I recently read an article about how audiobooks are now outselling print books, at least in some genres and markets. This does not surprise me. I recently had my second Cliff Knowles book, Cached Out, made into an audiobook with a professional narrator. I have been surprised at how well it is selling. It has been out only a little more than a month and so far has sold more copies than the same book’s Kindle sales since July and about five times the print sales of that book for that same period. I don’t believe the first month’s sales are indicative of how well it will sell over the next few months because the narrator and I have both been distributing free download codes for the audiobook, which no doubt has boosted sales. Still, even if you subtract all of those sales, the regular paid sales are still more than the Kindle or print sales.
I can understand this phenomenon. I love audiobooks, too. I read more books than I listen to, but that’s only because print (or ebook) versions are more available through various sources such as libraries and Kindle promo sites than audiobooks. But that’s changing. With Audible.com, an Amazon subsidiary, now ruling the market audiobooks are relatively cheap in download form. Gone are the days of the packet of CDs. Once the price hurdle is surmounted, the benefits of an audiobook are huge, and obvious. You can listen while doing something else. The something else is most often driving or jogging, two activities where you can’t watch a screen or hold a print book. Long-haul truck drivers and fitness buffs are among the biggest fans of audiobooks. I also got a touching email from a fan who has a physical disability and can’t read who loved my audiobook.
I like to have them in the car, too, but at the moment I can’t unless I get the CD version, and the libraries are phasing those out. They’re too expensive to buy in that format in quantity, so I bought a Kindle Fire. I love it for reading, but now I’m starting to listen to audiobooks on it, too. The speaker is surprisingly good, but it’s also easy to plug into my home stereo system. I can do the same for the car, but I need to get another cable for that. Of course earbuds or earphones work, too, but I’ve never liked those.
Perhaps an even bigger advantage to audiobooks is the dramatic presentation. A good actor can make a character come alive and bring out the suspense or humor or other qualities in the writing. Think about it. Would you rather read a Shakespeare play or watch one? Read a movie script or watch the movie? Whatever the reason, audiobooks are growing faster than any other segment of the publishing business, according to the article. I’ll have to see how Cached Out is doing for a few months before I decide, but I am already thinking about which of my books to make into the next audiobook.
By the way, I still have a few promo codes available. Contact me if you want a copy of the Cached Out audiobook. I can’t promise I can accommodate you since I need to dole those out carefully to reviewers, podcasters, and other who will help promote the book, but I’ll see what I can do. You can contact me through the contact form on the About the Author/Contact link in the top menu bar.