APAC & Audies update

Here’s a round-up of links for audiobook fans who missed the big events in NYC that served as a perfect beginning to the bustle of Book Expo America. It was every bit as fun as that big grin on Hachette Audio’s Anthony Goff‘s face shows – and check out the Audies in his hands for the 2010 “Audiobook of the Year” Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales and “Personal Development” winner Nurtureshock.

The Audio Publishers Association Conference (APAC, or “A-pack”) on Monday, May 24th was a meeting of the minds of audiobook publishers & narrators, with a sprinkling of fans & librarians in the mix. Sessions highlighted the fast-changing world of format and digital rights (with some thought-provoking new iPhone app products), social networking, and new channels of distribution. I was very pleased with the session on Children’s Audiobooks moderated by Robin Miles, where Kristen Cappy (who’s working on the Sync project) & I shared the stage with the best in youth & YA audiobooks: two-time Odyssey Award winning Arnie Cardillo of Live Oak Media, and stellar narrators Katy Kellgren & Johnny Heller. I think the packed room of narrators & industry pros gained some new ideas from these amazing audio experts. Preliminary results of APA’s audio sales industry survey had some interesting (and positive)  numbers. I’ll report more once the results are final. One minor quibble from this audiobook-purchasing librarian – when describing where consumers got their audiobooks, library access was referred to as “free.” I know that the audience was industry professionals, but last time I checked, libraries pay a premium and are the opposite of illegal downloads. If you’re a librarian and would like to add your two cents in the soon-to-be-completed Audio Publishers Association’s Library Survey, click here and fill out the detailed questions to let your voice be heard (contact info@audiopub.org if the link doesn’t work). For an insider’s view, Booklist’s 2008 Voice of Choice Simon Vance shared his views about APAC and the Audies on his newly-designed blog – take look here: http://simonvance.com/category/blog/. Grover Gardner, Blackstone Audio’s Studio Director & narrator of over 700 audiobooks, shared his APAC & Audies experience on his blog. Or search Twitter for #apac10. In this fast-changing audiobook world that combines the oldest form of literature and digital technology, APAC Keynote speaker Gary Vaynerchuk had a great take-away quote: “Never the platform, always the message.”

The Audio Publishers Association’s Audies Awards are the industry’s “Oscars” for the best in audiobooks, with criteria that is different from that of ALA’s audiobook lists & awards as the packaging, marketing, and publicity are part of the judging. The event is a star-studded night of celebration and this year’s beautiful weather on May 25th made the pre-award dinner & drinks on the terrace of the Museum of the City of New York perfectly enchanting. What fun to chat with amazing authors such as Adrienne Kress, audiobook icons such as Scott Brick, industry pros such as Ellen Myrick, star narrators such as Dion Graham, and the man who combines all of the above, Bruce Coville. I didn’t have time to be nervous before I presented the Children’s & Teen winners, as I was all thumbs updating Twitter on my cell phone as 30 awards categories were announced & presented in one hour flat!  You can check hashtag #audies10 for all of the Twitter action from the crowd. The Wall Street Journal covered the evening with this great story by Marshall Hayman featuring Booklist’s 2009 Voice of Choice Barbara Rosenblat. with more coverage in Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and  Canada’s National Post. And there’s plenty of chatter over in the Audiobook Community “Audies Post-Mortem” discussion. I posted a full list of the winners here on Audiobooker before my head hit the pillow that night. As Barbara Rosenblat remarked after she was awarded two Audies (for Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken & Anne Frank Remembered), and re-entered the “Post A-PAColiptic world” it was quite the week!  Thank heavens I have the Memorial Day weekend to recover before I’m back to work on Tuesday 😉

And if you have any other links that should be included, please leave a comment & I’ll update the update!

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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.

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