Sales of audiobooks are booming. With global sales at $3.5 billion in 2020 alone, many authors are wondering if they should jump on the audiobook bandwagon. But creating an audiobook takes time and patience, so is it really worth the hassle and, if so, how should authors go about it?
First of all, authors need to be aware of the growing trend towards audio content, more generally. According to Exchange Wire, audio content is set to explode in 2020, with consumers choosing podcasts and radio over traditional forms of content, like articles and even infographics. Audio content can be consumed on to go, making it the perfect medium for busy people.
So, what does the trend towards audio content mean for authors? Well, if more people are choosing audio than ever before, it gives authors the opportunity to reach new audiences. Don’t forget that there are millions of people out there who cannot access print books because of a disability or impairment. There are plenty of people, too, who just don’t have the time to sit down and read. Ultimately, the more people you can reach, the more chance you have of boosting your sales.
Another benefit of creating an audiobook is that it gives you the opportunity to create an additional buzz around your work. If you’re new to publishing, you’re no longer limited to having one book launch. There’s plenty of scope to have two launches: one for your print or eBook and another for your audiobook. There’s no time limit for an audiobook launch, either. You can reignite interest in your book, no matter how old it is, by turning it into an audiobook. The key point to note is that reaching more people will have a positive impact on your sales.
However, when it comes to audiobooks, not all works are created equal. Books that contain a lot of images or provide readers with a set of detailed instructions, like a cookbook, are less suited to the audio format than stories or other types of long-form content. If you’re keen to create an audiobook, then you need to think carefully about whether or not it’s the right medium for your work.
If you’re going to invest time and money into your books, you might feel it’s better placed in marketing your existing work, rather than producing something new. But remember that creating an audiobook also means that you are creating another stream of income. In the longer term, this may be just as lucrative as a traditional book, if not more.
Investing in this trend doesn’t require any specialized knowledge. A publishing services company can produce an audiobook for you. AuthorMAG’s parent company, PublishEdge, helps authors produce audiobooks. Unlike other production companies that take a cut of royalties, PublishEdge charges a fixed fee and authors keep the entire royalties.
If you’re a tech-savvy author, you might prefer to create and produce an audiobook yourself. There are many tutorials, like this one from eBookIt. But to produce something of high quality, you’ll need a decent microphone and access to recording and editing software. Audiobook building software is another piece of tech you’ll need to invest in, to ensure the best possible experience for your reader. Price up these different tools before you start, otherwise, you may not have the capital to see it through to completion.
One of the real benefits of this technology is that you have total control over the narrative voice. Many audiobook production companies have their own actors on payroll, so you can listen to a range of voices to find what works best for your work. There’s also the option of using your own voice, a friend’s voice or even hiring your own talent. Spend time thinking about the kind of voice you want to use. Unlike traditional books, where your choice of language is everything, the narrator of your audiobook will set the tone for your work Experimenting with different voices is crucial if you want to make a lasting impact for your reader.
Ultimately, audiobooks give authors the opportunity to connect with their readers on a deeply personal level; a level that traditional print really cannot match. With audiobook sales showing no sign of slowing down, the decision to get on board with this new technology should be high on your list of priorities and shouldn’t be dismissed as a fad or trend that won’t go the distance.