If the term ‘audiobook’ conjures up memories of unreliable and expensive tapes or poorly read stories, now is the time to take another look (or listen!)
Some people have distant memories of bad experiences with audiobooks and there are still some common myths that surround them. Audiobooks and audiobook market has changed dramatically over recent years and these myths are ill-founded as we discover here!
Myth 1: Audiobooks are Expensive!
While audiobooks are sometimes much more expensive than their paper counterparts, digital downloaded audiobooks are making the average price much more accessible. A book that is downloaded from a retailer’s website incurs little in the way of production costs and no delivery costs and these savings are passed on to the consumer. Audiobook subscriptions from online retailers such as Audible and audiobooks.com mean that bestsellers are often available for download for not a lot more than the paper version. You can find a full review of audiobooks.com and see if it’s worth it in 2019.
One of the downsides is the fact that there is no ‘physical’ copy of the audiobook, so there is no fancy artwork or attractive packing to put on the book shelves. For many people, however, the cost saving vastly outweighs any inconvenience.
Myth 2: Audiobooks are Poor Quality
This is simply no longer the case! Modern recording methods ensure that audiobooks in all formats are top quality. Many audiobooks are narrated and recorded by highly experienced and talanted readers who inject a new dimension into a book. Many famous actors have narrated audiobooks, Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci, for instance, are the narrators of the Audie nominated The One and Only Shrek. Some new audiobooks are experimenting with new features such as music or full cast performances.
A good reader can make or break an audiobook. Even the best of stories can become slow and lifeless with the ‘wrong’ narator or reader. Although there are some wonderful free audiobooks available, these are typically read by enthusiastic amateurs and the quality may therefore vary.
Myth 3: Audiobooks are Unreliable
Anyone who has borrowed a cassette audiobook from a library and found one of the tapes damaged would be quite justified in thinking that audiobooks were unreliable. New formats such as cds and digital downloads are much more reliable and these robust formats can be listened to over and over again without their being any degradation of quality.
Myth 4: Audiobooks are Inconvenient
Audiobooks have firmly moved into the digital age. While cd versions and less commonly cassettes, are widely available, the growth area at the moment is digital downloads. The convenience to listeners is that several books can be held on a single listening device, meaning that the latest bestsellers or books for business are more portable than ever before! Digital formals offer other benefits too, for instance they are quick to fast forward, can be book marked and are easy to switch between books.
Myth 5: There is a Poor Selection of Audiobooks
At one time it was extremely common for an audiobook to be released several months after the paper version and many books were never released in an audio format. This situation has changed and even mega blockbuster books such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are released in paper and audio format concurrently.
Some books are actually released in the audio format first. Sail by James Patterson, for instance, was available for digital download a month before it was released in print.
Myth 6: Audiobooks are Difficult to Buy
The Internet has helped widen the availability of audiobooks. Most online book retailers offer an extensive audiobook selection. While local book stores may not offer a full range of audiobooks, many will be delighted to order an audiobook. In addition to general book stores, there are dedicated websites that specialize in audiobooks and these can offer a great choice of even hard to find titles.