Tag: Audiobooks

Amid Pandemic, Libro.fm and Bookshop.org Sales Skyrocket

Amid the current coronavirus pandemic, many people have chosen to self-quarantine and practice social distancing in efforts to stop the spread. This leaves many with newfound free time on their hands and the challenge of finding ways to entertain themselves while quarantining at home. In this quest, many have turned to reading to fill their spare time and rather than go to a bookstore to acquire these books, they can be found entirely online. 

 

Audio-bookstore, Libro.fm, and online bookstore, Bookshop.org have both seen sales skyrocket, as a result of the recent coronavirus pandemic. Both online stores collaborate with independent booksellers and return a share of sales back to them. This is in an effort to keep independent bookstores alive, especially during this time of social distancing. CEO and co-founder of Libro.fm, Mark Pearson, notes that “it has been a record breaking month for sales and new memberships.” Compared to the previous month, Pearson notes that sales for the thirty day period, which ended on March 15, were up about 150%. 

 

image via grinnell college

 

Libro.fm, which is based in Seattle, had already noticed the hit to independent bookstores in their community. In a radical move, the company altered their business model “so that affiliate bookstores get all the revenue from new membership sales until the end of the month.” Pearson notes the importance of independent booksellers stating, “if independent bookstores go under, we don’t exist.” This important measure reminds people of the value of their own community. 

 

Similarly, Bookshop.org has seen a sudden increase in the amount of bookstores signing up as affiliates. Founder Andy Hunter says, “A lot of stores opened accounts recently as an emergency measure in case they need to close up shop.” Until then, they are able to fulfill the web orders from their own shops. Bookshop.org has also seen a giant increase in sales as the coronavirus pandemic has escalated. Over the last four days, the online shop has seen a 400% increase in sales as social distancing and self-quarantining have become a widespread practice. 

 

image via venngage

While companies like Libro.fm and Bookshop.org have solved a number of societal problems during this ambiguous and secluded time, that doesn’t mean they don’t feel pressure to meet customer demands. Developers feel the pressure to make site improvements faster, and without error. For now, Hunter says that, so long as our servers stay up – we’ve checked them, and they are good – we’ll be here for bookstores.” 

Stay safe and happy reading!

 

Featured Image via Fine Art America

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You Don’t Want To Miss Audible’s Top BHM Picks

As I should hope you’re all aware by now; February is Black History Month. It’s an international celebration of African-American leaders and artists, and Audible have some top titles to mark the occasion. Abby, Audible editor, says that Audible has chosen to “highlight luminaries who’ve taken the lead in shaping change and movement”. With activism as a core subject, here’s what they’ve picked:

 

Staff picks

The team at Audible have chosen Michelle Obama’s Becoming as a staff favorite, alongside Such a Fun Age and The Skin I’m InThese were chosen for a myriad of very valid reasons, but one thing they share is the incredible authors of color at their helm. Why not take a listen yourself and see if you agree with their choices?

 

MEMOIRS

In telling important stories of African-American experience, it’s important to have an authentic voice. These titles are memoirs from leading speakers and visionaries of color, such as Staceyann Chin and Nelson Mandela. Plus, with such a wide range of titles, there’s something in there to interest everyone.

 

image via shariffa

 

FICTION

Storytelling is an integral part of many different cultures, and in these titles, their authors have ingrained senses as storytellers. This is particularly noted for authors such as Zora Neale Hurston, who retains the vernacular speech in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Having a story told in the voice that would have originally told it heightens the entire experience.

 

politics

In activism, a political voice is always necessary. These titles “dive deep into the issues, both past and present”. There’s a wide range of diverse voices from Barack Obama to Stacey Abrams, most of which are narrated by the author themselves. Commemorations of Black History Month often take place in political spheres, too, making this section particularly necessary.

 

image via amazon

 

What’s new?

Some of their titles are free to Audible members for the month of February, like Malcolm and Me written and performed by Ishmael Reed, or Our Harlem written and performed by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

On February 18th, two new titles are being released as part of The Great Courses:

African American Athletes Who Made History, written and performed by Louis Moore

Great Figures of the Civil Rights Movement, written and performed by Hasan Kwame Jefferies

Not only are these great titles for the series, they are perfect for Black History Month.

 

Audible have tonnes more to offer from Children/YA literature, to author interviews and profiles. Check out their Black History Month portal here for all of their February content to mark the occasion.

 

Featured Image via amazon


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Explore Audible’s Top Picks of 2019

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that reading doesn’t always have to be you, a book and a comfy seat. More so than ever before, people are listening to their literature on laptops, on smartphones, and on the go. Audible is the best option for this, as it’s available across plenty of devices with a wide range of titles.

Audible has released a map that takes a look at 2019 listening data to see which titles were “more uniquely popular in some states compared to the rest of the country”. Our map below shows each state’s top Audible titles from 2019.

 

 

The shortest route across the US in a car would take four days or ninety-six hours. Forget about your killer soundtrack and instead, think about how many audiobooks you could get through in that time! If you wanted to do it properly, you could go state-by-state and take on each state’s favorite audiobook as you move. Luckily, Audible and Bookstr are here to help. The above infographic shows us which audiobook has been most popular (i.e. listened to more than any other) in each US state.

Let’s take a closer look.

 

Northwest

 

Midwest

 

Southwest

 

Southeast

 

Northeast

 

 

One thing is for sure, self-help is popular country-wide, with many states learning how to Stay Sexy, set Atomic Habits and Not Give a F*ck. George R.R. Martin reigns in several states, proving himself King of The North(east). Fiction and non-fiction are popular all over the country, with fantasy and celebrity novels not contained to any one region.

 

 

Now that you have all you need for a literary road trip across the United States, fill up the tank, download Audible and get moving. Happy listening!

Here are the titles by state:

Maine The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Maryland  The Woman in The Window by A.J. Finn

New Hampshire The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Vermont City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Virginia Call Sign Chaos by Jim Mattis, Bing West

Massachusetts Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

New York Principles by Ray Dalio

Pennsylvania The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Connecticut Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Delaware Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Ohio Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Rhode Island Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Kentucky Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

West Virginia Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Tennessee The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron, Suzanne Stabile

Indiana Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg

Illinois Life Will Be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler

Iowa Take Control of Your Life by Mel Robbins

Missouri The Institute by Stephen King

Oklahoma Killers of The Flower Moon by David Grann

Kansas A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

Nebraska #IMOMSOHARD by Kristen Hensley, Jen Smedley

South Dakota Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Wyoming Wolf Pack by C.J. Box

Colorado Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

Utah Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Nevada Unf*ck Yourself by Gary John Bishop

Arkansas Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Mississippi Cemetery Road by Greg Iles

Alabama It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst

Florida How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Georgia 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

North Carolina Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Michigan A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

Wisconsin Heads Will Roll by Kate McKinnon, Emily Lynne

North Dakota Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Montana The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Washington Dune by Frank Herbert

Oregon Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgarrif, Georgia Hardstark

California Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss

Arizona The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink, Leif Babin

New Mexico Stan Lee’s Alliances: A Trick of Light by Stan Lee, Kat Rosenfield

Hawaii Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

South Carolina The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

Minnesota Neon Prey by John Sandford

Idaho Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Texas Atomic Habits by James Clear

Alaska Good Omens by Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett

Louisiana A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

New Jersey Unfreedom of The Press by Mark R. Levin

District of Colombia Becoming by Michelle Obama

 

You can explore it even closer below: 

Created by Parisha Patel, who you can find here and here.

lite blue-book map

All images via PARIsha patel


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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

Here’s How Audible Teaches Authors to Create Their Own Audiobooks

Audible’s publishing platform, Audiobook Creation Exchange, connects your favorite stories to the actors who can bring them to life! It’s been a valuable tool that’s helped produce 160,00 audiobooks already. Now, Audible is bringing that power to produce stellar audiobooks to more people through their ACX University program.

Image via audible.com

ACX University is a series of live broadcasts from Audible that aims to give authors and actors the tools and strategies needed to make great audiobooks for Audible’s platform. The first episode debuts at 5:30 p.m. October 28 and is titled “Transform Your Career: The Makeover Episode.”

In later episodes, ACX University will teach on topics ranging from marketing to finding your brand as an audiobook producer. They’re bringing in industry experts like Scott Brick, who’s narrated over 950(!) audiobooks, to give viewers valuable information about the industry. Jessica Hawkins, a USA Today bestseller, will also be leading a seminar on everything you need to do 90 days before and after your audiobook is published.

image via Audible.com

Of course,  voice actors hoping to get their start in the industry and authors who want to bring their books to life are the main focus for ACX University. But it will also be interesting to readers who are curious about how their favorite audiobooks get made. Personally, I’m excited to take a peek behind the curtain, and I’m hoping some of my favorite authors use ACX University to bring the sweet sounds of literature to my ears.

Featured image via Audible.com