Reading With Your Ears

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I wrote two blog posts (in 2008 and 2011) about my love for audiobooks. At the end of 2015, the global audiobook industry was outselling print. This is such an interesting progress.

According to an article in the good e-reader – “For the first time audiobook and audiobook subscription services are being tracked by Nielsen StatShot.  20 publishers proclaimed that the subscription model for audiobooks are actually proving to be more lucrative than e-Books. Approximately 3.88 million audiobooks were downloaded in 2015.

The Audio Publishers Association (APA)’s recent consumer behaviour study revealed a strong demand for titles for younger listeners and fiction continues to represent the vast majority of audiobooks sold.

If you have never tried an audiobook, it’s not too late to start now! An audiobook is the perfect companion for road trips, daily commute, workout, relaxing in bed, while doing housework, or cooking. My favourite time to listen to an audiobook is when I am painting.

Audiobook services
It is becoming very common for digital book retailers like iTunes, Scribd, multi-entertainment platforms like Playster to sell audiobooks too. Other audio-only retailers also exist, like Audiobooks.com and Downpour.com.  My favourite is still Audible. With more than 150,000 titles, Audible is paradise for bookworms.

There are also free audiobooks (although rather limited titles and mostly classics) on Spotify.

Audiobook Narrators
Good narrators make a world of difference to the audiobooks, breathing life into stories, giving audiobooks a dimension that print lacks. A-list celebrities are often brought in as narrators to increase visibility of the books and broaden consumer base.

Here are a few of my recent favourite famous authors and celebrities narrated books:

THE HANDMAID’S TALE
Written by Margaret Atwood
Narrated by Claire Danes 

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY
Written by James Thurber
Narrated by Ben Stiller 

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK
Written and Narrated by Neil Gaiman 

YES PLEASE
Written and Narrated by Amy Poehler

The Audacity of Hope
Written and Narrated by Barack Obama 

For all the Harry Potter fans, the whole series by author, J.K Rowling was narrated by ‘audiobook superstar’ Jim Dale.  It was said that he used as many as 134 different voices throughout the course of the seven books, and made him the most awarded audiobook performer in history. He also narrated my all-time favourite book, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.

And I was truly surprised to find Johnny Cash reading the New Testament! This has to be one of my all-time favourites.

Other Audiobooks Resources
https://librivox.org
Free public domain recordings of public domain works Read more about it
AudioFile
Reviews and recommends good audiobooks. List new releases

I am currently listening to Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning and  H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald. Definitely considering something narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch as well.

If you have any other good recommendation, drop me a note! Happy listening.

Heading to CES in Vegas

When I went to the doc to get the flu and Hep A/B jabs, she sent me home with packs of pills after knowing that I have to take a 16-hour flight. Usually, I am not a big fan of long haul flights but this time, I am looking forward to the trip to San Francisco and Las Vegas for the International CES 2008, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow in January.

There will be a lot to see in just four days (Jan 7 to 10). Spreading across 1.8 million net square feet of exhibits, 2700 participating companies, key note addresses, the industry insider series and other conference sessions plus alot of walking (so, i was told by a well-meaning colleague).

A sneak peak of some of the new new technology that will be on display at the show here:-

What I can’t miss is obviously Jerry Yang, CEO and Chief Yahoo! of Yahoo! Inc., who will delivering an Industry Insider address, sharing his views on the evolution of the Internet technology. Michael Muchmore of PC mag wrote that he is expecting many of the software announcements at CES to revolve around social networking, mobile internet apps, online digital media, and image and video editing. I am definitely looking forward to that too!
I am not sure how much time I have to walk around and hopefully capture as many interesting things as I can, but I am getting ready my comfy shoes and camera!

Timothy and I are planning to catch Zumanity at Cirque du Soleil one of the evenings, also catching up with my ex-client at Cirque after that. I am also hoping to meet up with with some bloggers whom I’ve been keeping in touch with online. Before I get back to Singapore from San Francisco, I am also planning to have dinner with my dear friend, Kevin who is heading to the Mac World Expo right after the CES in SF.

Exciting days ahead! For now, I have to continue my last minute Christmas shopping and get ready for my trip (there’s actually alot to prepare and do before then)! Thank Goodness, my wonderful colleague, Jeremy has been helping me with all the flight booking and details.

29 Sept 07: This week’s highlights

A couple of readers of this blog told me that they enjoyed my posts on the weekend highlights, probably because they are shorter than my usual long posts on various topics.

So, for this weekend, here they are:-

KENZO GOES TECH

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Beside tracking technology, social and new media news, my RSS aggregator is full of fashion and design blog feeds – I do love fashion.

So, when I went to the mall today and saw the Kenzo Ryoko fragrance Collection, couldn’t resist mentioning it here.

Anyone would have mistaken the unconventional Ryoko “bottle” for a pretty computer mouse. The palm-sized “bottle” is sleek and the collection comes in a range of candy colours and moods! Irresistible!

And yes, ok, I bought one. (PS: available for both men and women).

PUTTING THE TECH INTO TECH PR

The friendly ghost, a copywriter in tech PR wrote:-

I know there’s an argument that ‘non-technical’ people (whatever that means) might be better at tech PR because they get a new, fresh angle on what’s good about it, and the mechanics of PR should operate no matter what specialism you adopt.

But I do think there are often astonishing gaps in people’s knowledge which, to my mind, put them below the bar for truly grasping what they’re actually supposed to be talking about.

The question here is, whether or not PR folks who are handling tech products, clients or companies should at least have a certain amount of technical knowledge in order to be able to talk sense when communicating to media and audiences. I’ve given my thoughts in his post, what do you think?

SETH GODIN’S NEW BOOK

Shortly after releasing The Dip – a book that I really enjoyed, Godin is going to launch his next book in a couple of months time. The new book, titled Meatball Sundae “is going to be focusing on Internet and new marketing and the fourteen trends that change everything.”

For those folks who enjoys his book ad can’t wait for the next one to launch, Godin is going to publish a thought piece from the book every Monday for the next few months on his blog. Check it out!

Last week, my colleague, Wei gave me a book – Asian Brand Strategy and autographed by Martin Roll when he was last in Singapore for the Global Brand Forum.

Soon, I’ll need not only a new bookshelf but a new room to accommodate my fast-growing collection of books. And yes, I do read silly chick lits, literatures/ novels and other non-“business/ communications/ PR” books.