Sunday, 24 April 2011

Talking Books

I always imagined audio books as being rows of cassette boxes hidden beneath racks of playing cards and gimmick mini games to keep the kids amused during long car journeys.

So when my agent said she had been offered a contract for an audio book for my new novel, Trencarrow Secret, my first thought was, 'OK that's good, more exposure can't hurt.' But this news didn't register too highly on my excitement meter.

However, it appears I was wrong about audio books. They aren't just for those people unable to decipher the small print in traditional paperbacks. They are big business, downloaded directly onto i-phones, i-pods and computers in the same way e-books are. Instantly accessible, reasonably priced and easy listening at home, on planes and trains or in the car.

Cave dwellers aside, most people must be aware of the rapidly growing sales of E-books: in that sales have topped all other formats, including the traditional paperbacks and hardcover’s.

CNN Money reported that the February 2011 sales of the E-book and downloaded audio books totaled $90.3 million, which is 202% more than the same month a year earlier.* Not totally reliable maybe, buy even a pessimistic estimate is good news for these formats.

Also, as the shortlist of the 2009 Best Audio Books Of The Year shows, these days everyone from Imelda Staunton, Roy Dotrice, Anthony Head and Juliet Stevenson are recording audiobooks. So not only do you get a good story, but it is narrated by your favourite actor as well.

I wonder who will read mine? The only Canadian voices I am familiar with are Kim Cattrall and Amanda Tapping, although the second one does a great English accent. I don't suppose I'll get to choose though!

*The study, which was done by Association of American Publishers, is not 100´% reliable since the net sales data are compiled from publishers, not from book retailers like Barnes & Noble.

1 comment:

Jen Black said...

I always thought Kim Cattrall was English born! And some put the increased ebook numbers down to the post-Christmas-Kindle-present- receiving-people splurging on new books to read. The thing is, will the high figure hold up after the novelty has worn off? I hope so, for your sake! Well done!

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