Tag: Audiobook

Michelle Obama is a Grammy Winner!

Michelle Obama has received a grammy this past Sunday at the 62nd Grammy Awards. She was nominated in the “Best Spoken Word Album” and won for the audiobook of her memoir, Becoming. This is the third Grammy win for the Obamas, with Former President Barack Obama winning for the first grammy in the same category for the audiobook of his memoir, Dreams of my Father.

 

Image via Amazon

Barack Obama also won another grammy back in 2008 for another memoir, The Audacity of Hope. This is Michelle’s first win for her bestselling memoir, which has sold millions of copies. The book also broke the Fifty Shades of Grey streak for staying number one on Amazon, since 2012. The book chronicles Michelle’s life, starting with her childhood and her upbringing, all the way up to her life as a First Lady, and even her life after being First Lady. She doesn’t hold back and lets all of her feelings come to light about being married to Barack Obama, and her feelings about him running for President.

 

 

 

Former First Lady, Hilary Clinton, also won a grammy for her memoir, Living History, back in 2003. Clinton, wrote the book when she was a Senator in New York. While Michelle’s is more about her life and how she managed to find a voice for herself while being a wife, mother and first lady. One of the most inspiring aspects of her memoir is how she learned to find her own life outside of her husband, and her children and stand on her own two feet and do things that were important to her.

Michelle Obama is one amazing woman, and her grammy win is well deserved.

 

Featured Image via Elite Daily

 

 


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Meryl Streep Narrates New Charlotte’s Web Audiobook

Charlotte’s Web, one of the most iconic works in children’s fiction, is getting a new audiobook! Each beloved character is voiced by a different actor, but perhaps even more exciting than this is the fact that the role of narrator is read by Meryl Streep.

 

Image via People

 

Streep is one of the Hollywood’s most revered actresses. Over the course of her career she has been nominated for 21 academy awards, has played titular characters in iconic films like The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia, and has spent the past two years starring in HBO’s Big Little Lies

 

 

Streep certainly doesn’t need the extra work (especially so soon after the premiere of Netflix’s The Laundromat, which has already received 8 award nominations), but we should all be grateful that she decided to put in for the time.

 

Streep in the late 70’s/Image via Vulture

 

On top of the privilege of getting to hear Streep’s iconically dulcet tones read one of your favorite childhood stories, this new audiobook will also feature an appreciation written and read by Melissa Sweet. Sweet, a Caldecott Honor winner, is the author and illustrator behind works like A River of Words and You Nest Here With Me.

 

 

Plus, fans of the original story can look forward to having their favorite characters brought to life by a full cast. The roles of Charlotte and Wilbur will be played by voice actors January LaVoy and Kirby Heyborne, respectively.

This new audio rendition of Charlotte’s Web will be available for listening this Tuesday, though it’s available for preorder now!

 

 

 

Featured images via People and Variety

Julie Andrews Will Voice Her New Memoir’s Audiobook

Earlier today Entertainment Weekly reported that Julie Andrews, known as the iconic leading lady in both Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, will voice the audiobook version of her forthcoming memoir Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years.

 

Image via Goodreads

 

This isn’t Andrews’ first venture into the world of writing. Previously, the actress published Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, a work that explores her difficult upbringing and earliest experiences with performing.

Home Work picks up where Home left off,  in the 60’s, when Andrews was cast by Walt Disney as the “world’s most famous nanny.”

 

 

And who better to tell her story of success than Andrews herself? Among her other talents, Andrews is often recognized by her voice. Her soothing lilt, and posh accent, is a sound that many have come to associate with childhood comfort. Children who grew up on Mary Poppins, as well as children who grew up on The Princess Diaries, all think of Andrews with the same kind of childlike love. Her career has endured for so long, she’s earned her status as Hollywood’s doting mother.

 

Image via The Irish Times

 

Home Work provides a behind-the-scenes look at the career that thrusted Andrews into icon status. The actress shares anecdotes from the sets of her most iconic works, details you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Entertainment Weekly shared one snippet about how, on a rainy day, Andrews was forced to ride in the back of an ox-drawn cart full of camera equipment to get up the muddy Alps.

 

 

In her classic, Julie Andrews charm, the actress writes:

“I happened to be wearing a fur coat. It was the 1960s after all, and the humor in the contrast between my attire and the mode of transport wasn’t lost on any of us.”

Andrews’ memoir will hit shelves on October 15th, and the audiobook will be available the same day!

Featured Image Via Wikipedia 

Audible Responds to Lawsuits, Saying Captions Are Fair Use

Is an audiobook a book? What about the captioning of an audiobook, for hearing impaired or for a quick reference? An ongoing legal battle between Audible and several major book publishers reckons with the definition of what a book even is.

 

Image via Publishers Weekly

 

How Audible’s new Captions technology works is it scrolls a few words of AI-generated captioning to accompany an audiobook’s narration. Audible responded last week with a motion of their own, calling for the publishers’ suit to be dismissed. The legalese of the motion is a tad complex, but here’s the gist of the latest development.

 

 

Audible claims its technology constitutes fair use. The motion to dismiss explains this claim as follows:

 

After listeners purchase an audiobook—and Plaintiffs and their clients are compensated—Audible Captions can help listeners understand it by looking up unfamiliar words, accessing reference materials, or simply verifying and focusing on what they are hearing. This will facilitate access for listeners who have difficulty engaging with audiobooks (or literature in general).

 

Thus, Audible’s lawyers argue, Audible Captions is in line with the purpose of copyright law: “to expand public learning while protecting the incentives of authors to create for the public good.”

In our previous coverage of this ongoing story, we wrote that publishers were angry with Audible because they didn’t give the audiobook platform permission to publish text versions of their titles because e-books require a separate licensing agreement. Audible’s lawyers also argue that claims they have not breached their licensing contract because the user of Audible Captions never has full access to the complete text of the title they’re listening to:

 

Audible Captions is not a book of any kind, much less a replacement for paper books, e-books, or cross-format products.

 

Audible

The Captions in action / Image Via Publishing Perspectives

 

Though the encrypted text is cached on the reader’s device, Audible’s lawyers highlighted the fact that the reader never has direct access to it, so the captions cannot be used except in tandem with the audio recording. Since they’ve paid to license the audio version of the publisher’s titles, and since the text generated by Audible’s technology is not a book in any sense, Audible argues there should not be an issue.

Audible’s lawyers make a convincing argument, and it’s definitely interesting to see how crucial the concept of what a books is to this debate.

 

 

 

Featured Image via The Daily Beast

Publishers Use Lawsuit to Pick a Fight with Audible!

In August, we reported that seven U.S. publishers had filed a lawsuits against Audible, claiming the popular audiobook platform’s new captions program violates copyright law.

Audible Captions scrolls a few words of AI-generated transcription to accompany an audiobook’s narration. In effect, Captions users would have access to the audiobook’s text in a roundabout way without having to purchase a copy of the e-book. However, the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in New York “didn’t give permission to publish a text version of their titles to Audible, noting that the text rights require a separate agreement.”

 

Image via the wall street journal

 

The rapidly changing digital publishing landscape has often presented a challenge to book publishers, as it seems the definition of what a book even is must change in the world of e-books and audiobooks.

 

Maria Pallante, chief executive of the Association of American Publishers

Image Via Alchectron

 

Maria Pallante, chief executive of the Association of American Publishers, commented on the case:

What’s at stake is the viability of the publishing industry and the ability to rely on copyright law.

Audible has denied the new feature on their app violates any rights or agreements. In a a statement on August 23rd the company said that:

Captions was developed because we, like so many leading educators and parents, want to help kids who are not reading engage more through listening…This feature would allow such listeners to follow along with a few lines of machine-generated text as they listen to the audio performance. It is not and was never intended to be a book.

 

 

Since the captions would be machine-generated and not transcribed and edited, Audible admitted “up to 6%” of the text may have errors. In the lawsuit, publishers argued The Captions program would then harm their reputations as “as trusted and valued stewards of their authors’ works.”

The program was set to begin as early as September 10th, though this lawsuit will definitely complicate the release. Thankfully, Audible can still launch for works for which there is no permissions issue, such as public domain works and Audible or Amazon published titles.

 

Audible App

Image Via Author’s Guild

 

Audible is facing a fierce legal battle against a cohort of publishing giants. The plaintiffs in the case include Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, Chronicle Books, and Scholastic Corp. It’s difficult to tell what the outcome of the case will be this early on. But it’s definitely going to be an important event for the future of publishing.

 

 

 

Featured Image Thanks To Mary Scibilia