Dedicated Audiobooks App for Romance Fans Coming to iOS

Dedicated Audiobooks App for Romance Fans Coming to iOS

Audiobooks.com, the streaming and downloading audiobook service for fans of the format, announced its new dedicated romance app that will put bestselling steamy titles in one easily found location. This app, available currently only for iOS, will contain thousands of new titles and best sellers, and a large and growing selection of audiobooks to choose from. Authors like Nicholas Sparks, E. L. James, and Maya Banks, just to name a few, are already in their catalog.

“We wanted to create an app that’s tailored to specific tastes so we can really personalize the user experience,” says Sanjay Singhal, CEO of Audiobooks.com, in a press release. “We’ve seen a strong and growing popularity of romance audiobooks through our service and have had great success connecting to readers through romance book bloggers and communities. When we decided to start developing genre-specific extensions of the Audiobooks.com app, it just made sense to start there.”

This app, which will let users stream romance titles over both wifi and 3G connections, will offer the fastest connection times and a streamlined experience for iOS users. While Audiobooks.com does offer an Android app through the Google Play store, the romance-specific app is only available through Apple’s App Store.

“The Romance Audiobooks app is Audiobooks.com’s fastest, most responsive app yet and allows users to stream books anytime, anywhere over Wi-Fi and 3G networks. Specifically designed for iOS devices, the app features an intuitive, user-friendly interface for easy browsing and listening. Listeners can use their accounts to access books on both the Romance Audiobooks app and the original Audiobooks.com app for increased variety and selection. Both apps are available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad in the Apple App Store.”

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Dedicated Audiobooks App for Romance Fans Coming to iOS

AudiobookNow Partners With Oasis Audio, Adds 1,000 Titles to Their Catalogue

AudiobookNow Partners With Oasis Audio, Adds 1,000 Titles to Their Catalogue

Audiobook Now has announced they have added more than 1,000 titles from Oasis Audio to their catalogue, bringing their audiobook offerings to more than 30,000 at present. The partnership with Oasis Audio also makes them the 10th biggest audiobook publisher to share content with Audiobooks Now. This will also act to boost the digital audiobook provider’s offering of religious and inspirational themed books given Oasis Audio’s penchant to come up with such titles that promote healthy living, positive growth and so on. Oasis Audio is already counted among the biggest producer of Christian audiobooks in the US, which includes the bible though they have diversified to other genres such as fiction, non-fiction and self-help titles as well.

Speaking of the development, Doug Ross, President and CEO of AudiobooksNow said: “Personal growth has been a popular subject in our audiobook rental service for years, so we are delighted to be increasing our selection of these types of titles on digital audiobook download and streaming platform”.

AudiobookNow Partners With Oasis Audio, Adds 1,000 Titles to Their Catalogue

Major Celebrities Lend their Voices for The Legend of Drizzt Audiobook

Major Celebrities Lend their Voices for The Legend of Drizzt Audiobook

World War Z, by Max Brooks had an all-star cast loaning out their voices for the audiobook that came out at the same time as the movie. No audiobook in history has had as many voices chronicling the zombie apocalypse, until now.  The Legend of Drizzt will be hitting Audible very soon and a slew of actors will be contributing their own voices to the tale of our favorite Dark Elf.

The Legend of Drizzt: The Collected Stories features twelve novels in the collection about the iconic Dungeons & Dragons dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden.Each one is narrated by a different actor; the eclectic group of performers includes Sean Astin, Michael Chiklis, Felicia Day, David Duchovny, Tom Felton, Greg Grunberg, Dan Harmon, Ice-T, Danny Pudi, Melissa Rauch, Wil Wheaton and Al Yankovic.

The production is part of a partnership between Audible and Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast, through which Salvatore’s entire Drizzt catalog will be recorded in audio. Salvatore’s first published novel, The Crystal Shard, introduced the world to the dark elf Drizzt; since then, his books have sold more than 15 million copies in the U.S. and have been translated into 14 languages.

So what is the deal with Drizzt? He is a Dark Elf that has a moral code, amidst a matriarchal civilization that promotes backstabbing and treachery. Instead of resigning himself to this life, he transcends the Underdark to the Surface world. Many adventures ensue, and some of the most notable characters from the Forgotten Realms game setting make appearances.

Major Celebrities Lend their Voices for The Legend of Drizzt Audiobook

Listen to William Gibson Read Neuromancer

Listen to William Gibson Read Neuromancer

There aren’t many authors that narrate their own audiobooks, but this is precisely what William Gibson did in 1994. He recorded it on a series of cassette tapes and they were quietly discontinued soon thereafter. The audiobook never got published on CD’s or to the digital realm, which is a crying shame. Today, you can now download them and listen to the recording as the original author intended.

With 1984鈥檚 Neuromancer ,聽William Gibson may not have invented cyberpunk, but he certainly crystallized it. The novel exemplifies the tradition鈥檚聽mandate to bring together 鈥渉igh tech and low life,鈥?or, in the words of Gibson himself , to explore what 鈥渁ny given science-fiction聽favorite would look like if we could crank up the resolution.鈥?It may have its direct predecessors, but Gibson鈥檚 tale of hackers, street samurai, conspiracists, and shadowy artificial intelligences against聽virtual reality, dystopian urban Japan, and a variety of other international and technological backdrops remains not just archetypal but, unusually for older technology-oriented fiction, exciting. Now you can not only read Gibson鈥檚 cyberpunk-defining words, but hear them in Gibson鈥檚 voice: a 1994 abridged edition, released only on cassette tapes and now long out of print, resides聽in MP3 form online here聽 .

Neuromancer (abridged) read by William Gibson
Tape 1, side 1
Tape 1, side 2
Tape 2, side 1
Tape 2, side 2
Tape 3, side 1
Tape 3, side 2
Tape 4, side 1
Tape 4, side 2
  • An on-line copy of William Gibson’s Neuromancer
Listen to William Gibson Read Neuromancer

Amazon Whispersync for Voice Debuts in the UK

Amazon Whispersync for Voice Debuts in the UK

Amazon WhisperSync for Voice is a system that includes immersion reading and was designed to pick up where you left off in an eBook in the audio edition. It also allows you to both listen to the audiobook, while reading the eBook and text is highlighted as the words are spoken aloud. The service has just rolled out in the United Kingdom and 25,000 Kindle books and 25,000 audiobooks are supported.

Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz said: “We hear from many Kindle and Audible customers in the US that Whispersync for Voice has profoundly changed the way they read. In fact, switching back and forth between reading and listening has become their preferred way of experiencing stories. We are thrilled to be able to open this up to UK listeners and readers for the first time.”

Jorrit Van der Meulen, VP of Amazon Kindle Europe, said: “We’re working hard to help customers find more moments each day to enjoy a great book

I think WhisperSync for Voice is one of the those programs that never caught on in a big way, but people who enjoy the audiobook experience can get more synergy with the digital book edition. I know many people who read the book at night and then listen to the audiobook on the way to work or walking the dog. Its fairly cool to have both mediums synced whether you are using the iOS or Android apps, or using hardware like the Kindle Fire.

Amazon Whispersync for Voice Debuts in the UK

Digital Audiobooks are Cannibalizing Physical Audio

Digital Audiobooks are Cannibalizing Physical Audio

The global audiobook industry is currently worth 2.6 billion dollars and part of the reason why we have seen a dramatic increase in profitability is due to digital. The overall success of the digital audiobook is primarily attributed to companies such as Audible, Findaway World and Recorded Books who are the industry leaders. With any digital medium, the affects are starting to be quite evident with the decline of physical audio.

Depending on who you talk to, tapes and CD sales are falling at a rapid clip or barely growing at all.  The unilateral consensus is that physical audio overall accounted for 19% of all audio purchases in 2014, falling from 31% in 2013.  This year is looking even worse, as physical audio sales have decreased by 18%.

Most of this data has come from Nielsen BookScan, who said unit sales of physical audio barely moved the needle with a paltry 0.2% growth in 2014. Things look bleak according to the Association of American Publishers who said CD sales fell 7.7% in 2014.

Have tangible audiobook sales really fallen so profoundly in the last year? Some of the largest companies do have some problems with the data provided by Nielsen and the APP.  The Senior VP of Content and Acquisitions at Recorded Books said that those figures are not wholly representative of industry activity. “Indie publishers don’t report, and a number of larger companies are outsourcing CD production with print-on-demand agreements, so the numbers don’t get picked up.”

The primary problem as the spokesman from Recorded Books pointed out is that Indie authors never invest in a proper ISBN number. Not investing in a proper ISBN number is basically relegating your title to the shadow realm. Additionally, it is near impossible to accurately track print on demand titles due to the sheer amount of companies participating in this space and not contributing any meaningful data to the companies that track global sales.

I think one of the big reasons why tangible audio has fallen is due to the high cost of unabridged retail copies. The average CD costs $25 and it is not surprising to pay $40.00 for a bestseller such as Memory Man by David Baldacci. Digital editions cost less than a tangible edition, but not by much. The average cost is between $21 and $30 on iTunes or Audible.

Why are audiobooks so overpriced to begin with? It all comes down to concept called billable hours. Each audiobook is on average around 12 hours, which costs on average $300 and $400 an hour for a production studio and narrator. They also have to account for multiple takes and editing. The finished product after its all said and done is normally $5,000 to $6,000 to make the audiobbook.

Some companies ride on the back of star power to draw attention to audiobooks and use them for marketing purposes. World War Z hired 21 different voice actors, such as Simon Pegg, Common and Martin Scorsese. Even hiring just one famous person to narrate the book, drives the production costs up exponentially. The average cost dramatically increases to $1,000 to $1,500 per book hour and the final product costs the publisher $17,000.

Digital Audiobooks are Cannibalizing Physical Audio

I don’t know anyone that has a Walkman, Diskman or a CD player in their homes anymore. Everyone is streaming movies from an Apple TV or listening to the radio via dedicated apps for Android or iOS. It is no surprise that tape and CD sales have plummeted to such a large degree.

Digital Audiobooks are Cannibalizing Physical Audio