilling and new in what is already familiar. On that day, after I'll have published enough other books to forget my dear first novel a little, I hope with all my heart to be surprised by it all over again.

Lauren Groff's acclaimed debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, was published in February and is available in hardcover and as an unabridged audiobook. A native of Cooperstown, she now lives in Gainesville, Florida.

message 25: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Anybody live in or near Palestine, Texas?

Audio book reader C.J. Critt will be reading at the library.


message 26: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Jun 14, 2008 04:44AM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments DRM-free Audiobooks on the rise

Good article about audiobook formats. I know many of you are listening off CDs. This article states the life span for that format is about 10 years as digital increases. They also address some of the digital alternatives available through libraries.


message 27: by Janet (new)

Janet Russell | 5 comments Really appreciated reading this article.

I work with a very small audiobook publisher in Newfoundland (Rattling Books). We knew when we started that downloading was the way of the future but it wasn't easy for us to decide on a format and platform. Eventually we decided that DRM-free mp3 files were the only choice that made sense. At the time (2005) there was not widespread acceptance of this as a reasonable choice among members of the Audio Publishing Industry. Rattling Books is so small (we like to say we're so small, we're fine) that we just had to go ahead and do the DRM-free mp3 option anyway if we were going to be available as digital downloads.

So it is very interesting to read this article and also reassuring in that we increasingly have company in offering DRM-free mp3s. It makes us feel more comfortable when the big companies join in!

literature to listen to

message 28: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Say So Long to an Old Companion: Cassette Tapes


Is anyone still listening to books on cassette?

message 29: by John, Moderator (new)

John | 3790 comments Some books that were recorded on cassette very early on in the audiobook genre were never, as far as I can tell, re-formatted for disc/mp3. I have a Walkman for the few times I hear of an interesting book for which I cannot get ahold of any other version.

message 30: by S.G (last edited Aug 13, 2008 12:29PM) (new)

S.G | 39 comments Re: Message 28 by Grumpus,

"Is anyone still listening to books on cassette?"

Guilty, my local library system is huge and holds a wast amount of tapes thank god. But I noticed that over the last few years they keep buying new titles only on CD's. Probably the worst playing format* ever since it is a production to get it converted to Mp3, and then into whatever player you now might have, like into my Sansa Fuze chips, while a tape you just pop in and play, stop, play, stop, play, stop ...

*You may say why not just use a CD player? I say, you have nooo idea what I'm talking about do you? Really!

message 31: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Hearing is believing

This was forwarded to me by my friend Ginnie. Nowadays, the authors get to work with and choose their readers. What about the voices of the classic characters?


message 32: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments APA Survey Finds Solid Audio Gains in 2007

Audiobook popularity growth quantified here:


message 33: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments When audiobook casting goes terribly wrong


message 34: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments An audiobook convert


message 35: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited May 27, 2009 11:12AM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments The key phrase is "although not audio downloads". I believe this is simply people moving away from CDs to downloads and also reflects the greater selection available in public libraries.

Audiobook sales plummeting
Associated Press
May 27, 2009

New York -- Except for e-books, sales are down throughout the publishing industry, and the numbers have looked even steeper for audio.

The Assn. of American Publishers has seen a 47% drop in audio revenue this year: Just 14 publishers reported, but they include Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and virtually all the major New York firms.

According to Nielsen BookScan, which covers about 75% of sales (although not audio downloads), the number of audiobooks sold is down 20% this year from 2008. Data compiled by the Institute for Publishing Research project a 4.7% revenue fall in 2009.

Anthony Goff, president of the Audio Publishers Assn., and others cite a few reasons for audio's troubles.

The shrinking economy has had a very direct effect. The fewer people who work, the fewer people who drive to work. More than half of audio customers listen in their cars, said Chris Lynch, executive vice president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Audio.

Audiobooks also tend to cost more. The audio download for the country's hottest title, Mark R. Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny," has a list price of $29.99, nearly $5 higher than for the hardcover.

message 36: by Dacia (new)

Dacia | 59 comments $29.99 is pretty cheap for an audio book on CD, at least compared to what some of mine cost on CD.

Anyway, more to the point, all these numbers talk about REVENUES or SALES. Can we see something that talks of profits? Obviously revenues will go down if you're selling your books via download instead of CD because download is carries a lower price tag. The REASON download carries a lower price tag is because it's FAR cheaper to "manurfacture" and distribute a download than it is to burn CD's (or tap cassettes) and physically ship them to B&M stores. Lower price tags always equal lower revenues(assuming quantity sold remains the same), but they don't have to equal lower profits.

I suspect they are also seeing lower profits, but that is mainly a product of the shrinking economy. Audiobooks are, quite frankly, a "disposable income" purchase - more so because purchases can often be replaced with free library rentals (if you're lucky enough to live in an area with a free library). Thus, as disposable incomes shrink, so will book sales (and movie rentals, and other types of entertainment purchses). However, I believe this article uses revenues instead of profits solely to make the situation look far more dire than it actually is.

message 37: by Julie (new)

Julie (juliemoncton) | 6 comments Thanks, Grumpus, for posting all of the audiobook articles. The last one is really surprising. I work in an audiobook store and although our revenue had been growing strongly in past years, this year our revenue is more or less the same as last year. Given the economy, I think we are doing great. If anything we are seeing more people come to the store because renting is cheaper than owning and audiobooks have become so much more mainstream and popular. We are next to a For Eyes eyeglass store. For years, people thought we were either a hearing aid store (our store is named All Ears) :) or that audiobooks were only for the blind. Now it seems like more and more people are listening. And once people get hooked, just like us, they can't stop!

message 38: by Katie (new)

Katie (katieisallbooked) | 10 comments Interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

message 40: by MissSusie (new)

MissSusie | 2310 comments Jeffery Deaver talks about audiobooks on audiofile magazine

Also on his website is an mp3 where he talks about them too

message 41: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Audible opts for a star cast
Good article with some sales figures

message 42: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (last edited Oct 30, 2012 05:37AM) (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Nice interview with Don Katz, founder

message 43: by Anne (new)

Anne (crazybakingmom) | 21 comments Just wanted to know if any of you had seen this....seeems the government doesn't like the price of ebooks either.

message 44: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

message 45: by Grumpus, Hearing aide (new)

Grumpus | 473 comments Are audiobooks distracting or can they help you trim your waistline? Good article with lots of information to make you think.

message 46: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 316 comments Because of vision problems I no longer walk for exercise out of doors. Audiobooks make the treadmill and a daily mat exercise routine pleasant instead of drudgery. Same for routine housework. Bless them all, the writers, readers and producers.

message 47: by Jeanie (new)

Jeanie | 3864 comments Margaret wrote: "Because of vision problems I no longer walk for exercise out of doors. Audiobooks make the treadmill and a daily mat exercise routine pleasant instead of drudgery. Same for routine housework. Bles..."

Same here... although I can't claim frequent exercise beyond the treadmill. Audiobooks help, but they still haven't managed to make me develop good habits. *sigh*

message 48: by Chrissie (last edited Nov 28, 2012 01:53AM) (new)

Chrissie | 1529 comments I am no "multi-tasker". I cannot clean, walk Oscar or even cook while I listen to audiobooks. If my head is thinking about the stove or the furniture or the traffic on the street, then it is NOT on the words of the book! I still love audiobooks. One thing at a time for me.

I also began audiobooks due to bad vision. I absolutely NEVER thought I would like them. I don't! I LOVE them. I absolutely adore them.

message 49: by Kim (new)

Kim (kimmr) | 81 comments Just like Chrissie, I also adore audiobooks. I started listening to them because of my mother's vision problems. I started getting them for her to listen to and decided that I'd give them a try.

However, unlike Chrissie, I am a total multi-tasker. I can't just sit and listen to an audiobook - I have to be doing something else at the same time (even if it's just trying to go to sleep!). I listen while I'm commuting and also while I'm exercising, either walking or at the gym. If I were an elite athlete, then I could understand that listening might have an adverse impact on exercise. But for me, having a book to listen to is part of what motivates me to put on my shoes and get out of the house.

message 50: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie | 1529 comments Kim, I wish I could be like you!!!! Dam that would be efficient!

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