Listen up, folks: June is audiobook month
Published: May 3, 2011
|My love affair with audiobooks started about 15 years ago when I faced a long commute to work. I needed to find a way to make the time pass and keep my blood pressure low as I worked my way through traffic. Even though I had thought it would be weird to hear one person read the story and all the different characters’ parts, I decided to give audiobooks a try.|
I trudged to my local library and loaded up on mysteries and thrillers. Soon I was listening to books everywhere I drove, whether I was commuting to work, running errands or taking a long road trip.
I almost hated it when I occasionally had a passenger in my car, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch up on my latest book. Sometimes I even found myself sitting in my driveway for several minutes before I went into the house just so I could finish a chapter or the end of a book.
Frankly, I consider myself an audiobook addict, and I try to recruit more listeners any time I have the chance.
I’m not alone in my efforts to spread the word. June is audiobook month, and to celebrate, the Audio Publishers Association (APA) has enlisted the help of more than 50 well-known authors. On June 1, writers including Judy Blume, Deepak Chopra, Cory Doctorow, Sue Grafton, James Patterson, Anne Rice and Lisa Scottoline will express their passion for audiobooks through recommendations and personal anecdotes on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and their blogs. On Twitter, watch for hashtags #JIAM, #JIAM2011 and #GCL2011.
In addition to the social-media blitz, the APA will offer free audiobook samples, author and narrator interviews, and other resources on its website, audiopub.org, where you can also find a complete list of participating authors and narrators.
The APA, a trade association for the audiobook industry, hopes that the tweets, Facebook posts, videos and blog entries will get more people listening to books. Last year’s campaign reached an audience of about 4 million.
Over the years, I’ve listened to hundreds of books and have come to appreciate the value of hearing work read out loud. For a writer, listening to an audiobook is not only enjoyable, it’s a learning experience. A good narrator brings the characters alive using accents, speech patterns and emotion, which is a great way to study dialogue.
Audiobooks can also make a story’s narrative arc and structure more apparent, because the story is played out almost as if it were a movie. By paying attention to these aspects of an audiobook, you’ll glean insights into what it takes to create a good story.
I no longer have a long commute, but I’m still plugged into an audiobook every chance I get. I listen when I’m exercising, washing dishes, gardening, getting ready for bed—in short, whenever someone isn’t talking to me. I still enjoy reading, but listening to a good audiobook is one of my greatest pleasures.