Off the Beaten Path: GraphicAudio
Graphic Audio is a different kind of audio book company. It doesn't specialize in your big name bestsellers, but has created a new audience of audio fans with books that often get overlooked in print format. I'm not sure how long the company has been around, but I first came into contact with them in early 2007. Curiosity made me place an order in March of that year. At the time, we were not experiencing any budget issues and the prices were good. It was a great time to experiment. The prices were, and still are, exceptional.
The titles we purchased were things that didn't move here at all in print so we'd stopped buying them. Some of Axler's Deathlands saga titles, Johnstone's Eagles saga, Pendleton's Executioner saga and
Alex Archer's Rogue Angel titles.
14 titles, 3 copies each. A modest investment, but enough to see if there was an interest.
I would love to say that patrons flocked to them immediately, but that didn't happen. It took a little while for people to understand what they were getting. We had some full cast things in the collection already, but they weren't like this. We have the ArkAngel Shakespeare (highly recommended, if you haven't experienced them yet) and radio plays, and even some modern drama. About the only things they have in common with GraphicAudio productions are they are full cast, and they are on a disc.
The subject matter can be graphic, and most things are a definite R rating, although there are some that run PG 13. There are sound effects that will make you believe you are right in the middle of the action. As word got out, interest picked up, and now they are some of our most popular audio cds. People who rarely check out materials (truckers, for instance) request these by series and/or title. Even my sister, who had absolutely zero interest in audiobooks previously has developed a love of Johnstone's Sidewinders series and all things DC Comics (this is one of the PG 13 series. Highly recommend!)
Wait....did I mention that most titles are only $19.99? You can buy direct from GA or through Midwest Tapes or Baker & Taylor. They are expanding their offerings regularly, branching out in new directions. There is historical fiction now, even some inspirational, and the SF/Fantasy offerings are increasing as well. If you're looking for something that might appeal to a new and different audience in your community, I don't think you can find a better value for a test run. Whether you want to bring in post-apocalyptic fans, or cater to the new fans of Westerns brought in by True Grit and Cowboys and Aliens, I can't recommend titles from GraphicAudio highly enough. Good stuff!