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:
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:
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.
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:
In addition, a survey conducted early in 2019 by the Audio Publishers Association revealed that:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some other groups of people include:
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.
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:
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.
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.
Sola Kehinde is a freelance content writer for hire with 10+ years of corporate business management experience. She helps businesses of all sizes create engaging blog posts, case studies, guides, tutorials and eBooks that attract and convert. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her drinking green tea, watching movies or curled up with a good book. Visit her writing portfolio here.