Audiobooks are all about listening to someone else reading aloud the book for you. That is nice and offers an immersive feel to comprehending a book. Things seem set for a change though, what with publishers finding newer ways to engage with their readers via audiobooks that also serve as sort of a guide as well.
Take for instance the audiobook ‘Seeds from Scratch’ where the novelist and gardener Alice Vincent will literally walk you through the nitty-gritties of gardening in simple easy-to-follow steps. Things would start with the basic sowing process and will stretch all the way to repotting the plants after they have germinated and sprouted.
Such audiobooks have also proved to be shorter than traditional audiobooks in that it lasts less than 90 mins. Listeners will have ample scope to get along with the tasks that are being spelled out in the audiobooks, be it gardening, cooking, or whatever. Audiobooks in this format which has come to be known as active or interactive audiobooks make for an innovative development over the conventional audiobooks that we have known so far.
The other positive aspect of active audiobooks is that they aren’t much different from the usual audiobooks. They cost the same to produce while editing isn’t much of a chore either. Anyway, the interactive element of the audiobook ensures those remain as interesting to listen to as say, watching a video.
However, publishers are taking steps to make sure the guides section doesn’t end up as a distraction for the listeners and that the original flow of the texts remains intact. For instance, Macmillan said the interactive elements that are placed at the middle of a chapter are kept short while the more elaborate version of those if needed, are placed at the end of the recording. Also, such interactive elements are placed in only those places where it is absolutely essential.
As it is, demand for audiobooks has seen a positive uptick in recent times and is expected to grow further in the foreseeable future. Under the circumstances, while it is good to see publishers doing all they can in making audiobooks more interesting than it already is, it could be sometime before we get to see how much of an impact such active audiobooks eventually make.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. The motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot, and I'll likely make a film sometime in the future.