iTunes: "Audiobook" vs. "Spoken Word": The NEW Winner Is You!

SFFaudio News

Conquer The WorldFor better or for worse iTunes and iPods go together like two nesting spoons and with so many people getting iPods these days an audiobook company can not afford to ignore the trend. Independent providers like,, and all have files that will work on iPods too – but frankly only the extremely savvy audiobook readers out there have even heard of any of them. If you want to generate a sizable listenership, you really need to be listed on either or iTunes. But just knowing this doesn’t mean your problems are over. The sad fact is that iTunes has contracted to get all of it’s audiobook content from – you cannot get around this exclusive contract if you produce auidobooks. Worse, gets nearly all of its content from only a few big publishers – that wasn’t always the case, but they really have some weird corporate thing going on there these days. So, if you can’t break into you’re stuck without iTunes distribution and therefore most iPods won’t ever have your audiobooks on them. But there’s a little loophole that you should know about, an indie music record label is releasing “spoken word” albums on iTunes!

Conquer The World Records* is releasing what amount to audiobooks in everything but the actual name “audiobooks.” The first fiction author to take advantage of this scheme is the world’s savviest podcast novelist Scott Sigler. His first podiobook EarthCore is available for $9.99 through Conquer The World’s “spoken word” album release on iTunes. Do a search in the music store for “Scott Sigler” in the artist category.

Science Fiction Audiobook - EarthCore by Scott SiglerEarthCore
By Scott Sigler; Read by Scott Sigler
20 Files – Approx 15 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Provider: / Conquer The World Records
Released: 2006
Priced at: $9.99 USD on iTunes

Even better, two great Science Fiction shorts from Deuce Audio, SFFaudio’s co-editor Scott Danielson’s own audiobook company, are available now on iTunes:

Science Fiction Audiobook - Shed Skin by Robert J. SawyerShed Skin
By Robert J. Sawyer; Read by Stephen Hoye
3 Files – Approx 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Provider: Deuce Audio / Conquer The World Records
Released: 2006 – AVAILABLE NOW
Priced at: $2.99 USD on iTunes
Do a search in the artist field with the search term “Robert J. Sawyer”

Science Fiction Audiobook - The Retrieval Artist by Kristine Kathryn RuschThe Retrieval Artist
By Kristine Kathryn Rusch; Read by Stefan Rudnicki
5 Files – Approx. 2 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Provider: Deuce Audio / Conquer The World Records
Released: 2006 – AVAILABLE NOW
Priced at: $4.99 USD on iTunes
Do a search in the artist field with the search term “Kristine Kathryn Rusch”

Conquer the World will soon follow with a some other interesting titles:

Bang! A Love Story by Anthony Mora

A World of Assassins by Neil Davies

Johnnie and the Demon Queen by Erick “Fox” Braun

Controlled Chaos by Michael S. London.

And finally, SF author and Fordham University professor Paul Levinson has signed a deal to produce an exclusive release, entitled Spun Dreams, is currently under production (with Levinson performing it himself). The work is a collection of his short stories. The release will retail for $9.99 USD.

Enjoy folks!

*warning this is a slow loading myspace domain

UPDATE: SFFaudio contributor Esther rightly points out that there is an interesting iLounge about the iTunes/ situation here:

She also particularily draws our attention to the “Audible Cranks It Up” article link and the “September 2005 issue of Publishing Trends” and their article on audiobooks. The PDF file contains the details of the terms of the agreement with iTunes (which runs through 2007 but which Apple can terminate given 6 months’ notice). Esther seems better informed on this issue than myself and was surprised to hear that Audible was “no longer working with small publishers” – I should point out that this last point is my personal anecdotal observation and is not drawn from any detailed study comparing the acquisitions from a few years back to the catalogue of today. I think however that I can say this, in the Science Fiction and Fantasy audiobook category of there are more small publishers with publication dates in the year 2000 than their are in 2006. Given the number and quality of new audiobook companies producing Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror audio today I think I am justified in my position of saying’s current catalogue restrictions are detrimental to SFFaudio listeners.

Posted by Jesse Willis

One thought to “iTunes: "Audiobook" vs. "Spoken Word": The NEW Winner Is You!”

  1. This sounds like a good idea. It seems a way around the problem. My wife is huge into audio books and we’re planning on getting an iPod here in the near future so that will be helpful. Thanks!

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