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Information on AudioBooks - What is an AudioBook?

What is an audio book?  


Audiobooks are readings of books down by usually one reader. They can be Abridged or Unabridged (more about that later). They can also be dramatised with multiple actors reading different characters.       

Why listen to Audiobooks?

Human Beings have long had an oral tradition. We used to sit around the campfire listening to stories. Children love having stories read to them. Audiobooks are in that oral tradition. More than that  you can listen to audio books when you are doing something else. Many people get terribly car sick (well car sick, bus sick, plane sick...any kind of motion sick), and for them there is no way to read a book while in a car or a bus (or anything moving). An audio book is fantastic on  along car/bus/plane/boat journey. The just time flies as you are taken away on an imaginary journey that is just like reading (except you can keep you eyes closed)

Audio Books are great when you are doing boring things. When you do the vacuuming, cleaning the house .... Take an audio book while you do the gardening, taking a walk ..

Audio Books are good for all sorts of other people

Audio Books are great for children on long car trips, boys (its usually boys) who don't like to read - get them to listen to an adventure Audio Book and they will be hooked. - Good for older people with failing eyesight. Sitting in hospital, or recuperating from an illness can be much more enjoyable listening to an Audio Book.

Truck Drivers and other long distance drivers often use Audio Books for fatigue management. Its a great way to keep you alert and attentive on a long drive.

Audio Books can give you a different perspective.

 For example listening to an Audio Bible can be totally different to reading the Bible. Some Bible Audio Books are voiced with multiple actors voices giving the Bible a theatrical feeling. Some other Audio Books have been recorded with multiple voices - BBC Lord of the Rings, the Star Wars Trilogy, the New "Dune" AudioBook. These Audio Books become more like movie versions of books than standard Audio Books.

Abridged vs Unabridged 

Abridged Audiobooks, and a cut-down version of the book, which may be anything to a quarter of its length to three quarters. Unabridged Audiobooks have every word of the book read.

Learning new things with AudioBooks

There are many Business Audio Books , audio books that allow you listen to great business ideas while you are driving around to appointments. Audio Books like Psychology of Selling, Freakonomics and Buffetology.  There are some great History Audio Books  titles as well. Stephen Ambrose Band of Brothers , John M Barry The Great Influenza, Bill Bryson - A Short History of nearly Everything. 

Great Motivation from AudioBooks

There are great motivational Audio Books like Anthony Robbins Audio Books  (Awaken the Giant, Live with Passion...) Dr Phil Audio Books for solving life's problems and  Zig Ziglar for example, which you can listen to time again. Some people listen to Anthony Robbins while lifting weights at the Gym...


Audio Books make great gifts

 An Audio Book is something different to give as a gift. Just find out what sort of player they have (e.g. do they have a tape player, a CD player at home or in their car) and get the sort of book you think they would like. There are plenty of bestsellers around where you can't go to far wrong, and you can never go wrong buying a child a Harry Potter Audio Books (there are six of them now - soon to be seven!) 


The disappointments of Buying Audio Books on-line


Some Audio Books sellers have the Audio Book they are selling ready to post, but most do not. 

Most On-line AudioBook sellers  are what are called drop shippers. This means that the Audio Book seller has either NO audio books at all, or maybe a few of the best sellers. This means most time when they get your on-line purchase they turn around and then order it from the publisher. The publisher will send it to the on-line retailer and then the on-line retailer will send it to you once they have received it. The problem with this is its really slow!. You are relying on the publisher not the on-line retailer , and if the publisher is busy (Christmas, holidays etc) you will just have to wait. Worse still is when an on-line retailer sells you an Audio Book that has gone out of stock at the publisher. This will take time to find out, and in the end all you will get is a refund ...no Audio Book.

We order Audio Books from publishers all the time, andwe  know how often they suddenly go out of stock (even really popular titles), or are really slow in delivery. Trust an online Audio Book seller who really has the Audio Book in their hands - ask them if you are not sure!

Most of the biggest on-line Audiobook sellers  in Australia are drop shippers - they do not have audiobooks in stock!

get free AudioBooks at http://librivox.org/

More free AudioBooks at Gutenberg

The Definitive Audio book guide at Wikipedia

Audio Book Formats

Audio Books on Tape

Tape Audio Books have been around the longest. Advantages are, that they are very robust. You can have them rattling around in your car for long trips and play them many times, and they will be fine. Libraries lend out audio books in tape format for this reason. Disadvantages are, that new books are harder to get in tape format now. If you can get Audio Books in tape format they are harder to get, and sometimes will only be in abridged format.

Audio Books on CD

Audio Books on CD are now the most common Audio Book format available, and are generally easier to obtain than Tape Audio Books. Unabridged Audio Books are more commonly available now, resulting in some very large books now being available in Audio Books format - for example Eldest by Christopher Paolini is 20 CDs! totalling 23.5 hours of Audio Book!. Harry Potter Audio Books also have between 10 and 20 disks. The disadvantage of Audio Books on CD however is that despite what we were told when CD's where introduced years ago, they are not very tough. You need to keep the CD's protected, and I suggest that when you travel with a CD Audio Book you buy a separate CD holder with soft sleeves that you can protect your CD Audio Book with. They are better protection than the boxes the CD Audio Books come in.

Audio Books on mp3

This is the newest most exciting development in Audio Books. There are not a lot of titles around, but they give you great flexibility of how you play you Audio Book. Mp3 Audio Books are provided to you in disk format, and generally they are only one, or sometimes two disks. You can play these Audio Books on your disk based mp3 player. The great thing however is that you can copy them over to your iPOD, or Pocket PC, or Palm, or flash based mp3 player. Alternatively you can play the Audio Book on your computer and listen while you surf!

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