6 Great Reasons to Make an Audio Version of Your Book - Craft Your Content
turn book into audiobook

6 Great Reasons to Make an Audio Version of Your Book

Are you thinking of publishing your book as an eBook and in print just because you believe those are your best options?

If you answered yes, then you might need to change that strategy.

Even though these two formats are more obvious, there’s a different format that allows you to reach more people and sell more copies, whether you’re a professional writer or an entrepreneur. This format has become more popular in recent years due to its accessibility and convenience, and the market is growing rapidly.

What is this format strategy? It’s actually a simple one:

Make an audio version of your book, popularly known as an audiobook.

An audiobook is the voice recording of the content of a book that is read out loud so you can listen, instead of reading. A lot of people, whether young or old, enjoy listening to audiobooks because they:

  • Can listen anywhere
  • Just enjoy being read to
  • Can listen while doing other tasks
  • Can listen at a faster rate than they normally read  

The first audiobook was created as far back as 1931 when the American Foundation for the Blind worked with the Library of Congress to establish the Talking Book Program

At first, they were available on vinyl records, but later on they became available on analog cassette tapes. As technology improved over the years, audiobooks became available as digital files, too. 

These days, you can listen using a computer, a cell phone, a tablet, or a music player. You can also listen in vehicles that stream audio, and at home using a home speaker system.

However, not every book fits well into this format because some books are now known to be unsuitable as audiobooks

Here are some examples of books that should not be made into audiobooks:

  • Reference books and guide books
  • Children’s picture books or board books
  • Dictionaries and quotation books
  • Video game guides
  • Gift books, cook books, and diet books
  • Comic books and graphic novels
  • Picture-heavy sports books
  • Any book that contains a lot of pictures, images, charts, or diagrams that are referred to throughout

If your book is a good candidate for audio, continue reading to learn six great reasons why you should make an audio version of your book. 

But even if your book is not a good candidate, read on to discover six great reasons why you should make an audio version of your future books.

Join the Fastest-Growing Market in Publishing

turn book into audiobook
At the rate of how audiobook listeners are growing, your book might have the potential to reach more people and sell more.

Maybe you haven’t heard, but the audiobook market has grown to become a billion-dollar industry. This growth has been rising steadily in the last few years and no other format in publishing can claim similar results within the same period. 

Not convinced? Then take a look at these statistics:

  • The audiobook industry size in the United States was estimated at $900 million  as far back as 2009, and this figure rose to $2.5 billion in 2017.
  • In 2012, unit sales of audiobooks in the United States totaled 42.02 million units, but this figure grew to more than double in five years, reaching 108.17 million units in 2017.

In addition, a survey conducted early in 2019 by the Audio Publishers Association revealed that: 

  • 50 percent of all Americans aged 12 years and above have listened to audiobooks
  • 40 percent of audiobook listeners agree that it helps them read more books
  • 56 percent of those who both listen to and read books agree that audiobooks are the preferred format to get through books at a fast rate

Even The New York Times started a monthly audiobook bestseller list in 2018 as one way of providing a reliable and impartial method to track and provide data about the top-selling audiobooks across the U.S.

By creating an audio version of your book, you can start playing in a billion-dollar market that’s poised to grow even bigger. Of course, this can only increase your chances of reaching more people, selling more books, and making more money. 

Provide a Hands-Free Reading Option

With our busy modern lifestyle, people are finding it more difficult to find spare time just to read, due to an increasing number of tasks and duties they’re handling at work and at home on a daily basis.

But listening to audiobooks can be done hands-free, which allows multitasking and saves time because you can listen while you’re busy cooking, driving, or working out at the gym.

Take someone like Clive Frayne, for example. He admits that for some years now, he’s been having less time to read actual books, but has more time to combine listening to an audiobook with another activity. He also buys more audiobooks than regular books these days.

Because of their busy schedule, more people are listening to audiobooks instead of reading. As a result, the only way you can tap into this growing market of ready-to-buy listeners is to convert your book into an audiobook.

Attract Nonreaders Who Prefer Listening

turn book into audiobook
Tap into nonreader audiences who might find your book topic interesting but don’t really like to read a physical book.

Do you know that some people don’t read books? It’s not because they hate books or have challenges with their hands or eyes. In fact, some of them are voracious book consumers.

They are known as nonreaders because instead of reading, they only listen to audiobooks. 

If a book doesn’t have an audio version, they won’t be interested in it. Thomas Umstattd is a good example of someone who listens to a lot of audiobooks but doesn’t read books. According to him, he listened to 69 books in one particular year and the following year, was on track to listen to 60 plus books.

When you think about it, you’ll realize that Umstattd can’t be the only nonreader in the world. Instead, there are more like him, people who love and enjoy books but only listen to the audio version.

Without an audio version of your book, you’ll totally miss out on this group of people. Conversely, offering your book as an audiobook can strongly connect you with this audience and dramatically boost your chances of selling more books.

Sell in a Less Competitive Market

Another smart reason why you should convert your book to an audiobook is because the market is not yet saturated.

As far back as 2014, there were an estimated 3 million eBooks in the Kindle Store, while the total number of books on Amazon was estimated to be around 48 million. By early 2018, the number of eBooks in the Kindle Store was estimated to have grown to over 6 million, with the possibility that one new eBook entered the Kindle Store every 1 minute and 42 seconds.

This also translates to an estimated 750,000 books published annually from 2014 to 2018. 

On the other hand, only 80,000 audiobooks were produced in the U.S. in 2017.

Once your book has an audio version, you can start doing business in a smaller market with less competition, unlike the eBook and print book markets. This makes it easier and faster for your book to be found by more people, increasing your chances for profit.

Attract Readers With Special Needs

audiobooks special needs
For those with special needs, audiobooks may be the only way they can read.

With an audiobook, you can also reach people with special needs who are interested in reading but cannot do so, due to medical conditions, disability, injuries, or old age.

People With Partial or Total Vision Loss 

Without functional eyes, reading becomes impossible. That’s why the first talking books were created as a way to help blind people consume books. 

Even though they can also read using Braille, listening to audiobooks is more convenient and has more benefits. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 1.3 billion people are living with some form of visual impairment globally.

People With Dyslexia

This is a condition that affects both children and adults, and anyone known to have dyslexia is referred to as a dyslexic. 

Because their brain usually processes written materials in a different way, they find it difficult to recognize, spell, and decode words. This means that people affected by dyslexia usually struggle to read, write, and learn. 

Dyslexia does not have anything to do with intelligence; some dyslexics can be very intelligent. An estimated one in 10 people have this condition and over 40 million American adults are dyslexic, with the majority of them not even aware of it.

Other Groups Benefiting From Audiobooks

Some other groups of people include: 

  • Those who enjoy reading but have no hands to hold a book
  • Readers who cannot use their hands due to injuries, accidents, or health conditions
  • Those who enjoy reading but have a permanent condition preventing the use of their hands, including older adults with arthritis, and so on

Thanks to audiobooks, every one of these people can now read as much as they want without allowing their circumstances to prevent them from enjoying books.

With an audio version of your book, you can sell more, since you will be able to attract a wider group of interested readers that includes all these categories of people. 

Make More Money 

turn book into audiobook
By creating an audiobook, you’re able to maximize your earning opportunity and widen your market reach.

Creating an audio version of your book is a smart way to generate another stream of income and make more money.

Without making your book into an audiobook, your ability to reach a very large audience of interested readers becomes greatly reduced, since you won’t be able to sell to: 

  • Those who now listen to audiobooks because they’re too busy to read
  • Nonreaders who listen to audiobooks only
  • Those who cannot read due to circumstances beyond their control like blindness, dyslexia, old age, and so on

All these people can add up to a very large population that you’re not reaching, but as soon as you create an audiobook, you can maximize every available opportunity to increase your sales and start smiling all the way to the bank.

Convert Your Book Into an Audiobook

Just by making an audio version of your book, you can significantly expand the pool of potential readers who can come in contact with your book, making it possible for you to sell a lot more.

Offering an audio version of your book is a way for you to join the fastest-growing market in publishing that is much less competitive than traditional formats. You’ll also provide a hands-free reading option that many people love, including nonreaders who prefer listening, as well as people with special needs who cannot read, but can listen.

The earlier you make your book available as an audiobook, the faster you can get your message across to a higher number of people, impact more lives, and increase your chances of making more money.

About the Author Sola Kehinde

Sola Kehinde is a freelance content writer and SEO blog writer with 5+ years of experience. She helps businesses and brands engage their target audience, build trust, and gain more customers, with compelling long-form content. In addition to writing, editing & publishing topics, she also covers digital marketing, productivity and other business-related topics. Check out her LinkedIn profile to learn more!