Annual awards for audiobooks

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Outstanding audiobooks are recognised each year by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) in a ceremony known as “The Audies.” The Audies are the audiobook equivalent to the Oscars for movies and will take place in Los Angeles at the end of May this year.

The APA recognises the best audiobooks from over 30 categories, and in 2008 they introduced an additional category, the Achievement in Abrigment Award. There is also an Audiobook of the Year award.

The audiobooks selected for nomination will be announced in early February 2008.

A selection of winners from last year’s Audie Award are as follows:

Category: Mystery

for excellence in narration, direction, technique, mixing, and abridgement, as appropriate, of an unabridged or abridged mystery audiobook, usually featuring a protagonist trying to solve a crime, usually a murder committed early in the story.

The 2007 winner was Echo Park, published by Hachette Audio, with an authoring team of Michael Connelly and Len Cariou.

Summing up Echo Park:

In 1993, Marie Gesto disappeared after walking out of a Hollywood supermarket. LAPD detective Harry Bosch caught the case, but the young woman never showed up, dead or alive, and it was an investigation Bosch couldn’t close. Now Bosch works in the Open Unsolved Unit, where he still keeps the Gesto file on his desk when he gets a call from the DA. A man accused of two gruesome murders is willing to talk about several others in a deal to avoid the death penalty. One of these is the murder of Marie Gesto.

Bosch is now tasked with taking the alleged killer’s confession to make sure he doesn’t scam the authorities to avoid a date with death. In doing so, Bosch must get close to a man he has sought—and hated—for thirteen years. When Bosch learns that in 1993 he and his partner missed a lead that could have led them to Gesto’s killer—and that would have prevented all the murders that followed—his whole being as a cop begins to crack.

Michael Connelly’s captivating new novel in audiobook format features the detective. People Magazine calls him “one of the most complex crime fighters out there” against the most brilliant and sadistic killers he’s ever seen. And it proves once again that “in suspense… Connelly has no superiors” (Washington Post).

Category: Solo Narration — Man

for excellence in solo audiobook reading by a man in any category.

The 2007 winner was Peter and the Shadow Thieves, published by Brilliance Audio, with authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and narrated by Jim Dale.

Peter and the Shadow Thieves Synopsis:

In this riveting and adventurous sequel to the award-winning New York Times bestseller Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter leaves the relative safety of Mollusk Island—along with his trusted companion, Tinker Bell—for the cold, damp, and dangerous streets of London.

On a difficult journey across the sea, he and Tink discover the dark and deadly half-human/part-creature Lord Ombra, who is determined to recover the missing star material—celestial dust containing unimaginable powers. In London, Peter tries to track down the indomitable Molly, hoping they can fight Ombra’s determined forces together. But London is not a Mollusk Island; Peter is no longer the boy he used to be; and Lord Ombra, the Shadow Master, is unlike anything Peter or the world has ever seen.

Category: Solo Narration – Female

For excellence in a woman’s audiobook reading solo, any category.

The 2007 winner was Telegraph Days, publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio, author: Larry McMurtry, and the

Publisher: Annie Potts.

Telegraph Days Synopsis:

When Nellie Courtright and her brother Jackson are unexpectedly orphaned by their father’s suicide, they head to the nearby town of Rita Blanca. Once there, Jackson manages to land a job as a deputy sheriff, while the ever-resourceful Nellie becomes the town’s telegraph.

Together, they inadvertently put Rita Blanca on the map when young Jackson manages to shoot all six of the ferocious Yazee brothers in a firefight that will earn him a lifetime of fame, but one that can never be repeated because his success was purely by luck. Nellie nearly wins the heart of Buffalo Bill, the man she will love most in her long life, and meets and witnesses the exploits of Billy the Kid, the Earp brothers, and Doc Holliday.

A big, brilliant saga full of life, love, shootings, and true western heroes and villains, Telegraph Days is Larry McMurtry at his epic best.

Category: Narration by the author or authors

for excellence in reading an audiobook by the author or authors of that audiobook, in any category.

The 2007 winner was The Tortilla Curtain, publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc., author: TC Boyle, and the

Verteller: TC Boyle

The Tortilla Curtain Synopsis:

Topanga Canyon is home to two couples on a collision course. Los Angeles liberals Delaney and Kyra Mossbacker lead an orderly sushi-and-recycling life in a newly gated hilltop community: he’s a sensitive nature writer, she’s an obsessive real estate agent. Mexican illegals Candido and America Rincon cling desperately to their vision of the American Dream as they battle starvation in a makeshift camp deep in the canyon.

From the moment a freak accident brings Candido and Delany into close contact, these four and their opposing worlds gradually intersect in what becomes a tragicomedy of mistakes and misunderstandings.

I look forward to announcing the audiobooks selected for the 2008 Audie Awards nominations, which will be released on February 4, 2008.