Hidden successes of the Audiobook world – are you listening?

We explore how easy is it to create and sell audiobooks, the fastest growing sector within publishing.

With Audiobook sales up 30% since the beginning of lockdown can you be part of this growth?

Audiobooks are the fastest growing sector within publishing, with audience sizes increasing exponentially. For the last 7 years the Audiobook sector has experienced double digit growth, together with listeners dedicating more time to listening to audiobooks.  56% of audiobook listeners are spending more time listening to audiobooks according to The 2019 APA Consumer Survey completed by Edison Research.  

Technology advances are fuelling this growth with smartphones & wireless earphones, making audiobooks far more accessible and readily available.  Radio programmes have made podcast streaming fashionable and listening content the norm. Amazon spotted the opportunity and bought Audible back in 2008, but the surprising statistic relates to who is actually listening? The Infinite Dial 2019 reported that 50% of Americans age 12 and older have listened to an audiobook. The sector most difficult to reach, the young, are tuning in to listen to books even if they aren’t flicking through the pages.

How easy is it to create and sell audiobooks?

Cost & resources: Serious steps have been made to make the creation of audiobooks less expensive and less resource intensive. As most online stores now sell both physical and digital titles,  audiobooks make an easy addition to your eCommerce set up.

Narrator: It’s important to find a suitable narrator, some publishers choose a well known narrator with a dedicated and relevant following, to help encourage customer initial interest and retention. Celebrities have helped make audiobooks fashionable as they look to new revenue streams and widening their existing audience.

Studio: Finding the right production studio to ensure high quality output is important too (one of Supadu’s customers is doubling the amount of recording studios in the UK precisely for this reason).

Upward growth curve – the more titles that become available the more audio books will be sold. When audio becomes more of a way of life with most mainstream titles available in this format sales will increase.

How Can You Become a Part of This High-Growth Format?
Ask your publisher or agent or editor about the options to get your book in audio. Check out AudioPub.Org to learn more about the Audio Publishers Association – the Getting Started page provides some links to producers and distributors if you would like to publish your own title in audio. Visit an online bookstore or library and try out an audiobook – learn what all the fuss is about.


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