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Friday, 19 August 2011

Listening to a good book…

A lot has come up at work and I haven’t had much time for reading or writing lately, but this did lead me to a bit of discovery.

Quite by accident I downloaded an audio-book file while looking for something completely different. But don’t go rushing for your eye-patches and hoist the jolly-roger just yet… it was a free-taster demo, and ran out after what would probably amount to a couple of chapters. It did however pique my interest in audio-books, something I hadn’t previously given much thought to.

So, although I’m still busy, and not getting much – or any- writing done, I’m now able to listen to books in the car and at my desk. And I’ve discovered that if people hear words instead of music scratching its way from headphones they tend to assume it’s work related and don’t bother you. Result!

I’m enjoying the books I’ve got just now, it’s like ‘Jackanory’ for grown-ups… I suppose you have to be British and of a certain age to get that reference. I’ve also noticed a lot of old radio-plays out there, many of which are available as CDs or for download. So I may give some of those a try as well.

So what’s this got to do with a writing blog? Well, the ‘demo’ audio-book got me looking at that’s available to the would-be author in this regard. And I found out that there is lot more happening on this front than you may have thought.
It isn’t something I would consider doing commercially myself, at this point anyway. After all if nobody is buying the e-books they are possibly even less likely to purchase an audio-book. But I have found a whole new media-type to look at… or should that be for listening to?
There are quite a lot of on-line companies offering audio-book services, at a price of course. I can see the appeal of this, although it probably isn’t really something that’s aimed at, or would be of much benefit to, the beginning writer.
It may be something worth looking at for a little bit of a freebee from a website though, especially if you have, or have access to someone with, a good reading voice.

I really will have to get back to doing some good old-fashioned reading and writing at some point. Unfortunately it looks like I will only be able to do a minimal amount for the foreseeable future!

I’d be interested in any experience you may have had with ether listening to or reading audio-books. I know it is hardly a new technology, but as I said it was all new to me, and not something I ever gave any thought to…

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