The Audio Publishers Association (APA) has announced Audie Award® finalists for Audiobook of the Year. The Audiobook of the Year recognizes the audiobook that through quality, innovation, marketing, and sales, has had the most significant impact on the industry. Each nominated title is distinguished by excellence in production as well as their ability to create new interest in the audiobook format through creative marketing.
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This year’s Judges provided their comments and insight into the selection of the Audiobook of the Year Finalists:
“Musical icon Carly Simon’s revelatory memoir Boys in the Trees is best experienced as an audiobook, read with affecting sincerity by the author and supplemented by more than 400 musical segments. As Simon sings snippets of songs, strums her guitar, shares her childhood memories, and reveals relationships with legends including ex-husband James Taylor, listeners feel she is expressing her deepest feelings directly into our ears. Simon personally advocated for the audiobook through marketing that included a Facebook Live event, promotion on Pandora and the artist’s webpage, plus an audiobook giveaway to audience members during a Late Show with Stephen Colbert appearance.”
(Simon & Schuster Audio)
“Amy Schumer’s stand-up fans will both laugh out loud and be moved to empathetic understanding as she reads her memoir The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. Schumer displays her comedic skill and fast-paced timing as she packs raw humor into the narration, while also confiding deeply personal emotions that have shaped her personal advocacy for ending gun violence and promoting healthy relationships and positive self-image. Schumer’s celebrity status and huge social media following expanded the marketing outreach, and a Spoken Word Grammy nomination provided further national recognition for an audiobook that had already achieved dazzling consumer sales.”
“The phenomenon that is Hamilton the musical spreads to the audiobook world with Hamilton: The Revolution, a must-have insider’s guide to the making of the musical. Read by super-fan Mariska Hargitay, the audio takes listeners on a journey from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pool-side reading of Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton to Broadway success and propulsion into the zeitgeist. Fans will especially appreciate Miranda’s reading of his annotations, from the very first revelation that the distinctive three-note intro mimics a squeaky door. Just as the musical has expanded the audience for musical theatre, this audiobook has won new fans to the world of audiobooks, thanks in no small part to Miranda’s devoted social media following.”
(Penguin Random House Audio / Books on Tape)
“Colson Whitehead’s literary bestseller The Underground Railroad finds the ideal narrator in Bahni Turpin. Voicing a complex cast of characters, Turpin conveys the bitter realities of the antebellum South through evocative accents, emotional resonance, and subtle pacing, enhanced by strong production quality. The marketing campaign highlighted the title’s selection as an Oprah Book Club pick, noted the significance of the audio during Black History Month, and featured Turpin representing the author at the National Book Award annual reading (honoring the title’s selection as the 2017 Fiction award-winner), becoming the first narrator to participate in the ceremony.”
(Simon & Schuster Audio)
“In Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, Shonda Rhimes, known to legions of TV fans for her creative productions Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, highlights the transformative power of saying “Yes” to experiences outside her comfort zone. In a production that is both memoir and self-help, Rhimes reveals the fears and tribulations behind her Hollywood veneer, and her appealing no-nonsense style creates an immediate connection encouraging personal empowerment. Through a social media campaign that appealed to a diverse range of listeners, this audio pulled in both new and returning fans of the audio format.”
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