The marketplace for commercial audiobooks has grown in recent years. Audiobook readers include those who enjoy consuming content in situations in which reading print copy would be impossible—for instance, driving, exercising, or multitasking. They also include those with print disabilities who are unable to consume traditional print formats. Reaching these audiences is beneficial for publishers, for whom accessing this marketplace has become a significant focus. The growth in audiobook production has also been a boon to those with print disabilities, as it has increased the number of works available to them.
It is still common to assume that audiobooks are inherently accessible, but this is not, in fact, true. From a print-disabled end-user perspective, some of the essential elements of accessible audiobook production are yet to be incorporated into publisher workflows. These elements include image description, completeness, and structuring that allows the reader to easily distinguish and access each section of the print original.
In partnership with eBOUND Canada, CNIB worked with Canadian independent publishers across Canada to produce accessible audiobooks and learn about the stages of accessible audiobook creation.
The goal of this project was to develop a best practices guide for publishers interested in introducing an accessible audio workflow into their publishing cycle. This best practices guide is geared toward independent Canadian publishers who do not have previous experience in commissioning audiobook production.