Audiobooks!: March 23, 2017

Hi there, audiobook fans! I’m feeling fantastic because I’ve finally been won over to the beauty of listening to books at 1.25x speed. Have you tried this? A lot of audiobook apps like Audible, Overdrive, and Volumes offer the option to listen at 1.25x, 1.5x, 2x speed or even more. I’ve tried it with fiction before and it just wasn’t my thing. But I was listening to some pretty straightforward non-fiction the other day and gave it another try. Jackpot! I loved jamming those facts in my head and shaving 2.5 hours off my listening time.

Speaking of things that fly by, let’s get on to this week’s audio goodies:

Sponsored by Unbound Worlds: Cage Match.

Cage Match is back! Unbound Worlds is pitting science fiction characters against fantasy characters in a battle-to-the-death tournament, and you can win a collection of all 32 books featured in the competition. Enter now for your chance to win this library of sci-fi and fantasy titles!

Stephen Fry Reads A New Sherlock Holmes Collection

Jamie Canaves, who writes Book Riot’s Unusual Suspects newsletter, has a mystery pick I think you’re going to want to hear about. “A new audiobook has Stephen Fry narrating Sherlock Holmes! The collection has four novels and four short stories AND Fry wrote an introduction for each, exclusively for Audible Studios. Even though I’ve previously read A Study in Scarlet I couldn’t pass up listening to Fry’s introduction, nor his narration. His introduction is the perfect length and gives a quick insight into his personal attachment, some history on Arthur Conan Doyle, the characters, the time period, and the detective genre. If you’ve never read Doyle’s Holmes before this is a perfect collection to read so that when you’re in the mood for a novel or short story you can select one and find yourself in Baker Street with Fry’s wonderful narration in your ears. Or if you’re a superfan already the collection is a hell of a binging challenge!” Treat Yo Self to a sample.

Audiobook of the Year

The finalists for the Audie Awards’ 2017 Audiobook of the Year were just announced: Boys in the Trees by Carly Simon, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer, Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, and Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. The winner will be announced on June 1, 2017 — congrats to all the finalists!

Buy Downloadable Audiobooks, Support Your Local Indie

If you love your local indie bookstore, listen up because you might want to check out lets you buy downloadable audiobooks directly from the independent bookstore of your choice — kind of like Kobo, but for audiobooks. How cool is that?! They handle all the technical stuff, but your dollars directly support your favorite indie. You can setup a monthly subscription or buy titles individually, and they have partnerships with indie bookstores in over 40 states and growing. My favorite part? The files are DRM-free so you can just download the file and listen on any device you want! Genius.

The website says they’re giving away free audiobooks on April 29 for Independent Bookstore Day, so I’ll definitely be checking that out.

Wattpad Stories Are Finally Coming to Audio, Thanks To Hachette

Do you Wattpad? The Wattpad community is 45 million passionate readers strong, and is putting out the freshest voices and worlds in storytelling. And traditional publishers have been snapping up these voices for book deals. Authors like Nikki Kelly (The Styclar Saga), Natasha Preston (The Cellar), Beth Reekles (The Kissing Booth) and Anna Todd (After) were discovered on Wattpad, just to name a few.

Wattpad has recently been developing stories for film and TV, and their newest venture is a first-of-its-kind audio partnership with Hachette Audio. For the first time, Wattpad stories will be adapted as audiobooks! The first batch of titles are slated to come out in late spring or early summer. They say they’ll be experimenting with “audio formats other than the standard audiobook format,” and I’m excited to see what this means and how they’re going to shake things up.

Smalls out! It’s been a pleasure chatting about audiobooks, as always. If you want to stay in touch and swap audiobook recommendations before the next Audiobooks! Newsletter, you can find me on Twitter at Rach_Smalls or on Instagram at LadybitsKnits.

High five,
Rachel Smalter Hall