Wednesday, July 13, 2022

When Should Authors Publish An Audiobook?



Two million books were published in 2020, but only 71,000 audiobooks were produced. Fewer than 4% of all new books are available as audiobooks. Is it the right time for you to have an audiobook?


Consider these factors:


·         Cost

·         Competition

·         Genre

·         Marketing


1.      Cost

An audiobook can cost several thousand dollars to produce. If you get a professional narrator, add a few more thousand to that. Determine if the cost is worth it.


2.      Competition

Do a lot of books have audio versions? No. Are audio sales going to be as high as printed books or e-books? Not likely.


3.      Genre

Certain books work well as an audiobook. Those that are read like dramatic plays can do well. Non-fiction topics do well, especially how-to, inspirational, or business. Anything you can listen to while commuting, exercising, traveling, or doing chores is good, like humor audiobooks.


4.      Marketing

Audiobooks need to be marketed, just like a printed book or e-book. If you publish in all formats simultaneously, then all of your marketing can happen at the same time. You don’t care which format people buy in – just as long as they buy. On the other hand, if you spread out the publishing of various formats, with each release you get to promote again. So, the e-book could be published one day, the print a few months later, and the audio six months after that. With each release, promote away.


Audio Publishers Association’s annual survey shows 2019 audiobook sales hit 1.2 billion dollars – an increase of 16% from the prior year. This continues an eight-year trend of double-digit revenue growth.


Edison Research’s national survey of American audiobook listeners 18+ shows that the average number of audiobooks listened to per year increased to 8.1 in 2020. The survey cited the most popular audiobook genre to be mysteries/thrillers/suspense.


Weigh all of the factors to see if an audiobook is right for you. Plan to revisit your decision over the coming months and year.



Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:

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