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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book Sales Are Rising, Led By Audiobooks



Bookstore sales rose 3.9% in the second quarter of the year – a nice healthy jump in the right direction.  In the first quarter, according to the Association of American Publishers, e-book sales were down 2.5% - now accounting for 30% of all book sales.

This is good news on a number of levels.  First, overall, book sales are increasing.  Second, bookstore sales are growing.  Third, print books are holding their own and took back some of the ground they lost over the past half-dozen years to e-books.  The industry needs print books to succeed.  Stores do too.  And, whether consumers realize it or not, they benefit from all of this as well.

You know what else is rising?  Audiobooks.

By big numbers.

Audiobook units sold increased, the number of titles for sale in audio increased, and the revenue increased by 19.5% this past year.  That’s huge.  Even though audiobooks only make up a sliver of the marketplace, they are poised for growth.  In a digital download world, audiobooks fit in with our lifestyle and device-driven culture.

Who listens to audiobooks?


·         Readers who want to experience a book on a different level
·         Youth who read the book while listening to it
·         Those commuting by car, train, or plane
·         People doing chores – cooking, gardening, cleaning
·         Exercisers who don’t want music or the news in their ears
·         Vacationers and beach-goers
·         Those with visual impairment
·         People who have not mastered literacy

Audiobooks can enhance the learning process for kids and teens today.  Take a look at www.soundlearningapa.org to learn the facts.

Five years ago, some 6,000 new audiobook titles were released.  It’s quadrupled in growth, now at 25,000 annual titles and expanding quickly.

I have some fond memories of audiobooks.  For one, I met my wife at an audiobook launch party at Book Expo.  She was the marketing manager for Random House Audio at the time. For another, my son, then just six, listened to all of Marley & Me, and learned about the cycle of life and dogs.  My daughter, at around age 5 or 6, listened to the folk song, Blowing in the Wind while reading an illustrated book with the same words.

Books are growing, especially audiobooks.  Add to the trend and let me know if you’ve heard a good book lately.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015



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