26 June 2008

The Guardian's 40 Best Audiobooks

This Saturday The Guardian will feature its 40 Best Audiobooks which it has chosen with guidance from The Book Marketing Society. The promotion aims to illustrate the wide range of audiobooks available in the UK. The list was chosen from more than 160 books which were submitted by publishers. The public will be asked to vote for the winner which will be announced on 31st July.

It’s wonderful to see audiobooks being highlighted in this way and to celebrate we’re offering all the titles that are available as downloads for £7.99 or less. We have 37 out of the 40 titles in the promotion and we’re working on clearing download rights for the remaining 3 which are:

  • The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John le Carre
  • My Completely Best Story Collection: Charlie & Lola by Lauren Child
  • Four Favourite Stories by Roald Dahl

The BBC’s recording of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is included in the promotion but unfortunately the title will not be available to download until after the promotion has ended. In the meantime we’re offering a free sample of the download which you can get here.

The good news is that as a result of this promotion we’ve been given permission to release the following audiobooks, all of which are now available to download from Audible for the first time:

Go here to see the complete list on Audible.

11 June 2008

Audible Sounds of Crime Awards Announced

The winners of the Audible Sounds of Crime Awards were announced this weekend at Bristol’s CrimeFest. The awards for the best audiobooks went to Ian Rankin and James Macpherson for the abridged recording of Exit Music and David Hewson and Saul Reichlin for the unabridged recording of The Seventh Sacrament.

It is fitting that both abridged and unabridged recordings were recognized in the awards but here at Audible we find that the majority of listeners download only unabridged recordings. David Hewson has always been popular with our listeners and he first came to our attention with The Sacred Cut. When the book first became available as a download it went straight in to the top 10, no doubt because of the fantastic feedback in the book's reviews section. Fans of David’s downloads have consistently commented on the quality of the narrator so it is apt that Saul Reichlin also receives an award. On receiving the award, David Hewson said:

"It's incredibly flattering to have my name on the first of what I'm sure will become one of the most coveted awards in crime fiction. Audio is very important to me because it's the oldest form of fiction there is. People were listening to stories before they ever started reading them, and having your work performed this way is a real test of its durability. I'm proud to see my name on the award alongside that of Saul Reichlin too, since his extraordinarily sensitive narration of my Nic Costa series is as much a part of its timbre and character by now as my writing."

Saul Reichlin, the book's narrator said:

"I am thrilled to win. It is very satisfying, as an 'industry professional' and not a 'name' to be honoured with this prestigious award. The reader is only as good as his material, of course, and I'm truly grateful to have a writer of David Hewson's brilliance to work on."

To download more from David Hewson go here.
To listen to more from Saul Reichlin go here.

6 June 2008

The Chopin Manuscript wins Audie Award

The Chopin Manuscript was recently named Audiobook of the Year at the 13th annual Audie Awards which are considered the ‘Oscars’ of the American audio industry.

Fifteen best-selling crime writers including Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child and David Hewson wrote consecutive chapters of the thriller, read by Alfred Molina, which came out in serial form last September. British contributor David Hewson said:

“It was a great honour, and an amazing amount of fun, to take part in this unique project which has, I think, helped put audiobooks firmly on the map as a vibrant and important part of the modern publishing world - and wonderful to be able to work alongside such a talented array of authors. All credit to my fellow authors, to the wonderful Alfred Molina for such incredible narration, and to Audible without whom this whole venture could never have happened in the first place. Chopin is, I think, the first of many such audio-based story-telling adventures to come.”

For the first time in the history of the Audies the winning audiobook is an audio-only story which is not available in print and is only available as a download.

You can hear the 30 minute first chapter of the book for free in Audible.co.uk Podcast 1 or download the complete story here.

2 June 2008

Skulduggery Pleasant wins Red House Children’s Book Award

Skulduggery Pleasant has just won the Red House Children’s Book Award - the only national children’s book award to be chosen exclusively by children.

Landy was working on his farm in Ireland a few years ago and writing low-budget Irish zombie movies when the character, a wise-cracking, sophisticated detective in the vein of Philip Marlowe, popped into his head.

"I just had the two words - 'Skulduggery Pleasant' - but he immediately told me who he was and what he was," said Landy. "I haven't a clue how he appeared but I'm really glad he did.”

The first book to feature Pleasant swiftly followed and was an instant hit with children around the world. The second, Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire, has just been published, with a further seven in the series planned.

The Red House Awards are now in their 28th year. This year over 165,000 votes were cast through the Federation of Children's Book Groups. The awards have a record of being the first to spot the future big names in children's writing - it was the first major award to be won by Roald Dahl (1983), Jacqueline Wilson (1996) and JK Rowling (1998).

Find out more about Skulduggery Pleasant at his website here.