From Publisher’s Weekly:
Over the past seven years, consumer interest in spoken-word content and audiobooks has risen dramatically. This increase has been well documented. In 2022, the “Edison Research Spoken Word” report found that the number of Americans who listened to spoken-word content daily had increased (26 million more in 2021 than in 2014, to be exact). Audiobooks played a major part in that growth, and audiobook publishers, including the audio divisions of the Big Five, have benefited greatly.
Simultaneously, over the past decade, self-published authors and indie publishers have increased their title output, yet many have found that audiobooks are not as easy to get to consumers as e-books and physical books. These content owners have to navigate a confusing ecosystem in order to get their audiobooks into the ears of listeners.
Authors and publishers must think carefully about who their partners should be to truly succeed in the audiobook market, especially given the healthy competition in the retail and library sectors. Apple, Chirp, and Spotify are just a few examples of outlets now competing with Audible, while Hoopla and OverDrive have led the growth in libraries.
When independent publishers and self-published authors enter the audiobook fray, they are often overwhelmed. Suddenly, they discover that they must become casting directors, proofers, marketers, metadata optimizers, and sales account managers for a format that is often completely new and unfamiliar to them. There are distribution platforms that give access to the audiobook market, but they’re no substitute for audiobook publishers’ years of experience.
What is the best approach for publishers and authors to take advantage of opportunities in the audio market? I strongly suggest that they establish partnerships with experienced audiobook publishers. I have been on both the retailer and publisher sides of the audiobook industry, and I have seen that established audiobook publishers know how to position, price, sell, and market titles.
Success is best achieved in audio via a partnership between an author or an indie house and an audiobook publisher, such as Dreamscape, that lets each side do what they do best. Where the author and print publisher have amazing content, the audiobook publisher has the connections and resources to amplify that content in audio. And where the author has a platform and reader base, the audiobook publisher can provide additional marketing tips to gain visibility not only with listeners but also with key distribution outlets. It’s a matter of finding the right audiobook publisher.
Link to the rest at Publisher’s Weekly