By October 18, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Inside the audiobook studio: Knitting Out Loud

Crafts + cooking + audiobooks = cozy fall activities. As the days grow colder, and we move indoors, homebodies return to the kitchen and couch with activities that are perfect for audiobook accompaniment. Libraries and book clubs looking for something new might want to connect with readers who keep their hands busy with audiobook/craft/cookery displays, a listen’n’craft group, or a book club pick especially for knitters. Teens love to combine new handicraft skills with storytelling via audiobooks – why not an inter-generational group of seniors sharing knitting skills while the teens demo digital audiobook downloads?

Outloud Audiobooks recognizes this perfect synergy with their catalog of titles that match their tag line of “Audiobooks for Home and Hearth.” I love that the audiobook community has room for small-niche companies that focus on producing titles for a targeted audience.When I saw Outloud Audiobook’s booth at a conference, I asked founder and publisher Kathy Goldner to stop by Audiobooker and let us know more about her company, which began in 2007 as Knitting Out Loud and now has expanded to include cookery titles with Cooking Out Loud. I learned that Kathy is also an avid gardener, so I wonder if Gardening Out Loud is in her future!

What’s on your MP3 player?
I listened to The Lost City of Z going to and from the Massachusetts Library Conference last month.  It is a fascinating book, very enjoyable, and made a two hour traffic snarl on the way home bearable.

Tell us about your role in the audiobook community.
We are a tiny company.  I choose the audiobooks we record, and only choose books I love.  We have contracts with publishers for audio rights to the books.  I hire the narrator or the author to read, and produce and edit the recordings.  We have a wonderful designer who designs our covers, brochures and advertisements.  I love doing all this: working with the authors, the narrators, the publishers, being in the recording studio (we have a great recording engineer), then going on the road with the finished audiobooks to events such as library conferences and sheep and wool festivals.

What was your most interesting/embarrassing/hilarious moment in the audiobook studio?
Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne who wrote Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines are very funny ladies, and there were many passages they had to repeat over again during the recording of their audiobook because I was laughing so much.

What future trends or changing perceptions or technologies do you think will have the greatest/worst/revolutionary impact on the audiobook production field?
Well, I’m afraid I am more interested in the stories themselves than in the technical aspect of the business.  But it is clear that downloading is becoming more and more popular.  Books will never go away, stories are integral to who we are as human beings, they define us and help us live our lives.  But they may take different forms.  After all, books were developed in the Middle Ages, scrolls and clay tablets came first.

What’s new and exciting in your part of the audiobook community?
We have just launched Cooking Out Loud with my favorite classic food writer Elizabeth David’s South Wind Through the Kitchen.  She is one of the best food writers of the 20th century and was one of the first to write about using local ingredients.  Her writing is witty and literary, and I am thrilled to be able to offer her work on audio.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Kathy! I hope readers will also visit your Knitting Out Loud blog – what great photos of all the fairs and craft shows you’ve visited!

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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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