Our Friends and Associates have been bugging us to join the 21st Century and produce an audio book version of our New York Times Best seller, The Barefoot Spirit, How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand.
Well, guess what? We have begun! It’s a pretty exciting project, we must say. We’ve partnered up with a small Southern California acting troop, The Sherwood Players, who have produced several live theater events in Santa Barbara and have recently produced an award-winning animated production called “Crash” to help keep young folks from texting while driving.
According to the latest report from the Audio Publishers Association, audiobooks are now the fastest growing segment of the digital publishing industry. 26% of the US population has listened to an audiobook in the last 12 months, according to Michelle Cobb of the APA. The report cites a near 40% increase in the number of audiobooks published compared to the year before. It turns out that 48% of all listeners are under age 35 who listened to an average of 15 books in the last year.
And why not? We used to think that video was taking over but you can’t watch a video safely in your car or when you’re jogging. So audio makes sense for a variety of reasons. Besides, folks want to give their eyes a rest from all that screen time. They want to focus on the road, the trail, or the park. Audio is portable and listening is often much more convenient than watching or reading.
Most audiobooks, however, seem to be limited by the fact that the narrator is just reading the book to you. This is especially true in the business book market.
When it comes to fiction like adventure, drama, and biography, we see a new emerging type of audiobook production. Instead of just having a narrator drone along and read to you, there are actual actors portraying the different characters in skit-like scenes.
We like this! It’s just plain more entertaining. We believe it’s a practical way to record audio business books and other educational books. Because the listener can identify with the characters and experience the action through them, it makes learning fun! The take-away may be an insight, a lesson learned, or a new, problem-solving concept. But to our knowledge, educational audiobooks haven’t yet used this method.
We thought, “Why couldn’t this old time radio theater format apply to business books?” So we set out to develop a team that would use our own book as a Guinea pig. After all, it was written to be a series of short skits anyway. It’s already a series of scenes with several characters interacting to convey the message.
We’ve been working on it for months! And we are set to release it just before the Holidays! Yes, we are very excited!
It’s so much fun to act out a scene rather than just narrate it. We get to use intonation and emphasis. We even got the famous Ed Asner to voice Don Brown, the snarky wine buyer who rudely threw us out of his office but not without the keys to our ultimate success. We get to add color with Japanese, English, New Jersey, and South Carolina accents. And of course, sound effects!
So, what can we say? “Coming to Your Earbuds Soon, The Barefoot Spirit Radio Theater!”
To find out more and track our progress, check out www.thebarefootspirit.com
Who We Are
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.
Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.
They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.
Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.
To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.