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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Amateur Audio Podcasts Catch Fire

I've thought of doing this myself- it really is gaining popularity. Heck, I have super-secret information that even a future podcast of Sonic Society is going to be a reading of three short stories... :-)

I just love Xeni- she has great posts over on the Boing Boing Blog.

Column by Xeni Jardin Xeni Tech


Amateur Audio Books Catch Fire on the Web

Day to Day, February 1, 2006 · Literature fans looking for something beyond Oprah Winfrey's book club are discovering a new kind of club on the Internet -- Web sites that offer audio versions of books, voiced by fans instead of professional voice actors.

Like many other Web-based phenomena, the popularity of the amateur audiobooks has led to an odd type of fame for some of the people behind those voices.

Kara Shallenberg, a stay-at-home mom in Oceanside, Calif., has voiced more than 100 chapters of books for a site called Librivox. Another volunteer from Oklahoma, R. Francis Smith, voices chapters from Bram Stoker's Dracula, some Grimm Brothers fairy tales, even the entire New Testament.

In addition to bringing new fans to literary classics, sites like Librivox can also bring new authors to reading audiences. Publishing companies may not want to release older or more obscure book titles in traditional audiobook format because of the financial risk.

With fan-created book podcasts, money isn't the point -- most of the titles are already in the public domain, and it doesn't matter if five people or five million end up tuning in.

Other sites feature writers who see podcasting as a way to attract new audiences. "As both sites become more popular, writers and publishers may discover it's all good for book business," says Jardin. "And book fans may discover a lot more to like."

Audio Book Podcasts


Evo Terra said...

Sigh. It's too bad that Xeni listed us as having only SF/F titles on We've got mysteries, essays, non-fiction...

Oh well. Press is press, right? And thanks for spreading the word, much as you've done a few days back. Gotta find a way to tap your wide knowledge of the field...


Audio Addict said...

Yes you are correct! Here is the post about that:

You are welcome for spreading the word- I'm an addict, how can I not? ;-)