The Murky World of the Audiobook

Since I brought up the topic of an audiobook for From the White House to the Amish, I’ve discussed it with various people. It seems like today’s world of audiobook listening is a bit murky. I decided it was worth sharing some thoughts on the topic.

Don’t think this sounds very inspirational? Well, let me tell you something. With my level of mental clarity right now, you are lucky to be seeing ANY thoughts from me, inspirational or not!

Also, hip hip, hooray! I have an audiobook sample for you to listen to today! But business first…

So What is the Best Way to Listen to Audiobooks?

Which one are you?

  • Some people like listening to books on CD, and I can relate to that. Until recently, that was my preferred method.
  • Other people listen here and there, and are a little confused themselves about which is the best method. I am there as well sometimes. The digital world changes so fast it can be exhausting.
  • Other people stay off the internet as much as possible, and so prefer not to experiment with all kinds of different digital options.

I think it’s worth figuring out an efficient system for yourself for listening to audiobooks. I listen to audio all the time while folding laundry, driving, or doing dishes. The dishes get done so much faster this way, and the miles disappear more rapidly! Audio is an exploding market, and so it is becoming cheaper and cheaper to listen to audio if you are willing to do a little research, try something new, or bribe your nearest teenager to help you figure out the tech. 🙂

There are a lot of audio options out there. For the sake of the moment, I’ll approach it from the standpoint of From the White House to the Amish, but the same applies for other audiobooks.

Here’s my review of the audio world!

The World of Audiobooks

  1. Library apps. If you are blessed to have Hoopla, Libby (for children’s books), or Overdrive available from your library, you might be able to listen to From the White House to the Amish for free. And, we get a small payment, since the library pays for the books they offer. Often, you just have to ask your library to make certain books available and they will do it!
  2. Subscription services. From the White House to the Amish will be available from subscription services like Audible, Scribd, etc. Although subscription services are not super profitable for authors, they appear to be the wave of the future. So this is something you can consider if you haven’t tried it yet.
  3. Buy direct from the author with Author’s Direct app. If you are not tied into a subscription service or library and don’t want to be, this might work for you. Findaway Voices, which is the distributor we plan to use, offers an Author’s Direct app where you can buy the book directly from the author and listen on an app that allows you to hold your place, skip ahead, and do all of the things you would expect from an audiobook player, either on your phone or computer.
  4. Buy MP3’s direct from the author. This is the simplest selling method and we will offer this option too. This is probably the most cost-effective for us, since we are not needing to pay a third party platform! However, it isn’t quite as easy for you as pressing play. You need to know how to unzip the files and then play them on your computer or phone. Here’s where a teenager comes in handy again if this sounds daunting!
  5. Audio CDs. I hate to break it to you if you are a die-hard CD fan, but these are going out. However, they are still in existence, and we are tentatively planning to produce our own home audio CD version of From the White House to the Amish. It might not be the most beautiful case, but they will work. However, to produce ten-ish CD’s, the price will likely be at least twice that of other digital versions. (Maybe $40? This is about average for CD audiobooks at Barnes and Noble. Which are still in existence!) Audio CD’s might be a great option for a church library or for several families to share.

There you go! I’ve tried to un-muddy the waters for you. I know some people just don’t want to deal with apps and Internet, and in that case CD’s or mp3 files might be the best. Also, a note – all things equal, you support an author best by buying directly from them. Audiobooks are expensive to produce, and we havesome doubts that we will recover all of our cost. However, we are excited to try it and see what happens!

From the White House to the Amish Audiobook Intro

And now, after all that hard mental labor – here is the prologue to From the White House to the Amish, read by Marnell’s friend, Conrad Bear.

Conrad Bear specializes in singing and acting (such as Noah at Sight and Sound), but he also does narration and voiceover work. Do you like O. Henry’s short stories? These old classics are masterpieces of twisting plots and surprise endings. Check out Conrad’s reading of four short stories here. He sells this collection of four stories via audio CD and downloadable MP3’s. If you want to see if you like listening to MP3 downloads, test yourself out with Conrad’s O. Henry stories.

And… here is the prologue for From the White House to the Amish!

What do you think? We think Conrad does an amazing job!

Audiobook Poll and Other Items of Interest

Help us out further by giving your feedback on audiobooks through this survey which might take you 30 seconds to complete. Even though we want to stay up-to-date with technology, it is most important to me to be able to offer audio in the format that YOU want it.

And you can pre-order the print copy of From the White House to the Amish here. I will send you the book as soon as they arrive. And I expect them soon!

And, I absolutely am not getting paid to advertise Conrad’s stories, and he doesn’t even knows I am doing it! But I just bought them myself and they are fantastic. One night when we should have been sleeping, Marnell and I listened to The Ransom of Red Chief and After Twenty Years. Totally worth the $10. Also, totally possible to listen to an MP3 download.

As mentioned last week, I will likely share more personal items with my email group than I do on this public blog. (This week I included a short P.S. about the status of Miracle’s development.)

But – a note about my email list (or any email list). If you subscribe to receive emails, you very likely might have to pick the welcome email out of the “Promotions” folder if you use gmail. Drag it over to your main inbox to continue receiving the emails in a place where you can find them. This is a common problem. I just did it myself the other day – signed up to take an online class, and wondered why they never emailed me. Checked my promotions folder and BINGO. There it was.

Have a great weekend! Hopefully I’ll be back next week with something inspirational!

4 thoughts on “The Murky World of the Audiobook”

  1. Thanks for adding the snippet of the audiobook; a good reader certainly can make it or break it…sounds like you have a ‘make it!’

    Not to be disagreeable, but in my experience Libby is for all ages as well. When do you anticipate the audiobook be available? The one library we get Libby service thru allows a certain # of requests every few months…I don’t want to request it before it’s available to them.

    1. Katrina Hoover Lee

      My mistake, Rosanna! I don’t use Libby myself so I was thinking it was just for children. I will update when it is available. Hopefully by Thanksgiving! But I think it can take additional time for the book to be distributed to the various outlets.

  2. Thanks for the very informative rundown and description of audio options. Very helpful, and I know from experience how much research is behind a simple, helpful summary like that.

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