Monday, March 10, 2014

Where’s Your Audio Book?

Audio books have been around for years.  The blind love them.  Those taking longs drives love them.  People who are literate-challenged enjoy them too.  Some may just appreciate hearing a book narrated than reading it in their own voice.  Whatever the reason, people do buy audio books. 

Sales are up 20% in 2012 vs. 2011 for audio books, while all book sales declined by 1% in that same year.

The number of titles available on audio has greatly grown.  In 2012, 13,265 titles came out as audio books – a lot more than the 4,602 released in 2009.

Books should be available in all formats – hardcover, trade paper, mass paperback, audio, and digital.  This way you can choose how you want to consume a book and at varying price points.

Do we regard reading a paper book as being better than listening to an audiotape?  They are different experiences, and though I prefer reading a printed book over all formats, there is something to be appreciated about hearing a book being read to me.  It reminds me of when I read children’s books to my kids.  When you listen, as a group or family, in a car, it creates a cool, shared experience, just like when you see a movie together.

As an author/publisher, which books do you want to make available as an audio book?

·         Business/advice books
·         Self-help
·         Fiction
·         Children’s
·         Celebrity tell-all’s
·         Humor

Most genres work for audio books.  Cookbooks, photography, or educational textbooks wouldn’t work as audio books.  Books with a lot of lists, resources, or action steps require someone to take notes and aren’t as good for audio books.

It seems the popular audio books are those that are audio versions of bestsellers, especially when they are read by the famous author or a celebrity.  But there’s no reason – other than some money – that you can’t produce an audio version of your book.

Maybe you should consider making a video version of your book, where you have people act it out (if it’s fiction).  Or you can make supplemental instructional videos to go with the book. 

Really, with the available technology, you can do anything.


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014.

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