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Strategies for Building Your Audio Book Library

Many people buy books both printed and audio books on an as needed basis while others see them as something to be collected and treasured.  Either way you can benefit by understanding the strategies that others use to build their audio book library.  Are you building an audio book library for your own use, for others or as something that may be sold as a collectible in the future?  As with any collection value is in the eye of the beholder. 

As someone who already has started building an audio book collection I can say that it is a learning process.  Physical audio books like CDs and cassettes can be expensive so you don't want to spend your hard earned money on something that is going to gather dust on a shelf unless you think you can sell it years from now at a price premium.  My audio book library consists of self help, language audio cassettes and CDs that sit on my home "library" shelves in my office.  I'll admit that I have some Tony Robbins cassettes that did make a difference to me and that I listen to certain ones that I found particularly useful for goal setting and motivation.  I also have some Franklin Covey ones and Dave Allen which makes sense given my focus on trying to make the most of my time.

I also have digital audio book library that sits on my computer.  Since downloads are less expensive than printed and audio book cassettes and CDs I have been less discriminating on what I have bought.  I have bought some for others in my family and have found it interesting because it has exposed me to some books that I would not have considered listening to before.  There are a bunch of biographies that I would never have considered adding to my audio book collection but my mother in law likes them.  The benefit here is that they are downloads I can burn them to CD for her and listen to them on my computer too.  Based on the rights tied to your purchase you could also put it on a digital player like an IPod as well.

Here are some thoughts for building your audio book library without breaking your bank account.

1) Think about which audio books you like and what you use them for.

Audio books are great as a training resource and many of the best selling business books are timeless.  Read more about business audio books for training at our blog.  You may be a fan of a particular author like Laurel Hamilton and would like to create an audio book collection of her novels.  Self Help or motivation and goal setting  books are also good for collecting.  You may also consider what types of audio books your family would benefit from.  Children's audio books are great for a variety of reasons so building that part of your library for your children would be valuable.

2) Figure out your budget.

Are you someone that can go through an audio book a week because of a long commute or are you someone that maybe can listen to a book a month.  Renting audio books may be a valid option for evaluating books for your audio book library.  You don't want to buy an audio book only to find out that you hate it.  You need to be careful though because depending on the plan you get into you may end up spending more money per month than you would have spent buying an audio book download that you can keep.  Some libraries are building an audio book collection for their patrons so that is another cheap way of buying before you try.

3) Read reviews and listen to samples.

One of my biggest pet peeves with audio books is that there are some bad narrators out there.  OK maybe they are not bad but some voices do not relay the book in the way that I think they were intended.  Sometimes the monotony of the tone doesn't let you listen past the first 5 minutes.  Our store offers samples so that you can listen before you buy.  We have also produced some audio book catalogs that link to our site so you can listen to samples before you decide to add them to your audio book library.  Written reviews are also important and if not available at our store can be found by Googling the title.

An audio book library is something that can benefit everyone in your family and should be preserved with as much care as the music and picture collections that sit on our computer hard drives.

By Lillian Keefe

Copyright 2007