Wow! I’ve been blown away by the response to The Late Age of Print Open Source Audiobook Project, which I launched a couple of weeks ago now. The project got amazing buzz in its initial days, and generous volunteers have been editing the chapters to help produce a free, Creative Commons-licensed audio edition of my book. The end product is, as you know, a text-to-speech version, but there’s even some chance that a bona-fide, spoken-word audiobook might emerge at the end of all this. More on that anon.
For now, I need to publicly thank a bunch of folks without whom this project would have fizzled right from the start. For blogging about it I owe my gratitude to Burku Bakioglu, Ryan Chapman, Cory Doctorow, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Jason Jackson, Liz Losh, and Timothy Vollmer. For Tweeting, a tip of the hat goes out to Burku Bakioglu, Mark Bell, Ryan Chapman, Ron Charles, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, José Afonso Furtado, Jason Jackson, Henry Jenkins, Kembrew McLeod, Richard Nash, Howard Reinold, R. C. Richards, Brian Ruh, Siva Vaidhyanathan, and Timothy Vollmer, in addition to a bunch of people whom I don’t know but who I understand kindly retweeted the news. I owe a special thanks to my publisher, Columbia University Press, and especially to my talented and amazingly-willing-to-go-there-with-me editor, Philip Leventhal. Finally, let me thank all of the extraordinary individuals who’ve already shared their time helping to prepare The Late Age of Print audiobook, as well as those who will do so in the future.
(A thousand pardons if I’ve accidentally left anyone off the list. Please email me if if your name should appear here. I was in touch with so many people the week I launched the audiobook project that it was easy to have lost track.)
The Late Age of Print OS Audiobook Project is still up and running, by the way, and continues to need your help. If you want to know more about what we need to do to make an audiobook out of the raw text of Late Age, scroll down to the next entry on this blog or click the link at the beginning of this paragraph. Either will tell you everything you need to know.
Remember: you don’t need to do much at all to help out the cause. Even a couple of minutes of your time, combined with that of lots of other contributors, will get this thing finished — and finished well — lickety-split. That’s the power of mass collaboration, and the wonder of wikis.
After this post it’s back to my regular commentary on the past, present, and future of books and book culture, although I may share some brief updates on the audiobook project from time to time. I’ve actually learned a great deal about collaborative audiobook production in the process of launching my little experiment, so you can expect to hear more about that soon.