Audible takes Winter’s Heart Off-line

Yes! The rumours are true! Book 9 of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, Winter’s Heart, is currently unavailable from Audible. You can get all the other books in the series, but not that one.

If you want to know why, it’s because the recording was found to be defective. There was a whole chapter missing. I do have some personal knowledge as I discovered the problem and reported it to Audible. The details are here.

Audible seem to have taken the whole episode quite badly, varying from doubtful to uncommunicative to fairly ungracious.  But they have refunded my Audible credit and at least taken the title off-line while they sort it out.

Maybe the original recording of Chapter 27, narrated by Kate Reading, which failed to make its way into the published title, will still be there in the archives in which case it will be a simple job to re-edit the title and put it back on-line. If, however, the error is that the chapter was never recorded in the first place, then Ms Reading may get an urgent phone call.  If so she could probably name her price.

I’m not certain how long ago the Audible version of Winter’s Heart was recorded, but Kate Reading is certainly still available having very recently recorded Book 13, Towers of Midnight. I imagine her voice will not have changed much.

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8 Responses to Audible takes Winter’s Heart Off-line

  1. When I say Kate Reading, I should mention that her real name is Jennifer Mendenhall.

  2. Ten days on and Winter’s Heart remains unavailable from Audible. I know people are searching for it because they use search engines to try to find out why it’s not listed and are finding their way to this post via the search results.

    There are probably quite a number of people who want to buy the book from Audible but don’t find their way to this website. For them it must be very frustrating to be left in the dark. There appears to be no mechanism on Audible’s site to alert customers to the temporary unavailability of a title, or to explain why it is offline. It just looks like an inexplicable omission on Audible’s part.

    My guess is that those people will ring Audible up to ask why just one of the Wheel of Time books is absent when all the others are there. I have no idea what sort of answer they will get. It depends on how much information is available to their call centre operatives via their internal systems.

  3. I am now listening to Towers of Midnight and Kate Reading sounds to me as she always has.

    So why have Audible not managed to get her to record the missing chapter in Winter’s Heart? They are taking their sweet time. It does not bother me personally – I have moved on to the later books. But people are still hitting this website trying to find out why just Book 9 of the series is unavailable on Audible.

    I wish I hadn’t reported it now. Other people are clearly getting very frustrated with not being able to keep following the series on Audible. I imagine most will have given up and bought print or Kindle editions.

  4. George Howell says:

    I contacted Audible about this as well, and received this reply:
    “Dear George,

    Thanks for your email.

    I’m afraid we are still waiting for the replacement audio from the publisher of this book.

    I’m sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you but if you check back in a couple of weeks you should hopefully see the book on Audible available for download.”

    Sounds promising.

  5. Wow. I have ready and listened to this series since 1996. I have gone through it probably 6 or 7 times. I didn’t even notice that chapter was missing. I will have to keep my eye out for the revision as I will want to be sure my audible file is corrected.

    • Robert, the corrected version has been on-line since August of last year. If you already have that title in your Audible library you should just be able to re-download it and Chapter 27 will be there.

      I have just restarted re-reading Winter’s Heart myself, on Audible, using the old files with the missing chapter. I just have to remember to read it from my ebook version when I get to the the relevant point.

  6. john smith says:

    You both are idiots. Listening to Audible ebooks is not reading it is actually called listening. Sounds like both of you lack basic attention spans to actually pick up a real book and open it.

    • Sounds like you’re a bit of a traditionalist* when it comes to the love of books. But please don’t assume that people who read/listen to/consume/experience audio books are illiterates or otherwise inferior beings. Audible is big business these days and you risk insulting their entire customer base. Are all those people misguided?

      I can’t speak for all of Audible’s readership/listenership/etc. but I can speak for myself and I assure you I can and do read print books with a high degree of success. And I read eBooks (I’m assuming you have no objection to the use of the term “reading” in relation to eBooks) and also audio books. Not, I would add, because I have anything against print books. It is entirely down to practicality and convenience. I can buy an eBook instantly, on a whim, and start reading. I don’t have to worry about bookmarks, I don’t have to worry about the weight and bulk of my reading material when I go on holiday and I don’t end up with an ever taller stack of finished books on my bedside table cluttering up the place. As for audio books, they are the secret to reading (yes, reading – as good a word as any) far more than I could if I only allowed myself print or eBooks. I can read audio books while commuting, walking the dog, mowing the lawn, clearing out the garage and so forth. I can be entertained or be educating myself while doing chores, rather than let the opportunity go to waste.

      In short, I have choices now I didn’t have before. No-one is forced to make use of eBooks or audiobooks. But why denigrate those who exercise their choice for perfectly valid personal reasons? Times move on. Print books do not have to be held up as sacred just because at one time there were no alternatives.

      *kindest word I could think of

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