Frequently asked questions
Why did you start The Classic Tales Podcast?
First, I discovered audiobooks, which opened up a world of literature for me that was previously closed. I wasn’t a great reader as a kid. I wanted to get to know these amazing classic stories so badly. There was something about classic literature that just called out to me on, like, a primal level. It was in my bones. But I was a slow reader. My mind would wander, and I would read the same paragraph over and over again without getting a word of it. Then, I discovered audiobooks. They opened up that world to me. I was finally able to unlock the treasures of David Copperfield, Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, Edgar Allan Poe. It made the impossible possible, and literally changed my life. I was able to listen to audiobooks every day while I worked as a set painter and fabricator. So, first, I had a deep appreciation for audiobooks, and I felt first hand the incredible impact they could make on a person, especially one who struggled with reading.
While I was listening to audiobooks all these years, I was developing a taste for what worked, and what didn’t. I’ve had some acting training in high school, and had an ear for accents. After a while, the idea of how FUN it would be to record audiobooks superseded my intimidation of the amazing people I was listening to. Wouldn’t it be fun to do this? Yes, it certainly would.
Then, in 2007, my friend David Warden showed me his podcast. He told me about his success, and I thought that it would be a great opportunity to try recording some stories, and release them as a podcast. How fun would that be? So, I borrowed a computer, and Dave showed me how to record and edit the audio. He also loaned me some recording equipment. I recorded three episodes, whipped up some cover art, and released it as a podcast. It cost $10/month.
How did you get into narrating audiobooks professionally?
After I released my first three podcast episodes, I submitted it to iTunes (now Apple Podcasts) so they could put it in their podcast directory. Somebody on their end must have liked my show, because they put it in the most coveted position in their “New and Noteworthy” section for weeks, then months. My downloads and ratings skyrocketed. By the time I released “Heart of Darkness”, those episodes were being downloaded over 100,000 times in the course of a week. I shot to being the #3 overall podcast. Right behind This American Life.
With all this ado, Audible and iTunes reached out to me. iTunes congratulated me on my success, and Audible asked me to record for them. They said they were developing a new program for narrators with home studios, and that I would be a great fit for what they were doing.
This program was the ACX program, and I was one of the beta testers. It was a marketplace where authors who were looking for narrators could hold auditions, and cast their own narrator to record their book. You can see my ACX profile here: https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A2OZS8FQMT4DEO
Through the ACX program, I was able to book some jobs, and start getting paid to record for independent publishers and authors.
This led to more work, and I’ve been doing it full time since 2013.
How does the supporter system work?
Rather than simply asking for donations, we like to give something back. So when you pledge to donate $10/month or more, we give you a $17 coupon code as a thank you gift!
You can purchase any of our monthly plans, ranging from $5/month to $75/month
If you prefer a one-time payment that doesn’t renew, we have several options available for you as well. You can pay once, and get 12 monthly coupon codes throughout the year.
I just want to listen to your free stuff. How do I do that?
No problem! We are thrilled you want to give us a listen! You can download any or all of our free material here: https://store.thebestaudiobooks.com/free-c97.aspx.
You can also subscribe to The Classic Tales Podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-classic-tales-podcast/id258214995
How do I subscribe to the podcast?
- You can follow this link to subscribe to The Classic Tales Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-classic-tales-podcast/id258214995
- If you scroll down to the bottom of the main page, you can find links corresponding to the different podcatchers you might use (Spotify, Stitcher, etc)
- You can also follow us on Roku, using the MyTuner channel
- The Classic Tales App is a great way to follow the podcast, and gain access to special features unavailable on the regular podcast feed:
I'm a teacher. Can I use these audiobooks to teach my students?
Absolutely! Feel free to use any of our audiobooks or podcast content to get kids fired up about literature. That’s why we do what we do!
How do I download the audiobooks from the store?
How to download your Classic Tales audiobook to Apple Books on your iPod or iPhone using WINDOWS and iTunes
iTunes version 220.127.116.11
These instructions assume you have a basic working knowledge of iTunes.
Purchase your audiobook from classictalesaudiobooks.com, then as directed in the email you receive, download it into your PC’s download folder.
After the download completes, open iTunes on your PC, making sure that “Music” is displayed in the upper left-hand corner and “Library” is highlighted near the middle top of your screen
- In iTunes, click on “File” and then “Add File to Library.” On the left side of the window that opens, “downloads” must be selected. On the right side, you will see your book at the top of the list. Determine if your download is a single file or a “compressed” file. A compressed file is shown as a yellow folder with a zipper. If your download is a ZIP file, close out of the window and skip down to “FOR A BOOK DOWNLOADED AS A COMPRESSED FILE”.
- FOR A BOOK DOWNLOADED AS A SINGLE FILE:
- Click on the file, the window closes, and your book is now added to iTunes. Next, in the iTunes search box at the top right, type in your book name. When it is displayed, right-click it. Select “song info”, then “options” and change “media kind” to “audiobook.” Finally, click “OK”. Plug in your iPod or iPhone. Typically, your device “Audiobooks” setting should be set to “Sync All Audiobooks.” Do a SYNC, and your book will be available in Apple BOOKS.
- FOR A BOOK DOWNLOADED AS A COMPRESSED FILE:
- Open your PC’s download folder and left click on your new book.
- Choose “extract all.”
- A window will open, displaying the file location of the extracted files. Copy this file path, then click on “extract”.
- In iTunes, select “file” and then “Add Folder.”
- Paste the file path in the “folder” box. If that causes two files to be displayed – one with “ZIP” at the end – choose the one without “ZIP”.
- Click the “select folder” button.
- In iTunes, click “recently added” to display your book. Open it by double clicking. On the chapters displayed, “shift click” the first and last chapters to highlight them all. Left click anywhere in the blue highlighted field, then select “get info”. Click on “options”, then change “media kind” to audiobook. Finally, click “OK”.
- Cable your iPOD or iPHONE to your PC. At the top of the screen in iTunes, click on the
- device symbol icon to display your music device. Typically, your device “Audiobooks” setting should be set to “Sync All Audiobooks.” This will move your audiobook from iTunes to the Apple app “BOOKS” when you do a SYNC.
- If a sync doesn’t automatically start, click on the SYNC box at the bottom of the screen.
- Your new audiobook is now available on BOOKS.
- Alternate Android option:
- Use the app Smart Audiobook Player: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ak.alizandro.smartaudiobookplayer&hl=en_US
Once your order is complete, you will receive an email with a link where you can download your order
If it’s your first order, please check your spam folder. The first time we reach out to you, they can be filtered there.
You can then download your audiobook, and send it /sync it to your listening device!
Download the Kybook app and the iCabMobile app
Open the link in the email in the iCabMobile app
Download the audiobooks in the iCabMobile app
Locate the downloaded audiobooks in the iCabMobile app
“Long tap” on the audiobook files in the download area, and choose to open the files using the Kybook app.
With the files in the Kybook app, you should be good to go!
- Use the app Smart Audiobook Player: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ak.alizandro.smartaudiobookplayer&hl=en_US
What is the best way to listen to the audiobooks I download from the store?
Basically, whatever device you prefer that plays audiobooks! We’ve had success with:
iOS (iPhones, iPad)
Is there a time limit to download my audiobooks?
To prevent the links from going rogue, we have placed a generous time limit of 96 hours and 50 attempts to download your audiobooks. If you run out of time, or need to download them again, we will gladly reset your link so you can do this. Simply respond to any of the emails coming from us, and let us know what you need. We’re happy to help!
Is there a time limit to the monthly supporter coupon codes?
Yes. The codes are good for one year since the time they are issued.
My window to download my audiobooks has expired. What do I do?
Respond to any of the emails we’ve sent out to you. We will gladly reset your link. We can do this as many times as you like.
What makes you choose the titles that you choose?
It’s incredible how prescient these classic stories are. I am always on the look out for something that strikes me as a story that we need to hear now. So sometimes the current news climate can influence me. Not always, but it happens.
Sometimes, a story will strike me as being particularly elegant and demonstrate a finesse of writing, so I’ll choose it. Not always, but it happens.
Sometimes, I like to choose stories that reflect the season of the year. Christmas stories, spring and summer adventure, etc. Not always, but it happens.
Sometimes I’ll run across a story and it will spark a lot of fun character ideas, and I can see how it will lend itself to being a great, fun audiobook. Not always, but it happens.
Sometimes I try to experiment with other forms of literature in the audio format (Plays, poetry, etc) Not always, but it happens.
I'm on an iPhone - can I purchase and download from the store?
- Apple isn’t super conducive to this by default. If you try to download audio through Safari, they will treat it like a video file, and try to play it via QuickTime. Not very helpful.
- However, there is a workaround. If you use the app iCabmobile to download the audiobooks, and the Kybook app, you can then purchase, download and enjoy the audiobooks from The Classic Tales directly on your iPhone or iOS device.
- Here’s a detailed walkthrough of this process: http://classictalesaudiobooks.blogspot.com/2015/01/download-classic-tales-direct-to-ios.html
How do you keep track of so many different voices?
Whenever I do a new voice for a character, I stop and create a sample of that character’s voice. Then, when they come back, I play back the voice to ensure I’m on target.
So by the time I’m done with a book, I’ll often have a library of several dozen files.
How do you do so many accents?
I’ve taken several years of German and French in high school and college. I lived in Hungary for a couple years, and became fluent in Hungarian.
When I was working as an artist, I worked with folks speaking Spanish and Russian constantly. So, I picked up what I could.
I also hire coaches when I have an accent to do that I’m unfamiliar with.
Can I listen to the audiobooks on multiple devices?
You can listen to them on any device convenient for you.
Please keep sharing to any folks within your household, if you don’t mind.
My computer crashed, and I lost all of my purchases! What do I do?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know your name, and the email associated with your account.
We can pull up your old orders, and set you up with a link to download what you’re missing.
Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author is Charles Dickens. My favorite book is David Copperfield.
I am an author, and I'd like you to narrate my audiobook. How much does it cost?
Wonderful! Please send an email to email@example.com, and we can start up a dialogue.
I am a podcaster. Do you do episode drops?
Sometimes! Feel free to reach out through the website with any inquiries.
I'd like to advertise on your show. Who do I contact?
Feel free to reach out through the website with any inquiries.
What does it take to create one podcast episode?
Around 6-10 working hours. The process goes something like this: 1) discover/curate a short story or novel that will work, 2) do the prep work [chase down any unfamiliar terms/phrases/locations, often in different languages], 3) record the audio, 4)pay a proofer to point out where I went off script, 5) edit in the corrections, 6) write the show’s introduction, record the introduction, 7) record the special features, 8) mix the audio, 9) create the artwork for the episode, and then 10) release the episode and special features to the podcast feed. Then, do it again next week. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
How do I download and listen to the audiobooks purchased from the store on an iPhone?
- To download and listen to the audiobooks purchased from the store using only your iPhone, we suggest that you:
download them to your listening device using the iCabMobile browser.
- Open and listen to the audiobooks using the Kybook app.
- Or, you can download the audiobooks to a computer, then transfer/sync the audiobook to your iPhone via iTunes, or the current syncing app from Apple. The audiobooks can then be enjoyed using the Audible app, or iBooks app.
Can I listen to audiobooks purchased from the store on the Classic Tales app?
No. The app is not connected to the store in any way. Your website purchases will not be reflected in the app.
However, the app has access to special podcast features not available anywhere else, and is a very elegant way to keep up with The Classic Tales Podcast.