Are You Listening Now? The Popularity of Audiobooks
I’m not quite sure when I first started noticing the increase in audiobook reviews on our website. A year ago? Two? Whenever the year or month, audiobooks and our reviews of them are definitely on the increase. In fact, according to Audio Publishers Association and MarketWatch*, audiobooks racked up over $1.5 billion in sales last year alone and remain, “the fastest-growing segment of the book publishing industry.”* No we aren’t saying the old print is dead thing again, or that e-books are a thing of the past. No. Just that along with those other formats, audiobooks has not only taken their place along side them but perhaps surpassed them in sales.
Not that I’m surprised. With our fast-paced lives, driving to and from either work, soccer games or what have you, moving about the apartment, or whatever you may be involved in from packing up a house to pushing through some other chore, listening to a book is a wonderful way to pass the time or lose yourself for a while.
Yes, romances are among the top sellers, not that any genre or type of book is outselling another. Self help? Yep, its there among top audiobooks, But so are business books and action thrillers along with the love stories I just mentioned. People want to listen to them all. Again, according to MarketWatch, Amazon reports that its Audible sales are approximately 4 times higher than its books in the printed formats, although Amazon didn’t want to be precise about the numbers. That’s a staggering figure in a short amount of time, especially as it includes self published authors or authors producing their own audiobooks for the first time.
Another surprising factor to audiobooks I’ve seen here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words? That an audiobook can make a reader take a fresh look at a book or series. Why? It all comes down to that one elemental factor ~ the narrator. How well the narrator or in some cases as a book this week, narrators, does their job, can make or break an audiobook.
I know that the reviewers here often ask first who is the narrator when an audiobook comes across for review. Yes, narrators often accumulate a following when they are good or even spectacular (or not so spectacular). The ability of a narrator to bring individual voices alive for a reader or in this case a listener goes back I think to the storytellers or bards. Whether they were gathered around a campfire or in a great hall, a bard’s ability to engage their audience, to connect with them and pull them in varies little emotionally with our narrators today. Both need to hook their listeners, make them feel the characters, move them to tears or laughter. That’s a great narrator.
We’ve interviewed a narrator and an author who narrated their own novel. See the links below.
- A STRW Exclusive: Author Eli Easton Interviews Matthew Shaw, Narrator of Easton’s How To Howl At the Moon
- Get Up Close With Author and Narrator Brad Vance on ‘Given The Circumstances’ Audiobook Release
Dreamspinner Press, Riptide Publishing, Less Than Three Press, Mischief Corner Books are, along with other publishers and Audible, companies who offer audiobooks for sale. I know there are others. Mind blank, send me names and help me out. Authors are also putting out their own audiobooks, like Jay Northcote for one. Our options to listen are getting enormous.
I hope to bring in more narrators for interviews. What questions would you like to ask them? Do you have favorite narrators of your own? Send me their names. I know several reviewers here have already accumulated their own lists.
Audiobooks have come a long way and are here to stay. Again MarketWatch is reporting that famous actors are getting into the narrating business. I’m not sure that’s a great idea. I want to be lost in the character…not thinking “oh, that’s Clint Eastwood or whoever doing the voice over”. How do you all feel about that?
And lastly, can any of you name your favorite audiobook to date? Hmmm? Start thinking about answers to all these questions. You just might find that answering them will get you a prize come the first of October.
Now on to our schedule at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and yes, there are audiobooks being reviewed this week!
This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, September 11:
- Are You Listening Now? The Popularity of Audiobooks
- This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Monday, September 12:
- Riptide Publishing’s Blog Tour and Giveaway – Counterbalance by Aiden Wayne
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Counterbalance by Aidan Wayne
- A MelanieM Release Day Review: Obsidian Moons by Jon Keys
- An Alisa Release Day Review: Cougar Chaos (Mountain Spirit Mysteries #4) by A.J. Marcus
Tuesday, September 13:
- In the Spotlight: Bread, Salt & Wine by Dev Bentham (excerpt and giveaway)
- Jay Northcote’s Into You Release Tour
- A MelanieM Review: Heart of the Warrior by Kendall McKenna
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: A Cowboy’s Home (Montana #3) by R.J. Scott
- A Caryn Review: The Eleventh Hour by Elin Gregory
Wednesday, September 14:
- Series Spotlight: Crooked Tree Ranch Recap by RJ Scott (excerpt and giveaway)
- Blog Tour and Giveaway: “Is This Desire?” by R. Paone
- A MelanieM Review: Open Road by M.J. O’Shea
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Kyle (Legacy Ranch #1) by R.J. Scott
- An Alisa Audiobook Review: The Burnt Toast B&B (Bluewater Bay #5)
by Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz with Dorian Bane (Narrator) andTobias Silversmith (Narrator)
Thursday, September 15:
- Riptide Publishing’s Blog Tour and Giveaway: Rented Heart by Garrett Leigh
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Rented Heart by Garrett Leigh
- A MelanieM Release Day Review:Commitment Ranch (Leaning N #1) by B.A. Tortuga
- A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: Do-Gooder by J. Leigh Bailey
Friday, September 16:
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Tied Up in Knots (Marshals #3) by Mary Calmes
- A MelanieM Review: Skyships Over Innsmouth by Susan Laine
- An Alisa Audiobook Review: Sweetwater by Lisa Henry and Dorian Bane (Narrator)
- A Caryn Release Day Review: Waiting for Patrick by Brynn Stein
Saturday, September 17:
- A Stella Review: Resonance by Lillian Francis
- A MelanieM Review: Midlife Crisis by Rob Rosen
- A Paul B Audiobook Review: Black Balled (Black Balled #1) by Andrea Smith and Narrator Eva LeNoir