Wednesday, July 1, 2020

IWSG, Audio, and Diversity

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

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Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


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July 1 question - There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

I think audiobook sales are going to continue to increase. From my years of teaching, I know many people enjoy audiobooks. Way back when I started teaching, this wasn't an option. I read many, many books into cassette tapes for students. Sadly, my Tigger Brain can't focus on audiobooks - I'd rather create them than listen to them.

Hmmm, maybe that's the next thing to learn! I've always loved reading aloud to kids in class!


I'd love to see more diverse authors writing and publishing. I'd love for all voices to be heard and read (and listened to!). I'd really love to see this trend in books for kids (picture books, MG, and YA). Every child should be able to find multiple fabulous books that reflect his/her/their experience.

I'd also love to see more picture books with two or more languages showcased. With so many new Canadians coming to our country not speaking English, French, or an Indigenous Language, we need to have good books that include their languages as well. I would also like to see dual/multi-language books in chapter book style. Left page = Language 1 (or 1/2), Right page = Language 2 (or 3/4).

How about you? Do you enjoy listening to audiobooks? Would you buy books showcasing multiple languages?




Photo by Hannah Wrighton Unsplash

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canucks!!




73 comments:

  1. Happy Canada Day!
    It would be interesting to see books in multiple languages. They would serve dual purposes as one could start to learn a new language as well.

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    1. Thanks, Alex!
      Exactly - our school has some picture books with Ojibway and English, but I'd love to see more!

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  2. I loved checking out audio books on CDs back in the day. They were so fun to listen to in the classroom. I wonder if a subscription to Audible would be worth it!

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    1. I wish I had better listening skills - actually I think it's focusing skills - for audio :)

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  3. Hey Jemi. That's such a wonderful thing to look forward to! Diversity...We have a lot of diverse books for children in India because we have far too many languages but still Id say representation of regional languages remains poor. So that's a wonderful idea!
    Sonia from https://soniadogra.com

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    1. I've had a few students from India over the years and I was astounded at the number of languages! It definitely keeps the brain adept and fluid!

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  4. ACX is a great place to start in converting your books to audio.

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  5. Love audiobooks, and multi-language picture books are a great idea. Would help my kids learning French, too.

    Happy Canada Day to you!

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  6. I like reading the old fashioned way best, with a real book, then my kindle. Audio book would be last choice, but like you, I love reading aloud to kids. My son never had to beg me to read just one more book before bed, lol.

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    1. I like reading off my Kindle best, but I know lots of people love audio!
      I have so many, many fond memories of reading with my kids as well!

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  7. I think you're right, but I wish the prices were more obtainable. Books have become a privilige instead of an essential part of life.

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    1. Yes! Books should be easy to access. Thank goodness for libraries!

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  8. I only used audiobooks (usually books on tape or CD) when I was teaching. It helped the kids. But yeah...I have that whole Tigger Brain thing going on, so I can't focus on them myself.

    We definitely need more diverse books. Representation is so important—especially for those younger readers.

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    1. It amazes me how well some people are able to focus when listening like that!
      Agreed - every kid needs to have those books that feel like home!

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  9. My problem with audio books is that they often put me to sleep. That's especially true if the voice actor has one of those deep, melodious voices. The one time I'm able to actually listen to a book, is when I'm driving. However, that can be distracting and probably dangerous. Maybe I have a Tiger Brain, too?

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    1. I haven't tried an audio book when driving - we're in a small town and are rarely in the car for more than 10 or 15 minutes - but I can see that being a good place for me to listen as well :)

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  10. My audio books do very well. I'm really happy about that. :)

    And a BIG YES to more diversity and inclusion!

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    1. Yay - that's good to hear! I might give that a shot!

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  11. Have yet to listen to audio books but my boss swears by them. She'd drive to work listening to audible and tried to convert me. Alas, I've yet to be converted. But I'm surprised they've yet to include multiple language options for audio books. If books can be written in other language I'd thought it'd be a given that audio books were in different languages too.

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    1. I think there's probably a barrier with the cost of translating to multiple languages and having to know the book with recoup those costs in each language.

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  12. Happy Canada Day!

    I would like it to be easier to get book translated into other languages. It'd be great if languages wasn't a barrier for anyone who wanted to read a story.

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    1. Yes! Love that - the more barriers we can break down between people and books the better!

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  13. Happy Canada Day, Jemi!

    I can't do the audio book thinggie... not yet. I have tried but to no avail. *sigh*
    I'll give it another try someday.
    Look, I'm not averse to it. The thing is, I love reading. I read aloud to my grade 8's whenever I get the chance to do so.

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    1. I know! The kids always love when we read to them. And they get to try out different kinds of books without as much pressure.
      I might try the audio thing with one of my books :)

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    2. Posted my review for DWD on Goodreads and Amazon.

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    3. You're the best! Thanks so much!!

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  14. Happy Canada Day! Thanks for dropping by!

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  15. I agree that audio books are becoming more popular. I hope the selection increases and that it includes all the books that spotlight diversity are included.

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    1. Yes! We need those diverse books in every facet of fiction and nonfiction for all ages!

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  16. Happy Canada Day!!!
    My kids love audio books. I'm in the process of getting all of my books into audio.

    Good Answer to this months question!

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    1. Thanks, Cathrina. Audio books are definitely popular!

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  17. Audio books have never lit my spark. That said, any reading is good reading, and I am happy for my addiction to be passed on to others.
    My linguisitcally challenged self would love to see more multi-language books though.

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    1. I had a difficult time convincing some parents that audiobooks were real books, but they don't work for my brain either. The multi-lingual ones would be fun!

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  18. I've never been a fan of audio books. If I'm reading, I like to do it myself, and if I want to listen to something, I'd rather listen to music. Probably why I've never listened to a podcast, either.

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    1. I love listening to music as well. Pure lecture-style classes in university were a struggle!

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  19. Funny enough I really don't like listening to audiobooks. I'm getting sensitive to sounds in my old age hahaha. But I did just go through the steps to have my first one produced because they are gaining in popularity and I'm all about having options if I can afford to put them out.

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    1. That's exactly what I was thinking. More options are awlays better!

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  20. Jemi, Happy Canada Day to you. I agree audiobooks are increasing in usage. I love the feel and smell of a print book, but it seems audiobooks make it much easier for me to review a book. I can listen while I drive or work in the garden. I never want to see print books go away, but I do love audiobooks.

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    1. Thanks, Mason!
      I hope print books never go anywhere - that would be heartbreaking!!
      I think listening to an audio while driving would be a great idea!

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  21. I think more dual language books would be wonderful - for all ages. Like you, I get squirrel brain while listening to audio unless I'm folding laundry or driving.
    Happy writing this month!

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    1. Yes - the dual language would be awesome!
      Thanks - and same to you, Tyrean!

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  22. I should listen to audio books more. So far I only listen to them on long drives.

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    1. We rarely go far - small town so most drives under 10 minutes!

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  23. I love audio books! I'm a slow reader, so they help me get through my reading pile a lot faster. ;-)

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    1. You're certainly not alone! So many people enjoy them!

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  24. I'd not considered the idea of multi language books, but it seems a great idea, especially for children.

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    1. Our school has a few English/Ojibwe books and the kids always enjoy them. I'd love to see more!

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  25. Great idea to have more languages! Dual-language books for kids are so fun!

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    1. They really are. I've made a few basic 'books' on the iPad for kids new to our school and English showing basic vocabulary but I'd like to see real ones!

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  26. Hi Jemi, I tried an audio book, but gave up in a few days. Finally I bought a physical copy of the book and read it.

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    1. That would be something I would do, too. I'll have to train my brain to have better focus!

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  27. I love audiobooks, especially back when I used to have a thirty minute commute.

    Authors creating their own audiobooks is a big thing now, with plenty of courses out there to help you learn the ins and outs of the business.

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    1. I could totally do audio books on a commute! Although with small town living, my usual commute is about 5 minutes :)
      I'm definitely looking into it! I think it would be fun to learn something new!

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  28. I love the idea of multiple languages in one book. Great for kids who are learning a new language, or who speak one language at home and another at school, as well as adult readers/learners who are new to English.

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    1. Exactly!! We have lots of new Canadians who would really benefit from these books! And they'd just be fun :)

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  29. I have tried audio books a couple of times, in the car, while on parking lot duty before school, while sitting outside...but I just can't seem to keep listening. After a few minutes I tune it out. Strangely, I started watching TV with subtitles when my husband lost hearing on one side, and now I can't even watch videos without something to read. I'm addicted to seeing the words, they hold more meaning that way. I can see them, feel them, and understand them only when they are visually present. They are grounding in a way.

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    1. That is fascinating! I can totally see how that can happen. Words do that grounding in so many ways, don't they?

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  30. Interesting thought about the audiobooks. And yes to diversity.

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    1. Diversity has always been important - but now more than ever!

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  31. Happy Canada Day Jemi! I can't stand audiobooks, but I know plenty of people who do. When I finally hit publish, I intend to produce audiobooks too. ATM I think it's very expensive.

    Congratulations on your upcoming releases. I've been too busy, but will be in contact to help out!

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    1. It is expensive - might try to learn to do that myself!
      Thanks so much - you're awesome!

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  32. I'm just like you--I can't seem to listen to audiobooks, even on the treadmill! Congratulations to you on the books!

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    1. It's so difficult to maintain focus for me! Might have to try and train my brain!

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  33. Love audiobooks! Would definitely be great to see sales for those increase. And completely agree with you about diversity. Our world is missing out on so many amazing stories because of how often publishers ignore those voices...

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    1. Exactly!!! The industry has to get on board and promote all voices!

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    2. I agree about how publishers ignore diverse voices!

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    3. It's sad and frustrating - and hopefully changing!!

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  34. What an intriguing idea to have multilanguage books. A great learning tool as well as being educational! I loved learning French at school (although so much of it's gone now) and I had some French editions of Tintin books that I bought on holiday, which I'd read alongside the English version for fun. An odd child... Never embraced audiobooks, but had they been more prevalent/convenient when I was younger (remember giant multiple CD or cassette bundles??) I might have been. But I do think it's a good direction now to snare kids who might not read as much, with all the other distractions available.

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    1. I remember buyng my first French book (Le Petit Prince) at a yard sale and Mom thought I was nuts :)
      I think the audio also helps the kids/adults who have learning differences and the letters just don't cooperate with their brain.

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