According to an article in AdAge, this year 56.8% of Americans are using smart phones, and that number is projected to be nearly 80% by 2017. We rely on our phones for so much more than just calls, texts and picture-taking. We research on them, shop on them, and increasingly, people are using them to read books. But the way we’re reading those books is changing dramatically.
Between 2011 and 2012, the sale of audio books jumped nearly 30%, making it a very bright spot in the otherwise droopy landscape of publishing. Sales of physical books have been dropping since the advent of e-books, and publishers are taking note of the strength that is the audio book market. With two articles by the Wall Street Journal chronicling the success of audio books, you know the trend is real. If you’d like to read both articles, here you go: The New Explosion in Audio Books and Best Way to Devour a Book? (That second one is a video story.)
If you’re an author or content creator, what does this mean for you? It means you need to hop on the audio book train now – don’t let this hot market miss out on your message. Whether you hire a small company like mine to professionally produce your book, whether you decide to tackle it on your own, or whether you go the route of spending tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars for a major production, you need to invest in getting your message out in audio form. Audio books are the new “in” way to read, and you need to be getting a portion of your income through them.
When audio books first came out, they were called talking books for the blind. That was in the 1930’s. There was a resurgence of audio book production in the 1980’s, but the format (cassettes and CDs) were clunky, tough to use, and expensive. Now, audio books can be downloaded with the touch of a finger to a smart phone screen and generally sell for about the same price as a hard-cover book.
Instant gratification, ease of use, plus affordability equals a home run for for the purchaser – and for you, if your message is in audio book form.
Do you have a question about audio products? I’d love to hear it, and maybe answer it right here. Helping people monetize their content is what we do!
Sandy Weaver Carman
CEO, Voicework on Demand, Inc.
I partner with writers, speakers, trainers and coaches, taking work they’ve already done and turning it into a revenue river. Ready to get your feet wet?