Good news for audiobook listeners in the UK. Bardowl is a new iPhone app that lets listeners stream audiobooks on an iPhone for a monthly fee, which works kind of like Netflix for audiobooks. The company is hoping to take on Amazon’s Audible app by pitching itself as “Spotify for audiobooks.”
It could even work as a tool for publishers to help sell eBooks and print titles. Chris Book, co-founder of Bardowl, told The Guardian: “We think this is an excellent way to increase awareness of the availability of audiobooks alongside their printed and digital counterparts and a way to enable our publisher partners to market titles and enter into social conversations with their end customers.” Read more
Audiobooks made an appearance in Olympics commercials this week. In the AT&T commercial embedded above, marathon runner Ryan Hall took his smartphone for a run with a couple massive audiobooks.
If you want to follow his audiobook reading list, you can download a free audiobook copy of The Odyssey and a free audiobook copy of Moby Dick at Project Gutenberg. Those files are available for a variety of devices, just scroll down to see all your options.
Here’s AT&T’s description of the short ad: “We open on Team USA marathoner Ryan Hall, getting ready for a run. On his AT&T smartphone, he begins streaming the epic audio book, The Odyssey. It becomes clear that his run is nothing short of a marathon as he passes through different towns and terrain — all the while streaming his book over AT&T’s 4G network. With AT&T’s expansive 4G coverage, Ryan can run and run, keeping himself entertained with every step.”
SoundCloud has built a sprawling network of streaming podcasts, audiobooks and music online–an easy way for writers to share audio content on websites, Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking site.
On today’s edition of the Morning Media Menu, we interviewed SoundCloud audio content manager Evan Tenenbaum and collected advice for writers looking to use the audio platform. If you want to explore the network, check out the Books section or the Audiobooks section over at SoundCloud.
We’ve embedded the complete interview below, but here’s an excerpt: “We’ve seen a lot of publishing companies embed the audio on their site. When you are embedding audio on your own site and folks are going there specifically to find that content, I’d recommend longer pieces–maybe a chapter or even a chapter and a half, leaving it at a cliff-hanger.”
You can read the short story in the upcoming anthology, Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury Gaiman recorded the story during a crowd-funded concert in Portland, Oregon, a project called “An Evening With Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer.”
The author also posted this tribute to Bradbury on his blog: “Last week, at dinner, a friend told me that when he was a boy of 11 or 12 he met Ray Bradbury. When Bradbury found out that he wanted to be a writer, he invited him to his office and spent half a day telling him the important stuff: if you want to be a writer, you have to write. Every day. Whether you feel like it or not. That you can’t write one book and stop. That it’s work, but the best kind of work. My friend grew up to be a writer, the kind who writes and supports himself through writing. Ray Bradbury was the kind of person who would give half a day to a kid who wanted to be a writer when he grew up.”
Oscar-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg will narrate the audiobook version of Colin Fischer, an upcoming YA novel by screenwriters Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz.
Razorbill publisher Ben Schrank shared the news at BEA’s Young Adult Editor’s Buzz panel. Miller and Stentz’s film credits include Agent Cody Banks (2003), Thor (2011) and X-Men: First Class (2011).
Colin Fischer follows the journey of a fourteen-year-old high school freshmen with severe Asperger’s syndrome. This book, a “passion project” for Miller and Stentz, marks the writing team’s debut as young adult authors. Shrank and assistant editor Gillian Levinson will edit. Publication is set for November 8th.
HarperAudio will release audiobook versions of fifteen backlist titles by celebrated Czech author Milan Kundera. This marks the first time these Kundera titles will be available in audiobook format.
Actors Richmond Hoxie (fiction) and Graeme Malcolm (nonfiction) will narrate these works. They will be released throughout the rest of this year.
Executive editor Terry Karten had this statement in the release: ”The publication in audio format of the complete works of Milan Kundera, one of the most distinguished and innovative authors of our era, is a major literary event. Harper Perennial has recently reissued Kundera’s backlist with new covers featuring original artwork from the author. These developments are sure to bring renewed attention to this renowned author.”
Stephen Colbert will release his first children’s book on May 8th, and actor Tom Hanks will read the audiobook–complete with “interruptions” from the The Colbert Report star.
You can see the cover of I Am A Pole (And So Can You!) at Amazon. Above, we’ve embedded a video of Colbert talking about the book: “the inspirational story of a pole trying to find his place in the world.” According to the publisher, both Hanks and Colbert “will donate 100 percent of the monies they receive for the reading of this audio recording to U.S. Vets.”
The kid’s book began as a comic moment during Colbert’s interview with came about as a result of a two-part interview with Maurice Sendak.
Audible.com, Amazon’s audiobook e-commerce store, wants the obtain the audiobook rights for titles directly from authors. To encourage authors to work with them, Audible is launching a new program, “Audible Author Services,” in which authors can earn $1 for each audiobook sold out of a $20 million fund. (This includes sales from Audible.com, Audible.co.uk, and iTunes).
Audible explains the idea on its site: “We want to foster direct relationships with more authors. We have had great success working directly with authors, and these partnerships have led to audience expansion and greater consumption of audiobooks. We know authors work very hard to promote their books; we want to encourage authors to promote their audio versions at the same time. We want all authors in the Audible store to benefit from working with us.” Since the idea is to help support authors, the fund is only available to living authors. Read more