The TBS of the R.N.I.B provides an extensive range of audio books (recorded in modern studios , professional narrators & authors to bring audio books to life.)
TB’s provide entertainment & information for the blind,
but TB’s also designed for a range of people that are not blind!
eg visitors from another country,
Popular tourist attractions
(eg Madame Tussaud’s wax museum)
(eg Open Top Bus Tours (most big cities)
Other museums & galleries or
Ancient buildings - (these guides give visitors a general idea on the culture and history.)
Audio guides must suit their purpose , so their content might be, eg:
General info . about a tourist destination,
Directions to attractions in a city (eg which bus or train to take.)
Educational for museums or galleries that explain different objects on display.
Very useful for language study – eg can hear the correct pronunciations.)
Both informative & educational audio guides must also be entertaining and suitable to all ages.
This means that the content & use of language should be simple & easy to understand.
Generally audiobooks are produced for everyone – but producers do need to consider audience eg: age range , gender , ethnicity , culture & language .
A broad variety of print books are already available as audiobooks (ie genres such as: fiction, non-fiction, comedy, classics, biographies, self-improvement(like memory development), children’s books, thrillers, drama, mystery, poetry and languages.)
Audiobooks are very useful on long journeys , (eg where reading is not advisable because of sickness.)
Classic authors recorded include (eg
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol)
Mark Twain (Tom Sawyer & Huckelberry Finn ),
Jane Austen ( Sense and Sensibility (1811),
Pride and Prejudice (1813) .
Today’s increased emigration opens up a growing market for translating audiobooks into different languages.
The production quality - depends on the market demand (currently an increase in market demand – due to: easier access, increased variety, best sellers.
General consumers are starting to realise the advantages of audiobooks. of course the blind or partially blind benefit the most, because they don’t have any other choice.
People with dyslexia and dyspraxia, find them helpful and entertaining.
Classic publications have a long shelflife (eg
Peter Pan ,
Lord of the Rings,
The Canterbury Tales III, etc.)
is problem detection . Examples:
reviewing all original master recordings for artistic quality ;
checking all masters for technical quality before duplicating copies;
checking all cassette/cd copies before they are circulated to consumers.
is problem avoidance . Examples:
all narrator candidates are required to pass a narration audition.
Making appropriate reference materials available for all staff involved in original master recording;
Using good quality tape/CD products for original masters, & cassette/CD copies;
thorough cleaning of equipment for all mastering & duplicating.
Skill set - for a narrator includes the following " performance tools ":
A range of creative delivery styles for portraying characters.
Consistency and stamina.
A lot of time goes into preparation for an audiobook performance. This includes:
pre-reading the material, (often creating a database of the characters to be voiced)
going through the manuscript to do " mark ups ", (ie putting accent/emphasis marks in.)
Voice Acting – requires that the overall performance flows well and is consistent .
The rhythm of each piece of dialogue , as it unfolds, must match the imagery of the (imaginary) scenes . At the same time,
there must be delivery of emotion and characterization without overshadowing the story!