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How We Choose Books for Our Catalogue

How We Choose Books for Our Catalogue

June 26, 2024 0 Comments

We’re very proud of our audiobook collection at Listening Books. It’s an eclectic catalogue of over 8,000 titles and we like to think we have an audiobook (or hopefully several) for everyone. Whether you love a bit of cosy crime (we’re thinking a librarian solving crimes with her cat), or epic fantasy sagas (we’re thinking dragons, lots of dragons), or celebrity autobiographies (we’re definitely not thinking about Prince Harry), or anything else in between!

We often get asked where we get our books from. The majority of our titles are commercially available audiobooks that we purchase directly from publishers. Sometimes we also buy from Overdrive’s catalogue of titles. A small (but very important!) number of titles are recorded by us. The audiobooks we produce ourselves are always educational titles that can’t be found in audio anywhere else. Some of our recent inhouse books include Cat Eyes and Dog Whistles by Cathy Evans, Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley, and Please Write Soon by Michael Rosen.

All our members have an illness, specific learning difficulty, or a physical or mental health condition that impacts on their reading or ability to hold a book. Many rely heavily on our service to stay connected to the books and authors that they love, or to help them with their studies. This is why it’s so important for us to choose the right kind of titles for our collection, and to make sure we are providing a varied and high-quality catalogue for our members. As for some it may be the only place they can access books.

Our collection is member-led and the list of requests we’ve received from our members is the first place we look when we want to buy more titles. Whenever we receive a book request, we always check whether it’s a title we can buy for our collection. If we don’t have funding to purchase titles straight away, the request goes on our list of titles to buy in future. Once we receive funding, we’ll go through the list and buy all the titles that we can.

Once we’ve bought all the requested titles that we’re able to, we’ll of course look at buying in best-sellers, award-winners and nominees, and books that are trending on social media (we get the young person in the office to check this for us.) We also love buying titles by new authors as well as the old favourites! We also often get requests from students, parents and teachers for school texts and books that would be useful for wider reading. We’ll always buy any of these texts that are available in audio, but if there’s no audio version we can request permission to record the titles ourselves.  

So, what will we be adding to the catalogue next? We’ve got some very exciting new additions coming up, Chestnut Springs romance series by TikTok sensation Elsie Silver, gripping crime thrillers by Martina Cole and Mick Heron and some epic historical fiction by Simon Scarrow and Diana Gabaldon.

If you’re a Listening Books member and would like to suggest a title or author for our catalogue, please do contact us! We love hearing from our members and your requests always introduce us to new books and authors, which is so important when building our collection. You can request a title in the comments, or you can email Amy at

Do you fancy listening to some of these titles and thousands more? Listening Books provides access to thousands of audiobooks for all ages and interests to anyone whose illness, disability, mental health condition or learning difficulty affects their ability to read or hold a book. Memberships cost just £20 a year for unlimited access to our titles or free if you would find this fee a barrier to joining. Click here to find out more!


Author: Amy Flinders

Editor: Annabel Morgan

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Our Sunday Staff Pick is The Audacity, written and narrated by Katherine Ryan, recommended by Amy! 📚

"An engaging, lively and very funny account of Katherine Ryan’s life and career as she talks about family, motherhood, friends, relationships and her journey into stand-up comedy. If you’re a fan of her comedy or her podcast make sure you give it a listen!"

Stream or download on our website or Libby today 🎧

ID: Book cover of The Audacity by Katherine Ryan on a pink background with gold specks.

Hashtags: #KatherineRyan #StandUp #Comedian #UKComedy #Audiobooks

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