It’s become very clear to see that the trend for publishing your book in audiobook format is gaining momentum, with global sales of audiobooks increasing in 2017 by 22.7% (in 2016 their sales had increased on the prior year by 21.5%), it’s obvious that there is an opportunity for the author and/or publishing house.
The statistics of these sales are quite interesting too, they show that 54% of listeners are under the age of 45 and tend to listen to an average of at least 15 audiobooks per year, they were also reading a small amount of physical books each year too (great news for the author). The most popular genres being Mysteries, Thrillers, Suspense, Sci-Fi and Romance.
So, publishing in audiobook format makes complete sense for most authors, it enables you to reach a growing audience who is also happy to buy and read physical books, as well as consume more audiobooks than most read in an average year.
What is also great about the audiobook is that there are less of them than printed books, which means you have less competition, this for the indie author is a great news.
Right now this format is still something which many self-publishing authors dismiss, their objections being around how to actually create one, most people won’t have the time or inclination to read the book themselves and won’t know how to technically create the audio format either.
If you are a little more tech-savvy then you can of course record yourself reading the book, for some listeners this makes the whole experience of your book far more personal, this can work very well for non-fiction but can be harder for books with a large volume of dialogue.
The downside to recording the book yourself is that unless it’s recorded to perfection it can come across as slightly cheap and in the worst case unprofessional.
But there are services available which can do all of this for you, the most popular one being from Amazon called ACX, here you can get everything you need to turn your book into an audio and for far less than you might expect.
The timeframe to record your book will vary depending upon the voice artist who is reading your book, ACX give an average of 9,300 words per hour, this means that a 300 page book could take between 9 – 11hrs to actually read, on top of this will be the edits and engineering of your book, so you may wait a couple of weeks before you have your completed audio ready for publication.
As we mentioned earlier, this format is currently sill growing at a very fast pace, lots of the big-name authors and their publishing houses have fully embraced audiobooks and now self-publishing authors are doing the same. It seems to be the same position publishing was in when eBooks first came out, the early adopters run with the format and technology first, then others follow.
There are certainly plenty of opportunities for the indie author in this space, some great services to get you up and running and a market place to sell to, if you are thinking about converting your book to audio maybe now is the time.
Book cover designers.