The can be no doubt that Podcasts are a fantastic tool. I subscribe to several, ranging from Grammar Girl to The Official LOST podcast. Audiobook podcasts offer a variety of subject matter including free audiobooks. Let’s look at a few currently available podcasts.
Podcasts of Audiobooks:
There are several podcasts that consist of chapters of public domain or original works available for free download. Most of these are read by podcasters and/or the authors of the books. The quality is variable, some actually sound like they were recorded in someone’s basement. It is best to preview before downloading.
Many authors release novels in podcast form for free download. Podiobooks.com allows users to upload their works in audio podcast format to be hosted on the site. The books that are specifically authored for this format are serialized and are available in individual chapters.
A Growing Genre:
Author Scott Sigler is a pioneer in book podcasts. His collection of free serialized novels is horror/science fiction based. His unique approach to podcasting has led to a hardcover book release and movie deal. Visit his website for more information.
Rather than sacrifice the quality and convenience of a traditional audiobook, I prefer to use podcasts to find news and reviews. Audiopolis, a podcast from AudioFile magazine, offers reviews and soundclips of recommended works. AudioFile also produces a weekly podcast called All Ears! Audiobooks for Family Listening.
Other podcasts worth mentioning are the NPR books podcast which reviews books, provides news and author interviews via free audio podcast. The New York Review of Books Podcast provides interviews, lectures and readings. The Guardian Books Podcast contains author interviews, readings and even full recordings of their monthly book club.
When searching for book podcasts, be aware that not all are updated on a regular basis. For example, Simon and Schuster’s SimonSays Podcast has not been updated in nearly a year and the Times Online Books Podcast from the Times Online at Oxford’s updates are very erratic. All of these podcasts are available for instant download via iTunes.