Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…
This week I’m super excited to welcome Melissa Hayden to That’s What I’m Talking About. Mel is here to tell us about a great FREE audiobook listening experience…
We are all here because we love books. So why don’t we take that three dimensional book and make it four dimensional? How do we do that, you ask. My answer to that is Podcast Books. What are Podcast books? Well, I find these are the best way to listen to books. For me, it’s a step up from audiobooks (which have come a long way in recent years). The story is broken into episodes, or chapters, and can be found at Podiobooks.com.
Also, bonus detail for us book lovers… The stories are FREE! (I’ll explain more in a minute.)
I’m one who struggled something fierce with audio books. But I LOVE Podcasted books. Sounds crazy, I know. What’s the difference? Well, the podcasted stories I pick have different voice actors for each character and have sound effects! This makes the podcasted book feel like I’m watching a tv show. It keeps my interest and makes it easy to know who’s who by the amazing voice talents speaking. Not all stories are with different voices for each character or with background sounds. I’ll warn you now. There are many that are very similar to audiobooks you pick up on Audible.
I found my way into Podcasts by following Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine down the rabbit hole. They started a short story series set in their Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. This sandbox was, and still is, open to many authors to play in. Tee and Pip have done an OUTSTANDING job of adding in sound effects to keep me on my toes and the voices when they act the stories. They even have talented authors voice their own stories or higher another to do so for them, but Tee and Pip always add in background sound drops.
By following Tee and Pip on their shared adventures in Tales from the Archives, I found numerous authors that I fell in love with after listening to their short stories and enjoying their writing. I followed their links and names to find more stories in their pen and voice. And boy did I find them! This all lead me to one site that I’m loving, Podiobooks.com. This little adventure has taken me on and on to many more amazing talented voices and writers. And I’m still following new voices to their works and loving the exploration as I go.
Podiobooks.com makes it easy for me to find the authors I’m searching for as I can go to the site and search by their name in the Search bar at the top of the site. If a Podcast story has numerous voice actors they usually name who the voice talents are in the introduction or ending of the episode so you are aware of who the talent is you are hearing. You can list names of voices/authors you liked and search for more from them. The site is also set up so you can search by the genre. On the main page there is a category drop box you can use to find the genre you love best. You can also click ‘Browse Titles’ and pick the breakout you are looking for; Author Contributor, Recently Released, Category Genre, Series, Awards Nominations, and All Titles Alphabetical.
I use the site as a reference and encyclopedia of sorts for podcasted stories. I spend hours searching the site and adding to the list of stories I want to listen to. I can listen to the first episode and see if I want to listen to the rest of the story or not. It all depends on the mood I’m in. I also get a feel for the writing and the narration for the book. It’s kind of like reading the first chapter to see if you want the book, but if you like it you can just keep on going, no purchasing involved. When I find the story I want today, I click ‘Listen on iTunes’, as that’s where I listen so I can take the story on the go with me. On iTunes you’ll need to download the free app Podcasts to play them but then you’ll be set for all the stories in the future. You can also listen to the story directly in Podiobooks.com’s site on the computer, but if you want to take the story to go as I do, it’s easy as a click of a button to download.
I will note, that at this time there’s no app for Android owners. There are apps available to Android users. Please see the comment from Evo Terra, below. (edited by Jen Twimom 8/20/2015)
I like that the story is in episodes. I have stopping points already built in for when I’m driving or on the go. When you download the story through iTunes you can set the story to keep going without stopping, but I like the stop as I can get up and get a drink or get what I need at work.
The best part of this whole site! IT’S FREE! You don’t have to sign up, subscribe, or pay to join. However, because it’s free the authors don’t get any compensation for the stories you listen to. So as a kind listener, you can Tip the Author your desired amount. And any amount is welcomed.
The stories at Podiobooks.com are only added to the site when they are complete. There’s no worry of getting half the book, you’ll get the complete book. And this brings me to the one thing that bums me out. I’m one who likes to continue a series the same way I start it. If I start reading in print, I continue as such, same with ebooks and audio. These stories are free, and it’s a tremendous amount of time and effort to create these stories in this fashion, so there are a few series I wanted to listen to that don’t continue in this fashion. Now, you may not be bothered by this, and start the first book or few in listening and easily pick up the book (or ebook) in the rest of the series.
The site is a simple set up and easy to navigate. There’s no special hoops to jump through to get your books or find them. I still enjoy finding new books by new authors in this venue. And I hope you find you enjoy the same.
I enjoy my fantasy of all sorts, so if you are looking for the stories I’ve listened to and loved, you can visit my Podcast Books page at my blog for quick links to the reviews. Or you can ask for some new authors to listen to. I’ll gladly share my favorites with you in a heartbeat.
Good book hunting!
I’m happily married with one child, an active son. I spend my day working undercover as a bookkeeper in the mundane world of paper shuffling. But by night, I enjoy journeying through fantasy worlds created by others and myself.
I started the adventure of blogging in 2009 and never imagined the magnificent worlds it would open up for me. I still blog about books at My World…in words and pages on the vast genre of Fantasy, including Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, Paranormal, Steampunk, some Science Fiction and all these in YA and Romance.
My fascination with analyzing everything I read and illuminating my books in a rainbow of sticky notes has honed my skills and I can be hired as a freelance content editor. You can find testimonials and details at MelissaLHayden.com.
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