Audio books – is it reading?

Editorial: In defense of audio books

I’ve come to the conclusion that reading books by listening to unabridged audio books has to have more applause from all of us readers. To be exact, it’s got to have fans who think it may be a pretty good replacement for the drudgery and wasted time of eye reading. Think about it. Eye reading requires a quiet spot, stopping all that you are otherwise doing, and owning a book or computer which will have print the right size to see well. These fans would see the value of ear reading or listening, similar to the phenomenon that has propelled music to the point of using an substantial amount of our daily waking attention.

Centuries ago there would not have been such a choice about stories. Stories were told and retold orally at all levels of society. Narrators or storytellers had their due, rated as highly as any other actor for their inflections, voices and humor. The change came with the printed book and the act of possession of a story. The reader now owned the story as property and could read and reread with a personal inflection, good or bad.

Today, we can return to the oral storytelling if we wish. It’s not such a bad choice. Many times the eyes do not read as well as the ears. The mind and ear partnership can provide so much more enjoyment with the voice of a gifted narrator than what the mind and eyes can do alone.

So, its not always a bad choice to go backward to a better way of storytelling.

Channels and Pricing on CreateSpace

In CreateSpace, choosing or changing the channels the book is available on has a marked impact on the base price of that book. You can do this selection either when you set up your book or after it’s live.

The pricing discussion gets a little tricky. I’ll try my best to simplify. The base price, here in CreateSpace, has to account for both Amazon’s cut and for the third party’s cut, just in case the book does sell at a third party location. Barnes & Noble wants to list the book at the same price that Amazon does. So even on Amazon, where that cut isn’t being shared, it’ll still have the higher price. That across-the-board price has to always account for Barnes & Noble having a share of the price. So what that means is for a $30 full-color book, on Barnes & Noble (expanded distribution) they get a share of $6, Amazon gets their share of $6 (as the distributor) and I make a share of under $1. In comparison, if the book sells directly on Amazon, since Barnes & Noble isn’t getting a share of that sale, I now get a cut of nearly $7. And if the book sells on CreateSpace, where neither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble are getting a cut, I get a large cut of nearly $13. That one global price is being shown on all systems, even if there isn’t a “reason” for it to be that high on a given system beyond the price match desire.

Example with images: