Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Audio Books: A Poll

Books on Tape. That's what we used to call them. I've had a love affair with audio books for years and years. My favorite memory is the time my husband and I had a long drive ahead of us and since I had his undivided attention, I popped in  Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: A Practical Guide for Improving Communication and Getting What You Want in Your Relationships.We had a great time, he was a good sport about it, and we left the car with a deeper appreciation of our differences (and jeez are they vast!)

Anyway, I write for Berkley Prime Crime under the guise of Hannah Reed. They own rights and haven't offered to distribute my stories as audio books. I also write as Deb Baker and have reissued my out-of-print titles as an independent author, making all the publishing decisions myself.

The other day I had an email from a man who has read my Gertie books and wanted to share them with his wife, who has a debilitating disease that doesn't allow her to read. He wanted to know if he could get them as audio books. That got me thinking. Should I make the investment in audio books? I'd have to hire a voice-over artist to do the reading. They aren't cheap. But I'd be perfectly happy just breaking even. Would I?

These are the thoughts going through my head. My stories would be available for download through Amazon and iTunes and other sites that specialize in audio books. Are readers downloading books and listening to them? I know Kindle has text-to-speech capability but the voice is mechanically.

So help me make the decision. Do you listen to audio books? And in what format?