Audiobooks is the fastest growing segment in the publishing industry right now. For traditional publisher’s audiobook sales mitigated declines in e-book sales, and trade publishers are bullish on audiobooks going into 2020. Audible (owned by Amazon) still has the lion’s share of the audiobook marketing but others are trying to make inroads. 2020 may well be the year when we see new and existing players disrupt the established order.
Audiobooks.com was acquired by a media group in 2017, Apple’s exclusivity agreement with Audible ended last year and more players are getting into the mix with Kobo launching their own audiobook subscription service in late 2017. This gives indie authors more control and more opportunity to launch into the audiobook industry. Digital audiobooks will remain the fastest growth area in publishing with sales increasing 30% to 40% or more. The dynamics—ease of access for consumers, lifestyle habits, increased market competition, new selling models—have all synced up to create significant staying power. It should surprise nobody when the market size of audiobooks surpasses eBooks in a few years.
In 2020, we expect to see independent authors empowered to capitalize on this explosive growth. Indies will take advantage of wide distribution (domestic, international, and public library), realize the advantages at key retailers of setting prices to meet consumer demand, and benefit from more discovery tools created to connect authors with their audiences outside traditional audiobook credit models.”
What this means for you: Producing an audiobook runs into the thousands of dollars or requires giving up significant royalties and is still a significant investment for authors. New authors who find the price tag too steep are best off focusing on building their catalog of e-books first. Authors who are looking to invest in their publishing business should definitely have audiobook expansion on their list for 2020. All authors should keep an eye on the market and look to support audiobook retailers and production companies that are author friendly.
Do you have a book already? Have sales slowed? Consider breathing new life into it with an Audiobook format. It’s easy and affordable! We can help. www.PurposePublishing.com