7 Reasons Why I Love Audiobooks

7 Reasons why I love Audiobooks

Audiobooks have so many benefits! Do you know them all?

I bought my first audiobook in August 2014 when Neil Gaiman posted that the BBC full cast production of Neverwhere was available on Audible.com.

Listening to it totally blew my mind! [... read more]

Unlimited Audiobooks: Other genres in the Romance Package #2

Not that romantic… Part 2

Welcome back to my mini series about other genres in the Audible Romance Package!

Check out part 1 to find out more about how amazing Audible’s Unlimited Romance subscription is for every audiobook lover. It’s not only a great deal for hardcore romance fans, but you can find so many other genres among the over 10,000 audiobooks**. In part 1 I told you about Chick Lit, Classics and Horror recommendations. Now we continue with cozy mystery audiobooks, Young Adult and LGBT recommendations. [... read more]

Unlimited Audiobooks: Other genres in the Romance Package #1

The many book genres in the Audible Romance Package, part 1

Not that romantic… Part 1

In my post about “the white bread of literature” I mentioned a poll I did in a big Romance audio Facebook group. Many participants answered that Romance was only one of many genres they’d enjoy.

If you’re already a romance (package) connoisseur who only wants something different for a change, just scroll down to the categories. Discover something new and get even more out of your subscription. [... read more]

Why Audiobooks matter: Let’s talk about Inclusion and History

The history of audiobooks - an inforgraphic by LovelyAudiobooks.info

A few numbers

Today I want to take you on a little tour through the history of audiobooks to show you why they matter. Currently in 2018, 18% of US consumers listen to audiobooks, compared to 74% readers overall, 67% print readers and 26% e-book readers (1).

There are two defining factors in the audio success story: The first is technological development. Prior to the LP we already had radio plays. But a talking book that you could consume on your own schedule was an impossible thing. The cheaper and more convenient technology has become, the more popularity audiobooks could gain.

The other crucial aspect were disabled people. In 2015, 10.5% of 18-65 year old US citizens had a disability and 35.4% of people aged 65 and older. (2)

Now, I’m not claiming that only disabled people listen to audiobooks or that they are meant only for disabled people. I’m trying to show you why their inclusiveness is an important feature of audiobooks that deserves appreciation, no matter whether you are a listener yourself or not.

 

Inclusion and the lack of it

As readers we generally like to think of ourselves as open-minded, well-read, aware.  That’s why, fortunately, the “print vs. e-book vs. audiobook“-debate has considerably quieted down and usually only takes on the form of: “Of course every book format is equally great!” Unfortunately, I have never found a post on this topic that made a big point out of the importance of audiobooks for disabled people. Sadly, as it is so often, the not fully able-bodied remain mostly invisible.

A while ago I asked in a Facebook group (Audiobook Addicts) why people liked to listen to books. As expected, a lot of them said they listened during commutes or while doing chores. Many said that, like me, they were avid readers but didn’t have much time anymore to sit down with a book. But some also mentioned that they weren’t able to read print or e-books due to disabilities or cognitive impairments.

 

Did you know that…

…. audiobooks were invented for blind and disabled people?

…. the standard size for Braille books is 11 x 11.5 in (28 x 29.21 cm), making them very big and inconvenient to hold? (3)

…. some diseases like MS can make it difficult to hold a book or an e-reader?

…. brain injuries and brain fog can make it difficult to read?

… audiobooks help dyslexic people become better readers and turn reading into a positive experience? (4, 8)

 

Audiobooks are not for people who are too lazy to read “a real book”. Audiobooks are for people who can’t read the words, who can’t hold up a book, but also for people who are so crazy about books that they couldn’t bear not having them in their lives anymore because they work long hours.

There is a big number of avid readers among the blind and disabled since – as we readers are all well aware – : Books are uniquely able to transport the emotions necessary to let us experience something that we cannot experience in reality.

 

A brief history of audiobooks

 

 

In 1931 the American Foundation for the Blind and the Library of Congress Book for the Blind Project cooperated ion the “Talking Book Program” which developed the audiobook. At this time the amount of books that were recorded as well as their distribution was limited. The Bible, the constitution and only few fiction pieces were available through postal service.

In 1948 Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic was formed. “Learning Ally” started to provide text books for blinded WWll veterans to support their college education. LP records were invented in the same year.

In 1952 Caedmon was the first publisher to bring out an LP recording of poems and a story, read by the author. It became unexpectedly popular and turned the publisher into a household name.  The invention of the cassette in 1963 was a game-changer. Where before only few libraries offered recordings, this swiftly changed now and in the 1970’s all libraries were carrying audiobooks.

With the new technological means audiobooks kept gaining in popularity. In 1985 21 publishers offered audiobooks and recorded books became a more widely available and accepted form of entertainment.

In the 1990’s audiobooks quickly grew into an industry of their own. The Audie Awards were presented for the first time and Audiofile Magazine was launched. And already in 1997 Audible presented the first digital audio player.

In 2003 Audible made audiobooks available on Apple’s iTunes. And yet, only at this point did CD’s replace cassette tapes as the most popular format. However, in 2008 digital downloads already replaced the CD as most common way to obtain and listen to audiobooks.

The programs that first distributed audiobooks to disabled people are still active. Learning Ally is now the largest provider of audio textbooks.
(See sources 5, 6 and 7)

 

Sources:

(1) https://www.statista.com/statistics/222754/book-format-used-by-readers-in-the-us/

(2) https://disabilitycompendium.org/sites/default/files/user…/2016_AnnualReport.pdf

(3) http://www.madehow.com/Volume-4/Braille-Publication.html

(4) https://learningally.org/About-Us/Why-Audiobooks

(5) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audiobook

(6) https://www.audiopub.org/uploads/images/backgrounds/A-HISTORY-OF-AUDIOBOOKS.pdf

(7) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_Ally

(8) http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/answers/ask-dr-pierson/keep-em-reading

How to get the Romance Package outside the USA

Quick and easy guide: How to sign up to the Audible Romance Package from Europe (or anywhere else)

Find out how to binge on Romance Audiobooks as a Brit, Canadian, German and from anywhere else

I don’t remember anymore how I found the Romance Package but you would not believe how I squealed at the prospect of listening to so many Romance audiobooks. You get so much value for your money compared to a Gold membership. Obviously, I love telling my fellow listeners about “bingeing on a budget” and I regularly hear that other audiobook addicts living in the EU or Canada assume they could not get the Romance Package because it is not on Audible .co.uk / .ca and so on. But don’t worry, it’s super easy to subscribe to it no matter where you live. The only obstacle is that you need a credit card (for Audible, not for the guide!!). A Visa debit card works, too.

 

Step-by-step guide

Let me walk you through it. For convenience, this guide shows how to sign up using a desktop computer. Later I will also show you how you can get to your new audiobooks in the smartphone app. Don’t worry, it might seem like a lot of steps but they’re all tiny and you’ll be done in 3 minutes!

#1 Click on this banner or navigate to the Romance Package in your browser. The banner is an Affiliate link which means I receive a small fee if you subscribe to your free month through my website. Obviously, it doesn’t cost you anything extra or has any impact on your order. It’s free 😀

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#2 You’ll arrive on a page looking like this:

#3 Click on “Try it free” and Amazon will prompt you to login.

#4 Now, this is very easy! Amazon and Audible have a global login. That means you can login to Audible.com with the exact same email and password that you used yesterday to order a new toothbrush and cat food on your local Amazon! Told you this was easy 😉
Again, don’t make a new account! Just use the one you always use to log into Amazon. Trust me, it will work!

#5 Here we get to the bit where, sadly, not everyone can order the Romance Package. You need a credit card. Debit cards only work if it’s a Visa. If you already use a credit card for Amazon, you are done now. Yay! You can skip on to the next point. If you have a credit card but don’t use it for your Amazon account, you will see this screen and need to put in your information:

#6 Once you’ve added a card to your account, you are now done and can start your Audible Romance Package test month. Whoo!! You can browse around and borrow up to 10 audiobooks at the same time, but as many as you like during the month. Keep in mind, this works just like Kindle Unlimited “read and listen for free”. You borrow the audiobooks and once your subscription runs out, they will be returned. You don’t own them.

We’re signing you up for a test month and, even though you needed your credit card, this is completely free! You can cancel anytime, right away if you wish, and still enjoy a full month of Romance audiobook bliss 🙂

 

How to listen to your Romance Package audiobooks in the Audible app

We aren’t done yet. There is one more important bit I would like to guide you through so you can enjoy listening on your smartphone or tablet. The Audible app is a bit clutzy. So let me quickly show you how you can dive into your new library in the app.

#1 Open the app and go to the menu:

#2 Open the menu by clicking the three stripes and scroll down to Settings:

#3 Click on settings and then log out of Audible:

#4 Don’t erase your downloaded content! Just click okay and don’t toggle Erase.

#5 Now you are outside on the login-screen. At the bottom you can see which Audible you had logged into previously. For me it was .co.uk.

#6 Click on the marketplace and select .com:

#7 Now you’re back on the login screen, but at the bottom it should say Audible.com. If that is so, use your usual Amazon email and password (the one you used before to order the Romance Package).

Done! You can now use your app as usual. You can download Romance Package audiobooks that you can either choose in the app or on the desktop. Audiobooks contained in the Romance Package are marked with a purple “R” in the corner. To log back into your local Audible, just follow the same steps. All audiobooks you downloaded from Audible.com will remain visible in your library. So you can still listen to all of them. In case your Romance Package subscription runs out, they will disappear, no matter which marketplace you are logged into.

You didn’t dare yet, but I could convince you that it’s easy? Click here** and get started!

 

If you are still unsure or if you run into problems, write a comment or ask me in my Facebook group “Romance Audiobook Binge”. I’m happy to help!

If the guide worked perfectly and you want recommendations for the best Romance Package audiobooks, join our Facebook group, too 😉