Monthly Archives: June 2012

Audiobook Q&A: Xe Sands

Adam Boretz -- June 29th, 2012

Today our Audiobook Q&A series returns — AND HOW! — to help celebrate the conclusion of Audiobook Week and June is Audiobook Month with an in-depth talk with one of our favorite narrators, Xe Sands. During our interview — which Listen Up is posting in conjunction with Sands’s Going Public — Xe thanks the narrators who have helped her during her career, offers tips for aspiring audiobook narrators, and tells us what’s she’s working on next.

1. In one of his June Is Audiobook Month videos, Robert Fass describes you as “breaking out this year” with a string of very successful and well-received audio productions. Do you see this as a breakout year? Why or why not.                                             

I was honored that Robert included me in his excellent JIAM video series and his wonderful introduction gave me something to think about. It’s tempting to consider your first year or two working steadily or in which you begin receiving industry recognition as your “breakout” year, but I would counter with this: breaking out implies pushing past the boundaries of whatever box you’re in — expanding and growing. Positive reception and professional recognition is a part of that, but I’d offer that there also needs to be that “something else.” This year marks a sea change in my approach to narration. With the help of a very insightful mentor, I’ve spent the better part of 2012 diving into my delivery to identify what is/isn’t working for listeners, and what should or shouldn’t change. It’s been a remarkable and sometimes painful process of falling out of love with how I sound and into love with what I do. If this process has led to a more fulfilling experience for listeners, it has been well worth it. And by that measure, I would consider this a breakout year.

2. How did you get your start in audio narration? And what tips would you offer aspiring narrators? Continue reading


New Tantorious Podcast Features Carrie Vaughn and Marguerite Gavin

Adam Boretz -- June 28th, 2012

Our pals over at Tantor have released their latest Tantorious Podcast — this time featuring and interview with author Carrie Vaughn and audiobook narrator Marguerite Gavin.

For more on the Tantorious Podcasts check out THIS LINK — or just head over to Tantor’s iTunes Page and listen for yourself.


Now Playing: Keiko the Koala

Adam Boretz -- June 27th, 2012

If you’re looking for an audiobook for the kids, you might want to check out Brook Forest Voices’ audio edition of Jill Ann Storti’s Keiko the Koala.

The audiobook is narrated by Tara Saltzman and available in traditional audio formats and as an enhanced e-book, which works as an educational tool by allowing children to both read along the book and listen to the narration.

For a sneak peek of the enhanced e-book of Keiko the Koala, let’s go to the videotape:




Audible Launches App for Windows Phone

Adam Boretz -- June 26th, 2012

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.


Is Bardowl the Spotify of Audiobooks?

Adam Boretz -- June 25th, 2012

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.


Audiobook Week Is Nigh

Adam Boretz -- June 22nd, 2012

AudiobookWeek2012 picture With June Is Audiobook Month winding down, that means only one thing: it’s almost Audiobook Week 2012 — an annual event hosted by Devourer of Books.

This year, Audiobook Week is from June 25th to June 29th — and it is definitely not to be missed.

For all the details and discussion topics, check out THIS LINK. And we’ll be back on Monday to join in the start of Audiobook Week.


James Lee Burke Talks Audiobooks

Adam Boretz -- June 21st, 2012

Check out this great video from Simon & Schuster Audio of author James Lee Burke talking about audiobooks, the tradition of oral storytelling, and the skills of narrator Will Patton — who has recorded the audio editions of all of Burke’s books. Let’s go to the videotape:


June Is Audiobook Month Videos

Adam Boretz -- June 20th, 2012

Here at Listen Up, we’re huge fans of StudioRMF’s amazing June Is Audiobook Month Videos featuring Robert Fass and a host of audiobook narrators and audio industry insiders.

Fass has been posting one video every day during June, and they’re really too good to be missed.

Click THIS LINK for all the videos, and check out the latest installment — featuring narrator Steven Crossley talking about his 36-hour narration of Ford Madox Ford’s classic Parade’s End — right here:


Behind The Audio: In One Person

Adam Boretz -- June 19th, 2012

If you’re a John Irving fan, you’re going to want to check out the audio edition of his latest novel, In One Person, narrated by John Benjamin Hickey and available from Simon & Schuster Audio.

Today in Behind The Audio, we’re happy to bring you the following video of Hickey talking about his experiences recording In One Person. And after you watch the video, don’t forget to check out THIS LINK for an audio excerpt.


Behind The Audio: Nancy Tillman

Adam Boretz -- June 18th, 2012

Today in Behind The Audio, we take you into the studio with beloved children’s book author Nancy Tillman, who recently recorded the audio edition of On the Night You Were Born.

The audiobook — to be packaged as a set with the print edition of On the Night You Were Born — will be available from Macmillan Audio, which kindly shared this behind-the-scenes shot of Tillman in the recording booth.