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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Audio books, an upcoming trend in book world

PTI  New Delhi, February 08, 2013
First Published: 15:25 IST(8/2/2013) | Last Updated: 15:29 IST(8/2/2013)

If you are super tech savvy and also happen to be smitten by the ebooks bug then audio books, a fairly new trend, may just catch your fancy.

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Audio Books, a concept that has been so far availaible in the form of encyclopedia CDs or those supplementing academic books to support interactive learning is now seen to be a trend on the upswing, both in the fiction as well as non fiction categories.

"We are witnessing a tremendous growth in the demand of audio books in India. We have sold over 24,000 audio book CDs since the last year and the market is poised to grow at 50-60 per cent in the FY 2013-2014.

"The digital downloads on our website have seen a jump of almost 52 per cent in the last quarter," says Sumit Suneja, Founder and CEO, Reado Audio Books, one of the first audio book company in the country.

'Reado Green Boulevard' at the ongoing World Book fair is an initiative to let people know more about the concept. An outdoor park themed stall spread out across 1000 sq. ft. area is promoting the use of digital audio books.

Some of the popular titles include "Dongri to Dubai" by S Hussain Zaidi, "Ambani & Sons" by Hamish McDonald, Rich Dad Series by Robert Kiyosaki, "Puffin Lives – Penguin India", "Kiss That Frog" by Brian Tracy, "Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs" by Carmine Gallo, "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson amongst others.

"We belong to the eco friendly generation and so far I thought that only e-books offered a green alternative. But the concept of audio books is more interactive as well as user friendly," says Ramita, a visitor at Reado Green Boulevard.

"We have been into this market since 10 years but in the current book fair I realised that its not that people are not aware of the concept but they have an illusion that audio books are available for some thousand rupees and 7-8 discs for a book, which is not true. Our books are priced very reasonably from Rs. 100 onwards," Sumit Suneja told PTI.

The titles brought out by Suneja's company include bestsellers from leading Indian and global publishing houses such as Penguin Books India, Simon and Schuster audio, Roli, Hachette, Brilliance Audio and Gildan Media.

"The concept needs more visibility in our country but once explored it will be season's trend," says Suneja.

While the tech savvy generation seem to have lapped up the ebook era, with its convenience and easy-on-the-go reading facility, audio books have much more to offer.

"Despite reading a newspaper we love to listen to the same thing on radio as well. Moreover you can listen to it while doing something else simultaneously, I didn't know something like this existed in market," says another visitor Manoj Sharma, a lawyer by profession.

"We have also tied up with retail chains like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Infibeam among others to provide easy access to the readers and to improve the concept visibility," says Sunil.


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