Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Audio Book Revolution

With all the ebook hype out there, I can't help but notice that few are writing about what I think of as the most exciting new medium for fiction. Yes, you guessed it. I'm talking about texting the contents of your novel from a rooftop while wearing a white suit.

No, not that (although I think there's potential there, too). I'm talking about audio books.

Few commercially-published novelists and non-fiction writers have audio book versions of their works. I feel very lucky to have stumbled into one myself.

I love that The Nervous Breakdown's new book publishing arm will give the audio book the dignity it deserves. That's forward-looking, in my opinion, which is what we've come to expect from The Nervous Breakdown.

If you've never tried an audio book, the beauty of them is as follows:

1) You don't actually have to "read" the book. You just sit there and it reads itself for you. The experience, for me, falls somewhere between reading a book and listening to a play of the book. Unbelievably cool if you've got a long journey ahead of you, especially a driving journey, when your eyes need to be occupied elsewhere.

2) Unlike ebooks, you have more latitude with where you can experience an audio book. Specifically, you don't have to be tied to a computer to listen to your book. If you follow this blog, you know how I feel about being tied to a computer (short answer: it's the biggest downside of ebooks). I usually listen audio books in my truck, but any CD player works, as do iPods.

3) Like ebooks, you can get an audio book right now. Yes, NOW. Many, if not most, audio books are available somewhere on the internet for download. There's no waiting for your CDs to arrive in the mail, no driving to the bookstore. My audio book is download-able at CDBaby for the excruciatingly low price of $4.99. Never tried an audio book before? This might be the cheapest one you'll find anywhere. Give it a shot, and make your next long car, train, or plane zip by.

Yours in laying down the law,


Try Ghost Notes the Audio Book as an unabridged digital download.


Vijay said...

Hi Art,

We are software developers and are working on a platform to help authors and publishers to collaborate and build books with instant community reviews etc.

We also have a big play in audio books.

We have a few questions and since we do not have experience in the actual publishing industry would love your insights on our idea in general and chat with you.

We are in California. Would you be willing to chat with us?


Anonymous said...

Check out
There are lots of free audiobooks there (well, almost free - it is polite to leave a "donation" if you like the book).

Bruce Batchelor