I am a very satisfied subscriber to Audible. Their selection is great, the system is easy, and I always have an active audiobook on my iPod.
Tom Segev is a great writer. His books on modern Israeli history, while controversial, are well-researched, well-written and captivating.
Segev’s latest book, 1967, as I reach chapter 2 of the audiobook, is really interesting and informative. It was translated by Jessica Cohen. It’s got the sign of a good translation: I’m confident I’m getting the whole story, but the narrative sounds like it was written in English, not Hebrew.
The 1967 audiobook was published by Tantor Media, who list 731 titles on Audible.
James Boles, the narrator of 1967, has a good voice and reads well. However, his pronunciation of the Hebrew or Arabic words in the text (place names, peoples’ names, names of organizations) is atrocious. It’s almost impossible to listen to him. Even worse, he’ll pronounce the same word different ways, each time he comes to it.
So, does this poor performance reflect only on Boles, or also on Audible, Tantor Media, Segev, 1967, and Cohen?
It reminds me of my days, just after business school, wholesaling vacations to Las Vegas and Hawaii. If a United Airlines flight attendant sneered at one of my customers, I had to deal with a complaint letter. There was also the irate customer who wanted me to return his money because he walked into his Maui hotel room, which he had chosen from my brochure, and the housekeeper was sitting on his toilet.
Customers use Brand Harmony to evaluate us, meaning that every point of interaction influences a customer’s brand impression. I guess you could say that James Boles and Tantor Media are responsible, but I’ll certainly think twice about my next audiobooks from Audible or Segev. Wouldn’t you?
Entrusting our products to others is a risky business. Be cautious of those who influence your brand.