When I did a search for that tag here awhile back to see where to post on some interesting finds I'd listened to, I didn't find a group about it. So I made up one (TLC) and posted about a couple of a-books there. I got to my third diary entry and an offer to open up the Audiobooks Club appeared. I knew there were a-book lovers out there :)
The Audiobooks Club is a place where we can all post diaries about the audiobooks we've enjoyed listening to. Then the next time someone searches for audiobooks on DKos, a great sampling of Kossacks-curated listening pleasure will fill the results for book lovers to browse through.
I'll be here to offer up some of the a-books I've found memorable every other Thursday evening at 8:00pm California time, which is 11:00pm New York time. I encourage you to offer up some of your recommendations also, in the form of guest diaries.
Most of my experience is with free audios because I like the raw talent that you come across before the writer strikes their big book deal and the fact they're free. But I've also paid for a few and thoroughly enjoyed those too. I'll write about both types.
Free -vs- Paid?
Know that there are differences in free a-books versus those you buy.
First, although you can listen to complete works absolutely free, you can show thanks to the writers and hosting site by making a monetary donation if you wish. Either your donations OR word-of-mouth support will let the authors know you appreciate their time and efforts.
Another difference is in file size. Most free audiobooks will contain a number of smaller files that you download as a set (although you can download one at time too) whereas a purchased audiobook will be one or more larger files to download, or already contained on a commercially produced CD.
And the production quality is generally better on a purchase audiobook. Most of the free a-books are not backed by a big publishing house. It might just be the author reading into his laptop's mic in a quiet room to create a podcast, not professional narrators voice-acting the story in a studio containing the best equipment.
These differences won't keep you from enjoying the audiobook's story, though, when it's written well.
And both paid and free a-books will have some theme music bumpers and/or advertising before and after the storyreading. This is one way you'll hear about additional works from the authors, music acknowledgements, copyright info, etc.
Where To Find Audiobooks
For free a-books, a popular site is Podiobooks.com, which carries lots of a-books from writers who narrate their own work. There is also Books Should Be Free, which hosts a small library of classics in the public domain as audiobooks for download.
For purchased a-books, Audible.com is a popular source for directly downloading book files. This is part of the high end of audiobooks. The production is pristine, the narration is professional even when it is the author's own voice, and many times different characters are voiced by different narrators. Purchasing a download from Audible can be exactly like purchasing a professional audiobook CD.
Both free and purchase a-books are also available through iTunes.
Last but not least, there's the real world of public libraries and brick-n-mortar stores.
Whoa There, SoCallie!
That was a lot of reading. How about we do some listening?
Tumble back to a simpler time. Like, say, high school circa 1985. Brave Men Run is the story of an all-around nice guy, Nate, with a strangely keen--almost animal-like--sense of smell. He lives at home with his mom, hangs out with his pals, and much to his surprise he meets an attractive girl that actually likes him. At a time when superhumans just might be walking the earth, he starts to wonder if he's really just a misfit? And then there's his dad...
Find The Book
Brave Men Run is a Young Adult+ novel from Matthew Wayne Selznick. It is available for download from Podiobooks, iTunes, and on CD from author's shop page. Matthew has a fine speaking voice and reads his work very well. Add this popular title to your portable and bring back a little nostalgia.