We’re baaaaack … and we’re listening

Hello! We’d like a Word is back for its second series after a much-needed four month break. We’ve survived Covid-19, a US election, Christmas and New Year, various storms (meteorological and political) and we’ve both managed to stay relatively sane during lockdown.

But now it’s time to dust off the mics, power up the Zoom apps and get stuck into recording some new interviews with people involved – in all of their various roles – in the wonderful world of writing. In this episode we’re looking at the publishing success story of the early 21st century – the audiobook. And to guide us through this world we have three professional audiobook readers – Natalie Chisholm, Patrick Moy and Caroline Lennon.

The audiobooks market is HUGE. It’s worth £2 billion annually and has grown by around 24% per year. However the onset of Coronavirus has almost doubled that amount – a 43% increase in the first half of 2020.

Some other audiobook factoids:

  • 57% of audiobook listeners are under 50.
  • The average person listens to eight audiobooks per year.
  • In 2019 15% of Brits had listened to an audiobook, and 77% had read a paper book but … sales of paper books plunged by £55 million.

So how do you become an audiobook narrator? What’s involved? How do you prepare? And what skills and equipment do you need?

And, looking at the wider topic, is the growth of audiobooks bad for reading skills? Is a book spoiled by a bad choice of reader? And should authors read their own books?

Join the discussion on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor FM, Podcast Radio and other places where good podcasts are hosted.

Or just click here.


Natalie Chisholm (aka Red Head Voiceover)

Patrick Moy (aka Patrick Doddy)

Caroline Lennon