News You Can Use

Audiobooker’s big weekend roundup of articles & links of interest to listeners and librarians.

Audiobooks: Are They Really the Same as Reading? Great article from the Chicago Tribune – not those the same old weary arguments. Author Jenni Laidman has gathered some great quotes, and includes her pick of five really great listens. Here’s my favorite quote from the article:

Arnold L. Glass, a professor of cognitive psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, studies the ways in which reading and listening differ. But if one mode is superior to the other, it’s not quite clear.

Listening has one outstanding advantage over reading, his research shows. When we listen, the theater in our head is in full operation. When we read, the screen may flicker. Reading monopolizes the visual part of our brain, the place where we form mental images, his 1980 study shows. He asked subjects to determine the accuracy of sentences loaded with imagery and sentences with little imagery. He found that reading slowed judgment on high-imagery sentences. But if subjects listened to the sentences instead, judgment time was the same, no matter the level of imagery.

Finding a Gateway to Audio: Fantastic suggestions from Maris Kreizman on ways to hook first-time audiobook listeners. Focused on consumer purchases, but just substitute library patrons as needed in the quote below:

I’m often asked by new buyers of audiobooks for recommendations. Their most common concern? That their Internet-addled minds will wander at the slightest provocation. So that gorgeous 34-hour recording of Anna Karenina? Not for them. Those who are just getting started in the world of audiobooks need a nonintimidating entry point.

“Gateway audiobooks” are an important category for the audiobook industry to consider. They’re the books that help a company like eMusic expand our consumer base and reach new users who are still unsure whether listening to books is for them. Once new users get hooked, they’ll be ready for that 57-hour recording of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in no time.

Catalist Digital: New kid on the block digital audiobook download provider for school & public libraries. A joint project of Barker & Taylor, Findaway World (Playaway’s parent company), and Follett – there’s not many details to be had, but you may want to put this vendor on your list for investigation. I’ll be checking things out at ALA Annual. I am very curious about the note-taking feature mentioned in the student-use mobile-app FAQs:

Why should I use the Catalist Digital Mobile App?

The Catalist Digital Mobile App is the only way for you to save your place, take notes, or keep an audiobook checked out for an extended period of time. Plus, it’s the only way to take audiobooks on-the-go.

AudioGopher: Speaking of note-taking combined with audiobook listening, check out this PR link, which includes the quote below:

“AudioGopher is perfect if you’re listening to a long podcast and want to mark favorite songs or segments and skip directly to those spots,” said Roger Caplan, President of Helical Software. “AudioGopher is also great for students who want to note portions of audiobooks or lectures to instantly call up key quotes or sections.”

A Few Thoughts on Narration: Mark Turetsky reflects on the power of Newbery Honor title Breaking Stalin’s Nose as he prepares for narrating the title. Here’s a quote from his post on the Nerdy Book Club blog:

The book was tremendous, but it was also enormously unsettling. When I was done, I was in a daze. My girlfriend looked up at me from across the table and said, “Are you done already?” “Yeah,” I said, “this book is a killer.”

I’m supposed to record the book in just a few days, and it’s still giving me the willies. Despite that, I’m going to take every opportunity I have this to read through this book, to get familiar and comfortable with thoughts and ideas which couldn’t be more alien and disturbing to me. After answering these questions, and putting someone else’s words into my mouth, I’ll find myself changed by the experience. And change never comes easy.
Seven Reasons to Hate Home Studios: A tongue-in-cheek post from voice-over artist Paul Strikwerda on recording at home – a great addition to my Digital Shift series of interviews  here on Audiobooker.
Competition Needs Protection: This New York Times article by Eduardo Porter serves as postscript to my post Amazon Now Going After Audiobook Authors.



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 "News You Can Use"

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  1. Many thanks for highlighting my article on the downside of having a home recording studio.

    What might seem to be a cheap solution to audio book producers -hiring a narrator with a home studio- could end up in a frustrating and expensive fiasco.

    I get regular requests to re-do recordings made by someone who was willing to work for beer money. Either the talent couldn’t interpret a script or couldn’t record it without hiss, mouth noises and the neighbor’s lawn mower in the background. Usually, it’s all of the above.

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