NEW YORK, July 5 (UPI) -- New Yorker Julian Rubinstein, who wrote "Ballad of the Whiskey Robber," is one of several U.S. authors who has taken audio publishing into his own hands.
Discouraged by publishers, many are taking the do-it-yourself approach, finding their own talent and production assistance to get their work into an audio format, The New York Times reported.
Because Rubenstein's hardcover book sold fewer than 15,000 copies, his publisher would not produce an audio version. So Rubinstein recruited his friend and sound-studio operator Joe Mendelson to help with the technical side and novelist Gary Shteyngart, actor Eric Bogosian, rocker Tommy Ramone and comedian Demetri Martin to read the parts. All the work was performed free of charge, the Times said.
When Rubinstein went to Hachette Audio, the company was then willing to release a digital-download-only version, and iTunes and Audible.com are now offering the 11 1/2-hour audio version online.
Investigative journalist and author Greg Palast, also assembled his own cast, including comedian and actress Janeane Garofalo, television actor Ed Asner and punk rocker Jello Biafra.
Biafra told the Times he agreed to be the voice for Osama bin Laden for Palast's "Armed Madhouse," "because he wanted to help Palast get out his muckraking message about the Bush administration."