Tech and Industry

Meet the New Maryland audio media company poised to take over the market... RBmedia's reach already includes spoken audio content, but the audiobook acquisition opens up a whole new audience, including listeners on platforms like Sonos, CarPlay, Android Auto and across over 10,000 libraries worldwide that use RBmedia’s tech for book lending. Techcrunch.com reports that the Maryland-based company had already enjoyed a strong library business, but the Audiobooks.com acquisition represents its direct-to-consumer efforts.

Publisher's Weekly recently reported that last year was the first time in five years that hardcover print book sales overtook e-books. But audiobooks sales are still experiencing tremendous growth. That said, consumers are moving away from e-readers sales and are migrating to print rather than being lost.

Goodreader.com reports that if you search for murder mystery or steamy romance, you are brought to a million sites, most of which do not have podcasts or are click baity top 10 type of things. Audiosear.ch specializes in being the best podcast directory and is worth checking out.

AudioBookMaker lets you create audiobooks from text files or text that you copy or add to the program. The application supports the plain text format, and you may import Microsoft Word (only if Office is installed) and HTML files as well, says ghacks.net. Could this be an aid to busy narrators struggling to pre-read their projects?

Listening Trends

Like speed reading, speed listening presents a false sense of accomplishment: exposure to the content that, due to limiting that exposure to less-than-natural pacing, poses deleterious effects to comprehension, retention, and, yes, even enjoyment of what is being consumed. NoShelfRequired shared the perception that Speed Listening is not really a discussion of audiobook listening; instead, the subject is the avoidance of listening, and, thereby, the avoidance of actually falling into the audiobook.

The audiobook for George Saunders' latest book and first novel, "Lincoln in the Bardo" has a cast of 166, including David Sedaris, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullally and Don Cheadle. The LA Times asks:  "Can you identify the voice in this excerpt?"

A scroll.in writer admits: '...the fact of “being-read-to” became, for a whole fortnight and for the first time since childhood, this wonderfully soothing sea where I bobbed around to the freshness of contemporary Hindi popular fiction.'

International Audiobook News

According to TheBookSeller.com, The Digital Economy Bill, one of the last to be passed before the pre-election dissolution of Parliament, became law at the end of last week (27th April). From 1st July 2018, PLR will now apply to e-book and audiobooks loaned remotely, with the first payments to authors due to be paid in arrears in January 2020. The rate of payment will be the same as for physical books (currently 7p per loan).

In Britain,The Sun covered an interesting story about Audible beaming an audiobook into space for the first time ever. HUNDREDS of people witnessed a one-of-a-kind event designed for both earthlings and aliens alike to intercept, the audio drama Alien: River of Pain was transmitted from the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

The Bookseller is pleased to share with the APA members their article the state of audio in the UK and some pre-publication alerts. 

Audiobooks for the Print-disabled

Maltese-language books have finally become accessible to children with visual impairment, as a local publisher and a team of actors have got together to produce the first set of professional audiobooks. The Times of Malta reports on this new program.

The Saigon-gpdaily reports that the Department of Justice in Ho Chi Minh City and Library for Blind People yesterday jointly organized a meeting about a program to introduce audio books on law for visually impaired people.

The Free Press Journal recently covered a story about India making great strides toward providing equal access to printed texts for its visually-impaired population. Nine empowering services reach out to those with sight challenges and offer them audible and tactile alternative texts.

Narration tidbit

“Voice work” is the term for adding accent, dialect and specific distinctive qualities to different characters’ voices in audiobooks. Some avid audiobook consumers love it, some hate it. Lithub investigated how, like hot sauces, Southern accents are perhaps their own little cottage industry