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  • Writer's pictureBryan Alaspa

The benefits of audiobooks vs reading

These are the times for fans of audiobooks. They’ve been around for a long time, of course, but they were clunky and weird. I remember getting an entire box-set of cassettes containing Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Then there were CDs with them on it, but often you got abridged versions because otherwise it was a whole big bunch of CDs for a full novel. With the coming of the digital world, there have come two things to benefit indie publishers like me: ebooks and audiobooks.

Thanks to Amazon’s platforms for writers, producing audiobooks if you’re an indie writer is pretty simple. You post it on a service known as ACX, and voice talent auditions. I always do a 50-50 split with the talent so they have a little skin in the game when it comes to promotion and because, in general, I am poor and can’t afford to pay them outright. This has allowed me to have at least 14 of my novels available over at Audible and iTunes.

But you’re a reader, you say. You‘re even a hipster retro kind person who prefers to get actual books made of paper so you can hold them in your hand, smell the pages, blah, blah, blah. Look, I love books in all their forms. I love seeing the paperback version of my novels. But I also love the ebooks and being able to carry the biggest library in the world in my pocket. I love that digital and audiobooks could potentially be carried into space some day when man is force to colonize other planets.

What are the benefits of listening to audiobooks versus reading? I’ll tell ya. In the meantime, if you want to CLICK HERE and go to Audible to see all my books available in audio formats, please do.

Audiobooks are a bargain given the work involved

My books tend to be long. They are hours of audio. The voice talent then take weeks to record the books, edit them and get them to me so we can load them up. Then ACX often sends edits, and it takes more time. Given the sheer amount of work involved, audiobooks should probably sell for about $100 a piece. Instead, most of them are priced about the same as getting a paperback from your local bookstore.

Audiobooks are the most portable format

Audiobooks apps like Audible and iTunes make the thousands of books they sell available anywhere. Even as portable as ebooks are, you can’t read them while driving (at least you really shouldn’t). However, if you have a Bluetooth connection in your car, you can listen to an audiobook while driving. You can listen while walking (again, don’t read and walk, please). You can listen on the subway, on a plane, in bed with the lights off. If you can bring earpods and a phone with an audiobook download app, you can listen to your books.

You can even listen while working if you can do that sort of thing. I find that a little tough, myself, despite being able to listen to podcasts and talk radio without a problem. I have tried working and listening to audiobook and think I am doing fine only for me to find out one character is suddenly in Beijing while I thought they were still in Chicago.

Audiobooks are immersive

These days, audiobooks are more than just reading. If you get the right voice talent for your book (like I search for and have found with the amazing Allie James), you get a full production. Music between chapters, for example. Sound effects. Effects for the voice. A true talent can change their voice for each character. In truth, a well-done audiobook is like listening to an audio play. They can completely envelope you. Given the advancements in earbuds and earpods, plus the sound quality of the digital files, the audiobooks can get you lost in a story.

Audiobooks are free

Well, they can be. If you sign up for an Audible account, for example, you can get a free audiobook download. There are other programs for other audiobook services where you pay an amount each month and get several downloads, including free ones. Hours and hours of immersive audio featuring books from some of your all-time favorite authors at a fraction of the cost or the same costs as getting a bunch of print books which clutter up your coffee table.

Audiobooks have never been better

Yes, the listening devices are better, but the production is better, too. The voice talent out there have the best microphones, production studios, full recording studios and more. The books sound better than ever before.

Check out my audiobooks

I have enjoyed working with the voice talent to create the audiobooks of my work available out there. It is tough for me to listen to my work read to me, but it’s also kind of exciting when the voice talent is so good.

If you have made some kind of resolution to read more, this is a great way to do it. Sometimes people go through audiobooks so much faster than print or ebooks they can burn their way though entire series in weeks. I’ve been told once you start listening, you can stop. The great thing is there are audiobooks available in every genre, fiction and non-fiction.

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