Interview with David Wilk

David Wilk invited me to his Publishing Talks Podcast, to about LibriVox, iambik, libraries, PressBooks, and general future of publishing stuff.

Here is the link.

And here is the audio [mp3].

Interview with David Wilk

David Wilk invited me to his Publishing Talks Podcast, to about LibriVox, iambik, libraries, PressBooks, and general future of publishing stuff.

Here is the link.

And here is the audio [mp3].

Categories: audio, librivox, myprojects

announcing iambik audiobooks

iambik logoWe launched Iambik Audiobooks today, a new audiobook company loosely based on another project I started moons ago, LibriVox.

Iambik’s a bit different though: we’re partnering with publishers to make audio versions of in-copyright books, we’re much more picky about sound quality, and … we want your cold hard cash!

You can visit the site here, read more about it on our blog here, and listen to samples here, here, here and here.

Oh and here are some beautiful covers (there are even more on

like son

oh pure and radiant heart

all my friends are superheroes

Thanks to the many people who helped make this happen.

Categories: books, librivox, myprojects, web

LibriVox Turns Five

On August 10, 2005 I put up a website, called it LibriVox, and posted the following:

LibriVox is a hope, an experiment, and a question: can the net harness a bunch of volunteers to help bring books in the public domain to life through podcasting?

LibriVox is an open source audio-literary attempt to harness the power of the many to record and disseminate, in podcast form, books from the public domain. It works like this: a book is chosen, then *you*, the volunteers, read and record one or more chapters. We liberate the audio files through this webblog/podcast every week (?).

Five years later, it seems as if the answer is: yes. [more…]

Categories: audio, librivox

Heartwarming Thanks

One of our been-around-for-ages LibriVox volunteers, Gesine, started an initiative to collect and publish on our forums “thank you” notes sent to LibriVox from listeners, a great addition.

It’s been more than a year since I recorded anything for LibriVox, and the last thing I did was James Joyce’s “The Dead,” I think the most beautiful and moving short story I’ve ever read. LibriVox published my version of “The Dead,” from the Dubliners collection for Bloomsday, 2009. It was the one thing that I most wanted to read when LibriVox started, but it took me almost four years to get up the courage to do it.

I’ve never fancied myself much of an audiobook-maker, but there is a deeply spiritual engagement that happens when you record a book that you love. And that, always, has been (for me) a prime motivation for LibriVox, to give people a place to connect more deeply with books they love.

As far as I know, I’ve received two bits of fan mail for my LibriVox recordings, one ages ago for my overwrought chapter ofNotes from the Underground (one of our first LibriVox books); and just the other day I got another bit of mail regarding that recording of the “Dead.”

Here is what that note said, which (especially given the lambasting I’ve received for our recordings of Ulysses) makes me … it’s funny, trying to explain how it makes me feel… but the answer is grateful, though I couldn’t tell you why exactly:

Dear Mr. McGuire:
Thank you for your exemplary narration of Joyce’s “The Dead”. At the end I found myself listening in a trance-like state. My only regret is that Joyce never could hear it.
David S.

In any case, thank you David S. for making my day.

Categories: audio, librivox

LibriVox on Final Draft

There was some LibriVoxiness on Australian Radio recently … the “Final Draft” show on Radio 2SER FM, Sydney. It’s up on the web:

This week, we’re stepping outside the confines of the printed page and devoting our entire show to the phenomenon of audiobooks. First, we speak to Hugh McGuire, the founder of Librivox, a volunteer-run website that provides readers free recordings of books in the public domain. Then we take a close look at Nick Cave’s The Death of Bunny Munro, which broke new ground when it was released as an audiobook earlier this year. And finally we speak to the Chair of the Australian Braille Authority, Bruce Maguire, about how the growing popularity of audiobooks and speech technology may pose a threat to Braille literacy.

Hugh McGuire, founder of; Linda Ferguson and Timothy Ferguson, Librivox volunteers – interviewed by Paul Kildea

Nick Cave, The Death of Bunny Munro, Text Publishing – reviewed by Rochelle Fernandez
Bruce Maguire, Australian Braille Authority – interviewed by Ella O’Keefe



Categories: librivox

LibriVox Needs Your Help

Dearest LibriVox listeners, volunteers, & supporters:

For four-and-a-half years, LibriVox volunteers have been making audiobooks for the world to enjoy, and giving them away for free. We’ve made thousands of free audiobooks that have been downloaded by millions of people; our site gets 400,000 visitors every month. To date, all our costs have been borne by a few individuals, with some generous donations from partners. However, these costs have become too big.
See below to FIND OUT HOW TO DONATE (Or, keep reading!).

LibriVox needs your help.

We’re asking for donations for the following:
to cover hosting costs for our website (about $5,000/year), which includes: the site you are reading now; the forum; the wiki; the catalog; but does NOT include hosting audio files which is done by
to redesign the site and improve its accessibility
to make the LibriVox catalog easier for listeners to use
to make the management software easier for admins to use

We expect this fund-raising drive to sustain us for three years at least.

For more info, and how to donate.

Categories: audio, librivox

LibriVox 3000

On Saturday December 26, 2009 LibriVox cataloged it’s 3000th free, public domain audiobook title.

SXSW Panel: When Every Book Is Connected

My colleague, co-founder, and the chief architect and getter-doner at Book Oven, Stephanie Troeth has proposed a moderated panel at SXSW this year called:

Beyond Publishing: When Every Book is Connected to Everyone

We have an all-star line-up who have agreed to join us (if SXSW agrees to give us some space to talk):

The description of the panel is as follows:

What happens when every book is online, linkable, and connected to every writer and every reader? What happens when the book is liberated from being words on paper, unbound from a format that’s two thousand years old? What happens to how we read and how we write?

For more info, or to comment on or vote for the panel (please do!), see here.

LibriVox Turns Four

librivoxToday is LibriVox’s 4th birthday. LibriVox is a kooky kind of project with the following objective:

To make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.

Some statistics, as of today:

Total recorded time in all rss-ified works: 49596721 seconds, or 574 days, 0 hours, 52 minutes, and 1 seconds. Total of 50774 sections.

If you have a soft spot in your heart for LibriVox, perhaps you might consider leaving a little message on the blog, or the forum.

Or even better, perhaps you might help us record a few chapters of public domain texts? …