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Only a small proportion of published books get audiobook versions, due to the costs of recording voice narration professionally. Spotify’s move into audiobooks, including its acquisition of a company called Findaway, was explicitly aimed at tackling these challenges and helping a wider range of independent authors release their works as audiobooks.

Now it turns out Apple is making its own moves on this score, using synthetic voice technology. The Guardian has the story, while this page on Apple’s website for authors offers more details.

“Apple Books digital narration brings together advanced speech synthesis technology with important work by teams of linguists, quality control specialists, and audio engineers to produce high-quality audiobooks from an ebook file,” the latter explains.

“Digitally narrated titles are a valuable complement to professionally narrated audiobooks, and will help bring audio to as many books and as many people as possible… Our digital voices are created and optimized for specific genres. We’re starting with fiction and romance, and are accepting ebook submissions in these genres.”

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