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News Audibooks

Steve C

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I have been looking into producing an audio version of my book Broken Fingers. In the course of doing so, I have discovered that in the USA sales revenue for audiobooks has surpassed that of Ebooks! Big Surprise, at least to me. Then I discovered that in Scandanavia this has long been the case and the UK is catching up fast. Not number of units sold but revenue. It appears people want Ebooks for free but are prepared to pay money to listen to them.
If you combine that with the numbers for sale of each type of book then there are probably about 100 times as many Ebooks out there as there are audio (I am guessing here) so investing in audio seems like a no-brainer especially as sales continue to grow so fast in that area. It would seem the average audiobook is earning the author 100 times as much as his ebook does.
Anyone care to shoot my analysis down please go ahead as it does seem a bit crazy that statistically, you are likely to earn so much more out of an audiobook.
 

Paul Whybrow

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It's what happened to me. I've been self-publishing since 2014 and had 43 titles online, including poetry, song lyrics, short stories, novellas and novels, which earned me about $10 a month (!) usually from Amazon's library for borrows. Admittedly, being clueless about self-promotion, I didn't publicise my work enough, but I geared up when my Cornish Detective series appeared.
After reading in various publishing trade newsletters that sales of audiobooks had risen by 34% during the lockdown, I invested in recording equipment and laboured long and hard narrating my five titles. I've had some shitty jobs in my life, but, believe me, getting an audiobook to an acceptable standard is the worst! It felt like entering a salt mine every day. Each audiobook took at least 1,000 hours to produce.
But, they've sold! I've earned about £150 a month on average, though that amount has dropped to £90 since quarantine eased. It shows that folk stuck at home were looking for something easy to occupy their time, I think. Maybe some will return to the practice, and commuters still need something to listen to. It helps sales to have a series featuring the same characters.
I intend to publish eBooks alongside audiobooks, as there's a way of syncing the recording with the text—particularly attractive to young readers.
 
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