Mignon Fogarty and the Audiobook

Posted on May 7, 2007

Mignon Fogarty is the host of the podcast called Grammar Girl. Grammar Girl consists of five minute segments about tips on grammar. Mingon was writing a book, but when Oprah Winfrey called with an invitation to appear on her show, Mingon knew she needed a book -- and fast. So, using her own equipment, she recorded a part of her upcoming book and voila -- she had an audiobook.

Unlike most authors, Ms. Fogarty owns a mixing board for recording her podcasts, which allowed her to gin up a quickie audio version of the book she plans to write. The effort was spearheaded by Mary Beth Roche, publisher of Audio Renaissance, the audiobook division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, which also publishes Henry Holt.

About 100,000 people a week download her free podcasts, which consist of five minutes of grammar tips, from grammar.qdnow.com and iTunes. She produces them on about $600 worth of equipment in her home in Gilbert, Ariz., she said. (When the phone or doorbell rings, or the central air-conditioner kicks on, she stops and re-records.)

"I was working on the book on the airplane on the way home" from Chicago after recording the Oprah segment, Ms. Fogarty said. That was March 21, a Wednesday. By that Friday, she had finished the recording, and it was sent electronically to Audible.com, which provides audiobooks through Apple's iTunes and on its own Web site.

On March 26, the day the show was broadcast, iTunes' home page highlighted "Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Tips to Clean Up Your Writing," an hourlong audiobook that could be downloaded for $4.95. By the end of that week, Ms. Fogarty's presentation had bumped The Secret, the advice book that espouses positive thinking which also had been promoted by Ms. Winfrey, from the top spot.

You can read more about Mignon at Quick and Dirty TIps. We love Grammar Girl. Her latest podcast about the difference between i.e. and e.g. and why so many people mix up the two is a must-listen.

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