Friday, February 10, 2006


Audio is a rapidly growing market, and the popularity of the iPOD (in all its forms) is fuelling the growth of digital downloadable audio. Last year, Harlequin launched a partnership with, who is creating original, unabridged audio of our fiction, both series and single titles.

For many of us, there simply isn’t enough time to read all the books we want, so audio can be a great way to “read with your ears” while you are driving, gardening, cleaning, cooking, walking, exercising, crafting…well, you get the idea. And you don’t need reading glasses!

There is a lot of interesting audio at
and we’ve done a lot to make it more romance friendly—for starters, if you browse through the available downloadable audio on the website, you’ll now find Romance listed on the left hand navigation bar, thank you! We also worked with Audible to create some of the romance categories to give listeners some guidance in their audio selections. And look for the Harlequin banner in the Romance section—it takes you directly to all our stories.

While you’re there, take a look at POISON STUDY a bestselling Luna title—and a debut romantic fantasy by Maria V. Snyder. It is a fantastic story—I really loved it, but you don't need to take my word for it. As you’ll see from the reader reviews, it’s a very special story. Gabra Zackman, the narrator, is a wonderful storyteller and has really enhanced the listener experience. For many audiophiles, hearing a great story told by a wonderful reader is even better than reading it yourself. also has a membership program that can be quite appealing, depending on your listening habits & frequency. And once you figure out the downloadable stuff, it’s pretty great not to have all those cassettes and CDs cluttering up your life.

And if you’re thinking to yourself, ‘oh, no, too complicated,’ just STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. I am determined not to be a technology immigrant, dependant on others to “translate” this brave new world of technology for me. And if I have to learn a few new tricks, I don’t see why everyone else can’t also. OK, yes, it’s probably part of my new job description, but still.

And agreed, the learning curve is awful. But for those of you who either are children or have children, hello? Learning new stuff is hard. It’s humiliating, you fail all the time, you feel stupid, you get things wrong. But if you are a mother or had a mother (or whatever) you probably had someone saying at some point “Pull up your socks. Stop that bad ‘I’m not-good-at-this' attitude and get your butt in gear.” So here’s my suggestion, if you’re interested in reading with your ears….

Mother’s Day is coming up and here are two ideas: #1 if you are Mother: You buy the iPOD. Their gift? To load it with your desired titles whenever you want for a year, fix things, and generally be your techno-slave. You deserve it. (and you’ll probably get the hang of things after a month or two & before their whining becomes unbearable). #2 if you are not Mother, but happen to have one that you think might enjoy listening and you are techno-savvy. Do I need to explain the rest?

Just to let you know, I don’t belong to Audible myself (New York is a terrible town for listening—I don’t have a car & traffic & subway noise drowns out a lot) but I do listen to their audio, our own stories and others “a la carte” while I knit, and on the train (Amtrak). I have learned to download it onto my Treo phone. Is that cool or what? Yes, it took me and various very patient help desk people as well as several techno-savvy friends many hours to get me to this happy place. But it's worth it!

Blog to you later….
Posted by isabelswift Feb 10, 2006 12:48 pm

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