How Are Audiobooks Made?

Did you catch my presentation at the local library for reader/listeners who wanted to know the behind-the-scenes life of an audiobook?

Colleen McCubbin of Siretona Creative introducing me at the library

Each in-person attendee was asked to fill in a questionnaire. I have aggregated the results here because they prove that audiobooks are really, really popular. They are growing not only in interest and audience, but in technique, craft, and form!

Question 1: Do you prefer print, ebook, audiobook, or all three?

Almost everybody agreed that each format gives its own unique experience. We like the feel of a paper copy. We like to turn pages. We measure the length and the expected duration of our experience with tactile accuracy. We like audio because our hands can be busy with the mundane while our heads are full of fantasy, or instruction.

One respondent has difficulty with her eyes and prefers listening. This is interesting because historically audiobooks have a reputation as “books for the blind.” But this is no longer the case!

Question 2: How many audiobooks do you listen to in a month?

Two people came to the presentation not having listened to any audiobooks, ever! I was surprised and hope they were inspired to do so. One person listened to 10-20 depending on the length of the book.

Question 3: Where do you find your audiobooks? What app(s) do you use?

CD’s, bookstores, and Overdrive (libraries) were the portal of choice. Again, the CD’s satisfy our tactile comfort. Overdrive is an app that libraries use to deliver audiobooks to their cardholders.

Two respondents make their own audiobooks for private consumption! That is dedicated reading!

Question 4: What device do you use to listen?

CD players, phones and tablets, depending on whether the listener needed to be mobile or stationary.

Question 5: When and/or where do you like to listen?

Driving, working on crafts, gardening, dog walking, housework. One respondent said she struggled with sleep and audiobooks help her get through the night.

Question 6: Do you have a favourite narrator?

Most of the respondents did have one narrator whose books they would buy no matter what the book. Some could not name that narrator off the top of their heads, but most could.

This event was such a success, I hope to repeat it in the near future. The High River Times featured the story and I am looking forward to speaking there soon!

Fred Ash, Anička Hanzalíková, Colleen McCubbin, Nicola MacCameron in front of the Okotoks Library

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