Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Best Book I've Read in 2007 and an Industry Question

Yesterday I finally got the chance to read Christian Jungersen's The Exception. This book has been on my adult TBR for months. Part mediation on the nature of evil, part psychological thriller, The Exception is a fast-paced philosophical read that kept me up all night.

Here's the thing, though: The entire time I was reading--an eight-hour period during which I ignored family and friends--I was thinking how much I would have loved The Exception as an audio download. First of all, the Danish names would have been pronounced better than they were in my head. Second, I wouldn't have raced through it as I did. In my mad rush to figure out what happened, I'm sure I missed a lot. I really was sad I wasn't listening instead of reading.

So here's my industry question: Why do some publishing houses (Random House) have their audio up and ready when the book is released?* And, why do others wait and wait and wait. The Exception has been out for about six months (Doubleday) and still no audio. Because I read and listen to two different titles at any given time, I like the freedom to choose which books I'd like to listen to and which I'd like in hard copy. (Then We Came to the End, another book I've enjoyed over the past week, was definitely more suited to book format.)

Does anyone know which questions are at play here in deciding which books will have audio and which will not?
* And here's the other thing: I borrowed my copy of The Exception from my parents. I would have purchased the audio in September had it been available. That's $30 gone.