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The Audio Book Fan Club

Posted by Brittany Lavin on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 @ 01:17 PM

by Dave Giorgio

Audio book publishingThough I have been in printed book publishing for over ten years, I am a big fan of audio books. The questions I get most are, “What is an audio book?" and "Why do people buy them?

The first is easy. Imagine your book being read to you by a voice-professional with an oh-so-golden voice. Each phrase delivered as if he or she is speaking right to you. The whole book is recorded and then played back from a CD or from a file on your computer. You can take it in the car. To the gym. On the train. An audio book. Simple.

So who buys them? I have decided that there are two kinds of people (yes, only two). Those who have discovered audio books and those who have not. Those who have, love them. Really love them. Those who haven’t are indifferent. While there are more of the latter, those who enjoy audio books are a passionate bunch. The reason is that audio books are a great form of entertainment. And it’s a medium very different from printed books or even movies.

An audio book is tangibly more of a companion; the text and reader’s voice combining to form a kinship with the listener. And many audio books can be hours and hours in length, making good company for quite a bit of time.

I must admit that I was myself at first a skeptic. When my boss came to me and asked, “What do you think about audio books?” My reply was, “Not much. What are they, for lazy people? It’s about the written word, man.”

Okay, I was a snob. But I love the written word and this audio book concept just seemed silly. I was told to check into it, and I did. My first audio book was Treasure Island, read by a wonderful British thespian. He sounded amazing. He did all the character voices. “Come here, Jim Hawkins me boy. I’m old Ben Gunn.”  I would listen in my car while driving, and when arriving at my destination, would stay in the car an extra 10 or 20 minutes because I just had to keep listening. It was an epiphany to say the least.

Some people will listen to an audio book more than once. This tells us something. It says that people read books, watch movies, listen to music. And among these people are those who just love their audio books and buy new ones every month. They may not have time to read, but they do have time to listen. Not to mention of course those with vision problems who can’t read, much as they’d love to.

So, I am a fan. I didn’t want to become one, but I did. As such, I know now why others are, too. So if you’ve been there and know, I’m glad to be there with you. And if you haven’t, there’s something out there waiting for you. Maybe you’ll become a fan, too.

 

 

 

Tags: audio books

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