I’m not sure if I’ve posted about this. But I work with Robert Kingett also known as Robbie, on a very important advocacy project.
The accessible digital media project!
As you can see on this site we’ve done a lot of work with netflicks, and other online video streaming services in terms of getting through the importance of audio description! I’ve been mostly behind the scenes although I do take credit for helping with the huge effort of getting the show partially in ASL, switched at Birth audio described on netflicks soon!
I’d like to add to our efforts by working on a topic that is already growing very fast which is audio books!
Especially with amazon working with audible, the majority of books coming out work with audio publishers and so have audio formats. You can get special deals I guess if you get the kindle and audio formats or something! Don’t quite understand it but it’s good news for people who need this format!
As blind and visually impaired people we have several ways to access books. We can use a service like bookshare, where books are scanned by volunteers and put into formats that can be read on various Braille and other devices. With voice over, books on Kindle are accessible to blind/ VI users which I think is awesome! However after like a year of using it I realized how much I hated stuff being read in the robotic voice of voice over and how much I valued an actual narrator. So I now use a system where I hook my ipod up to a Braille display device and I can read books that way as I would with the bookshare site.
There is also a free library service called NLS. So many many books are available in audio from there. However it’s actually really hard to get a book into NLS. I’m not even sure how it’s done. Robbie got his book in there and I guess it was a huge deal and he’s not even sure how LOL!
It seems to me like there’s more of the type of books I and my friends like to read, available on audible than NLS.
Having books in audio format doesn’t just benefit the blind. There are likely many people with learning disabilities who can not easily work with printed material who understand things much better read out loud. The audio book industry has grown to the point where it’s pretty clear to the general public why audio books work.
Which will work in our favor within this advocacy project as we don’t have to explain to authors or publishers what audio books are and why they need to be out there.
What we need right now are contacts. Especially I know like nothing about how someone gets a book out there into audio format. I guess when you sign your book with a publisher you sign over all your rights on it which I think is crazy but hey I’m not an author except on this blog so yeah. So there’s this whole maze of agents and publishing companies and everything that I don’t understand.
I have two authors I really like that work with the same agent. One got almost all her books out into audio within a year. The ones she didn’t put out were ones not in the usual category of what she writes. I just wrote her today to ask about it and I’m sure those will get done too.
This other author, same agent, started putting out her books in audio a couple years ago. She now has four or five books out which is great. She has nine books she wrote before she started having audio format. So anything before the first book that came out in audio isn’t in audio. And I’ve bugged her, I mean gave a friendly check in, for the past two years. And she has no idea what is going on.
Another favorite author different agent just published a new book and didn’t even know that it had been put in audio which is very strange!
So I’m lost on all this but do really need to learn so I can connect with the right people to get this accomplished.
I feel like I said before, that so many people love audio books that we could probably get a good amount of passionate, non visually impaired people on board that might have connections.
I’d love for every book that is in paperback or e-book to also be available in audio format. Assuming people are interested of course.
And of course I’m working on my favorites first!
But the team really needs your help. If you’re an author, publisher, agent, or passionate audio book listener/ reader please join our team!
Here is the link to join.
Of course, it’s a fully accessible form including accessible captia yay!
Looking forward to making new connections on this awesome project!