Yikes! The dreaded Summer Reading List is almost upon us. Teachers want to keep building their students' skills and parents want their children to excel, so the list arrives like clockwork every June. Kids, however, wish it would just disappear. But savvy booksellers make plans now to help out.
The audiobook listener is in the driver's seat when it comes to choosing the CD or cassette format. Significant changes are underway in the availability of media formats as audio publishers pay closer attention to customer audio book purchase patterns and format preferences in an effort to increase sales.
Author readings are among the most popular bookstore events. It's hard to beat the experience of hearing an author read live, often in the intimate setting of a bookstore. But, reading from the book for 10 - 15 minutes and reading the entire book for an audiobook recording are totally different.
As a bookseller you understand how important it is to know your customers. With audiobook listeners it is no less important, but it's probably harder for many booksellers, who may not be listeners themselves, to get a handle on who the listeners are and where they listen.
Teens seem to regard summertime reading in two ways -- as the opportunity to read for pleasure and to choose books freely or as the burden of a required "summer reading list" (which comes complete with nagging parents). Audiobooks can offer solutions for both camps, as well as the family traveling with teenagers on long car trips.
Publishers did a lot of listening at the pre-BookExpo America (BEA) APAC conference sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association (APA). Six programs with topics ranging from new formats to the Hispanic market to a three-session Audio Publishing 101 filled the day for more than 280 members of the audiobook industry.
Awards bring a useful focus to audiobook recommendations, and spring produces a fine crop. On February 27, the Recording Academys Grammy Awards were splashed across the entertainment press, soon to be followed by the Academy Awards.
The unabridged audiobook is easy for booksellers to understand: "Audiobooks the way books should be -- complete." Independent booksellers, once slow to embrace audiobooks precisely because titles were abridged, are in many cases welcoming the trend by audio publishers to offer more titles unabridged.
The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.
Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.