Last evening I spent an hour talking with self-publishing guru Paul Teague about audiobook production. He was recording the session for a new podcast, which will be added to his site ‘Self-Publishing Journeys’ on 22 May, 2017.
Paul releases a new podcast weekly, and has been doing so for just over a year now. Check out his extensive library of interviews, a must-listen for anyone involved in self-publishing or thinking about being involved.
In a way, podcasts are like audiobooks themselves; people download them or ‘tune in’, clamp on headphones or insert earbuds, and listen. From statistics I’ve seen online, more and more people are choosing to listen to audiobooks than to physically buy the books themselves. Even eBooks are falling in popularity.
Someone asked me recently, who uses audiobooks? One obvious answer is the visually-impaired, those whose sight doesn’t allow them the facility to read text on a page or screen. Another is long-distance drivers who need something to relieve the tedium of motorways, autoroutes and freeways. Then there are long-haul flight passengers – anyone taking the new non-stop London to Australia service needs some way of filling the 17 hours’ flight time! And also let’s not forget the commuters, many of whom in big cities can spend up to two hours morning and evening getting to and from work.
And then there are those who simply choose listening over reading. There’s a whole argument that’s sprung up online now about whether listening to a book qualifies you to say you’ve ‘read it.’ I’ll leave you to form your own opinion on that!
Anyway, while I was being interviewed by Paul yesterday, it occurred to me that with the rise in popularity of audiobooks, maybe there will be a corresponding rise in books that never make it into print or even as eBooks; maybe some ‘authors’ will simply create audiobooks as their preferred medium. I might even try it myself.