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Beverly Hills News – The Beverly Hills Public Library Presents Inside the Audiobook Studio

Posted Thursday, March 17 – 6:15 PM

By Victoria Talbot

Audiobooks are seizing market share with a popularity that has exploded with the digital download. According to the Audiobook Publishers Association, retail sales of audiobooks totaled over $1.47 billion last year, an increase of 13.5-percent compared to 2013. On the production side, the number of audiobook titles published by the major 17 companies in 2014 climbed to a 4.2-percent increase compared to 2013.

Now, audiobook readers are becoming stars in their own right, their voices increasingly associated with characters in best-selling books around the world. On March 23 at 7 p.m. the Beverly Hills Public Library will host a panel of four highly-acclaimed audiobook readers from Penguin Random House Audio in an hour-long discussion as they reveal what goes into making an audiobook and tales from the studio.

How does a reader interpret inflections? How do they “get into character”, switch characters, and create accents and voice inflections? How many hours of reading can one do before the voice becomes hoarse and the character stale? What is the secret to maintaining intensity?

Kelly Gildea, executive producer at Penguin Random House Audio, will moderate as panelists Cassandra Campbell, Kirby Hayborne and Steve West discuss the art of the audiobook. Gildea has worked with authors including John Updike, Stephen King and Anne Rice, and she is a two-time Odyssey Award winner for outstanding audio production.

Two-time Odyssey Award-winner Kirby Heyborne has voiced over 300 books, and was named the “Voice of Choice” by Booklist. Cassandra Campbell is an actress, director and voice-over artist with over 450 audiobooks to her credit in Italian and English.

Steve West is also an award-winning actor and voice over artist from London, who has performed for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and hosted his own television show for audiences in the United Kingdom from Los Angeles.

Over 26,000 audiobooks were produced last year, and the format shows no signs of slowing as more readers find the convenience of audio on their iPhones and on Bluetooth an irresistible way to make “reading” time more accessible.

The event is free and 2-hour parking is available at the Civic Center parking structure. For more information, visit

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