Monday, April 30, 2012
Marinda Asks the Question: M is for MP3,but where do I shelve it?
Marinda Asks: M is for MP3, but where do I shelve it?? Hi there! The store has been live for a month and it has been an interesting four weeks. It seems that people don’t quite know what to make of South African audio books in downloadable format. The response from readers who have browsed our digital shop has ranged from “Finally! Here you are. South African audio books!” to “OK. So when do you post my CD?” or even to “So why isn’t this stuff for free?” Mmm. Well firstly, we don’t sell CDs, only digital downloads: audio files in .mp3 format. You create an account; buy the audio book you like and then download the file to whichever device you prefer (computer, cell phone, tablet etc). Secondly, the more one becomes an avid lover of audio books, the more you come to recognise and appreciate the huge amount of production that goes into creating them. About 120 hours were spent in studio, creating 14 short story audio books, with the generous help of more than 60 South African artists. It takes some elbow grease to get these guys on the shelves! Not that we are complaining, producing exciting new South African writing is what Beta Than Paper is all about. The feedback did get me thinking though. We live in digital age where everything is changing so rapidly. It’s hardly surprising to find oneself struggling to keep up and embrace new technologies. Especially when said technologies are encroaching on a very “old school” paper-based medium like books. This is the dilemma and adventure that is gripping the global publishing industry at the moment. It got me thinking about the difference between storytelling in audio and printed format. Let me put it in a different way. What do you prefer: to listen to a story told to you or to read a story yourself? The “paper-based” writer guides the reader in creating characters and events according to printed words on the page, allowing the reader to fill in all the “unsaid” information himself. The writer of audio books focus on the TELLING of the tale, the momentum needed for storytelling and the impact of dialogue. The reader is given an already rounded character from the outset: you hear the hero’s voice and can immediately form an image in your mind. It’s sort of like going to the theatre, in your mind! Both methods leave much up to the imagination of the reader/listener. In the end it becomes more a question of what fits into your lifestyle, I think. Do you have time to read? Or are you stuck on the highway for 2-3 hours a day and have no spare time at home? I love printed books, but I rarely have time to read them. So which do you prefer? There’s probably a bookshop just round the corner from your home, right? You could go grab a new South African short story omnibus from them, surely. Perhaps you want to try something new though: plug your iphone into your car on your way to work, listen to a 20 min audio book in your lunch break or simply listen to stories from home if happen to be abroad. Do let us know if you prefer to listen to our stories by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube (where you can listen to audio trailers for free J)! Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely month. Regards Marinda Owner www.betathanpaper.co.za On www.marindabotha.co.uk
Posted by Helping Hands Press at 6:24 AM