Audiobooks are booming like never before. According to Deloitte, the U.S. audiobook market in 2020 was valued at an estimated $1.5 billion. Yes, that’s billion with a “b.” When 2020’s pandemic shuttered libraries and bookstores, and delayed postal deliveries, stuck-at-home readers browsed digital shelves instead, and audiobook sales kept growing. In the UK alone, the pandemic increased audiobook sales by 42% in the first half of the year according to The Guardian, while print sales plummeted.
Audiobook listeners are readers. And the takeaway is this: There’s never been a better time to release an audiobook.
Here are three reasons authors should jump on the audiobook bandwagon (as soon as possible):
1). Expose your work to more readers.
By releasing an audiobook, you will reach an audience who have, by preference or necessity, transitioned away from print media.
If you’re releasing a nonfiction book, you’ll be able to reach the growing market of 18-34 year old urban men who prefer audiobooks (particularly nonfiction), and who have traditionally not been known as a strong book-buying market according to Good E-Reader.
If you’re releasing fiction, you’ll be able to reach the vast majority of busy stay-at-home moms who juggle kid-centric commutes with an endless list of household errands–but who still want to find time to read a book.
You’ll be able to reach elderly readers who can no longer easily see the printed page, or readers who are homebound for a variety of reasons in 2021.
Why wouldn’t you want to expose your work to the widest audience possible? Audiobooks substantially broaden your reach.
2). Bring your book to life in new ways.
Gone are the days of clunky audio cassettes, scratched CDs, and uninspired narrators. Today’s technology can broadcast your story in vibrant color on the theater screen inside people’s minds.
Audiobooks (such as the ones we produce through our sister company Books Fluent) are dynamic and engaging. Talented voice actors, multi-voice casts, sound effects, musical interludes, and other interactive and engaging elements can be integrated into audiobook recordings more easily than ever.
Some newer audiobooks are more akin to professionally-produced radio plays, inspiring repeat-listens and passionate recommendations. Some authors are only releasing audio these days.
Even if your audiobook is more traditional, the point is that there are now more options than ever to get creative and make your story come alive. Why not take advantage of that?
3). Grow your sales. The statistics are in: if you can successfully reach a new audience, you will increase your sales. Podcasts have given a huge boost to consumer demand for audible media. And thanks to the pandemic (either ongoing, or in its aftermath), that demand isn’t slowing down.
We are constantly finding fresh ways to help our authors reach new readers through audiobook promotion. By making your book discoverable in this rapidly-trending audio format, new readers will find and love your work–and can become dedicated fans and repeat customers.
Audiobooks have risen, and will keep rising. It’s time to rise with them.
Chelsea is a copywriter, editor, publicist, and content creator at Books Forward, an author publicity and book marketing firm committed to promoting voices from a diverse variety of communities. From book reviews and author events, to social media and digital marketing, we help authors find success and connect with readers. Interested in what’s possible for your book sales and building readership? Check out our services, tell us your goals, and get a customized publicity campaign tailored just for you.