How Can I Be a Part of the Audiobook Boom?

audiobooks, digital audiobooks, authors, publishers, self-publishingAudiobooks have long been operating in the digital space. Well before ebooks were gaining major popularity, digital audiobooks were helping audio publishing grow. With the introduction of the iPod at the turn of the century and the adoption of smartphones over the last decade, audiobooks have been booming: over the last five years, both the number of titles produced and the sales of the product have skyrocketed.

Publishers submitting to the Audio Publishers Association (APA) Sales Survey reported a production increase from 7,237 titles in 2011 to 35,574 titles in 2015—a nearly 500-percent increase. Sales revenue of audio has been continuously gaining as well, with nearly 21 percent growth reported for 2015 over the prior year.

So what’s happening to fuel this explosion? Changes in technology have assisted in the growth cycle: not only can book files to record arrive quickly and easily (no more waiting for the FedEx delivery), but once an audio file is recorded, it can be returned simply and easily (no more waiting for the FedEx pick-up). Simple changes such as reading from an iPad as opposed to the printed page (and eliminating the page-turn sound in the process) have supported increased efficiency.

Much more.

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Company Snapshots: INscribe Digital (DBW)
In “Company Snapshots,” we pose a series of questions to leading providers of digital products and services and let them speak for themselves about what their company does, how they benefit publishers, and what they believe the biggest trends in the industry are. In today’s entry, we have INscribe Digital.

Things Are Calmer Than They Were in the Book Business (Mike Shatzkin)
Among the shifts that have been taking place in publishing houses over the past decade is an increase in the headcount dedicated to marketing and a decrease in headcount dedicated to sales. This reflects the reduction in the number of bookstore accounts and the transfer of “discovery” from store shelves to digital search.

How to Sell Books That Are Good Enough to Steal (Book Business)
How do you know if what you’ve created is worthwhile? In my experience, it has to pass the “good enough to steal test.” Business owners, authors, artists, and musicians don’t like to hear this, but it’s true. The fact is the majority of goods and services produced do not actually meet this benchmark of success.

Advance Review Copies: Why They’re Used and How to Create Them (IngramSpark)
One of the key elements of a professional marketing and publicity campaign is the advance review copy (ARC)—also known as a galley—usually produced and distributed three to six months before the final book goes on sale.

Can the UK’s VAT People Classify Coloring Books as Not Books? (Pub Perspectives)
If Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs office can somehow categorize coloring books as not books—and “incomplete” because they’re not colored in—what might publishers have to pay in VAT?

Nielsen’s First Romance Book Summit at RWA (Pub Perspectives)
“There is no area in publishing today more transformed by digital than romance,” Nielsen’s conference organizers say. And they’re creating an event for authors and publishers in July.

Self-Publish and Be Sneered At? (Bookseller)
There are many things I love about the book industry but there are also a few that I don’t. Publishing can be slow and old-fashioned at times, broadsheet review pages can be snooty and exclusive and literary awards can be unfair in their submission guidelines. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that my accusations are levelled mainly towards attitudes to self-publishing.

Why Amazon Is the King of Innovation: Advantage, Alexa (ZDNet)
We continue our week long series on Amazon innovation with a discussion of the Amazon Echo, Tap, and Dot devices, and how the Alexa service may be taking the fire out of Siri and OK Google.

Amazon KDP and Kindle Unlimited (Written Word)
Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service through Amazon that allowed readers unlimited access to books for just $10 a month, was unveiled by Amazon in July 2014. The reception by readers was mostly positive, finally a Netflix for Books! The reaction from authors and publishers was mixed. Kindle Unlimited was doing to independent authors what Spotify did to musicians. By offering their work for free to subscribers, they were potentially lowering the revenue that an author or publisher could make from each book.

Introducing BookBub Ads – Promote Any Book, Any Time (BookBub)
Today we’re excited to announce a new way to reach millions of BookBub readers: BookBub Ads. BookBub Ads run in a dedicated space in BookBub’s daily emails. Advertisers — authors, publishers, agents, and other book marketing professionals — can use this space to promote full-priced books, discounted books, audiobooks, novellas, multi-author box sets, and much more.

Macmillan Acquires Pronoun (FKA As Vook, Plus Booklr and Byliner) (Pub Lunch)
Macmillan announced on Thursday that they have acquired Pronoun, the pivoted version of the company that began life as Vook (originally creating ebooks with embedded videos) in 2009 and over the years incorporated Booklr and Byliner. In its latest incarnation, Pronoun’s focus has been an ebook distribution platform for authors that has said they charge no conversion, posting or distribution fees.


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