Audiobook News You Can Use: Free Stephen Colbert and Much More!

AudiobookerHear Stephen Colbert read “The Veldt” by Ray Bradbury for free thanks to this post on the i09 website, which includes the Colbert segment from Symphony Space’s A Touch of Magic Selected Shorts (NPR, 2010). Plus a link to even more Bradbury freebies!

The Grownup Pleasure of Bedtime Stories: Audiobooks Will Read Adults to Sleep,” by Andrea White on the Houston Chronicle’s website inspired me to establish a new bedtime routine—setting my audiobook app to shut down after 30 minutes as I drift off to sleep.

Audiobook publishing continues its explosive growth.

I always love to find out the reactions of authors who hear an audiobook of their work. On The Millions website, Bill Morris, author of Motor City Burning (Blackstone, 2014), reflects on “The Curious Kick of Hearing an Actor Reading Your Writing.”

morning commuteDon’t Just Sit There: How to be More Productive During Your Commute,” by Jane C. Hu (Slate) includes lots of multitasking tips, including a hint to listen to . . . wait for it . . . audiobooks.

Fifteen categories of audiobook genres will be recognized as the Society of Voice Arts & Sciences presents the first annual Voice Arts Awards. The VAAs will be awarded November 9 at That’s Voiceover! in New York. Check out the full list of nominees here.

Audiobook publishing continues its explosive growth. The Audio Publishers Association released its 2014 Annual Survey of Membership, which notes the following in their press release:

“Based on the data from reporting publishers, their findings revealed that the 35,713 titles published in audiobook format in 2013 more than doubled from the previous year’s number of 16,309. This is the second year in a row that the number of titles published has doubled over the prior year and marks a huge industry jump since 2010 when only 6,200 titles were released in audio… The digital download continues to reign supreme with a full 70% of all audiobooks sold being in the digital format. Revenues from digital audiobooks are also on the rise. Downloads represented 62% of net sales in 2013 vs. 54% in 2012. The unabridged format still dominates with 91% of units sold being unabridged. Fiction titles still far surpass non-fiction with nearly 80% of all audiobook units sold being works of fiction. These patterns have held steady with virtually no change in statistics year over year.”

BookRiot’s “Biting the Bullet: Embracing Audiobooks,” by Jessica Pryde offers a quick look at one audio listener discovering her personal listening style.

Audiobook diva Barbara Rosenblat (also known as Orange is the New Black’s Miss Rosa) gets plenty of press about her terrific Audiobooks Live @ Your Library outreach in The Marietta Daily Journal (“Orange is the New Black actress audiobook artist coming to Switzer Library on Sunday“) and also on the Cobb County (Ga.) Public Library’s blog.

“All I have to remember is, ‘I get paid
to read books,’ and it’s all OK.”

Audiobook narrator Karen White reflects on her career in “The 200 Book Milestone” post on her blog. My favorite quote? “Every day, even on days when I am frustrated with the state of the industry, or moments when I can’t get a specific sentence out of my mouth after 20 takes, all I have to remember is, ‘I get paid to read books’, and it’s all OK.”

Yes Please by Amy PoehlerAmy Poehler’s first book Yes, Please (Dey Street Books, 2014) gets a shout-out in the Wall Street Journal, with special mention of the audiobook from HarperAudio that has a superstar set of narrators that includes Poehler herself, her parents, plus Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, and Kathleen Turner. Check out the SoundCloud clips on the WSJ’s blog here.

Narrators Carrington MacDuffie, Therese Plummer, and Kathe Mazur  (via Skype) discussed  the preparation and making of the audiobook in another awesome library event at the Clara B. Mounce Public Library in Bryant, TX. Find out more in this article in The Eagle.

Amazon features narrator R. C. Bray speaking about his voice work and entry into the audiobook publishing field in this audio and print feature about ACX, Amazon’s audio creation tool.

I’ll have more about Bray in my next Audiobooker post featuring his work on Andy Weir’s The Martian (Podium/Brilliance, 2014). Stay tuned!

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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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