Aside from their obvious convenience, audiobooks have established themselves as a hybrid between literary and media entertainment. Listeners are drawn in by hypnotic and dynamic narrations often delivered by well-known celebrities. Because of this focus on vocal value, publishing houses like Penguin Random House invested in their audio department to further advance audiobook quality. They even have the option to include material not present in the original print versions or let narrators go “off script.” Whether audiences know a story or not, listening to it gives them a fresh perspective.
The appeal of audiobooks lies in their ability to give someone the experience of a novel within the always-on-the-go lifestyle that our culture has embraced. Prior to the wide availability of audiobooks, for many there simply isn’t enough time in the day to sit down and read a book. A book’s greatest strength, its ability to allow one to escape from reality, was also its greatest weakness, as it meant that time couldn’t be spent doing other things.
This post is a continuation of an earlier discussion concerning recent developments in subscription reading services. Big publishing continues experimenting with the subscription reading services Oyster and Scribd: 15,000 Harlequin romance titles became available through Scribd just last week. Sustaining this success is contingent on a host of delicately balanced circumstances, detailed in my last […]