As it celebrates 25 years of publishing authoritative audiobook reviews, Audiofile magazine is also celebrating the audiobook too.

Robin WhittenFor the June 2017 anniversary, Audiofile editor and founder Robin Whitten has assembled the ICONIC 25, a Hall of Fame for audiobooks, whose sales have skyrocketed and provided nearly all the growth seen in the book publishing industry in recent years. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone ranks there, together with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, narrated by Stephen Fry, and the David Sedaris memoirMe Talk Pretty One Day, among others.

Earlier this year, Beyond the Book spoke with Michele Cobb, who is publisher at Audiofile and executive director of the Audio Publishers Association, about the audiobook phenomenon. She gave much of the credit to the digital revolution sweeping all media.

“When the iPod came out and Audible was growing, we started to see this huge surge of interest in audiobooks and listening to audiobooks. When we started in the industry and there were phonographs and records and all of that, you could only put so much material onto each record or onto each cassette or onto each CD,” Cobb told CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

Audiofile 25 Logo“In a digital world, the file can be as large as you want,” she explained. “You don’t need to worry about abridging any of the materials, and you can carry an entire book with you on a small stick or on a phone or on your computer. Listeners have access to a larger amount of materials in a very easy-to-use format.”

During the month of June, AudioFile on Twitter is posting daily using the hashtag #iconicaudio, asking followers to post their own iconic choices. Listen below to a trio of ICONIC 25 nominees.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, read by Jim Dale

The Golden Compass, read by author Philip Pullman with a full cast

The Help, read by Bahni Turpin as the character Aibileen Clark

IBPA’s Publishing University 2017 Panel
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