Audio Books – 10 Frequently Asked Questions – Part 1

My friends and colleagues consider me as the audio books expert. They tell their friends that they know an audio books expert and the outcome is that I keep getting dozens of audio books questions and inquiries each day. I have decided to gather the most frequently asked questions for everyone’s benefit.

Here are the top five frequently asked questions about audio books (and the answers of course):

1. Are there free audio books? How do I get them?

In one word: NO. In two words: Not exactly. Depends of the type of audio book you are looking for (downloadable audio book are cheaper than the other types), and the audio book title (new audio books cost more), you could find low cost audio books.

I believe that one should pay for each product or service he gets. Yet, you could find free audio books mostly by signing up for the free trials most of the online audio book services give you.

2. What is better – Audio books rental or audio books buying?

I personally prefer audio books rental. Mostly because of the price – I read a lot of audio books and it will simply cost too much to buy them all. However, audio books that I really like, Ones that I want to listen to time after time, I buy and keep them on my audio books library.

Yet, I have friends who are more possessive – they are not willing to rent audio books and they must hold a remarkable huge audio book library.

3. What do you suggest – downloadable audio books, audio books on CD or books on tape?

Well, that’s a tough question. Basically, I believe that the most worthy audio books format nowadays is downloadable audio books. You must own a media player (e.g. Ipod) to listen to it. Yet, it costs less than the others and has a better quality.

However, the widest collection of audio books could be found on the audio books on CD format. If you want to listen to old books you will find them only on CDs.
I do not recommend getting books on tape (also known as audio books on cassettes). They are expensive, low quality and not user friendly.

4. When can I read audio books?

The answer is – Anytime and anywhere. Here are a few examples: While cooking, cleaning the house, exercising, running, walking, driving, flying, before going to sleep, commuting, working etc.

5. Are audio books expensive?

Audio books are not expensive at all. In fact, Downloadable audio books are very cheap – they cost much less than real books and renting them is the most worthy deal. Audio books on CD cost about the same as real books and books on tape are the most expensive ones.

Adding Audio To Your Webpages In Seconds!

Having the right audio on your website can increase your sales, turn your stale newsletter into an exciting update, and help you communicate better with your market.

You can use audio in many ways: audio updates, sales letter messages, welcome to my webpage, special promotions, affiliate updates, audio testimonials, audio newsletters or tips, audio ebook excerpts or dozens of other uses.

Using audio on your website doesn’t have to be difficult or costly, but…

Its still a mystery to many…

How do you record your audio?

How do you get the audio into a file to present to the user?

How do you upload the audio to your server?

What audio player can you use to present the audio to your visitors?

How can you do all of this without being an expert or spending a fortune?

Truth be told, anyone can create their own audio updates, newsletters, messages for sales pages, even audio excerpts of products or interviews for less than $60 using these steps.

No $30/month audio service, no $200 fancy audio package, just 6 simple steps and less than $60 investment and you are free to do as much with audio as you want in the weeks and months to come.

6 STEPS TO AUDIO ON YOUR WEBSITE FOR $60 OR UNDER

Step 1. Purchase a decent quality headset or lavalier microphone. I use both for my audio – at times I use a headset that plugs directly into the USB port of my computer, a Panasonic KX-TCA92 to be more specific. You can pick them up for $20 from Amazon, perhaps even less expensive elsewhere. Or, you can purchase a basic lavalier (clip-on) mic from your local audio electronics store for under $20.

Step 2. Audio Recorder/Editor. In order to record your audio and perform some basic editing functions you have a couple of no-cost options. You can use the built-in audio recorder that comes with Windows or you can download a no-charge copy of Audacity from http://audacity.sourceforge.net either one will work.

You will find the windows application by going to your Start menu and selecting All Programs –>Accessories—>Entertainment where you should see something called “Sound Recorder”. With older versions of Windows it may be called something else, so consult your Windows help to find out what it is called.

With your microphone headset or lavalier mic plugged into your computer, Windows should recognize it as a new Microphone input device. Now, you can open your Windows “Sound Recorder” and configure it to recognize the new input device – your microphone. Within the sound recorder you want to select “Edit —>Audio Properties” where you will find a drop down list called “Sound Recording” – you want to select your Panasonic Microphone.

Step 3. Record your audio. Using the Windows Recorder, or other audio editing software, record your audio and save it as a .wav file. If you are using audio editing software that allows you to save it as an .mp3 format, do so.

Step 4. Convert your audio to mp3. If you already have your audio saved as an .mp3 file, skip this step. If your audio is in .wav format, you will need to convert it to an mp3. You can use this no-charge one here: http://www.softforall.com/mp3naudoi/RippersEncoders/River_Past_Wave_MP301090077.htm

Step 5. Upload audio to your website. Once you have your .mp3 file, you will need to upload this using your FTP program or Web Hosting File Upload Utility that comes with the control panel of most web hosting accounts to get your file to a directory on your web server.

Step 6. Audio Player. To make your audio look great on your web page you need an audio player. For example, over at http://www.highertrustmarketing.com I use an audio player to allow my users to start and stop the audio, tell how long the message is, etc… Believe it or not, adding a fancy player like this to your webpage is dead simple – the player and encoding software I use is simple to use and is available here: http://www.highertrustmarketing.com/audiorazer/ for less than $40.

Following the instructions with Audio Razer, you will have professional quality audio and an audio player at your disposal to use any way you want.

You could post unlimited audio updates, audio newsletters, audio promotions or sales messages, audio testimonials, audio affiliate updates, audio tips or ebook excerpts or just about anything else you can think of.

Avoid paying $300 or more in audio service fees or hundreds of dollars in expensive software, you now have everything you need with these 6-steps and $60 or less to use unlimited audio as part of your product development and online marketing toolset.

Copyright 2006 Jeff Smith

The Many Ways To Obtain Audio Books Online

Audio books can be downloaded from the Internet, purchased in bookstores or borrowed from libraries. They come in a variety of formats: CD, cassette and as a download to a computer or MP3 player. There are free audio book sites, rental audio books sites and clubs where you need to be a member to download audio books.

Free Websites

The Website Audible.com is a membership site that offers many benefits. The members can choose 1 digital audio book each month for up to 75% savings from regular retail prices. They also receive a free audio download each week. Members are offered daily discounts and member only exclusive offers. The site boasts of World-class Customer Service. They have two plans to choose from: Platinum and Gold.

AudioBooksForFree.com is a MP3 file audio book site. Registration is free, but membership is $100 USD per year. Categories are children, animal, train tales, fairy tales, and serials, grown up books, science arts, Christian books, jokes, poetry and songs.

Audiobooks.org features free books such as Robinson Crusoe, A Tale Of Two Cities and a Christmas Carol. They also have free samples and links to other publishers and sellers and to itunes. You can download the iTunes player right on the site, should you need to do so.

LearnOutLoud.com is a Website where you can find free audio books for business, on religion, self-development, sports and hobbies, travel, technology, science, politics, literature, history and many other categories. They have a free audio book of the month, a main catalog page, a free directory of audio books, and they can offer recommendations based on your selection history and registration. They also list free resources on their site including a directory of other free audio and video learning sites.

Rental Sites

The simplyaudiobooks.com site is where you can rent audio books, download audio books or buy them right on the site. There is a DL club List, and audio book club, audio books on CD and Talking Books for Kids (a selection of audio books geared for young kids to entertain them and provide audible learning.

Rentbooksontape.com is a Audio Book Club Website.

Jiggerbug.com is another Audio Book Rental Club where you can enjoy unlimited audio book rentals every book with free shipping and awesome customer service.

Buying Audio Books Online

spokenalliance.com has just about everything you could want in audio book selection. They have free audio books, unabridged audio books, downloadable MP3 audio books, and free audio books. They have sections on featured audio books, new audio books, tv and film audio books and every category of audio book imaginable. This is not a membership site, so no member fee. They do have a Newsletter to keep customers informed of new additions to the site. They have a Buying Guide, and instructions on how to download to a MP3 player, how to burn a CD, and how to download to your iPod.

Blish.com is a huge audio book site that has a category for every book taste. The categories include: antiques, careers, children’s, classic literature, cooking and food, current events, crime, drama, economics, education, essays, fantasy, fiction, finance, folklore, foreign language, government, health and fitness just to name a few. Blish makes it easy for customers to download right from the site.

Buying audio books online is easy as most audio books are downloadable. A lot of the audio book sites have forums where users can share experiences and opinions on books they have listened to.