by Dave Giorgio
Over the past 15 years, self publishing ushered in many changes to the book publishing industry as a whole. It was through self publishing that print on demand publishing developed, and into the industry came new kinds of publishers such as Infinity Publishing. It was through self publishing that eBook publishing caught on.
In years past, the writer’s intent was perhaps to write a book. But in this new era, on the premise that “you could publish your own book,” things got a little more serious for authors. Suddenly there was a life after the publishing of their book. Book marketing and blogging were now things to consider, and book promotion became something tangible; setting up book signings, selling books at seminars and conferences, etc. A decade or so later, the self publishing industry is a thriving pool of authors and publishers working on content.
So how does this affect audio book publishing? Well, if the past is any indication, audio books will become more and more influenced by self publishing authors. While most authors might not have the golden voice their book deserves, or happen to have on hand a three thousand dollar microphone and a sound proof studio to record in, they do have books that would serve them well by being published in audio format. The sales potential is just too good to pass up.
For instance, while the rest of the economy hung on like a ship wreck victim to a piece of flotsam, the sales of audio books increased by 6%. So while other industries were at -30, audio book publishing was +6. Stock analysts would tell you that’s one heck of a healthy industry.
The audio book industry is currently driven by large publishers who tend to have a good feel for where to place their chips. It’s quite possible that more and more self publishing authors will join the fray in the same manner as the big publishers: arrange with an audio book specialist to have the book recorded, and go about publishing their audio book themselves.
The motivation is there. Audio books, being accepted as a higher priced product than printed books, earn higher revenues per sale. Furthermore, the consumer that purchases the audio version of a title, might not have purchased, or even known about the print version. So with the audio book segment’s higher royalties and ability to expand an author’s audience, I see authors taking the lead on this, and once again driving the book publishing industry forward.
Photo courtesy of Jim Larranaga.