An article in the paper about celebrity readers got us thinking about the trend by audiobook
More and more professional actors are getting into the game, using their vocal talents to make books come alive for their readers, and their readers are noticing and appreciating.
As the article states, audiobook sales are up significantly, partly as people become aware of the new format of digital downloads. Our library continues to see this growth,
Book recommendation tools such as Novelist recognize this trend and have including an audio component to the appeal factors in their "The Secret Language of Books: A Guide to Appeal." Their differentiations for this are: audio drama; approachable; brisk; character accents; comedic; commanding; crisp; deadpan; detached; distinctly voiced; emotionally connected; energetic; engrossing; folksy; full cast; gentle; gravelly; immersive; intense; live audience; melodious; multiple narrators; musically enhanced; read by the author; resonant; sincere; somber; sound effects; understated; unhurried; warm; well-characterized; wry; and youthful. Obviously several of these will likely be present in any audiobook publication.
These tools can be especially helpful when you are serving distant customers through outreach library service. You often only interact with the customer over the phone so you really need some helpful tools to assist with readers' advisory for these users. People can have very distinct narration tastes and they can be turned off the reading experience if they do not enjoy the voice of the narrator.
The audiobook publishers are aware of this trend and often create lists from each of their most popular narrators. Try the links below for some narrator lists.
Penguin Random House