An audiobook was an unknown entity in my life a mere decade ago. I had no access, and thought they might send me to sleep. When audiobooks first came to the National Library of Singapore, I ignored them for one whole year, before getting a subscription to Overdrive.
I began listening to an audiobook while cooking one morning, and realized that if I combined my audiobooks with another activity that required almost no thought, like going on a walk, or folding the laundry or gardening, I quite enjoyed it. I began to relish my chores, because sometimes that was the only gap where I could fit in some reading. I wrote about audiobooks here, and spoke of the way they helped me focus, relax, and fit in some reading into my punishing schedule.
In the past few years debates have raged over audiobooks: do they count as reading, or not? I’m firmly on the side of counting audiobooks as reading. It is about consuming a story and when I’m listening, I’m definitely experiencing it.
From that time to now, it has been a long journey. Audiobooks are narrated by some of the best narrator, actors, and unfortunately, also AI narrators. I’m all for using AI for accessibility purposes, and audiobooks have done wonders to make books accessible to the visually impaired, but I firmly believe that a natural human voice can provide nuance and emotion that an AI version cannot.
My USA debut, The Blue Bar, has an audiobook version, narrated by a fabulous reader. Not just that, it is a version that received glowing reviews from both Audiofile Magazine and Library Journal, reputed trade journals consulted by the industry.
This was the review on Audiofile magazine:
“Narrator Sneha Mathan’s strong performance transports listeners to the streets of Mumbai as police Inspector Arnav Singh Rajput is called to investigate a dismembered body, which he soon realizes is the work of a serial killer. As he races to track down the murderer, using any methods available, his past and present converge, bringing new challenges. Mathan’s narration is spot-on. She creates believable male and female characters, in particular clearly differentiating key characters as the plot moves between the present and the past. Her authentic-sounding accents and pronunciation of Indian names and phrases help to set the scene and create the perfect atmosphere for this intriguing mystery.”
The Library Journal review, is of course quoted in the picture above.
The audiobook version of The BlueBar is free on Amazon with Kindle Unlimited. And for readers in Australia and the UK, The Blue Bar is on a Monthly Kindle Deal, which means you can snag it for as little as 99 cents and add a dollar or two in order to add the audio version.
With the trade reviews in Audiofile and Library Journal, libraries would be interested in the book.
For anyone reading this who enjoys a local library, I’d request you to recommend The Blue Bar. Most libraries in the USA, UK and Australia actually carry audiobooks, and I’d be thrilled if your library carried the audio version of The Blue Bar. Libraries have online recommendations forms, and the steps to recommend are here: will take only a minute or two, and it is an absolutely sterling way to support my book.
Huge thanks to everyone who’s already recommended the paperback version to their libraries. I’d be grateful for a recommendation of the audio version.
Do you enjoy stories narrated to you via dramatized audiobooks? When was the last time you listened to an audiobook? Would you like to help me out by recommending my audiobook to your local library?
My crime novel, The Blue Bar is out this year with Thomas & Mercer. Add it to Goodreads or order it to make my day. It is on a Monthly Kindle Deal in the UK and Australia, so now is a good time to pick a kindle copy if you haven’t already.
If you liked this post, you can receive posts in your inbox, or keep updated on my writing by clicking on any or all of the following buttons: