Working as a self-published author you might be missing out on your biggest audience that you never even knew existed. While you probably expect that people will read your book, surprising new data suggests that audiobooks are actually outpacing book sales for many authors. Yes, that’s right. There’s an entire market of people who seem to vastly prefer listening to books. It makes a little more sense when you start to consider the lifestyle of many people who live on-the-go lives and don’t have time to sit down and read. But what implications does this have for the future of books and the self-publishing industry?
How big are audiobook sales becoming? There were $1.5 billion in audiobook sales last year alone, which is a pretty amazing figure. This number makes them the fastest-growing segment in the publishing industry. Audible, the audiobook subsidiary of Amazon, even found that some books are selling four times as many copies in their audiobook version compared to their text version. This type of trend is one that can simply no longer be ignored by the writing community.
Author Andrew Peterson is one such author who chose to look at the data and make some big decisions about his writing. He wrote a novel called “First To Kill” about a grizzled ex-military-sniper-turned-CIA-agent and never had any plans to make it an audiobook. His publisher was also unwilling to front the money for an audiobook version from a first-time author. Peterson himself is an audiobook listener and had been enjoying the reading of the Jack Reacher series by the narrator Dick Hill. In a stroke of genius Peterson decided to scrape together enough money to hire Hill to narrate his own audiobook, which has similar qualities to the Jack Reacher series. The decision payed off big time. A new audience crawled out of the woodworks and found out about Peterson’s work based on their love of Dick Hill’s voice and the similarity to Jack Reacher. Boom. New audience, bigger reach, and more money!
While it might not be realistic for you to hire a big name narrator for your book, some people are even finding success by simply selling a version of their work with themselves reading the material. This was true for author Joshua Kaufman and his book “The Personal MBA” that he narrated himself. The audiobook outsold the text version three-to-one. When you’re working on your next project, consider the implications of this new audiobook market!
Read the full article here: Forget e-books, this may be the real future of reading
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