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Audio Book Club Teams With Shareholder Direct

Audio Book Club Inc. has teamed up with Shareholder Direct to launch a toll-free number that will deliver investor information and drive membership sales.

1-888-HEAR-KLB — Audio Book Club shares are traded on AMEX under the symbol KLB — was activated Feb. 11 and gives callers options to hear news releases, earnings announcements and stock quotes or sign up for the club at the touch of a button. Audio Book Club, Boca Raton, FL, is a direct marketer of more than 65,000 audio books by mail order and via the Internet.

Shareholder Direct, a division of Stow, MA-based Direct Report Corp., has set up similar automated communication and information services with more than 100 U.S. corporations, including AT&T, IBM and Eastman Kodak.

According to Elizabeth Long from the investor relations group of client 3M Corporation, “Shareholder Direct gives the individual investor the same access to information as the analyst.”

Shareholder Direct handles all live and automated phone services for Audio Book Club (ABC). Customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take orders for financial information packages and news releases, which are mailed within eight business hours.

The company has also set up links with a new member sign-up line (1-800-567-AUDIO) and ABC corporate offices for specific questions. The number allowed this reporter to reach ABC chief financial officer John Levy in a matter of seconds.

Levy said the toll free number is simply an added service Shareholder Direct provides.

“I was looking for somebody that could add value to our existing Website,” Levy said. “We’re very proud of our Website and use it to generate new members. I looked at a variety of sites, and really liked the Barnes & Noble Website. They used Shareholder Direct so that’s how I found out about it.

“We did [the 888-number] as a by-product. The two services together were extremely inexpensive.”

Since ABC went public in October 1997, investors have been calling the company directly. In addition to setting up the toll free service, Shareholder Direct has also set up links to investor and company information at the ABC Website (www.audiobookclub.com) and handles all e-mail transmissions.

“We see this as both a benefit to investors and shareholders and maybe a way to generate more business for the Audio Book Club,” Levy said.

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