In researching the topic on audio books, I discovered that many people prefer to listen to certain books rather than reading them. For busy people who have long commutes to and from work, audio books are the perfect solution for consuming information on the road or listening to a favorite novel or science fiction fantasy. And of course, for people without the ability sight (or those with limited vision), audio books are excellent vehicles to use in opening the world of literature in the audible format. Their inner literary universe is greatly enhanced with the voice activation of audio books.

Over time, Audio have grown in popularity, starting out as books on cassettes and then moving to the CD which became available to the general public approximately three decades ago, mostly in libraries or by subscription. Later, bookstores began stocking the audio book, taking up a shelf or two. By the late 1990s, things really began to change as the big retailers started  featuring whole walls of audio books. Fast forward to today and the rapid growth of the "DIGITAL AGE" and downloads, and we are clearly in the midst of a new era in the production and consumption of this new medium.

Here are some numbers and technological factors that will continue to drive the growth in audio books: (1) the audio book industry is  currently estimated to be worth $1.2 billion and growing, thus it is a billion-dollar industry with huge annual sales growth. (2) one of the technological factors driving this growth is the smartphone, which makes an audio book a very portable medium. (3) In writing for the Wall Street Journal, author Alexandra Alter states that the audio surge is changing the very way people read, "creating a new breed of literary omnivores who see narrated books and text as interchangeable."  (4) there is a growing audience of people who are stating that they can "retain and relate to information better when it is presented in audio."

Here are some comments and excerpts by people who are enjoying audio books:

"I love audiobooks! I walk 7 to 8 miles a day, listening to wonderful books; it keeps me completely entertained and keeps me physically fit. What could be better?!"

"My two favorite loves are reading and quilting. With audio books I am able to do both at once! Utilizing my library enables me to download the audio book and then when it is due, it magically disappears from my computer! No late fees."

"One gentleman who is a lifelong bookworm, managed to read only four books last year, however, he listened to 54 books, all unabridged."

"People are listening to audio books in the car, eating lunch, doing the dishes, sitting in doctors' offices or waiting for appointments."

And think of the many people out there who are not readers, and don't normally find themselves picking up a book. However, they may find themselves getting very absorbed in an audio book. My point in all of this discussion is that we are not looking at a FAD that will away by next year. This is the beginning of a major trend which will continue to grow exponentially for the rest of this century.

In addition, for those of us who would like to SEE our science fiction publications ultimately developed into films, the audio version (if handled correctly) is the closest thing to experiencing what your project would be like in an actual visual production. Another thing that a science fiction writer should keep in mind, is that the audio version of a publication could represent the first step towards developing a film adaptation of the a book. Taking the time to develop a great audio version of a publication and sending it to potential independent filmmakers for review, could build a stronger case for a deal and a film production.

Khafra K Om-Ra-Seti
Author/Publisher
KMT Publications

Subscribe to Newsletter: Black Futurists Showcase News
Email: omrasetibooks@yahoo.com
Fax: 866-369-1008



 


 






 

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Suggestions on Conscious audio books?

I love audio books. I started listening to them after encountering a 90 minute (both ways) commute everyday. I quickly discovered that I could finish a book a week by multitasking my commute. Its an excellent use of your time, and there are some great titles out there. The best so far has been World War Z, but there are others that have large cast and a soundtrack.

There's a large collection of audio books available, that includes scifi titles. I have managed to listen to most of the books by H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke while working out at the gym or commuting to and from work. I also listen to non-fiction and other genres such as mysteries such as Sherlock Holmes. 

I'm currently listening to Endymion Hyperion book #3 by Dan Simmons. All of the books have been quite long (20-36 hours!). It would have taken me forever to read if I tried to squeeze in time to sit and do it. 

Another great thing is if you have a PDF or .DOC version of a book that is not an audio book, you can make your own by using text to speech software! There are some decent software programs that minimize the robotic sounding reader to a more human sounding voice. 

Overall, big thumbs up!



babatu rudo said:

Suggestions on Conscious audio books?

I'm not sure what you mean by "conscious audio books", however, if you are talking about non-fiction books with serious intellectual content, then this format is excellent. It was my experience in listening to "Stolen Legacy" by George G.M. James (narrated by Anthony Stewart) that started me on the path of converting all of my publications (both fiction and non-fiction) into audio books. As I move forward with new projects, every book that I take the time and energy to write, will also become an audio book. We have just converted "The Life and Work of Oscar Micheaux: Pioneer Black Author and Filmmaker 1884-1951" (should be available by September 2014) into the audio book medium. Also, we are currently working on "Black Futurists in the Information Age: Vision of a Technological Renaissance in the 21st Century".  Both of these projects are non-fiction books with very serious intellectual content. Many people did not bother to read "Black Futurists", however I'm hoping that we will find an audience that is willing to "listen" to our deep discussion of the Information Age Revolution and its impact on the Black world in the 21st century. 

babatu rudo said:

Suggestions on Conscious audio books?

It is my conviction that in time (prior to 2020), the audio book medium will become a "multiple" billion dollar   industry with a devoted global audience.  As more people discover this medium, the greater the popularity will become, even with people who never really found reading to be an enjoyable experience!

You mentioned the big production audio books that includes a large cast and soundtrack. In most cases these are big budget projects that are absolutely great to produce, especially when you have both male and female voices and various character types. An audio book certainly has the capability of bringing "New Life" and an added "Dimension" to a book project.
Darrell Williams said:

I love audio books. I started listening to them after encountering a 90 minute (both ways) commute everyday. I quickly discovered that I could finish a book a week by multitasking my commute. Its an excellent use of your time, and there are some great titles out there. The best so far has been World War Z, but there are others that have large cast and a soundtrack.

There's a large collection of audio books available, that includes scifi titles. I have managed to listen to most of the books by H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke while working out at the gym or commuting to and from work. I also listen to non-fiction and other genres such as mysteries such as Sherlock Holmes. 

I'm currently listening to Endymion Hyperion book #3 by Dan Simmons. All of the books have been quite long (20-36 hours!). It would have taken me forever to read if I tried to squeeze in time to sit and do it. 

Another great thing is if you have a PDF or .DOC version of a book that is not an audio book, you can make your own by using text to speech software! There are some decent software programs that minimize the robotic sounding reader to a more human sounding voice. 

Overall, big thumbs up!



babatu rudo said:

Suggestions on Conscious audio books?

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