The Rise of the Audiobook

I used to listen to audiobooks, sometimes, about 15 years ago. They were great for driving, or doing one of those household chores that takes lots of time but not much brain. My problem with them was–the readers weren’t good.


I eventually stopped listening to them, because the good ones were so rare I couldn’t justify the expense. I’ve recently started again, because my job has been moved to a town slightly more than an hour’s drive away, and I hate the morning radio around here. Sometimes I listen to music, but I’ve rediscovered audiobooks as well.

And, boy, have they changed!

OldmanswaraudiobookI’ve just finished listening to the first four of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War novels. I liked both readers–they were unobtrusive, stayed in character and kept me entertained all the way to work. As a side bonus, I’ve found that the audiobooks keep me more focused during the drive. When I listen to music, I have a tendency to drift away and start plotting stories.

Not something you want happening when driving at 60 mph on a windy road with loads of traffic coming in the other direction.

FatalShadowsAudiobookThe truly cheering part is that there are audiobooks available in my genre, MM erotic romance. I listened to Cut & Run at the beginning of October, and have the second one queued up to listen to next. It’s a great way to keep on top of what’s going on in my genre, even though my reading time is now severely curtailed by this humongous drive. I think I might try Adrien English next, because he’s an old favourite, unless I’m feeling kind of grimdark, in which case, I will listen to Joe Abercrombie (who is not, by the way, MM romance, but gritty fantasy. I’m an equal opportunity kind of girl). But it’s good to see our books getting this treatment. Not only is it another way people in the same situation as me can enjoy the stories without having to lose sleep to do it, but it’s another revenue stream for authors if it takes off and a step towards being treated with the same respect that authors in other genres already enjoy.

thebladeitselfaudiobookI have to admit, though–I’m still kind of scarred by my history with audiobooks. Are they all as good as the ones I’ve already listened to? Any I should stay away from? A reader that can always be counted on? I’m thinking of getting an Audible subscription, but like anyone out there, I don’t want to waste my credits. (PS. I’ve added links to the pictures, if you want to check out the stories, or Audible,  yourself.)

Okay, enough dilly-dallying and procrastinating–back to the Christmas story.

About the author: Kate Lowell

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