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  • Leonie Mateer

Audio Books - The new trend in publishing

Expand your consumer base

They used to be called “talking books”, “spoken books” or “narrated books” and were a wonderful solution for persons with serious reading impairment such as blindness or low vision.

Today they are for everyone with an iphone, ipod, kindle fire, windows etc. Note the most popular device now for listening to audio books is the phone.

So why an audio book?

Follow the Trend!!

Over the course of the past three years the highest growing segment of publishing are audiobooks. The global audiobook industry is currently evaluated at $3.5 billion dollars and the United States is currently the largest singular market with $1.8 billion dollars in audio sales in 2016 and this was a 31% increase from 2015.

The most popular audiobook genres in 2016 were mystery, thriller, romance and fantasy/science fiction.

Industry research (Calleycat) indicates that downloaded audiobooks increased a whopping 32.7% from 2011 to 2012. (25 million vs 18.8 million).

So why is this new digital trend taking off so rapidly?

• Some say “It is the only way busy people have time to read anymore”. Now they can multi-task by reading a book while driving, or walking their dog, or simply going for a morning jog along the waterfront.

• Others predict it is today’s digital devises enabling everyone to catch up on their favorite authors or just allowing them to keep constantly in touch with their industry, business and people trends wherever and whenever.

Why should an author go audio?

I have learned from 30 years of creating and marketing products that it is often the hybrid of the original concept that actually sells the most units. So by widening your product choices for your consumer – you are widening your consumer base and letting your end consumer decide which product best meets their needs.And, most importantly, by offering your book in many different versions–you instantly expand your product line and increase consumer awareness – which, in turn, results in additional sales.

Also, if your listeners love your audio book- chances are they may even buy a paper copy so they can underline it and give it a home in their bookcase.

I, personally, like that fact that there are millions of books on Amazon and only 100,000 titles on

So how do you go about recording your Audio Book? I contacted a local recording studio; in Ventura. JP Hesser, the owner is amazing. He charges only $100.00 per hour (versus $200-$300 per hour in the LA studios)

I made weekly 2 hour appointments over a 4 week period to do the VO in his studio.

We would record and then he would edit my mistakes and give me the recording on my flash drive so I could go home and listen to it and mark in my book any further changes that were needed.

Using my own voice was a concern for me. But my publisher, upon hearing a sample, agreed that my voice was acceptable and, in fact, preferred for the audio book version. It is imperative that you get approval from either your publisher or professionals in the field to approve your voice as acceptable. I don’t know about you, but I have been instantly “put off” by an author’s voice reading her own book – and found it irritating to listen to and I could not listen past the first chapter.

It took me approx. 8 hours to record 4 hours of finished VO. So allow for twice the length of time it takes you to read your book.

When the whole book was completed. JP separated out the chapters with a small musical note interlude. As my book is non fiction it seemed a nice way to break up the information.

Your sound studio and/or your publisher will be able to advise you what format the finished product needs to be in before becoming a marketable product.

So, go for it. Make an audio version of your book. Follow the trend and enable your readers to enjoy your book without having to “take time out” of their busy lives.

For more information on what you need to know if you are recording your book in a studio.. : The Art and Science of Audio Book Production

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