The Podcast | Let Us Tell You A Story

Along with having over 60,000 audiobooks to choose from at, we now bring you a weekly show to give you the stories behind the books. Your hosts, The Real Brian and Addy, interview your favorite authors, narrators, audiobook lovers and keep you in the loop of what’s hot. Never miss an episode by subscribing to the show and download the free app at today!
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The Podcast | Let Us Tell You A Story

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Now displaying: October, 2015
Oct 27, 2015

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"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream." — Edgar Allen Poe

We’ve all heard of H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, and Dean Koontz, but this week on the Podcast we’re talking with the founder of Audio Realms, Fred Godsmark. As Halloween is just a couple days away, we thought it appropriate to bring on an expert in the field of horror, someone knowledgeable about the books and audiobooks currently popular in the genre, and get some insight into current trends and demographics surrounding fans of horror.

Niche Books

There are fans, and then there are true fans. The dedicated masses. The fanatics. The ones that will paint their faces, dress up like a mascot or character; the ones that go to conventions, host themed parties, and follow the object of their fanaticism around the country. These kinds of fans undoubtedly inspire companies like Audio Realms to not just exist, but to thrive.

These kinds of fans, in fact, create companies like Audio Realms! Fred himself is an avid reader of the horror genre and dedicated to bringing the authors and stories he loves into the light. He mentions that stories by H.P. Lovecraft sell just as well now as they did 10 years ago, but he also says that new authors come about every year with fascinating stories to tell that don’t get nearly the same attention as the pop culture horror authors do.

To remedy this, Fred gives us a ton of recommendations to get a more thorough look into the genre of horror! At the forefront of his mind are Wolfland by Jonathan Janz, The Things That Are Not There by C. J. Henderson, and The Guns of Santa Sangre by Eric Red.

Getting a Taste

Audio Realms is currently working on a series of short story collections. Historically, Fred shares with us, the medium for horror was predominantly short stories. People would line up to buy these “old rags”! One such collection Audio Realms has produced is called Out of Tune, which has a really cool theme. They’ve taken a series of old ballads and wrote short stories to accompany them, and also a short explanation of the ballad. This collection was edited by Jonathan Mayberry.

We’ve talked a couple times on the podcast about how the length of a podcast can be difficult to fully embrace. It’s true that listening to an audiobook is often faster than reading it, but audiobooks that are 20-30 hours long is a big commitment. When it comes to a road trip, the longer the better! Short stories, on the other hand, are ideal for commutes that aren’t quite of the same degree as a road trips. It could take 45 days to listen to a 30-hour audiobook, if your daily commute is 40 minutes. That’s over 2 months!

If you’re someone who enjoys completing a task more quickly than that, then perhaps looking into Audio Realms’ short story collections is a good idea for you! Watch for new collections from Audio Realms to get a taste of horror for yourself.

What Are You Listening To

We’ve heard from Fred, now we want to hear from you! What was on your audiobooks playlist for the advent of Halloween?

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Books & Resources Mentioned

Oct 20, 2015

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We are so excited to share this week’s installment of the Podcast! Last week, Addy gave us a preview into the new novel by Tamara Ireland Stone entitled Every Last Word and this week we have the honor and privilege to speak with Tamara and the woman who read the audiobook, Amy Rubinate. It was such a pleasure to speak with both women about their journeys, hear the stories that have inspired them to do what they do, and, in turn, to be encouraged and inspired by their experiences and advice.

Prior to becoming an author, Tamara owned her own marketing strategy firm. But her true calling has always been writing. Now her bibliography includes three novels. In addition to Every Last Word, which centers around a young girl with OCD, she also wrote Time Between Us in 2012 and Time After Time in 2013, both exploring an unlikely romance between a girl from 1995 Chicago and a time-traveling boy from 2012 San Francisco. The author is very active on social media, including Twitter and Tumblr, so we encourage you to connect with her and thank her for the time she spent with us on the Podcast!

From behind the pen to behind the mic, we get a glimpse into where Amy got her start as well. Amy actually began as a cabaret singer, then migrated into voiceovers before falling in love with audiobooks and finding a niche in that industry. Since getting involved with audiobooks, and starting her own audiobook publishing company called Ideal Audiobooks, Amy has recorded dozens of books and received the AudioFile’s Earphones Award.

As much as it is a treat to hear both of their stories, it is even more incredible to hear about the relationship and rapport the women have developed since their paths crossed following the release of Tamara’s first book. They hold deep respect for one another, and the industry of books and audiobooks, out of which comes an invigorating passion in the way they talk about their craft.

If you are as much a book and audiobook nerd as we are, you are going to love the detail that Tamara and Amy go into about their respective trades. On Tamara’s side, we get a look into how she begins writing, how she develops characters, and that routine she has when starting out on a new idea to get inside the heads of her characters. On Amy’s side, she tells us about how she goes about bringing a voice to the story she narrates, both in resonating with the characters and with the author.

The stories and experiences these women share are so wonderful and we’re always just so thankful to speak with individuals in the industry who are eager to see the medium thrive. When we have the chance to hear authors and narrators genuinely fawn over what they do, and also express a genuine love for the craft, it is equally as transdimensional as it is to be immersed in a book or audiobook. They transport us to this dimension where all that exists are fictional stories that enable us to depict deep truths in relatable ways, and we really felt that throughout this conversation.

Thanks for joining us this week! We encourage you to reach out to Tamara and Amy on social media and thank them for their time. Be sure to check out Tamara’s other books, as well as the ones Amy has narrated. And then, let us know what you thought of the interview. What inspired you? What did you learn? Let us know!

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Books & Resources Mentioned

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone | Narrated by Amy Rubinate

Ideal Audiobooks

Tamara Ireland Stone on Twitter

Amy Rubinate on Twitter

Oct 13, 2015

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Welcome back to the Podcast! We’re so glad you’re joining us for this installment where we take a step back to check in on what we’re listening to and review a couple recently completed audiobooks. In addition to finally discussing Ready Player One, Addy also gives us a synopsis of and her reaction to Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. Hopefully this will be a great segue into next week because we have the distinct privilege of speaking with the author of Every Last Word herself! We hope that you will join us for that interview.

Popular, But Bad?

Before jumping into our reviews of Ready Player One and Every Last Word, we explore a handful of books in popular culture that have been categorized as overhyped. Many books receive a lot of attention or a lot of praise either by the media or by a particular subset of people, but it doesn’t necessarily indicate a work of excellent fiction. In fact, in many circles, book lovers might classify these books as bad!

We fully acknowledge that judgments of this sort are highly subjective. Books on this list include the likes of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series, and Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, which all have enormous fan bases and have received critical acclaim in certain respects. It is interesting to see what people are reading, what is trending on the New York Times’ Best Seller List, and contrast that with the opinions and reviews of those books elsewhere.

We found a surprising number of classics that often fall under this banner as well. One such book is Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, originally published in the U.S. in 1958. Shortly following its release in the United States, a columnist for the New York Times wrote a rather harsh review of the book, not just highly critical of the book’s content, but also critical of the snobbish intellectuals who gave the book so much momentum following its release in Paris several years earlier. At one point, the reviewer wrote: “There are two equally serious reasons why it isn’t worth any adult reader’s attention. The first that it is dull… The second is that it’s repulsive.”

A contemporary of this reviewer for The Atlantic, had nearly the exact opposite reaction. He closes his review by stating: “It is one of the funniest serious novels I have ever read; and the vision of its abominable hero…brings into grotesque relief the cant, the vulgarity, and the hypocritical conventions that pervade the human comedy.” As Addy states on the podcast, it’s important to take each review and recommendation with a grain of salt, to understand the reviewer’s general interests and to understand the subtext of taste. For every person who raves about a novel, there will be someone else to cut it down.

Another classic that got its start with a bad review is Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, originally published in 1936. The reviewer found it riddled with convention—conventional dialogue, conventional characters—and yet states that Mitchell’s style is rather unconventional for an early 20th century female novelist. The reviewer leaves the reader with a notion of puzzlement, as he praises the efforts of the author but has no distinct praise for the story. Now, over 75 years later, the book is regarded often as one of the greatest books of all times. In 2011, for the 75th Anniversary of the book’s publication, TIME Magazine published an article that claimed Gone With the Wind has transcended criticism, along with Star Wars, in that it will never lose its relevance.

Shaping Our Time

Despite the critical or common reviews of books in popular culture, it is clear that these are the books shaping our times. Books like Ready Player One might not be literary masterpieces, but they are highly indicative of modern culture along the projected continuum of human history by presenting realistic peeks into possible futures. Given a certain set of scenarios, and a little imagination, we get a raw look at what could happen. Perhaps we won’t see a future exactly like the one Wade Watts experiences in The Oasis, but the internet has certainly connected us to a virtual reality that is quickly becoming more fibrous than the physical world.

The last century of books has brought with it an uptick in disturbingly possible dystopian future scenarios. Brave New World in 1932. 1984 in 1948. Fahrenheit 451 in 1953. A Clockwork Orange in 1962. The Giver in 1993. And then, more recently, cultural phenoms like The Hunger Games and Divergent. As much as our society can produce visionaries that seek to find solutions to the earth’s problems, we also have novelists to paint word pictures about unpleasant futures that seem to be a direct result of humanity left unchecked.

All of the dystopian novels listed above are currently available for your listening pleasure at! What is your favorite dystopian novel of the last century?

Halloween Cometh

We’re just a few weeks away from Halloween, so we want you to be ready to freak yourself out! Check out one of our recommendations for seasonal listening: The Edgar Allen Poe audio collection, Dracula, and The Invisible Man. What are you listening to for the Halloween season? Let us know so we can pass along the tips!

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Books & Resources Mentioned

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

The Edgar Allan Poe Audio Collection


The Invisible Man App:  iOS click here  |  Android click here

Oct 6, 2015

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It’s officially Autumn! Grab a pumpkin spice latte, queue up an audiobook, and breathe in the sweet scents of the season. But before all that, we have a great installment of the Podcast to share with you. This week we had the opportunity to speak with Michele Cobb, the executive director of Audio Publishers Association (APA) and owner of MLC Consulting, a PR, sales, marketing and business development service for the publishing industry.

With an extensive background in directing and entertainment, Michele brings a unique perspective and knowledge set to the podcast, sharing insight into the demographics of audiobook listeners today as well as why audiobooks have seen an increase in popularity over the past decade. Once again, we get to hear about the power of audiobooks to entertain and educate and how they are becoming a vital tool in our society.

Listener Demographics

As the realm of audiobooks expands, it’s interesting to see how the core demographic of audiobook listeners also fluctuates. Michele presents us with some observations from a recent consumer survey that captures a snapshot of the current listener base and in addition to seeing that audiobook listening is on the rise, also sees that listenership is increasing amongst younger audiences. While the typical expectation is that the dominant listener base is in the 45 and up range, they are seeing significant growth among listeners in the 25 to 45 range.

Based on other statistics and observations Michele provides, it’s becoming easier to see why there is increasing growth in this area. Not only are audiobooks becoming more widespread, not only are they better produced and better funded, but they’re also becoming more accessible. In the last five years we’ve seen the creation of smartphone apps and the availability of borrowing digital audiobooks from a library, both which cater to that younger audience.

Building the Industry

If you’re reading the show notes for this podcast, we assume, at a minimum, that you are aware of the existence of audiobooks. But possibly a more accurate assumption is that you are more invested than most in the lifecycle, health, and growth of audiobooks. For as much as we love audiobooks here on the podcast, it’s amazing to think that many people don’t know about their availability and ease of access. But that is still the case in many cities around the United States!

Last summer, APA kicked off its largest consumer awareness campaign in the form of an AudiobookMobile designed to draw attention to the audio format of books and introduce listeners to the medium. Michele said that this campaign was both fun and informative, as it provided a unique opportunity to engage with people in local libraries about the benefits of audiobooks and their place in education, not just for entertainment purposes.

In addition to raising awareness, APA is also concerned with the internal health of narrators, publishers and authors. For the last several years, APA has sponsored a conference, the Audiobook Publishers Association Conference, which is dedicated to networking and education its members. The conference is their opportunity to have the face to face interaction with one another to discuss best practices, to hear insights from other people in the industry, and come into a common mind about the direction of the industry.

In Queue

Michele shares a couple audiobook suggestions with us before signing off! Her favorite audiobook, she says, is Blindness by Jose Saramago. This book is narrated by Jonathan Davis and runs 12 hours and 30 minutes. The uniqueness of this book, Michele says, is that it has very little punctuation and can be very difficult to read. But Davis, the narrator, does a very good job at bringing it to life.

Recently in her queue is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, a work of historical fiction and romance originally published in 1938. This book is narrated by Anna Massey and runs 14 hours and 15 minutes.

What’s in your queue?

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Books & Resources Mentioned

Blindness by Jose Saramago

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Audio Publishers Association

Sound Learning from APA

Connect with Michele Cobb