The Coming Audio Book Cornucopia

Posted on Dec 7 2013 - 11:35am by Chuck Field

Audible_ScifiThe Perfect Storm for Audio Books

Having a family and a day job makes running a website on the side somewhat challenging. That challenge increases when you are also one of the content writers for that website.  I find myself constantly optimizing, streamlining and prioritizing my time. One of my favorite passions; reading, has all but disappeared. I used to burn through a complete novel in a couple of weeks and now I’m lucky to get one done in a couple of months. Fortunately, digital media and portable electronics have made written content more accessible through audible means. In audible formats unabridged books can be consumed while performing other tasks almost as quickly as the traditional page turning method. I find that I can burn through a book while driving, working a spreadsheet at the day job or completing one of the many items on that ‘honey do’ list. When you add all the little snippets of time spent listening, it quickly adds up.

Most of us know that audio books are nothing new. They have been around for decades. I can remember checking out cassette tapes from the library as a teenager and as a young adult driving the highways; I took advantage of the Cracker Barrel audio book program several times. In the past though, the variety of audio books was extremely limited. It was mainly reserved for very high grossing top name authors and the classics like Moby Dick. Production costs for these audio books were in the tens of thousands of dollars and production facilities wanted to ensure they were getting a return on their investment. Who wouldn’t… More recently, that paradigm has changed and yet again, we can site an example where technology has improved and enriched our lives. In recent years those high production costs have been dramatically reduced with new production equipment and facilities that makes producing an audio book much more economical.

With the demanding lives that many people now lead, the adoption of digital media, portable electronics and lower production costs, we are witnessing the perfect storm brewing for the audio book media industry. Although the industry has seen double digit percentage growth in recent years, I don’t believe we have seen the surge for audio book demand like we saw with the recent growth in e-books. I think one of the main challenges the industry faces, is consumer education. Most people are completely unaware of incredible pricing now available through distributors like audible.com. Just a few years ago, you could expect to pay twice the cost of a hardback book in its audio form via CDs. Now customers can purchase any abridged or unabridged book from over 150,000 titles for less than $15 each. The now one billion dollar industry will expand exponentially as the general public realizes these options are available.

This scenario leads a geeky blog guy like myself, to ask what importance is this? How can I take advantage of the coming opportunity for my own business? I suppose that question can be answered in how I can help audio book authors and producers, as they grow their audiences. You can call my business a giant bullhorn, in a manner of speaking… so picking up the bullhorn is exactly what I intend to do.

Just recently, I had the opportunity to chat with a new audio book producer, Sci-Fi Publishing LLC, and I’m happy to say that we have worked out a handshake deal where Geeknutz will be receiving content from Sci-Fi Publishing to review. This is good for us, because we get cool content to talk about with all our readers. It’s good for Sci-Fi Publishing because when the readers think the content is as cool as we do, Sci-Fi Publishing gets a return on their investment. So in the coming days, expect to see a review on Little Green Men. A novella written by Peter Cawdron. Hopefully many more reviews from Sci-fi Publishing growing book list, will follow.

4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sheryl Runyon December 7, 2013 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Very cool, I am a huge fan of Audble and audio books in general. For the housewife with chores to do and errands to run they are awesome!

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