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Gaiman and BBC Audiobooks Team With Twitter


Add your tweets to complete a communal tale kicked off by the Hugo, Newbery, Nebula, and Bram Stoker Award-winner Neil Gaiman. The resulting story, a combination of 140-character contributions from around the globe, will be recorded as an audiobook by an as-yet-unnamed narrator by BBC Audiobooks America and distributed as a free download. When Michele Cobb of BBCAA called me to share the news of this very cool event, my fan-girl reaction was that I hoped Gaiman would do the audio. Michele said it’s too early to think about the narrator, as the final story will determine the voice needed. Gaiman, no stranger to the audiobook world, is a Twitter fanatic. Earlier this year, I sat on one side of the room at the 2009 Audies Award ceremony tweeting the winners while Gaiman, tapping away on his phone across the room, reported his own take on the celebration via Twitter. The audiobook of Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book was named the 2009 Audies Audiobook of the Year by the Audio Publishers Association that night, a fitting honor for a haunting novel with Gaiman’s own fantastic narration. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with in those first 140 Twitter characters. Now I must arrange for my lunch to coincide with the launch at noon on Tuesday, October 13. Thank heavens I have a brand-new phone, ready to speed-tweet!

Here’s the press release:

BBC Audiobooks America Launches the World’s FIRST

Write an Original Audio Story via Twitter with the Bestselling Author
Coraline and The Graveyard Book This Halloween

North Kingstown, RI—This Halloween, BBC Audiobooks America (@BBCAA) is offering a treat for Twitter audiophiles: the chance to write a story with fantasy master Neil Gaiman. The New York Times bestselling author of The Graveyard Book and Twitter enthusiast (known as @neilhimself) will launch an original story-writing project on the popular social networking site October 13 at Noon EST. Gaiman will tweet the first line of the story and fans can jump in and continue it with their own 140-character contributions. To participate, fans must log into Twitter (registration is free) and post in this format: @BBCAA Your Tweet Here #bbcawdio. Searching for #bbcawdio will allow you to follow the tale minute-by-minute.

BBC Audiobooks America will compile the contributions of approximately one thousand tweets into a finished short story to be recorded by a professional narrator. The audiobook will be downloadable free at and also available as a digital download at iTunes and other audiobook retailers in time for the holidays.

“We thought this was a fantastic way to get more people excited and actively engaging with audiobooks,” said Marketing Director Michele Lee Cobb, citing that the company took their cues from Britain’s Royal Opera House, who successfully created a fan-twittered opera last month. “There’s a misconception still that audiobooks are only for a small, elite niche of book lovers and we want to explode that myth and tap into the possibilities of digital storytelling in a whole new way.”

To join the fun and add to the tale, sign in at to follow @BBCAA and tweet with the hashtag #bbcawdio. The story in progress—along with official participation rules and legal waiver—will be chronicled at the BBCAA blog on

About BBC Audiobooks America

BBC Audiobooks America is a leading publisher of bestselling single-voice and full-cast dramatized audiobooks. BBC Audiobooks America has a library of more than 3,000 audio titles available under its Sound Library, BBC Radio Collection, and Chivers Audio Books institutional imprints and has won multiple Audie Awards, including Audiobook of the Year in 2006, for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Tertiary Phase. BBC Audiobooks America distributes product to libraries across North America and to consumers via Perseus Distribution. For more information about BBC Audiobooks America, visit our website:

For more information:

Tara Gelsomino, Editorial Marketing Manager, BBC Audiobooks America

(401) 295-3831,



About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

1 Comment on "Gaiman and BBC Audiobooks Team With Twitter"

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  1.' Tom Lopy says:

    I follow a twitter audiobooks using the following hashtags like #ishows and #jamokies . Its a great way to find the latest free audiobooks from audible, BBC, and

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