June 7th, 2010 by Carrie Vaughn
June is Audiobook Month

This week I’m going to put in a plug for somebody else.  June is Audiobook Month, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association.  See also

I have to be honest, I hadn’t thought much about audiobooks because I don’t listen to them often myself.  The one time I really did was the weekend I was stuck in bed with a broken collarbone and couldn’t physically hold a book.  But that right there goes to show you how incredibly useful they can be — a lifeline to people who really really need them.

Then my own books came out in audio formats last year, and I suddenly started learning a lot more about them.  (Like I started learning about romance when my novels started getting cross-promoted as romance.)  I learned that lots and lots of people love audiobooks, and many of my readers were thrilled to have them in that form.

From my perspective, this is fabulous.  The more ways readers — and listeners — have to enjoy my books, and the happier they are about it, the happier I am.

It should come as no surprise that like a lot of other aspects of the business, the author doesn’t have a whole lot of say in how things get done in audio publishing.  I didn’t know who was going to be reading my books, and I didn’t have a say in it. (Marguerite Gavin reads all the Kitty novels, and in most people’s opinion does a fine job.)  One place where we do have a say is in the contract — abridged or unabridged?  If you’re negotiating for an abridged audiobook, the contract should state that you get to approve the abridged version of the script.  Fortunately, mine are unabridged, which I think is awesome.

What about you?  Audiobook fan?  Not so much?  What do you look for in a good audiobook?

The Kitty audiobooks are published by Tantor Media.  They’ve got some clips to listen to on their website, here.

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7 comments to “June is Audiobook Month”

  1. Shawn R
     · June 7th, 2010 at 8:08 am · Link

    Sometimes I listen to audiobooks, especially if I’m taking a long drive. Because I’m not terribly familiar with audiobroks, I don’t know the best readers/actors, so I don’t look for the readers’ names; I just take my chances and so far have been pleased.

    When I look for an audiobook by authors I enjoy, the single most important thing for me is that they be unabridged. In a good book, every word matters, and I think abridging it is absurd.

  2. Jason
     · June 7th, 2010 at 9:49 am · Link

    I’ve never listened to an audiobook but I know some friends that do when they take long drives. There’s so many aspects to publishing it must daunting LOL. U.S. rights, International rights, movie rights, print rights, e-book rights, audiobook rights … definitely an education in itself.

  3. Laura Marcella
     · June 7th, 2010 at 10:38 am · Link

    When I was a kid, I had The Chronicles of Narnia on cassette tapes (!). I liked listening to them while falling asleep. Loved the stories of course, and the British accent was so soothing! I also had a bunch of Dr. Seuss and Disney stories on cassette tape.

    I don’t have any audiobooks now, but if I had a long commute in traffic every day I know I’d definitely invest in audio books! Or, since I can’t read while riding in a car (it makes me nauseous), I’d buy some audio books if I was on a long road trip.

  4. Tracey
     · June 7th, 2010 at 2:47 pm · Link

    Huge fan. I listen to audiobooks every day, to & from work and recommend them to everyone I know. Unabridged all the way!

    My son is dyslexic and audiobooks are tremendously helpful for him in that he listens to the books he’s reading for school, to absorb the material more. Plus given the struggle he has reading, he’ll listen to a variety of titles and has found new authors he’s willing to read after the first introduction via an audiobook.

  5. Teresa C
     · June 7th, 2010 at 10:19 pm · Link

    Audiobooks are wonderful. I have been listening to them for probably 10 years now. Wonderful thing to have when doing data entry for a living. Listening to a book has made keying in millions of numbers over the years easier.

    The other time to listen to a book, is when exercising. Walking just a little more, to finish a scene, is a good thing.

    A good narrator can bring a book to life, and emphasize aspects of a book in a way that changes the way you see a book. Or, can even have me finish a book. For some reason, I couldn’t finish reading Kitty in the Midnight Hour. But, 2 years later, I bought it from, and sped right through the entire series. I don’t know why I can listn to some books, and not read them, but there are definitly some books that cry out to be listened to.

  6. Taryn Elliott
     · June 8th, 2010 at 3:37 pm · Link

    I love, love, LOVE Audio books–as long as the right person is reading/narrating. MERCY, nothing worse than a bad reader.

    Susan Erickson does a lot of Nora’s especially the In Death series and does an AMAZING job. Kimberly Alexis is redoing all the Anita Blake stories and she’s hella fun..even cheezy things that are added can be fun as heck!

    BUT..i listened to the Black Dagger Brotherhood Rhev book…and OMG…the narrator was NOT suited to that book. It was terrible.

    So it really depends on the reader – they can make or break the experience, imho.

  7. Andrew Mckay
     · June 13th, 2010 at 9:33 am · Link

    Thanks, I was just thinking of buying the black dagger brother hood audio. I will stick to just reading it then.

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