Monthly Archives: March 2012

Oasis Audio to Release The Vow

Adam Boretz -- March 29th, 2012

Oasis Audio is bringing The Vow – a popular memoir by Kim and Krickitt Carpenter and now highly successful feature film starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams — to audio on April 16th.

In this true-life story, when a car accident leaves Krickitt with a massive head injury, she awakes from a coma unable to recall her relationship with Kim and experiencing dramatic personality changes. Kim soon realizes the woman he married was gone. And yet, against all odds, Kim and Krickitt fall in love all over again.

To celebrate the audio release, Oasis partnered with B&H Publishing Group to sponsor a Couples’ Getaway Contest. Honoring Kim and Krickitt Carpenter’s commitment to their wedding vows, couples may submit their own marriage commitment story. The winning couple will receive an all-expense paid weekend getaway. More contest details will become available in the coming weeks.

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The Hunger Games: Audio Edition

Adam Boretz -- March 28th, 2012

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know about the amazingly successful film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s beloved novel The Hunger Games. But, do you know about the audiobook?

Available from Scholastic Audio, the audio edition is narrated by Carolyn McCormick and definitely worth a listen. So, if you’ve read the books and seen the film, check out the audio. Click HERE for an audio excerpt and — while your at it — check out the following movie trailer:

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Finding A Gateway to Audio

Adam Boretz -- March 27th, 2012

If you missed it, be sure to check out eMusic Audiobooks Editor Maris Kreizman’s piece from the latest issue of PW on how to entice consumers to try audiobooks.

An excerpt from Kreizman’s column can be found below and the piece in it’s entirety can be found HERE.

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 non-intimidating 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.

If you’re trying to reach new customers, here are five categories that I often suggest to smooth the audiobook transition.

1. Humorous books written and performed by their authors

Tina Fey’s Bossypants was eMusic’s #1 bestselling audiobook of 2011 for a simple reason: it’s a book that’s meant to be heard, not read. On the page, Fey is plenty witty, but in audio she’s able to showcase her knack for impersonations and impeccable comic timing. The same goes for many of the perennial big names in comedic audiobooks, from Sedaris (David and Amy), Rakoff and Vowell, to Stewart and Colbert. This isn’t to say that audiobook publishers require big name comedians on their rosters—just that the value of hearing an author interpret his or her own work shouldn’t be underestimated as a key selling point.

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Now Playing: The Emotional Life of Your Brain

Adam Boretz -- March 26th, 2012

I was thumbing through The New York Times Bestseller Lists this weekend, when I discovered that Richard J. Davidson and Sharon Begley’s The Emotional Life of the Brain was sitting at the No. 14 position on the Hardcover Advice List.

And that — quite naturally — led me to the audio edition, narrated by Arthur Morey and available from Brilliance Audio.

The book looks at the differences between people — e.g. why certain people recover quickly from setbacks, while others wallow in despair; why some people are highly attuned to others, while others are not; why some people are always up and others always down — and provides analysis and answers via an entirely new model of our emotions, as well as their origins, power, and malleability.

Check out THIS LINK for an audio excerpt and be sure to watch the following video about the book from Penguin.

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Audible’s 5th Annual Tournament of Audiobooks

Adam Boretz -- March 26th, 2012

If college basketball isn’t really your thing and you love audiobooks and you’re still looking for a little March Madness, then you’ve got to check out Audible’s 5th Annual Tournament of Audiobooks.

But what is Audible’s 5th Annual Tournament of Audiobooks? Quite simply, it’s the greatest single-elimination audiobooks tournament in the world. Thirty-two audiobooks — everything from Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Patti Smith’s Just Kids to George R.R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus — from four categories — Editors’ Picks, Customer Favorites, Bestsellers, and Critically Acclaimed — face off to become The Champion of Audiobooks.

Check out the following Pre-Tournament Primer for all the details and a rundown on this year’s key match-ups:

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Publishers Weekly Audio Summit

Adam Boretz -- March 22nd, 2012

This week, Publishers Weekly invited a host of audio publishers to its New York Office for the Second Annual PW Audio Summit.

We met with everyone from Brook Forest Voices and Brilliance to Tantor and Hachette, and talked about the state of the audio industry, audio reviews, audio news, upcoming titles, and a whole lot more! Some really great discussions took place, and, moving forward, we hope to enhance our audio coverage — both at PW and here at Listen Up.

More details will be forthcoming, but for the time being, I will simply leave you with Christopher Walken’s — or an amazing Christopher Walken impersonator’s — superbly weird narration of Where the Wild Things Are:

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Now Playing: Dangling Man

Adam Boretz -- March 14th, 2012

This week, I’m listening to the audio edition of Saul Bellow’s Dangling Man.

In Bellow’s first novel (which is written in dairy format), Joseph, expecting to be drafted during World War II, gives up his job and prepares to leave for the battlefront. But when a series of mix-ups delays his entry into the Army, he finds himself facing a year of idleness in which he must deal with his inactivity as war rages.

The audio is narrated by Kirby Heyborne and available from Blackstone Audio.

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Audiobook Q&A: Jane Green

Adam Boretz -- March 13th, 2012

Our Audiobook Q&A Series returns as we chat with bestselling author Jane Green about her latest novel, Another Piece of My Heart — and the book’s audio edition, which Green  narrated herself.

1. You’ve published several bestselling books that featured audio editions read by professional narrators? What was behind your decision to narrate Another Piece of My Heart yourself?

One of my favorite parts of doing a book tour is reading the books out loud. I lose myself completely in the characters, but was always nervous of reading due to the not-insignificant fact of me being English, whereas my characters are American. The wonderful Laura Wilson at Macmillan Audio was entirely skeptical before my audition, but I passed!

2. How was the recording process for you? Was it what you expected? Was it different?

The recording process was more tiring than I expected, and more fun. The hardest thing was realizing how much editing I needed to do — reading my words out loud made every mistake and repetition glaringly obvious. Thank heavens it wasn’t too late to make changes. I sat there with pencil in hand, scribbling across the manuscript as I read.

3. What did you do to prepare before you stepped into the recording booth?

Not enough. I had the voices for the major characters, but not the minor ones who kept appearing unexpectedly. That’s the kind of thing a professional actor can pull off wonderfully, making it look so natural.

4. What was the biggest challenge? Continue reading

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Fantasy Celebrity Audiobook Castings

Adam Boretz -- March 12th, 2012

Ever since Audible launched its A-List Collection, audio fans everywhere have been fantasizing about their ultimate audiobook castings.

Recently, FlavorWire entered the fray — and you should definitely check out Emily Temple’s amazing list of Audiobooks and the Celebrities Who Were Born To Read Them.

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Audible Launches “The A-List Collection”

Adam Boretz -- March 8th, 2012

Audible today launched its highly anticipated audiobook series, The A-List Collection.

The collection showcases audio performances from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. The first set of books available for download includes Anne Hathaway’s performance of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Kate Winslet’s performance of Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola, Samuel L. Jackson’s performance of A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes, and Susan Sarandon’s performance of The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring these breathtaking performances of literature to our rapidly expanding population of listeners,” Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz said in a statement. “Audible has consistently sought to elevate the quality of audiobook narration, and we hope this collection will expose an even broader audience to the rich palette of performances that makes listening to audiobooks so pleasurable.”

The A-List Collection features a roster of celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star helped select. Additional audio performances in the series will include the following: Continue reading

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