Are audiobooks the future of book sales? Do you have your stories on audio?
I am an audiobook fan. I buy at least 4 audiobooks a month and always have one on the go. I as buy audiobooks for Michael and encourage him to listen to them every day. He is my slower reader and audiobooks allow him to read more books than he would manage on his own. It takes Michael about one month to read one of his Rick Riordan books.
Greg, on the other hand, is a fast reader and will read several books during his holidays, galloping through them in a few hours or days, depending on their length and complexity.
So far this year, I’ve listened to Collected Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, The Invisible Man, To the Last Man, A Farewell to Arms, A Gentleman in Moscow, All Quiet on the Western Front, and Sunwielder. I am currently 85% of the way through Gone with the Wind and already have The Divine Comedy lined up as my next read, followed by Why by Daniel Kemp.
I love being read to almost as much as I love reading. I like to listen to classic books, in case you hadn’t noticed, as I listen slower than I read so I enjoy them more. Some more complex modern books are also better appreciated, in my opinion, as audiobooks and if they are available on Audible I buy them.
My own books are not available as audiobooks. This is purely because my publisher does not offer audiobooks and I like her very much so I am prepared to accept her view on this matter. Maybe one day I will have audiobooks as well as ebooks and paperback books.
Now to the question, are audiobooks the future of book sales? I don’t think so. I think audiobooks have their place in the literary world and I know people who also listen to audiobooks while they exercise, do housework, and other mundane tasks including driving. These people are not, however, the majority of the readers I know. Most readers seem to prefer paperbacks and ebooks. This may be a cost thing as audiobooks are a lot more expensive.
Luckily for me, my husband gifts me three Audible credits a month. Sometimes I run out and then I buy three more credits at approximately US$11 each. Most audio books are well over US$20 so it works out quite reasonably.
I gift my mom a lot of audiobooks too. She rests every afternoon and she likes to listen to audiobooks. Sometimes we share books but usually I buy her different books to the ones I like. She likes books like the Wheel of Time series and Game of Thrones, which I will never listen too. They are lovely and long and keep her entertained for a good few weeks.
As for the youth [meaning teenagers], well, they don’t really like any kind of traditional book. They like computer game stories. The games my sons play are very sophisticated and are scripted with complex plots, music, and lots of reading. They are almost like interactive books. I think these sorts of gaming stories will be a large part of the future of books.
There will, however, always be traditional books and readers in my opinion. The readers of the world have always been the minority of the population as reading doesn’t appeal to everyone. Like research, writing, playing a musical instrument, dancing, singing, sports, and acting, reading is not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay. It takes all kinds of people to make a world.
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