I don’t know about you, but my eyes glaze over whenever I come across "Audio Books". I mean, stories on my iPod? Bugger off. Don’t get me wrong… I enjoy books… well, I enjoy reading books… well, I enjoy reading books that I pick up from the Tesco every now and again. But books on my iPod, being read to me? Just not my thing really.

Audio Books – A Yawn Fest?

My exposure to audio books is limited to the selection you come across in motorway services. I have a son that lives 240 miles from my home, near Swindon. I drive there to collect him, then drive straight back to my home in Suffolk. I make at least 3 stops at various motorway services.

Killing time and stretching my legs, I’d browse the CD rack in the shop. They have a spinning rack of audio books, but just 2 minutes of browsing the rack is real ‘yawn fest’ for me. They have the same old shit, month in, month out. Still now, my eyes glaze over at the thought of audio books.

Skip to today, or rather a few weeks after I got my first iPod, and the first online advert I saw for audio books. My eyes glaze again. Now the shudder I got probably had more to do with the thought of a 480 mile, 10 hour drive (ugg, I get it now just writing this), but there’s no way I’m getting in to audio books.

So I think ‘audio books’ and then I immediately think ‘Tony Robinson reads The Canterbury Tales’ – Loved you as Balderick Tone, but sorry fella, not a chance!

For the past couple of two weeks, I’ve been avoiding having to some stuff on audio books for this blog (think… Stephen Fry reads To Kill a Mocking Bird). It can’t all be music this and music that. Ahh shit.

Audio Books – It’s the name that’s wrong

So I’ve spent much of today checking out Audio Books, and it’s the name that’s wrong! I think the marketing departments at the various online audio book retailers must be really kicking themselves. They’ve simply got the name wrong when calling them "audio books" all those years ago.

They sat down when mp3’s started to take off, and said "Hey, if we get these audio books converted to mp3, we could sell them to all the mp3 and iPod users out there". Nods all around and cries of "promote that person, It’s brilliant"!

I think they screwed up. There’s probably more mp3/iPod owners that suffer the same ‘glazing’ as me, than don’t. Significantly more I’m sure.

Specifically, it’s the "book" part of the name that they got wrong, and in doing so turned off many thousands of potential users of their services.I’ve been looking over the downloads available from Audible, a worldwide leader in Audio Books (there’s it is again – yawn… glaze), and while books certainly account for a the biggest share of their audio downloads, there’s a great deal more to what they have to offer.

More than just books

Audible, aren’t the only supplier and I’m sure I’ll get round to listing others as I get into doing more articles on Audio Downloads. That’s my new name for it by the way. Audio Downloads.

Here’s a very limited snap shot of the kind of things I came across. I’ve also provided a link to their 14 day free trial. There’s also a current offer of a free iPod shuffle for anyone taking out a years membership at £7.99 a month, but I haven’t looked in that yet.

TV Show ties-in

Dr Who
2 Free Audiobook Downloads – 14 day Free Trial

Comedy Downloads

The Ricky Gervais Show
2 Free Audiobook Downloads – 14 day Free Trial

Self Help Audio Downloads

Dating Advice
2 Free Audiobook Downloads – 14 day Free Trial

Language Downloads

Rapid French
2 Free Audiobook Downloads – 14 day Free Trial