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.