An audiobook is a recording that is primarily of the spoken word as opposed to music. Patrick O'Brian, CBE ( 12 December 1914 &ndash 2 January 2000; born as Richard Patrick Russ) was an English The Aubrey–Maturin series is a sequence of Historical novels — 20 completed and one unfinished — by Patrick O'Brian, set during the Napoleonic Patrick Tull ( 28 July 1941 - September 23 2006) was a stage, Film, and television Actor. While it is often based on a recording of commercially available printed material, this is not always the case; nor is this required to fit the definition of an audiobook, which is why "audiobook" is one word rather than two. It was not intended to be descriptive of the word "book" but is rather a recorded spoken program in its own right and not necessarily an audio version of a book. They are especially good for car rides, for people who have trouble reading or don't like to read or for the blind.
Spoken audio was originally primarily available in school and public libraries and to a lesser extent in music shops. It was not until the 1980's that there began a concerted effort to attract book retailers. As book publishers entered the field of spoken-word publishing, the transition to book retailers carrying audiobooks became commonplace on bookshelves rather than in separate displays. To put it simply, it is the context of a regular book read and recorded onto a means of media such as CD Roms or Cassettes, which can be an advantage to the blind or illiterate.
Audiobooks are usually distributed on CDs, cassette tapes, downloadable digital formats (e. A Compact Disc (also known as a CD) is an Optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio The Compact Cassette, often referred to as audio cassette, cassette tape, cassette, or simply tape, is a Magnetic tape sound g. , MP3 and Windows Media Audio) and, most recently, some preloaded digital formats (e. MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a Digital audio encoding format using a form of Lossy data compression Windows Media Audio ( WMA) is an Audio data compression technology developed by Microsoft. g. , Playaway). Playaway is the name of a solid-state prerecorded audio player introduced in 2005 by Findaway World LLC based in Cleveland Ohio.
The term "books on tape" was frequently and erroneously used as a synonym for audiobooks when the majority of audiobooks (then called "spoken word audio") were available on cassette, but BOT was a company that actively attempted (often failing) to protect its company name from generic use. With cassette tapes no longer the dominant medium for audiobooks, this has become a non-issue.
In 2005 cassette-tape sales made up roughly 16% of the audiobook market, with CD sales accounting for 74% of the market and downloadable audio books accounting for approximately 9%. In the United States, the most recent sales survey (performed by the Audio Publishers' Association in the summer of 2006 for the year 2005) estimated the industry to be worth 871 million US dollars. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been Current industry estimates are around two billion US dollars at retail value per year.
Most new popular titles put out by the audiobook publishers are available in audiobook format simultaneously with publication of the hardcover edition. The first example of this simultaneous publication was when Caedmon published the spoken recording of Norman Mailer's Ancient Evenings. Norman Kingsley Mailer ( January 31, 1923 &ndash November 10, 2007) was an American Novelist, Journalist, There are more than 50,000 current titles on cassette, CD or digital format.
Unabridged audiobooks are word for word readings of a book, while abridged audiobooks have text edited out by the abridger. Abridgements were initially necessary to keep down the running time, and therefore the cost and corresponding retail price, as the general consumer was getting introduced to audiobooks. With greater consumer acceptance, less consumer price resistance and higher per title sales for some pricing economy, more of the audiobook titles are now being released only as unabridged recordings. Audiobooks also come as fully dramatized versions of the printed book, sometimes calling upon a complete cast, music, and sound effects, though many consumers have indicated a preference for less music, multiple voices and sound effects. Each spring, the Audie Awards are given to the top nominees for performance and production in several genre categories. The Audie Awards (or Audies) are annually bestowed for outstanding Audiobooks The Audies have been granted by the Audio Publishers Association, a not-for-profit
There are quite a few radio programs serializing books, sometimes read by the author or sometimes by an actor, with most of them on the BBC. Putting Books on the radio makes the Audio book format cheaply available to a wide audience
In 1931 the Congress established the talking-book program, which was intended to help blind adults who couldn’t read print. This program was called "Books for the Adult Blind Project. " The American Foundation for the Blind developed the first talking books in 1932. One year later the first reproduction machine began the process of mass publishing. In 1933 anthropologist J.P. Harrington drove the length of North America to record oral histories of Native American tribes on aluminum discs using a car battery-powered turntable. Year 1933 ( MCMXXXIII) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. John Peabody Harrington (1884-1961 was an American linguist and Ethnologist and a specialist in the native peoples of California. Oral history can be defined as the recording preservation and interpretation of historical information, based on the personal experiences and opinions of the speaker The phonograph, or gramophone, was the most common device for playing recorded Sound from the 1870s through the 1980s Audiobooks preserve the oral tradition of storytelling that J. Storytelling is the ancient art of conveying events in Words Images and Sounds often by Improvisation or embellishment P. Harrington pursued many years ago.  By 1935, after Congress approved free mailings of audio books to blind citizens, the Books for the Adult Blind Project was in full operation. In 1992 the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) network circulated millions of recorded books to more than 700,000 handicapped listeners. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is a free Library program of Braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in All NLS recordings were created by professionals.
Though spoken recordings were already popular in 33-1/3 vinyl record format for schools and libraries into the early 1970's, the beginning of the trade acceptance of this medium can be traced to the introduction of the audio cassette and, most importantly, to the prevalence of these cassette players as standard equipment (rather than as options which older drivers did not choose) in imported (Japanese) automobiles, which became very popular during the oil crisis of 1979. Thereafter it was slow and steady going as consumers latched onto the experience and authors slowly accepted the medium. Into the early 1980's there were still many authors who refused to have their books created as audiobooks, so a good many of the audiobooks were original productions not based upon printed books.
With the development of portable cassette recorders, audiotapes had become very popular and by the late 1960s libraries became a source of free audiobooks, primarily on vinyl records but also on cassettes. Instructional and educational recordings came first, followed by self-help tapes and then by literature. In 1970 Books on Tape Corporation started rental plans for audio books distribution. The company expanded their services selling their products to libraries and audiobooks gained popularity. By the middle of 1980s the audio publishing business grew to several billion dollars a year in retail value. The new companies, Recorded Books and Chivers Audio Books, were not the first to develop integrated production teams and to work with professional actors. Caedmon was the first to have done this, while Nightingale Conant featured business and self-help authors reading their own works first on vinyl records and then on cassettes. 
The Audio Publishers Association was established in 1986 by six competitive companies who joined together to promote the consumer awareness of spoken word audio. In 1996 the Audio Publishers Association established the Audie Awards for audio books, which is equivalent to the Oscar for the talking books industry. The nominees are announced each year in January. The winners are announced at a gala banquet in the spring, usually in conjunction with BookExpo America. 
Invention of CDs added to the convenience and flexibility of listening. While music fans were quick to latch onto this new format, audiobook listeners were much slower, presumably caring less about technology and more about ease of use and bookmarking capability. Also, it was not until cassette players were replaced by CD players in most automobiles that this format eventually took hold.
With the advent of the Internet, broadband technologies, new compressed audio formats and portable MP3 players, the popularity of audio books has increased significantly. This growth was reflected with the advent of Audio book download subscription services. Meanwhile, the introduction of easy-to-use preloaded digital audio formats have kept audiobooks accessible to technophobes and the visually impaired, although the majority of consumers are neither: rather, they tend to be regular readers who desire to emulate reading when driving or otherwise occupied.
The popularity of portable music players such as the iPod has made audiobooks more accessible to people for portable listening. iPod is a popular brand of Portable media players designed and marketed by Apple Inc This has led to an availability in the creation of free audiobooks from Librivox and similar projects such as FreeAudioBooks1 that take works from the public domain and enlist volunteers to read them. LibriVox is a Digital library of free Public domain Audiobooks read by Volunteers The project started in August 2005 and as of 2008-09-14 The public domain is a range of abstract materials &ndash commonly referred to as Intellectual property &ndash which are not owned or controlled by anyone Audiobooks also can be created with text to speech software, although the quality of synthesised speech may suffer by comparison to voice talent recordings. Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech. Audiobooks in the private domain are also distributed online by for-profit companies such as Media Bay (which has since ceased operations), the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), Simply Audiobooks, Spoken Network, Naxos, Audioville, Bookstolistento, Lodingo and Audible.com, which in 2006 generated $82. Audiblecom is an Internet provider of spoken audio entertainment information and educational programming 2 million USD in revenue through sales of downloadable audiobooks and other spoken-word content.  In addition to direct-to-consumer websites, OverDrive distributes digital audiobooks to libraries, schools, and online retailers. Very recently communities have launched which gather and distribute community-generated audiobooks in piecemeal, such as podiobooks (dedicated to serialized Sci-Fi) and dublit.com (short for "dubbing literature") which accepts and distributes short stories, poetry and essays and acts as an archive for live literary readings.
Audiobooks on cassette or CD are typically more expensive than their hardback equivalents due to the added expense of recording and the lack of the economy of scale in high "print" runs that are available in the publishing of printed books. Preloaded digital formats are similar in price to their CD counterparts. The audio content is preloaded on a small and simple player, which removes the need for a separate piece of technology such as a CD player or an MP3 player. Additionally, the content is static-state so it is protected from damage.
Downloadable audiobooks tend to cost slightly less than hardbacks but more than their paperback equivalents. For this reason, market penetration of audiobooks is substantially lower than for their printed counterparts despite the high market penetration of the hardware (MP3 and WMA players) and despite the massive market penetration achieved by audio music products. Given the elasticity of demand for audiobooks and the availability of cheaper alternatives, slow and steady growth in sales seems more likely than a mass market explosion. However, economics are on the side of downloadable audiobooks in the long run. They do not carry mass production costs, do not require storage of a large inventory, do not require physical packaging or transportation and do not face the problem of returns that add to the cost of printed books. Received wisdom of market forces suggests that significant price reductions to customers, while cutting into per unit profit margins, will be offset by increased volumes of sales. This will increase absolute profits to the industry while bringing audiobooks to a wider public.
One of the factors holding back price competition is the fear that low-price audiobooks might simply take business away from more traditional forms of publishing. This is especially significant in the case of publishers who have interests in both print and audiobook publishing. However, most major book publishers now actively participate in audiobook publishing and see it as a complement to their publishing operations.
Resellers of audiobooks, such as Audible, Simply Audiobooks, and Audio Editions Books on Cassette and CD, who acquire much of their content from major publishers, must price their content at such a level as to take account of their cost of goods as well as operating costs. On the other hand, audiobook sellers who sell their own content (like the BBC), those who publish solely in audiobook format (such as Blackstone Audio, Highbridge Audio, Brilliance Audio, etc) and "Long Tail" type audiobook publishers who publish lesser known authors (such as bookstolistento or dublit) have lower operating costs and can therefore sell at lower prices using a "lower-margin-higher-sales" business model. The phrase The Long Tail (as a Proper noun with capitalized letters was first coined by Chris Anderson in an October 2004 Wired magazine However, they still have to meet the costs of writer's royalties, performers fees and production facility costs. The shift from CDs and cassettes to downloadable audiobooks, whilst doing nothing to reduce initial recording and editing costs, creates further downward pressure on price, by removing some of the other costs, such as mass production, packaging and physical distribution.
Audiobooks have been used to teach children to read and to increase reading comprehension. They are also useful for the blind. Blindness is the condition of lacking Visual perception due to Physiological or Neurological factors The National Library of Congress in the U. The Library of Congress is the De facto National library of the United States and the research arm of the United States Congress S. and the CNIB Library in Canada provide free audiobook library services to the visually impaired; requested books are mailed out (at no cost) to clients. CNIB (formerly known as the Canadian National Institute for the Blind) is a Volunteer agency and charitable organization dedicated to assisting Canadians who are Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page
About forty percent of all audiobook consumption occurs through public libraries, with the remainder served primarily through retail book stores. Library download programs are currently experiencing rapid growth (more than 5,000 public libraries offer free downloadable audio books). According to the National Endowment for the Arts' recent study, "Reading at Risk", audio book listening is one of very few "types" of reading that is increasing general literacy. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA is a United States federally funded and donation assisted program that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence
Audio books are also used for education. Self-help audio books range from public speaking to learning meditation. Public speaking is the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured deliberate manner intended to inform influence or entertain the listeners Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned "thinking" mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness Their general goal, however, is always to develop one's skills to be happier and/or more successful in life. While some focus on a particular skill, others aim to change the listener's life entirely. Many of these self-help audio books can be purchased online.
Audio books are considered a valuable learning tool because of their format. Unlike with traditional books, one can learn from an audiobook while doing other tasks, although it should be noted that this can detract from the primary task. Such multitasking is feasible when doing mechanical tasks that do not require much thought and have only little or no chance of an emergency arising. Such tasks include doing the laundry and exercising indoors, among others. The most popular general use of audiobooks by adults is when driving an automobile or as an alternative to radio. Many people listen as well just to relax or as they drift off into sleep.
Common practices include: