1st Books Library, Bloomington, IN, an electronic book publisher distributing paperback and hardback editions of its titles, said last week that it would allow authors to self-publish their books in audio format. Readers will soon be able to download original spoken works directly from the Internet for replay in their cars, portable CD players, computers and MP3 devices.
According to the Audio Publishers Association, the audio book segment has grown 75 percent since 1995 and represents $2 billion in annual sales. 1st Books Library received a strong interest in audio books from poets and children's book authors looking to provide a dramatic reading of their works to listeners.
As early as this week, 1st Books Library authors will be able to choose to have their works recorded by professional readers or to record the works themselves. The company has a test work under production that should be available to readers by early October.
“We are thrilled to make this new form of expression available to our authors,” said Tim Jacobs, president of 1st Books.
The finished products will be available as cassette tapes or CDs packaged in a jewel case. Anxious listeners can download the work directly to their computers, to a CD-RW drive or to an MP3 or other digital recording device. The works will be available online at www.1stbooks.com or through several Internet booksellers.