I’m pleased today to have a guest post from Peter Markovic, the publisher of Audioforbooks.com Audiobooks represent a good way for publishers to extend the reach of their content and produce another version of their book for people who prefer listening to reading. Here’s Peter’s post:
For hundreds of years, books have enthralled millions with their ability to provide knowledge, as well as entertainment. Books and poetry are the foundation of much of our modern forms of entertainment, including movies, plays, video games, etc. For this reason, it is not surprising that recorded books have jumped into that mix and become one of the most popular ways to enjoy the written word.
Digital: A New Era for Books
Technology has been responsible for bringing audio books to the forefront of the publishing industry. As the popularity of the internet grew, technology provided compressed audio formatting reducing file sizes and download times. The popularity of talking books increased even further with the introduction of portable media players; no longer just “music players” they are true multimedia playback devices allowing you to enjoy music, digital books and video entertainment almost anywhere.
Though the inception of the ‘talking book ‘was primarily intended as an aid for the visually impaired, today it has become a popular form of enjoying the written word by listening for all. Among the many reasons that this format of literature is so attractive, is that it allows you to enjoy the books that you love while going about your busy 21st century life.
Digital books are not limited to just all the popular genres associated with literature, fiction, non-fiction, romance, comedy etcetera, they also encompass newspapers, magazines, radio shows, podcasts and more. There is no better way to commute to work, do your shopping and other tasks while submerging you in the wonderful world of literature.
Audio books have many advantages mainly due to allowing you to listen to a book while carrying out anyone of a multitude of various tasks. Some of the more common ones are; while you are driving, walking or jogging or any other situation where you might normally be listening to music. In fact Audiobooks and music now commonly live side-by-side in many peopleís portable media player like the Apple iPod. Because you are now listening to a recorded book, your hands are now free to drive your car or ride your bike.
- Given that you are not reading the text on a page, eyestrain is no longer an issue.
- Quick and easy access, recorded books are available at most public libraries or can be purchased and downloaded directly into your media player. Audiobook clubs allow you join as a subscription member for books on CD, or as downloads.
- A proven learning aid for children, particularly when used in conjunction with a traditional copy of the book. Note: This allows children to hear how the spoken word is used in context and how it is pronounced. They are also entertaining and fun.
- Talking books by their very nature take up very little space as they are stored digitally, allowing digital backups and no need for concerns of any possible deterioration.
- Titles are usually available into various formats known as abridged and unabridged versions of the original book. An unabridged version is the full and complete text as in the original book. An unabridged format has been shortened by editing the text.
- Audio book narrators breathe life into a story; different narrators can give a story a completely different flavor.
- Audio books are very cost-effective, today often cheaper than their traditional paper book counterparts.
- Digital books are environmentally very friendly as they do not need paper.
Audio Books, A little History
It is commonly thought that talking books are a recent trend, but in reality, they have been around for a long time. The inception of the ‘talking book’ dates back to 1931 when the US Congress introduced the Books for Blind Adults program. In 1932, the first talking books were released by the American Foundation for the Blind. Mass production of these first talking books would begin in 1933, for the first time in history, the blind or visually impaired were able to enjoy the benefit of books together with sighted people.
Books on Tape
A company known as Books on Tape implemented a rental plan for distributing talking books. As the ìBooks on Tape Corporationî expanded their distribution to include libraries, talking books really began to take hold with the public and their popularity grew.
In 1986, six major talking book companies formed the Audio Publishers Association with the main purpose of promoting public awareness of the benefits of books in audio format. Audiobooks would move forward once more when in 1996 the Audio Publishers Association established the Audie Awards. Each year in January, the nominees are named, and the winners announced in the spring, at a special awards ceremony sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association.
Passionate about Audiobooks and all their advantages, Peter Markovic is the publisher of Audioforbooks.com. He and his team provide reviews, news and information for the avid audiobook reader.
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