• Home
  • audio publishing

Tag: audio publishing

Audiobooks

Narrating audiobooks: an actor’s perspective

I’ve not been narrating audiobooks for that long really. I started when I left drama school in 2010, and have now read over 150 of them (some great, some not so great…!). It is a strange experience. You spend three or four days (sometimes longer), in what is essentially a padded cell, talking out loud to yourself in different voices. But if it’s a good book, I can’t think of many better ways to make a living. I love it. You get to meet and work with brilliant people, telling stories all week.

Continue reading

Quantum 2018

Don’t Delegate the Future: FutureBook event report

Friday’s FutureBook Conference, organised by The Bookseller, presented three conferences in one: alongside the main FutureBook programme, there were parallel streams on The Audiobook Revolution and EdTech for Publishers.

Continue reading

Podcasts are trending – Here’s how to start now

Podcasts have steadily gained popularity over the past few years with more people looking for on-the-go entertainment as they multitask through hustle and bustle of daily life. #BookMarketingChat (read our entire Book Marketing Chat summary here) guest Rachel Moore shared her tips for starting your own podcast.

Continue reading

Authors: Don’t overlook audio

Audiobooks are on the rise, particularly in retail. This is the ideal time for you to reconsider audio publishing. W.F. Howes Ltd’s Acquisitions Editor, Rachel Gregory, looks at how you can get involved.

Continue reading

My top 5 audiobooks: Why it’s worth spending a credit

Why become an audiobook subscriber? With so many storytelling subscriptions available – Netflix, Amazon Prime, the list is endless – here are just five of my favourite audiobooks along with reasons why it’s worth buying these books in audio rather than as a physical book/ebook. Once you’ve listened to these, you’ll never look back from an audio subscription!

Continue reading

Infrastructure of publishing business

Talking Podcasts: The Extraordinary Business Book Club

In the second article in our Talking Podcasts series, Abbie Headon interviews Alison Jones, a regular contributor to the BookMachine blog and an expert commentator on all things digital, about her podcast, The Extraordinary Business Book Club.

Continue reading

What a real ‘audiobook’ revolution would look like

Richard Brooks is a Researcher at Coventry University and the Project Manager of the Arts and Humanity Research Council project ‘Hidden Story’. At the recent FutureBook conference in London the ‘Audiobook Revolution’ was hailed as offering opportunities for publishers to reach a new demographic keen to listen to drama on the move. Yet audiobooks in their current form – as a single-narrator, spoken alternative to the print book – seems at odds with the drive towards convergence and experimentation in digital media. Audio fiction has long been a passion of mine. As a child, I remember earnestly taping Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy off the radio and chuckling to myself as I walked to school much to the bemusement of my friends. One of the joys of audio fiction it is the only media that can be (safely!) enjoyed whilst doing something else. It is this reason that has lead to the rediscovering of the medium by a younger generation; as bundles of CDs are exchanged for smartphones and streaming services there is now no need to put down a good book whilst rushing from home to office. Yet in the digital age, the distinction between audiobooks, as associated with published books and full-cast dramas aired on public broadcast radio – looks odd, especially when both now sit on your smartphone. Audible is perhaps the most notable example of where convergence across the divide is occurring. Exploiting its strong position in audiobook production and retailing it has moved into commissioning ambitious full-cast dramas creating a rush of excitement amongst independent producers. The expansion of channels to listeners has also enabled experimentation. Full-cast dramas are expensive and complex to produce, but independent producers like Big Finish have demonstrated that a compelling soundscape and readings from a number of narrators can be an attractive middle ground. A more explicit challenge to audiobook growth comes from the surge in high-quality free-to-air audio fiction available on iTunes, SoundCloud and Spotify. Often produced in serial form, dramas like We’re Alive (2009) and Welcome to Night Vale (2010) have attracted downloads in the tens of millions and benefit from alternative funding models such as crowd-funding and advertising. Podcast downloads compete for the same ears as audiobooks and may be faster to market, as seen with the release of Terms (2016), from the Wondery Network, a story about a maverick US president who wins a controversial US election. Yet podcasting is a crowded market and there remains untapped potential for the licensing of content to podcasters from the publishers of more recognisable authors. It should be no surprise that in a bid to compete in this market, BBC Radio has produced a series of high-profile Neil Gaiman titles including the much lauded ‘Neverwhere’ and ‘Stardust’ that aired this Christmas. Alongside licensing, there must surely be opportunities for publishers to use loyal podcast audiences for advertising. Audible has seized on this opportunity to promote its subscription services to the free-to-air market and podcasters would surely welcome the opportunity to promote books that match their content. The prevalence of smartphones and tablets also makes convergence with other media possible. BBC Radio and Owlfield have led the way with linking audio fiction with interactive media. Yet a perhaps more exciting avenue has been highlighted by the Six Conversations project which highlights how smartphones enable printed books to become platforms for other media such as audio. In this context its a short-step to then consider the market opportunity for ‘expanded edition’ books that come with soundscapes, music or character asides – perhaps as a way of refreshing Classics. One recent example that highlighted the potential to me, is the ‘The Dark Tome’ podcast. A story about a magical book that transports the young heroine to fantastical worlds, it is a serial drama that weaves together published short-stories into a mix of full-cast and narrated audio fiction. Now, just imagine for a moment if this had been published as an actual print book and where the magic of its stories were brought to life through links to audio dramas that could be change and be added to. For me at least, that would be a real audiobook revolution.
Voice-First Future

7 ways to create a premium edition of your book with iBooks Author

iBooks Author is Apple’s digital publishing software, used today to create digital books of all kinds. A great strategy on how to use iBooks Author – and the interactive, multimedia-driven books it allows you to create – is to turn regular content into ‘premium’ editions by including new bonus features, just like the bonus features of a Blu-Ray movie, and then to charge a modest price premium over the original version. Here are seven ways to create a premium edition of any book, using iBooks Author:

1) Include the audiobook

Get the original author of a book to record themselves reading the book out loud, and even include additional insights if you like that reside strictly in the audio recording. Then, include that recording within the iBook, with a button on each page that allows the reader to touch it and have the author read to them. Not only does this add immense perceived value to the content, but it also can be monetised as a separate revenue stream by selling the audiobook version separately.

2) Include a glossary

Take all the relevant vocabulary from your title – characters, settings, plot elements if a fiction title, or all relevant terminology from a non-fiction work – and utilise the built-in glossary feature of iBooks Author for your premium edition iBook.  Make sure to hyperlink the glossary terms as appropriate throughout the main text of your work.  Then, monetise the glossary separately as well by producing an iBook that is the ‘dictionary’ of your franchise, and sell that in the iBooks Store as well!

3) Include podcasts, TV interviews, or other media interviews conducted with the author

A curated selection of media appearances made by an author about a new book is a great addition within the actual book!  Readers who are connected with an author, or connected with the topic of a book or a book’s characters, often can’t get enough of the additional insight these media appearances bring.  The multimedia capabilities of an iBook are perfect to be able to include this bonus content.

4) Include video commentary from the author

This is a big one. Having an author speak, directly, yet casually, to the reader about the book or topics at hand, is something readers have shown they are willing to pay a price premium for. And with the rapidly expanding hard drives on iPhones and iPads, while this video might add to the size of an iBook, it is negligible for the end user.  Including video commentary from the author ensures the iBook version will not be ignored by readers, as long as this content is made exclusive to the iBook and otherwise kept off the internet.

5) Include previous books in a series

This practice, which is becoming commonplace in other creative sectors, like video games, makes sense as a consideration for book franchises as well within the iBooks format. Throwing in a previous book in a series, as a bonus inclusion at the end of an iBook, is easy to do and makes it easier for new readers to step up and engage with a franchise knowing they have all the content under one roof.

6) Include hand-written notes, sketches, or photos related to the book’s original production

No matter the genre, or whether we’re talking fiction or non-fiction, readers love to peek behind-the-scenes at the production process of any creative work. Combine that with the knowledge that high-resolution images look great on any current iPhone or iPad, and it’s a no-brainer to include photography, outlines, hand-written notes, or images of any other documents which illuminate the creative process for readers.

7) Include early access to the follow-up book

With iBooks Author and the Apple ecosystem (including iTunes Connect and the iBooks Store itself), publishing new updates to existing titles is easy and seamless.  Letting readers know early access to a follow-up book will be made available via a title update to an original title is a great value-add.
Bradley Metrock is CEO of Score Publishing, a digital media company with the mission of helping people become better interactive content creators. The company partners on content development, offers digital content creation training, hosts several national conferences on digital content creation (including the iBooks Author Conference), and owns and operates leading NCCA-compliant certifications in digital content creation. ibooks
audiobooks

Penguin Random House on audiobooks: Hannah Telfer interview

Last week Penguin Random House announced that it’s establishing its audio business as a standalone division, Penguin Random House UK Audio. Here we interviewed Hannah Telfer, MD Audio and Group Director of Consumer & Digital Development, on what’s new and next for audiobooks at Penguin Random House UK.

1) What exactly is the new audio division?

Audio was the fastest growing part of our Penguin Random House UK business in 2015. We had a record year with publishing highlights including our biggest-ever selling audio download with The Girl On The Train and fastest-ever selling title with YouTubers Dan and Phil’s The Amazing Book is Not on Fire. In May 2015 Penguin Random House UK became the global exclusive publishers of BBC Audio, publishing audiobooks from the bestselling and award-winning drama, comedy and landmark factual programmes from the BBC Radio network and archives. In total, we sold more than 30 million hours of audio and we know we can sell more. By launching as a standalone division – Penguin Random House UK Audio – we will have one unified audio strategy across Penguin Random House UK with our expert audio team working hand-in-hand with their publishing colleagues – which is great news for our authors and our readers. As the UK’s number 1 audiobook publisher, we capture the benefit of this market for our authors and for the stories and ideas we are privileged to publish.

2) As a new department, what problem is being solved?

In a noisy world, audiences are discovering the pleasure of listening. Audiences are discovering the delight of being transported to new worlds, of experiencing new ideas, of hearing new voices. At Penguin Random House, we believe there is alchemy to publishing audiobooks; that their magic is unlocked through the care with which they are produced. We are expert here. From the earliest possible conversations with authors and editors, we cast our audiobooks thoughtfully. The production of an audiobook is an intense and focused process. It’s intimate. We are uniquely placed to build on the intensity of the experience between author and editor and understand the story behind the story. We find readers who will shine a light on the story. This can be the authors themselves, it can be actors, and it can be celebrities. And we promote our audiobooks. From the fabulously successfully Penguin Podcast hosted by Richard E Grant, to our audience and author led campaigns, we are finding new and imaginative ways to market our books and partner well with our retailers.

3) Who is the target market?

Audiobooks are important because they reach distinct audiences and the spectrum is significant. Different audiences are growing the market. The profile of audiobook listeners in the UK is young and men are more likely to listen regularly than women. Audiobooks over-index among BAME readers. This is critical for our industry. Audio has the potential to reach a more diverse audience than physical books and ebooks

4) What results do you hope to see over the next few years?

At Penguin Random House Audio we are ambitious. We are ambitious about integrating audio into our publishing strategies – to tell our stories well. We are ambitious about pushing the boundaries of audiobooks – to seeking new listeners for our authors We believe Audio can be a vanguard for books in a world of entertainment.

5) What will be next for Penguin Random House UK audio after this?

Watch – or should that be listen to – this space. Hannah Telfer is responsible for consumer insight, group marketing & audience development, digital publishing & product development and the Penguin Random House UK’s Audio business. Prior to this she was Director, Digital Marketing and Digital Product Development at The Random House Group leading an award-wining programme of digital publishing and marketing.
audio

Startup snapshot: The Owl Field

Michel LafranceMichel Lafrance is the founder and managing director for The Owl Field, an audio entertainment company specializing in 3D audio storytelling. In addition to managing the startup, he is the content producer and sound designer. Here we interviewed him.   

1) What exactly is The Owl Field?

The Owl Field is about 3D Audio storytelling. We produce immersive audio dramas that place the listener as the story’s central character, and from a first person perspective, everything happens around the listener in a 3D audio soundscape. Characters, sound effects and music surround the listener just as in the real world. The listener wears a pair of headphones, closes their eyes, and is simply transported to their virtual world.

2) What problem does it solve?

Audiobooks have seen amazing growth over the past five years, but the future of entertainment is immersive media like virtual reality and 360video. Our audio dramas fill the current gap between traditional audiobooks and virtual reality, and are a way for publishers to keep pace with those future forms of entertainment. Filling this gap would help attract new listeners, would provide new content for existing fans, and would offer a virtual experience for people living with sight loss who are currently completely underserved in the visuals-based virtual reality industry. audio 3D

3) Who is your target market?

Our storytelling format can be applied to any story genre so our target market is wide open. We currently have numerous productions for ages 13+, and also one for ages 3+ that we plan to turn into a series. The beauty of 3D audio is that it can be experienced on any standard pair of headphones. There’s no need to purchase expensive or clunky virtual reality headsets so it’s an affordable and accessible form of virtual reality for everyone.

4) What are your goals for the next few years?

We want to be a pioneer in 3D audio storytelling. The popularity of audio entertainment will continue to grow over the next few years and with it the demand for immersive experiences. Our goal is to work with publishers to meet that demand by giving authors and publishers an exciting new format for existing fans and by attracting new listeners to publishing audio entertainment.

5) After you initial success, what will be next for The Owl Field?

We’ve just released a new podcast for all things 3D audio and we’re currently pursuing funding for our next production. We’re thrilled to be working with an award-winning fantasy audio drama writer for it and are equally excited to be augmenting the experience by adding elements of interactivity and personalisation. You can get in touch with The Owl Field via email, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
skills for publishing

Audio rights making waves

This is a guest post from Tom Chalmers, Managing Director at IPR License. It’s a bit of a contradiction in terms but one of the fastest growing areas of the rights and licensing sector is also the one which we arguably hear the least from. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the audiobook industry is currently worth somewhere in the region of $2.5bn to $2.6bn per year and growing. However, the amount of rights business being written often goes under the radar. Here at IPR License we saw consistent, and substantial, demand for audio rights throughout 2014. This time last year we reported that licensing demand for international audio rights rose by 32 per cent in Q2 2014. This was largely based on publisher to publisher figures and whilst this business continues to grow, more internal analysis shows that enquiries for audio rights for self-published works have more than doubling (58 per cent) in the first half of 2015, when compared to H2 2014 figures.

Continue reading

Get the latest news and event info straight to your inbox

Account


+44 203 040 2298

6 Mitre Passage, Digital Greenwich - 10th Floor, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0ER

© 2019 BookMachine We love your books