“Armistead Maupin is a hero of mine. He manages to be eloquent and witty but never shies away from pain and loss. Reading this audiobook was not only something fun and challenging to do (the bobbing back and forth between continents from an accent point of view was certainly both!) but also a way to reconnect with the spirit of Armistead. And true to form, it was as fun and trippy and soulful as the man himself.”
Check out the following audio excerpts from each of the forthcoming Maupin audiobooks:
The Audio Publishers Association released the results from two concurrent studies of audiobook sales patterns and consumer behavior revealing that total net sales of audiobooks in 2011 were up from the previous year.
According to the independent research firm Lewis & Clark, which conducted the 2011 Annual Sales Survey, 3.8 million more audiobooks were sold in 2011 than were sold in 2010, representing a 2.6 percent increase in total revenues year-over-year.
Some of the growth in the sales can be attributed to a wider selection of titles available to audiobook fans. The total number of titles published in the audio format has doubled over the past seven years and publishers continue to increase their output to ensure that the most popular trade books are available in audio at the time the print book is released. Continue reading →
Close on the heels of the discovery of King Richard III’s bones in Leicester, England, an audio edition of the infamous monarch’s speeches from Shakespeare will be performed by Alan Cumming.
The recording entitled The Head that Wears a Crown: Speeches for Royal Men was recorded last month in New York City and features Cumming — who garnered significant praise for his one-man recording of Macbeth — in the roles of several of Shakespeare’s monarchs.
The audiobook is slated for a Spring publication and will be released worldwide by GPRrecords through Naxos. An audio clip of Cumming as Richard III can be found HERE.
AudioGO signed international bestselling author Karin Slaughter to an exclusive seven-figure deal for the North American audio rights to her next 10 thrillers.
Slaughter and AudioGO first worked together in 2008 on the audio adaptation of Martin Misunderstood, which won an Audie Award.
“I am very excited to be continuing my relationship with the AudioGO team and appreciate the huge commitment they are making to my work,” Slaughter said in a statement. “They are superb at what they do, and I am continually impressed by them with each publication.”
Subsequent Slaughter titles include her recent New York Times bestsellers Criminal and Fallen, and the collection The Unremarkable Heart and Other Stories.
“All of us at AudioGO are thrilled to embark on this decade-long exclusive audio publishing arrangement with Karin,” said Vikki Warner, acquisitions editor at AudioGO, in a statement. “Her genuine fondness for and support of the audiobook make her a dream to work with. We can’t wait to see where her next 10 novels take us.”
After building a following in the U.K., Paul Noble has launched his language learning audiobook courses in the United States through iTunes.
Noble struggled in school to understand other languages and developed his own method to help fellow native English speakers conquer language learning. His method focuses on teaching the building blocks of conversation so that students can begin to manipulate phrases and communicate from the outset.
The courses are available for people who want to learn French, Spanish, Italian, and German. Each course is available on iTunes in four parts.
As an “everyman” language coach, Noble helps speakers achieve conversational competence in a short period of time by encouraging people to relax — and to try not to remember. Continue reading →
The Audio Publishers Association conducted two surveys that reveal the industry’s continued growth and highlight the value of audiobooks to the consumer marketplace.
The annual APA Sales Survey compiled reports from audio publisher sales in the year 2011. Additionally, the 2012 Consumer Survey, “Understanding the Audiobook Buyer in the Digital Age,” was conducted to find out more qualitative information about the behaviors and attitudes of the audiobook listener.
“What these surveys confirm is that audiobooks continue to tap into consumers’ need for a convenient way to support their active lifestyles. Audio publishers pioneered the digital publishing movement and we continue to grow and produce more every year in this era, while continuing to support the formats long appreciated by the listening public,” said Michele Cobb, APA President.
Here’s a sampling of the Survey Results:
What is the size of the audiobook market?
According to the consumer survey, audiobooks’ appeal has expanded. Forty-six percent of consumer survey respondents have listened to an audiobook at some point (compared to 37 percent in the previous study in 2010) and 24 percent have listened to an audiobook in the last year (compared to 19 percent in the previous study).
The results of the sales survey showed unit sales of audiobooks in 2011 were up 13 percent since 2010. The estimated size of the audiobook industry is now $1.2 billion.
If you’re like most people, you probably listen to audiobooks while driving. And that means you’re going to want to check out this new, in-vehicle streaming audiobook service from Aha by Harman and Podiobooks:
Aha and Podiobooks to Deliver In-Vehicle Streaming Audiobooks
Drivers will soon be able to listen to streaming on-demand audiobooks in their vehicles thanks to a new partnership between Aha by Harman, the provider of audio and infotainment products, and Podiobooks.com, which has a large collection of free serialized online audiobooks.
As a result of the deal, after downloading the Aha app for iPhone or Android, users can connect their smart phone to the in-vehicle entertainment system, pick one or more audiobooks from the hundreds of available titles, and select them as “presets”—similar to the way one traditionally selects preset radio stations. After that, users can listen to the audiobook, controlling the volume, track number, etc. via the steering column interface.
Audible and Amazon yesterday launched two new features exclusive to Kindle: “Immersion Reading” and “Whispersync for Voice.”
Whispersync for Voice builds on Amazon’s current Whispersync technology that enables customers to switch — without losing their place — between different devices while reading a Kindle book or to start watching a video on a Kindle Fire and pick up where they left off on a TV.
With Whispersync for Voice, Kindle and Kindle Fire users can now switch seamlessly between reading a book and listening to the Audible audio edition on any iOS or Android phone — all without losing their place.
“The ability to seamlessly switch back and forth between reading text on any Kindle and listening to the same title in audio on your smartphone — and always pick up where you left off — means that the story can continue during those times of the day when you cannot look at a screen,” said Audible Founder and CEO Donald Katz in a statement. ”We think that Whispersync for Voice can help us all enjoy more books, which is good news indeed.”
With Immersion Reading, Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD owners can synchronize Kindle text with the corresponding Audible audio edition. As customers read their books on Kindle Fire, text is highlighted while it is narrated via the Audible audiobook.
“We’re excited today to unveil our latest innovations that will help people read more and retain more of what they read,” said Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. “Anyone who wants more time to read, or never wants to put a great book down because it’s time to drive to work or exercise, will love Whispersync for Voice — it offers our customers the profound gift of more time to read.”
Nearly 15,000 Kindle books and Audible audiobooks are available for Immersion Reading and Whispersync for Voice. Plus, Amazon and Audible are inviting customers to try both products for free for a limited time with 20 Kindle and Audible tiles, including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (narrated by Elijah Wood) and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (narrated by Anne Hathaway).
To see a video demonstration of Whispersync for Voice, click HERE. For a demonstration of Immersion Reading, click HERE.
If you love audiobooks and own a Windows Phone, then you’re going to want to check out the new Audible for Windows Phone App.
Audible last week announced the release of a mobile app for Windows Phone that would enable users to browse, sample, and purchase from a collection of more than 100,000 audiobooks.
“Our customers love the convenience of having their Audible content accessible on any device they choose,” Ajay Arora, Vice President of Mobile Applications at Audible, said in a statement. “Now, with the launch of our new Windows Phone app, the complete Audible experience can be enjoyed by millions of devoted Windows Phone customers, all of whom will now be able to find and listen to their books anytime and anywhere.”
In addition to audiobook playback features, Audible for Windows Phone includes a host of features, including:
Wireless transfer from your Audible library to your phone;
Background audio support enabling listening while using other apps;
Ability to keep track of personal listening stats and earn badges;
Share bookmarks and favorite titles with friends via Facebook and Twitter;
Pin Audible titles to your Start screen using Live Tiles.
The Audible for Windows Phone App is available for free download from Windows Phone Marketplace and is compatible with devices running Windows Phone 7.5 and higher.
It seems like everyone’s talking about Bardowl, that new audiobook streaming service from the United Kingdom — people are even dubbing it the Spotify or Netflix of audiobooks. There was THIS STORY and THIS POST, to name only a few. But just what is Bardowl?
According to the company’s website, “Bardowl is a smartphone application that allows you to listen to audiobooks wherever you are and whenever you like. Unlike other download services you can browse the audiobook catalogue on your phone whilst on the move and start listening there and then. Bardowl is a subscription service which means if you tire of what you are listening to, or you want a change of pace, you just change the current book and start listening to a new one.”
For more on the specifics of Bardowl, check out the company’s launch video:
And while the service does seem pretty cool, it’s only available in the United Kingdom at the moment due to territorial rights. However, the company says it has plans to launch in the United States and is in discussions with U.S. publishers.