Home > Uncategorized > Weapons of Math Destruction to be an audiobook

Weapons of Math Destruction to be an audiobook

December 18, 2015

It’s been an intense week, with just a ton of editing on my book, Weapons of Math Destruction: how big data increases inequality and threatens democracy. I’m hopefully very close to final draft. Please keep your fingers crossed along with me that that is true. Obviously I will send an update when I’ve gotten the final word.

What’s cool about this phase is, first of all it seems real, and countable, like you can feel the progress happening, whereas so many other moments seemed completely lost in time, swallowed up by a very loud hum of uncertainty. Was this line of research going to lead anywhere? Will this person I’m interviewing say anything I don’t already know?

Now, at least, I know there’s a book here. And it’s nice to be reminded of all the stuff that’s gone into it, as I read through so many chapters at a time to make sure they work together.

Probably the best part, though, is just how close I am to finishing. It’s been a really big, long project. I likely wouldn’t have taken it on at all if I’d actually known how big and how long, and how uncertain I’d be, so often, that it would end up being a book. So, I guess, here’s to running into things with almost pure ignorance!

Well, yesterday I got some great news. WMD, which is what I call my book for short, since its title is so very very long, is going to be made into an audiobook by the publisher, Random House.

Obviously I’m psyched, and moreover I’m volunteering to do the reading. In this final phase I’ve gotten really into how the book reads out loud, and in fact I’ve enlisted a bunch of my friends (thanks, Laura, Matt, Karen, Maki, Becky, Julie, Mel, Sam, and Aaron!) to read various chapters to me out loud and send me the mp4 files. It’s been a blast hearing them.

Also, I think books are better when the author reads them, right? But what do I know? I’m not in charge. I can only hope they pick me.

Just to stack the decks a wee bit, please leave a comment below with your vote, especially if you’ve ever listened to my Slate Money podcast and can comment on how my voice sounds. Feel free to make copious use of the word “honey-toned.”

This is happening, people! Fuck yes!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 18, 2015 at 7:39 am

    “a ton of editing on my book”… WHAAAT! You’re such a great writer, and still someone is messing with your words!??? (just kidding, I know editors do a fantastic job)…
    I’m actually not a big fan of audio books, so I have no vote there (maybe Felix Salmon should read it; Americans love a British accent 😉


  2. December 18, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Maybe have someone at the publishing place have a say on who sounds best?

    Also, will you be offering signed copies of your book ?


  3. December 18, 2015 at 8:03 am

    “What’s cool about this phase is, first of all it seems real, and countable,”

    I’m sorry, everybody knows the Reals aren’t countable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. December 18, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Could you get the guy from Slate Money to say “The following audiobook contains explicit language”? That would be awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. JSE
    December 18, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I read my own and I’m glad I did, even though it’s actually not that customary for nonfiction. A professional reader is going to get certain things wrong; plus, your book has a VOICE, and you want people to hear it in your voice.

    But when you say “volunteered” I just want to make sure you know you are supposed to get PAID to do the reading. It’s a full week of work!

    Also, doing it early seems like a great idea. I did mine right before publication and found tons of typos it was too late to fix. When’s your pub date?


  6. December 19, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I’d be much more likely to buy the audiobook if you were reading it.


  7. Jeff
    December 19, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    It’s not a general rule that authors should read their own audiobooks. Some are terrible at it. But you’d be great, so do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. December 21, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Mathbabe, I think that you should definitely read it — your voice is, what’s the word I’m looking for…oh, yeah — honey-toned. But I totally agree with Ewout that you should have Andy Bowers lead it with “The following audiobook contains explicit language” and I feel like Felix and Jordan need some cameos in there, too.


  9. revuluri
    December 22, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Totally agree with both Jeff and mike3550. I hope they’ll market the book by making a chapter available free — in PDF (etc.) and in audio format too!


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