Public Librarians discussion

The cost of Audio books

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message 1: by Matt (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:30PM) (new)

Matt | 8 comments I find it frustating that at my branch library we want to build up our Audio book collection. But the prices are very high, they seem to average eighty bucks a pop. From the research I've done, the cheaper ones are probably abridgements, and the publishers and who reads the books matter.
Does anyone have suggestions for developing a better audio collection on the cheap?

message 2: by Heather (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:31PM) (new)

Heather (sturmhaus) | 6 comments Oh oh oh! Try Playaways!

I run a small library in Michigan. We have a healthy budget, but everything costs $$$, and audio books are so popular that I started looking for ways to add more titles for less money.

We bought a start-up collection of Playaways this summer, and they're going like gangbusters. They're small, dedicated MP3 players with one book per player. We order through BWI and get locking cases, which helps with security. We bought 2 cassette adapters and FM transmitters for people who want to use them in their car. And we have batteries and ear buds for sale at the desk (we don't replace the batteries as they wear out, a small cost that our users haven't objected to).

Best of all the prices are very reasonable, $30-50 ea, maybe cheaper if you have a negotiated discount. They're available from BWI, Recorded Books and Playaway, and probably others. Production quality has been good on all of ours so far. We're planning to buy more this winter and I'm dropping my cassette SOP with Recorded Books to get these instead.

Hope this helps - good luck.

message 3: by Gina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:32PM) (new)

Gina (grrb) I am purchasing Playaways for my library's YA collection and they are great! One word of advice though: at my library, classics on Playaways don't fair so well. The teens get the popular titles on Playaways and still look to CDs for the classics. Don't know why!

message 4: by Leslie (new)

Leslie (alabamagrrl) | 3 comments Books on Tape is having a 30% off sale their backlist until July. I ordered the cheaper titles and got some really good deals. The advantage to BOT and Recorded Books is that they usually offer lifetime replacements and the titles never go out of print. They just burn you a new disc if you need a replacement.

I also use Landmark Audio and Audio Editions. The average price of theirs is about $30-50, depending. The disadvantage of these two is that they only offer free replacements for a year. After that, you have to pay a small fee, but sometimes the title goes "out of print" and then you are stuck. Otherwise, they are very good choices for libraries on a budget. It's just a matter of which is more important to you: more titles or lifetime replacements for broken/damaged CDs.

We only by unabridged CDs.

message 5: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylthelibrarian) | 2 comments Has anyone experienced problems with PlayAways? If so, what kind? One of my colleagues had experienced connections becoming loose on some PlayAways where the headphones plug in.

It sounds like many have had positive experiences. I have enjoyed the few I've used as a "customer". I liked being able to control the speed of the story.

RE: abridgments - I've found many customers specifically ask for UN-abridged audiobooks. When I selected audiobooks, it was also only unabridged.

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