Ayeekoo! The first batch of stories from the African Fireside Classics series are now available in Audio-eBook format.

Audio-ebooks are here announcement poster

They will be available from online bookstores, including Apple iBooks and Google Play Books, starting next month.

You don’t have to wait though, you can get one for free to try out. I also created a shop on gumroad where you can buy the books directly. There are links from the books and audio-ebooks pages that will take you to the store.

As a refresher, an audio-ebook combines text and professionally recorded audio narration. You can choose to read or be read to. You can also read and listen at the same time. In this reading+listening mode, words are highlighted as the narrator says them.

You may be familiar with read-aloud books. The most common of these, tend to be picture books with a few words for early readers. Audio-ebooks are pretty much the same thing except they have no or few pictures and much more text.

While very young children will enjoy hearing the stories in my audio-ebooks, slightly more advanced readers, 8 years and up (middle grade), would benefit the most.

See an audio-ebook in the video below.

There are many advantages to reading and listening at the same time. For instance, it helps with word identification and improves reading comprehension. It also demonstrates how to read smoothly and fluently. Reluctant readers, in particular, love this sort of book as they make the reading experience more enjoyable.

I’m not going to dwell on all the studies etc about immersion reading, which is the technical name for reading+listening. I just want you to enjoy a good story. Make bedtime fun again! Get cozy and let me tell you a story.

😃 One upside that I will tout though—my phone has fewer blurry space-hogging kid selfies (that I don’t have the heart to delete) because my little ones are reading+listening to stories, when they make off with my phone.

To get a taste of what is in store, my very first audio-ebook, a Tower of Mortars, is available for just $1.99 free.

How to Read an Audio-eBook

There is no specialized ereader device for audio-ebooks. They are designed to be read primarily on smart phones and tablets in ebook apps.

Not all ebook reading apps support the audio-ebook format though (epub3 with audio and text highlights). If you are not sure, install one of the reading apps recommended below before downloading the book.

On Apple Devices:

If you read on an Apple device, you’re all set. You can open the audio-ebook in the iBooks or Apple Books app.

Select 'Open in iBooks' option when you go to open an audio-ebook.

You don’t need to download a different reading app unless you just want to try one of the other recommended reading apps. See the next section for the list of apps and links to the App store to get them.

To use a different app, you would click on the ‘More’ link on the audio-ebook download page and select ‘Copy to ’ the app you’re trying out.

If you have other reading apps installed, select the 'More'  option, and then 'Copy to reading-app' when you go to open an audio-ebook.

On Both Apple and Android Devices:

For both Apple and Android devices, you can download and use one of the following free reading apps from the Apple App store or Google Play store respectively:

While not as polished as the others, my personal favorite for reading audio-ebooks is Menestrello.

On Your computer:

If you prefer to read on a desktop or laptop computer, you can install either the free Readium app for Google Chrome or Adobe Digital Editions.

The video in the this post shows an audio-ebook from my library in Readium.