The Audio Publishers Association has finalized details for its extensive programming during the Book Expo America convention and planned for its annual June Is Audiobook Month industry awareness campaign.

The Audio Publishers Association Conference (APAC) takes place Thursday, June 3 at the Union League Club in downtown Chicago. The annual APA Board meeting (for members only) begins at 8 a.m., with educational sessions under the theme "Growth and Action in the Industry" slated to start at 9 a.m., following a continental breakfast. A luncheon and tour of artwork in the Union League serves as the break between morning and afternoon sessions. Highlights include "State of the Industry" during which audio buyers from Ingram Book Company, BarJan, Audible and Levy and Hastings and other companies discuss key issues and challenges for today's audiobook professionals. Marketing expert Marcia Yudkin moderates a panel about attracting more listeners for audiobooks; author and motivational speaker Ed Brodow leads a seminar entitled "Negotiating with the Devil"; and author and marketing consultant Jeffrey Fox offers strategies on "How You Can Make Big Money."

In addition, such noted audiobook narrators as Judith Ivey, Barbara Rosenblat, William Dufris and George Guidall will take part in a panel discussion offering tips and advice to those pursuing a narration career. A number of audio publishing professionals will also provide informational seminars on such fundamentals as choosing titles and signing contracts, for those new to the industry. The day's events are scheduled to wind down with a cocktail party from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Costs range from $145 to $275 for the day; details are available at the APA Web site (

Audies Gala

The Ninth Annual Audie Awards Gala takes place Friday, June 4 in the Winter Garden of the Chicago Public Library, beginning with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner and the awards ceremony. Awards honoring audiobook excellence in 26 different categories will be handed out, and the Audiobook of the Year category will make its debut. In addition to sponsorship packages, individual tickets ($250) are available for purchase from the APA Web site; a limited number of tickets (at $300 each) will be available at the door. But Audies fun also can be had by listeners who don't attend the gala. Visitors to the APA Web site can enter a Pick the Winners contest by selecting their favorites among sound clips from some of this year's Audies finalists. The grand-prize winner will receive a complete set of the 2004 Audie-winning audiobooks.

The Heard Word

The Heard Word: BEA's Audiobook and Author Tea provides a respite for convention-goers Saturday, June 5 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room S105 BC. Featured speakers are Scott Turow, Amy Tan, Augusten Burroughs and Kinky Friedman. Admission is $15; details for registration and ticket purchase can be found at

In Tune for June

This year's Audiobook Month campaign includes a new "Tell a Friend and Enter to Win" sweepstakes. The APA is partnering with retailers to encourage audio fans to spread the word about the pleasures of audiobooks. Participants can tear sheets from in-store displays and fill in their own name and address as well as that of a friend. The friend receives a free audiobook, and the originator is entered into a sweepstakes drawing for a year's supply of audiobooks. Each address collected will also receive a promotional editorial booklet about the industry.

The APA plans to help retailers educate their staff about audiobooks by introducing a Store Staff Listening and Lending Library initiative, also kicking off in June. The APA will send a lending library of staff listening copies (five to 10 audiobooks per store) to participating stores. More information is available from the APA; some information was already mailed to participating Book Sense stores.

Some 10,000 posters—the winning design by Tibor Choleva was chosen via an APA-sponsored contest—put audiobooks in the spotlight at libraries nationwide (copies of the poster are available from the APA office as well). Libraries are also home to a public service announcement campaign featuring authors and narrators promoting the educational and entertainment value of audiobooks. Messages from Bill O'Reilly, Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich are among those in the current PSA selection.

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