By Charlene Johnson
As promised, here are some notes from a speaker at one of the local author groups I belong to on audiobooks. Hope the info is helpful.
Some Book Statistics
o People still prefer to read books
o It was thought EBooks would create a greater readership. The Ebook market has shifted but has not increased.
o The number of people who read paperbacks and hardcovers has stayed the same.
o The number of people who read EBooks has gone down.
o Audiobooks were a $2.8 billion business in 2017 and the numbers have not yet come in for 2018, but it is thought it will increase by 30%.
o If you’re going to compete or be present in the marketplace, having an understanding and a place in audiobooks is essential.
o The New York Times has started a top ten bestselling audiobooks list. Many of the big publishers are deciding to go straight to audio because audiobooks are outperforming print and EBooks.
o In the entertainment world, a lot of films and television shows are based on books. The industry is beginning to use audiobooks to promote the first launch for a film or television show.
Who’s listening to audiobooks?
• The number one reason listeners like audiobooks is because they can do other things while they listen.
• The number two reason listeners like audiobooks is because they can do it anywhere. Example – smartphones.
• The number third reason listeners like audiobooks is because it is comforting to be read to. It’s nostalgic.
• Women listen more than men, similar in the book world. Women buy more books.
• 57% of audiobook listeners listen at home. Of the 57%:
68% do it while they are cleaning at home or doing chores
65% do it while they are cooking
57% listen while they exercise
30% do it while crafting or doing their hobbies.
32% listen in their cars.
The number one audio genre, second only to self-help is mysteries and cozy mysteries followed by science fiction and fantasy, followed by career and money.
If you want to reach your audience, the audience today is digital, virtual. You need to have a working understanding of how to reach that audience.
Audiobooks are a viable income stream.
There is a growing population of older people whose eyes are deteriorating but their brains were very active and want to be told a story. The audiobook fills that need.
Also, the millennials who grew up with podcasts. It’s a quick transition from that to audiobooks and they are making that transition. 60% of Americans have listened to at least one podcast.
Audiobook listeners listen to over 15 audiobooks per year. The independent audiobook listener listens to a lot more. They go across the genres. If they are hooked on cozy mysteries and will cross over to fantasy.
Today, we sat down with author B. M. Griffin.
Q. Let’s get you introduced to everyone. Tell us your name.
A. Bonnie Griffin AKA B.M. Griffin
Q. Where are you from?
A. Richlands, NC
Q. Tell us about your latest publishing news. Titles, release dates, cover reveals...
A. My most recent release was Her Hidden Scars in October of 2018. It is book 2 in my Loving Her Scars paranormal romance shifter series.
Q. When and why did you begin writing?
A. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but I started writing seriously in 2016. My job I’d been at for nearly 10 years was not fulfilling my true calling, which was writing, but I had long thought that someone from my small town did not have a chance at becoming a published author. Then I met some great indie-authors and fell in love with their words, and they worked full-time and had families and children just like me. That’s when I decided it was time to stop denying my joy and embrace what made me happy—writing. Did someone motivate you? My friends and family, co-workers, and fellow indie authors. A big shout out to author Jas T. Ward who reminds me that I can do this whenever my doubts creep in again.
Q. What inspired you to write your first book? Tell us about what makes that book special.
A. Romance has long been my favorite genre, but more than that I love getting lost in a world full of fantasy where the imagination has no limits. I also want my writing to have real meaning, and not just an instant love story, but something that embraces real hardships people face every day. Loving Her Scars explores domestic abuse and how it can negatively affect someone’s psyche, while also bringing readers into the fantastical world of werewolves and shifters, magic, and the power of true love. It is a story that people can get lost it, that embraces our real world and the fantasy, and shows women that we are strong even if we’ve been knocked down before and we can overcome anything.
Q. Do you ever include personal events or people in your fictional books?
A. Yes, although I alter the events to the point that no one but myself knows they were derived from real life events. And I cannot lie, the stories are right about authors killing off those who wrong them in their stories. Don’t be a jerk and I won’t make you the villain in my stories.
Q. Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
A. Aurora. She is incredibly strong, and she puts the safety of her people and those she loves above her own. There is no fight she will back down from to keep her people and her world, Tanzahar, safe.
Q. Is there a specific genre you enjoy writing the most? Why?
A. Paranormal and Fantasy Romance. I love getting lost in new, magical worlds. Creating worlds that capture readers’ attention so they feel like they are a part of the fantasy. I also love including a mix of women’s fiction in my romance, displaying the strength women possess as they overcome the scars life inflicts on them, but that doesn’t always mean they are perfect. Women can be hard, stubborn, and even mean when they are protecting their hearts.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
A. I love reading so much that I have never been able to pick a favorite. Some of my top books include “Hopeless,” by Colleen Hoover, “Mud Vein,” by Tarryn Fisher, “Lover Awakened,” by J.R. Ward, and “Andromeda’s Reign,” by K.S. Haigwood.
Q. Is there any advice or message you would want to give to aspiring writers?
A. If you want to write, need to write, then make time and do it. We have a limited time in this life, so we need to do what makes up whole and happy. It might seem impossible, like there isn’t enough time in the day or no one would want to read what you write, but you must make your desires come true. Nobody else will do it for you.