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Podcast - 10 Aug 2011

Matt's Favorite new Audiobook Player:

The APA has done a study to find out some interesting things about the audiobook marketplace: http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2011/06/27/5600473.htm

EBSCO is working on new ways to deliver eBooks and audiobooks: http://news.yahoo.com/ebsco-publishing-delivers-ebooks-audiobooks-ebscohost-alongside-databases-193218978.html

We discuss our May/June/July Audiobook Club selection, Room by Emma Donaghue

Matt finally got around to listening to the audiobook version of MockingJay by Suzanne Collins

And we've selected our new audiobook club selection for August and September: The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua:

Blog Entry - 7 Jun 2011
The Open Book Audio Store - Staying Ahead of the Trends
Audiobook Club Selection for -: The Open Book Audio Store - Staying Ahead of the Trends

As I continue to grow older (it happens to the best of us) I am again and again reminded of how quickly things seem to move and change around me. When I was younger, the milestones in my life—birthdays, summer vacations, holidays—seemed to hold vast caverns of time around them. Years crawled by. It was easy to keep up with the latest trends in clothing, the newest music, and the greatest new technological toys.

As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve found that, if I want to stay current, I have to make a much more conscious effort than I used to in years past. The world is moving fast, and if I don’t work at keeping up, I will get left behind.

Well, it’s really no different in the business world. Businesses that want to remain current within their marketplaces, on top of trends, and exercise the Blue Ocean Strategy, must be willing to work at keeping up, or they’ll find very quickly that they’ve been left behind. Open Book Audio, from its founding, has striven to be a business that has always anticipated the market trends, and thus far, it’s served us pretty well.

One part of staying agile is identifying and evaluating those aspects of your business which, while valuable, may not position your business for the shifting market in the future. After identifying these aspects, you then need to decide what action to take to resolve the issue: do you correct course or do you perhaps reallocate your resources to more beneficial areas?

After long evaluation, Open Book Audio has found itself with just such a decision. And, it hasn’t been an easy one. But, after evaluating the changing trends in the audiobook marketplace we’ve decided that the time has come to close the Open Book Audio Store. The OBA Store was originally built as a home base for selling our titles directly through the OBA website, and it has served its purpose well. However, our market research has shown that a VAST majority of audiobook purchases are happening on the major audiobook retail outlets (like Audible and iTunes). Why would an audiobook buyer want to jump around the internet going from site to site looking for each audiobook on a different site, when they can go to one big mega-site to find everything they’re looking for?

We’ve signed several deals with retailers over the last year, and just recently inked a deal with Audible to list our titles both on their monster audiobook site and, due to their position as the exclusive provider of audiobook to Apple’s iTunes, list our titles on iTunes as well. In addition, our titles are available on LearnOutLoud.com and AmblingBooks.com, and we have several upcoming audiobook retail deals on the horizon as well, with some other major players in this marketplace.

So, rather than spend our time and resources on maintaining a store which won’t meet the needs of future audiobook consumers, we’ve decided that we’ll be transitioning away from being a one-off retailer, and instead focus our efforts on developing and improving the relationships we have with the already-established retailers. In short, we want to become the best audiobook distributor for independent authors and publishers anywhere in the world.

In early July 2011, we’ll begin the process of shuttering the Open Book Audio store. You’ll still be able to go to the Open Book Audio website to get information about all of our titles, listen to samples, and to find links to where you can purchase our audiobooks “out there” in the internet. And, if you’ve purchased audiobooks from us in the past, don’t worry. We will continue to support you and your purchase for as long as the company exists. If you run into any issues with your past order, you can always contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.

We’ve got several other big things coming soon on Open Book Audio, including a complete redesign of our Open Book Audio site, changes to the OBA podcast, and a new classics collection podcast. We’re excited for the future of the company, and for the publishers and authors who distribute their titles through us.

If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please feel free to contact us.

Podcast - 4 Jun 2011

Books Discussed On This Podcast

News

  • The Open Book Audio Podcast will be cut back to once a month instead of every two weeks
  • The Open Book Audio Store will be closing its doors in July.  Check out our blog for more information.
  • Open Book Audio has inked a deal with Audible to get its titles into Audible and iTunes. Links to those titles coming soon
  • The 2011 Audie Award Winners have been announced
  • Listener Kevin Readdean alerted us that a book he has voiced, Moonbane by Al Sarrantonio, is now available for purchase.

Audiobook Sample

This week we welcomed a new titles into the OBA catalog:  Jack Buck: That's a Winner by Jack Buck with Rob Rains and Bob Broeg, and read by Bruce Horlick.  You can find more information about the book here.

Podcast - 6 May 2011

Books Discussed on This Podcast

News

Radio Archives will be producing a new series of audiobooks based on 1930s and 40s classic pulp fiction
Digital formats of audiobooks and ebooks are growing significantly

What We're Reading

Matt adored Bite Me by Christopher Moore, Read by Susan Bennett - 10/10
Andrew didn't adore Potty Training in 1-3 Days by Wayne Jensen - 3/10

Next Book Club Selection

Our book club selection for May/June is Room by Emma Donoghue.  

From Audible.com

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Podcast - 11 Apr 2011

Don't forget to join us for the March/April Audiobook Club:  This month's selection is Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

News

  • Overdrive has updated its Blackberry App to download audiobooks and ePub books directly to the handset.
  • The Grammy Awards will no longer have a Children's Spoken Word Album category.

What We're Reading

  • Andrew's been reading Ikea setup instructions
  • Matt read Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

Podcast - 27 Mar 2011

News

  • Brilliance Audio is launching a Snap To Listen feature for thier audiobooks.
  • Savtira and Audiobooks.com are teaming up to distribute audiobooks
  • You can now buy and download Audible books directly to your Kindle over wi-fi

Book Reviews

  •  Matt didn't like The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History by John Ortved, narrated by John Allen Nelson and Justine Eyre
  • Matt did like Treason by Orson Scott Card, Read by Stefan Rudnicki

Podcast - 9 Mar 2011

Audiobook Club for Jan/Feb

Big thanks to Kevin Readdean and BianaPagani for your submissions and reviews of The Help.

May really enjoyed the book as well, and gave it an 8 out of 10.

News

The Audie Award Nominees for 2011 have been announced.  You can find the complete list here

Audiobook Club for Mar/Apr

The Audiobook Club Selection for Mar/Apr is Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, written by Laura Hillenbrand, and read by the amazing Edward Herrmann.

We will discuss this book on the first podcast in May.  Please go to the book club page for this selection, and use the comments to discuss the book.  You can also email your review to us at info (at) openbookaudio dot com, and we'll read it on the podcast.  You can also phone in your review to 425-440-0005.

Podcast - 22 Feb 2011

Audiobook Club
 
It's the last couple of weeks to listen to Jan/Feb's selection and join in the conversation at http://www.openbookaudio.com/content/audiobook-club-selection-january-february

News

  • Congrats to Jon Stewart & team, and Julie Andrews and her Daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, for winning Grammy Awards for thier respective audiobooks.
  • Or, you could show support for Robotic Huck Finn

Giveaway
We didn't have any entries for last week's giveaway of The Blind Visionary by Virginia Jacko and Doug Eadie.  So, we're keeping the content open for a couple more weeks.  To enter, just send an email to info (at) openbookaudio dot com with the subject line "Blind Visionary" and you'll be entered to win one of two free copies.

Audiobook Review

Wyrms, by Orson Scott Card, Read by Emily Janice Card.  Matt enjoyed the book mildly: Fairly middle of the road for Card's Sci-Fi/Fantasy work, but the quality of the recording was quite poor.

Listener Question

  • BonkEnc, the encoding software Matt mentioned, has changed its name to fre:ac.  You can find it here.
  • Here's a tutorial for converting your audiobooks from mp3 to m4b for iTunes.

Software Review
Matt has been using the Overdrive player for Android.  He really likes the download functionality that has been added into the software, but as a player, he finds it still rather buggy.  There are several issues with the audiobook starting to play automatically, failing to stop playing if the headphone jack is removed, not responding to phone calls, etc.  You can find out more about it at http://www.overdrive.com

Podcast - 2 Feb 2011

 

Audiobook Club

The Help by Kathryn Sockett

http://www.openbookaudio.com/content/audiobook-club-selection-january-february

News

  • Flo Gibson, the grand dame of audiobooks passed away on January 7th.  She read 1,134 audiobooks in her lifetime.
  • Apposing software and Lucid design agency will be working with BBC Audiobooks company AudioGo to provide mobile apps for the website.

Huck Finn Giveaway

Congrats to Kevin Readdean and Richie Franklin, the winners of last podcast's Huck Finn giveaway

Audiobook Review

Matt listened to Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, performed by Bianca Amato.  He wanted to like it, and for most of the book, thought he liked it, but ended up not liking it after all.  4 out of 10.

Giveaway

Open Book Audio has just added a new title to the store, and is giving away two free copies of the audiobook.  

Virginia Jacko was a successful financial executive at Purdue University when she learned that retinitis pigmentosa would gradually take away her eyesight.  As the darkness grew around her, she refused to retreat and bemoan her face.  She chose, instead, to enroll at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  Within four years, she advanced from student to the President and CEO of this premier human services organization.  In recounting Virginia's odyssey from tragedy to renewal, The Blind Visionary teaches powerful lessons about overcoming fear, embracing change, and living your life's mission fully and passionately.

To enter:

Send an email to info (at) openbookaudio dot com with the subject Blind Visionary.  Make sure to include your name and how to pronounce it.

Podcast - 13 Jan 2011

Audiobook Club

The Help by Kathryn Sockett

http://www.openbookaudio.com/content/audiobook-club-selection-january-february

News

  • It's now possible to download ebooks and audiobooks directly to your device...unless your device is an iPad.  All thanks to Overdrive.
  • Ambling BookPlayer now has a Windows Version.
  • A "Twain scholar" is going to be removing all the objectionable language from Huck Finn.

New OBA Classics Collection Book

OBA’s new version of The Adventures of Huck Finn is available now from our website at www.openbookaudio.com/store for $8.95.  And for our listeners, if you use the coupon code HUCKFINNPODCAS (no "t"), you can get a 20% discount from the price.  We’ll also be having a giveaway for a couple of free copies of Huck Finn at the end of the podcast.

Giveaway

There are two ways to enter:

  1. Friend our Open Book Audio page on Facebook.  If you've already friended our page, you're already entered for the giveaway.
  2. Or, post the following on Twitter  (We'll accept either the version we did on the podcast or the text listed here: @OBAudio is giving away copy of their new version of Huck Finn audiobook with original language intact. http://bit.ly/glOb1S. RT to Enter!

We'll do the drawings for all the entries we've received by 9PM on Monday, January 24th.

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