Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Audiobooks on a budget

This week we're talking about audiobooks here on the SFF Seven. I'll say right off that I'm a huge fan, especially nonfiction. I subscribe to Audible and have a Chirp account too, so I'm pretty stocked on stuff to fill my ears with. Back in the days before covid, audiobooks made waiting in the car for kids a less stultifying lifestyle choice. Bonus that I was not tempted to sing along to must, therefore avoiding the "Mom, please stop singing" refrain, which as you can imagine was always so uplifting and encouraging. 

In the new normal of quarantine life, I haven't been in the car much, so my listening time is way down. (I know, I should use the treadmill more, which is a great time to listen to audiobooks, too.) Regardless, I'd still consider myself a fan. I'd recommend any and all of the last three three books I listened to on audio: The Last Emperox by John Scalzi (on Audible), What If? by Randall Munro (on Chirp), and Polaris Rising by Jessie Mihalik (also on Audible; I read the ebook, too, but the audio was super fun). 

One drawback of audiobooks in general is that they do tend to be pricey, but there's always the library. Also, you can have BookBub send you daily emails of deals for Chirp books, much like they do for ebook sales. For more info, check out the write-up on BookBub regarding the service. LibriVox also offers audio recordings of books in the public domain, for free, and this is literally the only way I can handle Herman Melville.

But all the above is from the point of view of someone who listens because it's fun and eats up a long car incarceration. So I brought up the topic--asking both why audio is a thing to do and tips for doing it on the cheap--with my friend and fellow science fiction romance writer, Cailin Briste. Here's her response:

I have a unique take on audiobooks. I’ve had eye problems for over a decade that made reading difficult. I have the Kindle Oasis specifically because it can do text to voice. At the rate I read books, having my Kindle read to me was the best financial option for me. I’ve even grown attached to the computer simulated voice that reads the books. Since I’ve had surgery on one eye, I find myself reading more rather than listening. Actual audiobooks have always been for long drives with my husband. A shared experience. He even listens to romance novels.

So, in addition to scoping out deals on places like Chirp and LibriVox, seeing whether your ereader or computer has a text-to-speech capability may also help you access audio without having to pay out the wazoo.

Oh. I guess I should mention that the first two of my Tether cyberpunk romances are available in audio through Audible. The third is not because I self-published it, and if you think buying an audiobook is pricey, whoo-boy, you should see what it costs to produce one. (Hint: a lot.) But I am pondering reading More Than Stardust aloud, like on YouTube or something, chapter by chapter, if anybody would ever be interested in such a thing. 


p.s., Much more excitingly, Cailin Briste, who was kind enough to talk with me about audiobooks, also has a new erotic science fiction romance out this week, the last in her Sons of Tallav series. If spicy SFR is your jam, check out Trey: Son of Tallav

She’s the opposite he can’t resist.

Trey Johannsen’s preference is to stick to managing a private club on Beta Tau. It’s dark. It’s sexy. The cries of pleasure, the thud of a flogger, and the mingled scents of arousal and fear are evidence he’s damn good at it.

So when his boss insists Trey’s perfect for assisting a new hire to develop a cabaret, Trey is nonplussed. How the hell do you make burlesque accurately represent the lifestyle? Then he meets her, and instant attraction has him imagining peeling her clothes off, tying her to a bed, and sinking into her until she can take no more.

He’s determined to make her his own despite differences that could thrust them into bitter conflict.

A lust-inducing man isn’t on Patsy O’Shaughnessy’s shopping list. Her commitment to refuse his overtures, they’ll be coworkers after all, slides into oblivion. She’s got a lot on her plate, but dessert never hurt a girl. Especially when the dessert is built like a Celtic warrior of old, lacking only the kilt and sword.

This is the 4th and final book in the Sons of Tallav series.

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