Okay, I have yet another addiction provided by the Internet. Among all the other things I spend my time doing online, between listening to podcasts, reading blogs, writing blog entries, tracking news and writing code, I am now avidly listening to the podiobooks provided at (where else?) Podiobooks.com.
Podiobooks.com is a site where novelists new and old can release their books in a serialized audio format. Authors record segments, usually 1 or 2 chapters at a time and then upload them to the Podiobooks server, while also providing a helpful rating for their work. Readers/listeners can then subscribe to a podcasting feed that will deliver those audio recording to them. Now, what is really cool about Podiobooks, is that instead of throwing all the files at your podcatcher at once, they release them to you one at a time from the beginning of the book. You simply register on the site, subscribe to a book and they provide you with a personalized podcasting feed that will deliver chapters of the book on a schedule you define. You can change your schedule at any point, or if you like your schedule but can’t stand the suspense of the last cliffhanger you can force the release of the next chapter with a single click.
Best of all, this service is totally free to both the authors and their listeners. If you like the work you are encouraged to donate to that book, although it is not required to listen. The author gets 50% of any donation you make which is way more than a standard royalty agreement, and the authors retain all their rights to the work.
I first heard about this service several months ago as it was co-founded by Evo Terra of the Dragon Page Wingin’ It podcast, which is a fave of mine. However, I waited a long time before trying it out because I was honestly a little skeptical, but I was wrong. This is an awesome service, and I am enjoying the books I have found there.
Seriously, take a moment of your time and check it out, although I warn you that it will be tempting to subscribe to them all. :)